🇬🇮 Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area. During the Napoleonic Wars and World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar. It remains strategically important, with half the world's sea-borne trade passing through the strait.
Today Gibraltar's economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services and bunkering.The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. In December 2020, the UK and Spain agreed in principle to a basis on which the UK and the EU might negotiate terms for Gibraltar to participate in aspects of the Schengen Agreement.
Economy The British military traditionally dominated Gibraltar's economy, with the naval dockyard providing the bulk of economic activity and now is estimated to account for only 7 per cent of the local economy. Today, Gibraltar's economy is dominated by four main sectors: financial services, online gambling, shipping, and tourism, which includes duty-free retail sales to visitors. The territory also has a small manufacturing sector, with one company (Bassadone Automotive Group) supplying ambulances and other project vehicles converted locally from SUV vehicles to the United Nations and other agencies, employing some 320 staff across its range of activities.
Bookmakers and online gaming operators moved to Gibraltar to benefit from operating in a regulated jurisdiction with a favourable corporate tax regime. This corporate tax regime for non-resident controlled companies was phased out by January 2011 and replaced by a still favourable fixed corporate tax rate of 10 per cent.
Tourism is also a significant industry. Gibraltar is a popular port for cruise ships and attracts day visitors from resorts in Spain. The Rock is a popular tourist attraction, particularly among British tourists and residents in the southern coast of Spain. It is also a popular shopping destination, and all goods and services are VAT free, but may be subject to Gibraltar taxes. Many of the large British high street chains have branches or franchises in Gibraltar including Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Mothercare. Branches and franchises of international retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Sunglass Hut are also present in Gibraltar, as is the Spanish clothing company Mango.
A number of British and international banks have operations based in Gibraltar. Jyske Bank claims to be the oldest bank in the country, based on Jyske's acquisition in 1987 of Banco Galliano, which began operations in Gibraltar in 1855. An ancestor of Barclays, the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, entered in 1888, and Credit Foncier (now Crédit Agricole) entered in 1920.
In 1967, Gibraltar enacted the Companies (Taxation and Concessions) Ordinance (now an Act), which provided for special tax treatment for international business. This was one of the factors leading to the growth of professional services such as private banking and captive insurance management. Gibraltar has several attractive attributes as a financial centre, including a common law legal system and access to the EU single market in financial services. The Financial Services Commission (FSC), which was established by an ordinance in 1989 (now an Act) that took effect in 1991, regulates the finance sector. In 1997, the Department of Trade and Industry established its Gibraltar Finance Centre (GFC) Division to facilitate the development the financial sector development. As of 2012, Gibraltar has 0.103 Big Four accounting firm offices per 1,000 population, the second highest in the world after the British Virgin Islands, and 0.6 banks per 1,000 people, the fifth most banks per capita in the world. As of 2017, there is very significant uncertainty on continuing access to the EU single market after the forthcoming Brexit. The currency of Gibraltar is the Gibraltar pound, issued by the Government of Gibraltar under the terms of the 1934 Currency Notes Act. These banknotes are legal tender in Gibraltar alongside Bank of England banknotes. In a currency board arrangement, these notes are issued against reserves of sterling. Clearing and settlement of funds is conducted in sterling. Coins in circulation follow British denominations but have separate designs. Unofficially, most retail outlets in Gibraltar accept the euro, though some payphones and the Royal Gibraltar Post Office, along with all other government offices, do not.
Gibraltar is the #84 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Gibraltar was ranked #1050 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Gibraltar has a population of over 34,000 people.