Business

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DELOITTE STAFF SHUFFLE

Deloitte has announced seven senior promotions in the Gibraltar office.

Vickram Khatwani and Alexander Miller have been promoted to Director and Colin Bensadon becomes an Associate Director. The strengthening of the leadership team follows Reshma Bhambhwani’s recent promotion to Managing Partner of Deloitte in Gibraltar. 

Further promotions include Cassandra Felices and Gerard Fitzgerald to Senior Managers and Karl Pardo and Jonathan Caruana will become Managers, all effective from 1 September. 

Vickram’s role as Director and country tax lead gives him responsibility for leading a team providing compliance, advisory, global employment, and cross-border tax services to a diverse range of clients. Most recently, Vickram supported the launch of Deloitte’s Immigration service line to assist clients with international presence. Vickram also continues to be an active member of the Tax Faculty of the Gibraltar Society of Accountants. 

Alexander is responsible for leading the Gibraltar side of Deloitte’s Islands & Gibraltar Advisory and Assurance Group as well as financial assurance across the jurisdictions. He has a dedicated, growing team who provide local financial assurance, internal audit, regulatory and advisory work. Alexander will also continue leading Deloitte’s insurance proposition in Gibraltar.  

Colin is responsible for delivering external audit engagements to financial services and other local companies. He has led Deloitte Gibraltar’s audit quality programme for some time now, and his new role will include assisting with leading the audit team alongside Gibraltar Managing Partner Reshma Bhambhwani. 

Reshma said, “We are really pleased to celebrate these individuals’ well-deserved promotions. 2021 has already seen our team move into larger premises and our Gibraltar office recently joined forces with the Channel Islands and Isle of Man which, like these promotions, further strengthens our capabilities. 

“At Deloitte, we believe in nurturing our people and supporting them to achieve their best potential. Many congratulations to all.”

Picture: L-R – Director, Alexander Miller; Managing Partner of Deloitte in Gibraltar, Reshma Bhambhwani; Associate Director, Colin Bensadon; Director, Vickram Khatwani


MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT ADVANTAGE INSURANCE

Advantage is an established Gibraltar-based insurer, authorised to underwrite private motor and home insurance in the United Kingdom. With over 3m customers, it’s one of the largest insurers in Gibraltar and part of the overall Hastings Insurance Group.

Having recently announced his retirement, the Advantage MD Steve Hazzard will step down from the Board of Directors at the start of October. Steve’s retirement together with the continued growth and success of Advantage Insurance Company, as one of Gibraltar’s leading Insurers, has meant a number of new senior appointments in the firm.

Steve Mumford has been promoted to Managing Director and the company also welcomes two new Executive Directors to the Board, Craig Wilson & Kevin Borrett. Craig has been with Advantage for 4 years – latterly as Head of Management Reporting & Planning – and Kevin for 5 years heading up the Risk Management & Compliance functions. These changes come into effect from 1st October.

Commenting on the changes, outgoing MD Steve Hazzard said “The new appointments are a good examples of career progression and the calibre of talent we have in our business”.

He went on to say, “since being established in Gibraltar in 2002, Advantage has grown into one of the biggest Financial Services firms on the Rock with an enviable reputation for its professionalism and standards. The company is tremendously proud not just with our links to other businesses, but also our engagement with local charities and other organisations”.


EUROPA STORMERS SPONSOR

Local rugby outfit Europa Stormers has announced a new sponsor to the club, to help further the game on the Rock.

Pressto Gibraltar joins the roster of rugby-supporting businesses both as an official sponsor and official dry cleaning partner.

Pressto will look after the teams’ kits for the upcoming season, and will also see Pressto’s logo appear on match day shorts & training kit.

Julian Cabedo, marketing & business development manager at Pressto said, “Pressto’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning are very happy to be sponsoring Europa Stormers for their 2021 season – it was an excellent fit between our two brands, one of Gibraltar’s top amateur rugby teams with a tremendous following and our top quality express laundry services, keeping their kits clean, which we all know, in rugby, is no mean feat!”

Business Insight

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Iconic local landmark, the Caleta Hotel, is to be demolished.

In its place, a new Hilton Hotel is to be built, subject to planning permission and finalisation of contracts with the Hilton Corporation. This would mark a second branding foray into the Gibraltar market by a large overseas hotel chain.

It is envisaged that the Caleta will close its doors for the final time at the start of January 2022, with the build timeline for the new structure estimated to be three years.

The Callaghan family, who own and operate the Caleta, has called the moment “bitter-sweet”. There are currently around 70 staff employed at the hotel.

The replacement hotel will seek to double capacity to 120 rooms.


Strait Of Gibraltar Meeting

The local Moroccan community was able to meet with His Excellency Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, Governor of Gibraltar, to discuss issues of concern. Top of the list was the humanitarian crisis arising from the lack of direct sea and air links between Morocco and Gibraltar.

Representing the community was Clive Reed, President of Gibraltar Morocco Association, Steven Marin, Secretary of Gibraltar Morocco Business Association, and Henry Sacramento Patron of Strait of Gibraltar Association.

His Excellency assured his guests that this is now an issue that he intends to pursue.


Crowdcube FIRST

In a first for a Gibraltar business, local crypto firm Digital Asset Management (DAM) successfully launched a capital fundraiser on the industry-leading Crowdcube platform.

This formed part of its Pre-Series A investment round.

DAM was established in 2017 to effectively assist in buying, managing, sending and storing cryptocurrencies and tokens in a regulated environment. The firm is one of 12 DLT licensed and regulated companies in Gibraltar that benefit from the regulatory certainty offered by the DLT regulatory framework. DAM is licensed and regulated to offer crypto OTC (Over-The-Counter) brokerage and custodial services by the GFSC. DAM is also registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK as an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) agency company under Modulr Finance Ltd. 

In January 2018, Gibraltar became the very first jurisdiction across the globe to introduce legislation around Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT), and has since asserted its position as a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency hub. 

Commenting on the milestone, the Hon Albert Isola, Minister for Digital and Financial Services, said, “I would like to congratulate Digital Asset Management on the innovative nature they have displayed by reaching this notable milestone. In Gibraltar, we believe innovation and collaboration go hand in hand. DAM’s move to become the first ever Gibraltar-licensed company to raise capital on Crowdcube is representative of this spirit of innovation. I congratulate them on this remarkable achievement which will act as an example to other pioneering Gibraltar start up businesses that access to capital through crowdfunding platforms may also be available to them.” 

With Gibraltar’s core values of regulation, reputation, and speed to market at the foundation of its efforts within the blockchain industry, Gibraltar is globally renowned for its commitment to creating a sustainable and secure regulatory framework for blockchain, as well as being one of the leading proponents in the advancement of the technology. 

Commenting on the announcement, DAM’s CEO, Sam Buxton, said, ‘‘Our first four years have been a successful grind and we are now well positioned for the next four years to be game changing for the company. We would like to thank Gibraltar and the GFSC for their continued support, and look forward to further establishing our collaborative relationship with them in the future.”

Business Insight

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BRITISH AIRWAYS TRAVEL HEAT MAP

British Airways customers can now check the travel restrictions and entry requirements of any destination the airline flies to on a new interactive map on ba.com.

The new page is in partnership with global tech company Sherpa, who has developed an online tool that provides travellers with the latest travel rules for inbound and outbound destinations. This tool brings together the latest information for over 100 countries, providing thousands of sources, and using millions of data points to stay up to date. The map, that the airline plans to further integrate into ba.com, will also help customers understand what is needed for their return the UK.

Visitors to the page will be able to explore the globe to see what travel restrictions each country has in place before booking a trip, searching visually by traffic light colour or by typing in their choice of destination. There is also a tab which allows customers to indicate whether or not they are vaccinated, which will adjust the results.

Jack Smith, British Airways’ Head of Digital said, “We know that travel in this new Covid era can feel overwhelming for our customers, and our job is to make their lives as straightforward as possible. This new tool, which has been tried and is trusted by our joint business partner, American Airlines, will help people navigate the differing entry requirements, to allow for a smooth booking and travel experience.”


GIBEXIT

Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar was at pains to praise UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab MP’s rejection of the European Union’s recently publicised position on Gibraltar.

It comes as the Foreign Secretary met his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Albare, for the first time.

Both tweeted positively after the meeting, although some of Snr Albares language was slightly ambiguous.

They committed to the New Year’s Eve Agreement and recognised the potential treaty between the UK and the EU in relation to Gibraltar would be beneficial. HMGoG stressed this would be not just for the Campo de Gibraltar, but also for Gibraltar itself.

They went on to comment that the Government and people of Gibraltar would never accept a treaty that in any way resembled the mandate issued by the EU.

The Chief Minister said, “The Government of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are entirely at one on this issue. I am very grateful to the Foreign Secretary for having set out so clearly the position of the UK, which is wholly aligned with us.

“No one should believe that we would ever be prepared to accept the things set out in the EU’s draft negotiating mandate. We will not even be prepared to accept things that are close to that.

“Gibraltar remains fully committed to the New Year’s Eve Agreement. The United Kingdom has already said they remain fully committed also.

“But the notion that Spanish law enforcement officers might be present on our land, at our port or airport, is one that the Government or the people of Gibraltar will not accept. That is not something that can be finessed or negotiated. That is a non-negotiable red line.”


BUDGET NEWS

The headline announcement in this year’s budget for businesses was the news that the headline rate of corporation tax is to increase from 10% to 12.5%. This matches the rate currently in use in the Republic of Ireland, and is also closer to the minimum of 15% agreed by the world’s leading economies.

However, there were a number of capital allowances that were also introduced. The current limit of £30,000 for plant and machinery is to be raised to £60,000 or 50% of the expenditure incurred. Computer equipment also gets a bit of a leg up – up from the current limit of £50,000 to £100,000.

Also revealed was an increase in deductions for improvements to the EPC rating of a property and allowances for solar heating installations.

In addition, marketing has attracted an additional allowance for costs, where the Income Tax office has agreed validity of such costs. This amounts to 50%.

(This means there’s never been a better time to get in touch with Insight regarding marketing your business or service in the Rock’s longest running magazine:
 hello@gibraltarinsight.com or 222 51308).

Further information and how it could affect your own tax position is best sought from a tax professional.

Business Insight

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easyJET AND BOOTS TESTING PARTNERSHIP

Anchor airline in Gibraltar easyJet has partnered with British high street chemist Boots to make it easier for people to book their pre and post-travel COVID-19 tests for their flights this summer. The new arrangement will enable customers to find information and book or order the necessary COVID-19 travel testing services required for their trip on the Boots COVID-19 testing hub, via easyJet.com while planning their trip.

Following the restart of international leisure travel in the UK, easyJet customers will be able to book all the required tests needed both before and after their holiday, through Boots. The service will be going live on easyJet.com in the coming days.

Boots offer a Day 2 & 8 Post-Travel COVID-19 Testing Service for international arrivals into the UK and is also accredited as a test provider for the UK Government’s Test to Release scheme, offering next day results for those wishing to reduce their home quarantine by taking a voluntary test on the fifth full day after arriving in England from a country on the ‘amber’ list.


Contingency for no agreement continues

The UK-Gibraltar Readiness NNO Board has met in Gibraltar for the first time. The role of the Board is to coordinate preparations between the UK and Gibraltar Governments in the event of a Non Negotiated Outcome.

The UK Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas, Wendy Morton MP, opened the hybrid meeting which was chaired jointly with UK by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia.

A team of officials from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, who were here on a familiarisation visit, participated together with officials from other UK departments who joined the meeting digitally.

On the Gibraltar side, the Board included the Civil Contingencies Coordinator, the CEO of the Department of the Environment, the Parliamentary Counsel, the Director of Gibraltar House in Brussels, the Commissioner of Police, the Collector of Customs, the CEO of the Borders and Coastguards Agency , the Captain of the Port as well as the Principal Secretary and PA of the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister.

The Deputy Chief Minister stressed that it was sensible and prudent, as had happened since 2016, to make plans for no agreement, even though the Government remained fully committed to an agreement on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union.


UK Community renewal fund

As part of Gibraltar’s departure from the EU, the UK Government has set up a transitional fund to aid the move away from Structural Funds previously provided by Brussels.

An information seminar to promote this new UK Community Renewal Fund in Gibraltar was held by the Gibraltar Expansion and Development Secretariat. The event was hosted by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses at their base in Irish Town. 

GFSB members were invited to make enquiries about the Fund and avail themselves of the Funds Officers present.

The bidding round for applications closes at midday on Friday 9 July 2021.

More information and application forms can be found on the www.geds.gi or by calling 20073255. 

Business Insight

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A proper Gibraltar welcome for Eastern Airways

Eastern Airways operated their first service from Birmingham, UK to Gibraltar  and received an appropriate welcome.

The new service is operating twice weekly, year round, on Mondays and Fridays and flown with Embraer E170 and E190 jets.

The Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP was at the airport to welcome the flight, along with teams from Gibraltar International Airport and the
Gibraltar Tourist Board. Arriving passengers were presented with Visit Gibraltar branded gifts.

Minister Daryanani said, “I’m delighted to see the return of a service from Birmingham. This destination has always been a popular one for Gibraltar, showing very strong demand when operated previously. This new service has been made possible through my untiring efforts to deliver new airlines and destinations for Gibraltar and shows the Government’s unprecedented commitment to this task. Our tourism and business communities will no doubt welcome the service and we look forward to welcoming many visitors from Birmingham and the airport’s catchment area.”


Ocean Village has kindly donated 200 boxes of hand sanitiser to Gibraltar’s Red Cross.

The Gibraltar Central Council Branch was established in 1948 and became an overseas branch of the British Red Cross in 1957. The Gibraltar Red Cross supports those in need in Gibraltar and those affected by disasters and crises around the world.

Lois Soiza, Welfare Officer at the Gibraltar Red Cross said, “Thanks so much to the Ocean Village team, we will be distributing the hand sanitisers they have so generously donated among those in our elderly care facilities and other local charities.”

Emilia Hazell-Smith, from Ocean Village added, “We are delighted to donate these hand sanitisers to such a worthy cause, and we know they will be distributed to the people who need them most!”



Freedom of Information legislation has come into effect in
Gibraltar..

Requests for information will be open to any Gibraltar resident who is aged 18 years or over. An initial charge of £10 will be levied per request. There will be no additional cost for tracing, compiling and supplying the information where this is calculated to be £100 or less.

A Freedom of Information portal has been added to the e-services section of gibraltar.gov.gi

The portal contains a copy of the Act, application forms, and the relevant guidance notes for anyone who may be eligible to request information; and who wishes to exercise that right. This allows the system to operate digitally as information requests, replies and payments can all be submitted using the new gateway.

The dedicated email address foi@gibraltar.gov.gi has also been setup to deal with any queries.

In addition, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) is now the point of contact for anyone who requires assistance in person with the operation of the electronic portal.

The responsibility for the disclosure or not of the information requested will rest with individual Government departments, agencies and authorities. The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) becomes the Information Commissioner under the law, will be responsible for the oversight of the implementation of the legislation and serve as an appeal body from decisions taken by Government departments and other public authorities.

CRYPTO ASSET TRIAL

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HM Government of Gibraltar has entered into an agreement with Coinfirm Ltd., a leading RegTech firm, to trial a new AML risk management platform for crypto and block- chain assets.

The collaboration between HM Government of Gibraltar and Coinfirm will benefit regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the jurisdiction with the use of advanced blockchain-native anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing analytics.

This is the first time this innovative technology is being used to support Gibraltar’s work in the international fight against money laundering.

The AML Platform is able to monitor high-risk transactions and trace misappropriated funds through visualisers amongst other proprietary investigative tools. The smart, data-led automatic analytics can overcome highly complex criminal enterprise schemes through deploying various methodologies including the destination and source of funds, fingerprints of activity, ownership analysis, e-discovery and clustering algorithms.

Albert Isola, Minister for Digital and Financial Services commented, “As we continue to develop our VASP infrastructure, ensuring our regulatory bodies have the tools to combat financial crime in the crypto asset industry is of paramount importance. We must be equipped to counter threats such as those posed by criminal actors. I am very grateful to the team at Coinfirm for their support in allow- ing us access to and use of their platform.”

“Conducting investigations into criminals leveraging crypto assets is becoming crucial in financial crime cases as blockchain’s importance in the wider economy gains steam. With the AML Platform and Coinfirm’s ongoing support we will be able to more effectively challenge the various illicit schemes that malicious actors devise” added Paweł Kuskowski, CEO and co-founder at Coinfirm.


Visit by Spanish Senator

The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Spanish Senate, Senator Antonio Gutierrez Limones, paid a courtesy call on the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo last month.

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and the Attorney General Michael Llamas were also present in the meeting.

The discussion centred on matters of common interest in particular on the matters that are the usual well known views of Gibraltar and the Campo which plague so many people’s views of the area.

The Chief Minister said, “I am very pleased to have received Antonio and to have had a chance to have a discussion about the issues that are relevant to the reality of impetus that the day to day lives of Gibraltarians and people in the region around us.“


BEAT MEASURES FURTHER EXTENDED

The Chief Minister has announced some of the business support measures that are set to continue until 30 June 2021.

Businesses that are participating in the BEAT scheme will receive the following percentages based on the average payment that they received in April and May 2020:

• 30% to be paid for April 2021

• 20% to be paid for May 2021; and

• a final payment of 10% to be paid for June 2021.

The above payments will be made to all participating businesses, except for those sectors that continue to be heavily affected by the travel restrictions imposed by other countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participating businesses from these heavily affected sectors will receive additional tailored financial support that will be reviewed by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar on a month by month basis. This tailored support is also expected to end on 30 June 2021 – if matters progress as hoped.

All BEAT payments will be made automatically to participating businesses. Participating businesses do not need to take any action in order to receive these BEAT grant payments.

The Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce welcomed the announcement by the Government but also added it wanted to make sure that Gibraltar’s private sector could continue to operate and emerge stronger from the crisis of the past twelve months. This would help to put the Rock’s economy in the best possible position to deal with the challenges that inevitably lie ahead.

Raab Visit

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The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab MP visited Gibraltar with FCDO Minister Wendy Morton MP on the 29th March for the UK-Gibraltar Joint Ministerial Council.

The day marked another phase in the lifting of COVID restrictions on the Rock, and the delegation spent some time along Main Street as well as discussing matters at hand in more business-like surroundings.

The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK’s longstanding commitment that it will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes. Nor will it enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content.

Top of the agenda was the approach to negotiating the upcoming treaty between the EU and UK with specific respect to Gibraltar. The framework for this was agreed at the end of 2020, as announced by the Chief Minister and the UK at that time.


Twenty-two University of Gibraltar students have taken their leap into the workplace with placements across different sectors.

This time away from pure study lasts from between six and ten weeks, and is an integral part of the Bachelor of Business degree course.

Spanish student Jose-Miguel is in his second year of the programme and has chosen to specialise in finance, “I am doing my placement at a family-run finance firm. Last year I also had the opportunity to do my placement at PwC. This is a great experience because I am developing the skills and acquiring the knowledge required to embark on a career in the financial sector, which is my goal.”

Denise Matthews, Founder of One Media & Events and Chapter Director at Startup Grind Gibraltar is hosting a first-year student who has chosen marketing as their preferred major. Denise said, “Welcoming a student from the university to learn and experience different ways of working from remote work to digital marketing for a global brand is extremely rewarding. This placement is an opportunity to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs through our strong partnership with the University of Gibraltar that has been in place for almost four years. We are delighted to support them.”

Marketing is also the major for first-year student Amelia Lewis-Berry who is spending her placement at a local marketing and creative agency, The Bulb. Its CEO, Dylan Trenado, said, “The Bulb is delighted to offer a work placement to a University of Gibraltar student. Amelia will be learning about online/offline marketing and how our company operates as a whole to assist clients with their marketing and creative requirements. We believe offering this opportunity to students will help them gain experience that they will carry with them to their careers.”


Volotea Announces Gib Route

An airline setup by the original founders of successful budget carrier Vueling has announced a new route to Gibraltar.

Volotea will be flying between Gibraltar and Bilbao starting from 2nd July using an Airbus A319. Volotea will be the only airline to connect Gibraltar with a Spanish city. Around 8000 seats will be available between July and September.

Carlos Muñoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea heralded the announcement. “True to our vocation, we want to continue to connect small and medium- sized cities with great flexibility and to do so with maximum safety. We are very happy to be able to announce the opening of this new route that seeks to satisfy a demand that was not being met”.

Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP added, “I welcome the announcement made today by Volotea on the start of flights from Bilbao, Spain to Gibraltar for the summer of 2021. I am delighted to see the addition of yet another carrier serving Gibraltar and a new route that opens up a completely new catchment area from another country.”

“I am sure that this announcement will be welcomed by our tourism industry in Gibraltar and our business community, as this service creates further opportunities to attract visitors to Gibraltar.” 

The exact start date and operation of the route is subject to regulatory approval.

Milestone Vehicle Conversion

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It marks a milestone as it is the first time local firm AADS has done the conversion work in its own facilities in the Rock. In this instance, the work morphed the Jeeps into personnel and cargo cargo carriers.

Some 335 Jeeps have been converted and shipped from Gibraltar as part of a contract with the US Department of Defense.

It marks a milestone as it is the first time local firm AADS has done the conversion work in its own facilities in the Rock. In this instance, the work morphed the Jeeps into personnel and cargo cargo carriers.

The J8 Jeeps tend to be used all around the world for the likes of peacekeeping, border patrols, and in the fight against drugs.

It’s the latest in line of a decade’s worth of orders from the US agency and sits alongside conversions and distribution of vehicles for other NATO countries such as Italy


Climate Change Summit – COP26 

In advance of the Climate Change Summit – COP26 – to be held in Glasgow later in the year, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Climate Change John Cortes participated in a virtual meeting on this hot topic.

The meeting coincided with the 16th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the first global agreement on climate change

Dr Cortes attended both as Gibraltar Environment Minister and in his role as Chair of the UK Overseas Territories’ Environment Ministers’ Council, having been nominated to represent the OTs by UKOTA, the UK Overseas Territories’ Association.

The meeting aimed at preparing the groundwork in achieving some of the main aims of COP26, those of encouraging greater action to preserve ecosystems and keep countries, communities and people safe from the impacts of climate change. 

Dr Cortes’ contribution centred on the need for the international community in a post-Covid economic crisis to guard against any action which will be detrimental to the environment and to the climate crisis, and that restoring the world’s economy cannot take precedence over dealing with the climate and biodiversity crises.

John Cortes commented, “Nations around the world will be coming together once again trying to address the global climate and biodiversity crises. Gibraltar has a contribution to make, and I have the honour to be able to make the case also for island communities in the Caribbean and elsewhere which are particularly exposed to severe weather events and sea level rise provoked by humanity’s failure to address the crisis. I sincerely hope that we will get positive outcomes from COP 26 and all these preparatory events.”


Office of Fair Trading

The Ministry for Business has announced that counters at the Office of Fair Trading will reopen on Wednesday 3rd March 2021.

Opening hours will be from 8:30am to 3:00pm at Suite 975, Europort.

The counters have been closed during the recent COVID-19 lockdown and the Ministry hopes that the reopening will be bring back some normality to businesses and our aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Minister for Business, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said, “Businesses have been through extremely difficult times during the Covid lockdown. I hope the reopening of counters will make life easier for our entrepreneurs and will expedite applications. I want to stress that I am always available to assist on any business matters, including licensing, as I think that the creation of new small businesses is essential to our economic development.”


Duff & Phelps

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Worldwide firm Duff & Phelps has opened an office in Gibraltar, extending its services during a crucial time for multi-jurisdictional entities.

The office will be run by MD Andrew Stoneman, a Licensed Gibraltar Insolvency Practitioner.


Stoneman said, “I am delighted that we have been able to expand our services into Gibraltar enabling us to offer a blended range of services from across the Duff & Phelps portfolio. Not only is there an opportunity for a new restructuring practice in Gibraltar, but the regulatory nature of many business sectors based on ‘the Rock’ – such as insurance, gaming and financial services – means that we will be able to offer a wide range of additional services centred on a broad range of solutions including compliance and regulatory consulting. It is our intention to offer these services via a local multi-skilled team, backed up by the extended Duff & Phelps organisation.


The Hon Albert Isola MP, Gibraltar Minister with responsibility for Digital and Financial Services, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Duff & Phelps to Gibraltar, particularly in light of the special and historic relationship between the UK and the Rock. This announcement brings with it a commitment to building a sustained locally-based operation, backed up by a truly global network.


Fawns over GIB Property

Mentions of Gibraltar in the international press can appear in the most unexpected of places, and this month saw an article in an edition of the prestigious New York Times.

It focused on the opportunities for property investment in Gib, now that the provisional Brexit agreement between all relevant parties has been reached.
Highlighting some of the advantages that this deal offers, the article spoke to local agents including Savills, Mulberry Real Estate and Chestertons.
One of the developments singled out was The Reserve, on the site of the old casino.

Let’s hope this renewed interest from around the world results in benefits for all on The Rock.


BA Launches new COVID app

Although not in place for trips to and from Gib with BA, the airline is having a stab at making the future of flying slightly easier in a post-pandemic world.

It’s running a trial with American Airlines for trips to and from JFK using a travel health passport app.

The user can verify a negative COVID-19 test result on a smart device, in an attempt to smooth over the challenges the worldwide health crisis has presented to airlines. Learn more at britishairways.com


The Ministry for Business has launched a new initiative for budding entrepreneurs.

The Business Liaison Unit aims to be a “One Stop Shop” for the needs of enterprises starting out trading. This is similar to the “concierge” service offered by the equivalent Government department in Bermuda.

The over-arching aim is to provide all the necessary back-end processes, permits and legislative requirements for businesses in a hassle-free way, allowing the focus of the individuals involved to be “the business of business”.

COVID-19 restrictions mean that this will be rolled out in two phases. Phase one is available this month and the team is available on email:
businessonestopshop@gibraltar.gov.gi

Once COVID-19 restrictions have been reviewed, an appointment service will be available.

Minister for Business, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP commented, “I am delighted to announce the opening of our One Stop Shop for Business. I have had representations made by the private sector on the need to expedite the setting up of a business for our entrepreneurs. More so now during these difficult times, we need to encourage new business. This will be done in two stages. I hope our entrepreneurs will find this service helpful and I aim to be directly involved in making sure this is a success.”

Whizz Air

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The much-missed route to and from London Luton was given a new lease of life when Wizz Air kicked off their new service.

It will operate twice a week on Fridays and Mondays all-year round.

The inaugural flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute provided by the Gibraltar Airport Fire and Rescue Service and passengers were greeted by the Gibraltar Re-enactment Society and the Gibraltar Sea Scouts. Arriving and departing passengers were presented with gifts by a team from the Gibraltar Tourist Board.

Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP said, “I was delighted to welcome a new airline to Gibraltar and extra capacity for the North London market. Wizz Air UK is expanding quickly and I have no doubt that they will become long term partners for Gibraltar. I negotiated personally with the airline to attract them to the Rock. Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is committed to attracting an expansion of air services. I will continue to work hard at this and make sure that we have more airlines operating out of the airport than ever before.”

Owain Jones, Managing Director Wizz Air UK, added, “With the launch of our affordable flights to Gibraltar today, we are offering passengers yet another exciting travel opportunity, this time to the Mediterranean peninsula of Gibraltar. A truly unique destination, Gibraltar offers travellers a fascinating blend of history and culture, spectacular views from the top of The Rock and of course, a chance to see its famous Barbary Macaques. As Gibraltar remains on the travel corridor list, meaning passengers arriving into England from Gibraltar don’t have to self-isolate on return, now is the perfect time to book a trip onboard our young, green and ultra-efficient Airbus aircraft fleet.”


Land Mark Loan

A landmark loan facility has been agreed for Gibraltar, enabled by NatWest International Gibraltar and NatWest UK.

The lending facility, which totals £500 million, is split equally between the two lenders and has been put in place to provide the Government of Gibraltar with the maximum amount of flexibility to allocate expenditure in support of the economy during the period of the pandemic and the recovery phase. In addition the funding also provides additional liquidity as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches.

Gordon Paterson, Country Head and Head of Local Banking, NatWest International Gibraltar said, “As part of our purpose as a bank, it is our aim to support not just our customers and colleagues but the local community of which we are a part, and there has been no more pertinent time to demonstrate this.  A strong relationship has been built up over a number years with the Government of Gibraltar which provides the confidence to support them in respect to this material undertaking.”

The Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, Chief Minister stated, “It is a pleasure for us to announce that we have entered into our facility agreement with NatWest International Gibraltar, a local bank that continues to thrive in our economy, and NatWest UK, who were brought in by the local team. The NatWest team has worked tirelessly with the Financial Secretary and his team over several months to secure this landmark deal. As we see how mass vaccination in 2021 raises the probability of an imminent recovery, the deal marks the turning of a new leaf as we kick-start our economy and look forward to the new opportunities this may bring.” 


Travel Restrictions

Some new, enhanced, travel restrictions have been enacted in Gibraltar for air travel. These are on top of those announced by the Chief Minister regarding COVID testing.

You will only be allowed to disembark an aircraft in Gibraltar if you are one of the following:

  1. Individuals who are registered Gibraltarians, either by birth or naturalisation;
  2. Individuals with residence in Gibraltar, upon demonstrating satisfactory proof of residence; 
  3. Sea farer on transit to a vessel which is berthed at Gibraltar and has immigration pre clearance letter issued by the Borders and Coastguards Agency;
  4. Spanish nationals who are in transit to Spain; 
  5. Individuals travelling to Gibraltar on transit to Spain and who hold lawful residence in Spain, upon demonstrating satisfactory proof of residence; 
  6. People who are carrying out a work activity in Gibraltar or who are taking up employment in  Gibraltar and who provide proof on arrival; 
  7. Military personnel who have been issued with Travel Orders; 
  8. Individuals who hold an electronic letter issued by the Borders and Coastguard Agency granting that individual permission to enter Gibraltar. 
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