On 23rd June 2016, Gibraltar recorded a ‘Remain’ vote higher than any UK constituency in the referendum, with a staggering 96% of the electorate choosing to remain within the EU. Despite this result and in light of close coordination with the UK Government, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo recently affirmed his confidence that the UK market will remain open to Gibraltar for its businesses and services; providing reassurance and continued optimism, given that 90% of Gibraltar’s business within the single market is with the UK.
This optimism was epitomized today at World Trade Center Gibraltar, when the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister joined forces with developer, Gregory Butcher to conduct the official opening ceremony.
The opening was attended by The Governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Ed Davis, Government Ministers and leaders of Gibraltar’s key businesses, who came to celebrate the historic opening of this state-of-the-art, Grade A, 254,000 square foot office building. World Trade Center Gibraltar is the newest addition to the World Trade Center Association network, which encompasses 91 countries around the globe, promoting international prosperity through trade – a concept which Gibraltar is known to wholeheartedly support.
WTC Gibraltar will be a beacon for promoting international trade in the coming days, weeks, months and years, whilst Brexit is negotiated.
Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo said, “We are proud to be here today to inaugurate Gibraltar’s first World Trade Center. Brexit is not the beginning of the end of Gibraltar, it’s actually just the end of the beginning, and the arrival of this first World Trade Center is Gibraltar saying to the world: “Here we come!”’
One of the major tenants is Regus, a FTSE 250 company and the world’s biggest provider of flexible office space, taking over 1,300 square metres of space, adding to its growing international network with offices in more than 900 cities across 120 countries.
Regus is joined by other major international companies including Bet Victor, BDO, Stan James Unibet and Costa Coffee. This occupier mix is then complemented by the budding, entrepreneurial firms such as global payment solutions company, WaveCrest, that have also chosen WTC Gibraltar as their business home.
The developer Gregory Butcher said, “It’s wonderful to see this project finally become a reality and for so many people to experience for themselves the new standard that World Trade Center has set.Gibraltar is a service economy and it’s imperative that we can offer the major businesses that are already here, and international businesses looking at Gibraltar as a potential jurisdiction, the kind of working environment they demand in order to stay competitive.”
Head of Sales & Marketing at WTC Gibraltar, Pete Burgess exclaimed, “The fact that Regus, has committed to invest in Gibraltar by opening a new office in World Trade Center is fantastic news and a huge vote of confidence..” Mr Burgess continued, “ Regus provides office accommodation for small and medium size businesses (SMEs), expansion facilities for companies that need to manage their growth and incubator space for business start-ups.”
Over 25% of the building has been occupied by companies that are new to Gibraltar and a number of the organisations relocating from within Gibraltar are intending to hire new employees, all of which contributes to the creation of hundreds of new jobs. The building will have a profound economic and social impact and the developer has appointed a specialist consultant economist to accurately measure this impact and report back to the World Trade Center Association in New York.
“There’s a fantastically diverse range of companies that have decided to base themselves at World Trade Center” commented Mr Butcher. “From SMEs to global players, we have a range of financial services tenants including insurance companies, Family Offices and Wealth Managers, e-money companies and gaming businesses, all of whom are taking advantage of the state-of-the-art infrastructure which enables trading on the London markets in 1 / 35,000>th of a second. Without this they would not be able to compete within the advanced international marketplace.” Mr Butcher continued, “We’re also providing a number of amenities within the building, including two food & beverage operations, Costa Coffee and Supernatural and a children’s nursery. We’re also now seeking a GP to operate a day surgery from the building, all of which contributes to a marvellous sense of community within World Trade Center Gibraltar.”
World Trade Center Gibraltar is both a significant addition to the WTCA network and an essential platform, which will support Gibraltar’s future growth plans and ambitious economic objectives.