Page 24 - Layout 1
P. 24

Recasting Gibraltar’s appeal to encourage business opportunities
Continued from p6
one being EU compliant and the other offering being shaped to our needs and not being tied to EU rules, particularly in respect of fund administration and insurance with captives, for example.”
Over-egged regulation
It’s not that less regulation is being sought; that remains critical. “We want proportionate and sensible regulation”, Montegriffo held. “There are times in regulation where you may overstep the mark: it is fair comment that there are aspects of EU legislation in financial services, but also more broadly, that probably have over-egged matters. Outside of the EU our collective judgment in Gibraltar is still probably to adopt and continue to apply many EU standards, but we will have more flexibility,” he said.
Potentially, there were also “genuine opportunities in tax; State Aid rules mean we can’t be as flexible in our tax system as we might otherwise consider to be desirable.	For
example, you cannot easily advantage a particular sector to attract a certain investment without giving rise to a State Aid problem under EU rules; outside of the EU we could probably incentivise certain businesses in a more targeted fashion”.
At the present time, however, Reyes reported that uncertainty over the future meant people were reluctant to invest large sums of money and were being cautious. “They are taking stock of the way the world is developing. Having said that, we are still fielding enquiries, but it is all taking a bit longer. The interest in Gibraltar persists, because we are put on the reputable side of the line and people are therefore more open to us and willing to talk to us about the future.”
Dual regime possible
Minister Isola agreed that a dual regime in certain sectors – funds particularly, but also possibly insurance - could work and presents opportunities. “It’s not new, its what some jurisdictions already have and it seems to have worked for them with a regulatory framework for EU/UK business, and for non-EU activity it would be the same as the UK.
At the same time, the government is “working closely with one or two jurisdictions to facilitate single market access and with closer regulatory co-operation”, he disclosed, but declined to reveal which coun- tries were involved. There is speculation, however, that one possibility is Malta!
The government has asked the Chamber, Small Business Federation and financial services sectors to submit ideas for development following Brexit, “which could further diversify Gibraltar’s vibrant economy”. A Brexit working group will “explore every option to strengthen Gibraltar’s economic position”, declared Neil Costa, Minister for Business and Employment.
Start-up businesses particularly in software development are being encouraged by Costa through establishment of incubator and accelerator schemes, the government having already promised seed finance of up to £25,000 to support each development and progression of new businesses at a low 2% interest rate as part of a package of measures. He told a Gibraltar Startup Community meeting in October: “Land has to be the
Gibraltar International

   22   23   24   25   26