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Economy of Gibraltar

The economy of Gibraltar consists largely of the services sector. While being part of the European Union, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar has aseparate legal jurisdiction from the United Kingdom and enjoys a different tax system. The role of the UK Ministry of Defence, which at one time was Gibraltar's main source of income, has declined, with today's economy mainly based on shipping, tourism, financial services, and the Internet.

In his June 2009, budget speech, Chief Minister Peter Caruana noted that Gibraltar's economy remains in good shape and Government finances remain healthy, solid, stable and robust, despite global economic and financial turmoil.

Gibraltar will soon have a functioning stock exchange, the GibEX.

In December 2008 in a landmark decision the European Court of Justice ruled that: the Court finds that the competent Gibraltar authorities which have devised the tax reform have, from a constitutional point of view, a political and administrative status separate from that of the central government of the United Kingdom.



Gibraltar is one of the largest bunkering ports in the Mediterranean Sea, with 4.3 million tonnes of bunkers delivered in 2007. This has become the main activity within the Port of Gibraltar.


Gibraltar is a constituent part of the European Union as a Special Member State territory, having joined the EuropeanEconomic Community with the United Kingdom in 1973, under the provisions of the Treaty of Rome relating to European dependent territories. However, it is exempt of the Common external tariff, the Common Agricultural Policy and the requirement to levy Value added tax.

Financial institutions operating in Gibraltar are regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.

Subject to notifying the Commissioner, who must be satisfied that they meet certain criteria in accordance with the relevant EU Directive, Gibraltar licensed or authorised financial institutions can provide services throughout the EU and European Economic Area without having to seek separate licences or authorisation in the host Member State. This is known as the passporting of financial services.


Tourism in Gibraltar constitutes one of the British Overseas Territory's most important economic pillars, alongside financial services and shipping. Gibraltar's main attractions are the Rock of Gibraltar and its resident population of Barbary macaques (or "apes"), the territory's military heritage, duty-free shopping, casinosand marinas. Although the population of Gibraltar numbers only some 30,000 people, the territory recorded nearly 12 million visits in 2011, giving it one of the highest tourist-to-resident ratios in the world.

Internet Business

Gibraltar offers a favourable tax system, good internet connectivity along with a well-developed regulatory system. All gambling operations in Gibraltar require licensing under the Gambling Act 2005. TheGibraltar Regulatory Authority is the Gambling Commissioner under the Gambling Act 2005, and therefore the regulatory body. Good regulation, and being part of the EU is seen as a strong advantange by large legitimate operators. The UK has published plans to protect online gamblers from crime and exploitation by banning gambling adverts from poorly regulated countries which specifically mention Gibraltar as an approved location.

Defence Spending

The UK's Ministry of Defence was originally the mainstay of Gibraltar's economy but this has greatly reduced to around 6% of the GDP. In 2006 the MoD announced that it would contractorise the provision of services to the military base to make further cost savings. This was finalised in January 2007.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Gibraltar"

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