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Basic Information

Area: 6.8 km²

Calling code: +350

Population: 28,875

Official Language: English

Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Local time: 17:34


The territory of Gibraltar is located on the Southern Iberian peninsula, bordering the country of Spain to the north. It previously had a large British military presence, which has now been largely reduced, although a royal navy base still operates in the area. Gibraltar is most famous for its natural landmark of the rock of Gibraltar, which juts out of the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar has 29,286 (2008) residents, living in a small area of just 6.82km2, making it the 5th most densely populated area in the world, and giving it the 2nd highest population density in Europe. There are no political or administrative districts in Gibraltar, however the area is divided into 7 separate residential neighbourhoods which are primarily used for statistical purposes.

Gibraltar became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1973, but like the United Kingdom it has rejected the euro system, and has kept its own currency of the British Pound (GBP).


The shipping industry plays a major part in the economy, with Gibraltar exporting over $271 million worth of goods annually. Most popular commodities exported include petroleum and manufactured goods, although the majority of these are re-exports from other destinations. Gibraltar has a lack of natural resources and relies on imports for its own energy needs. It imports $2.96 billion worth of goods annually (CIA Factbook).

Tourism is also predominant, with 9.5 million visitors coming to the country in 2008, and annual tourist expenditures exceeding £230 million. Gibraltar has an improvement an development fund, which aims to update the transportation infrastructure, develop new projects to increase the quality of life, and help attract new foreign investors to the area, with £25 million being invested in 2008-2009. A survey conducted in 2008, evaluating the risk rating of 235 worldwide countries ranked Gibraltar as having the 5th most stable territory in the world, based on several economical, miltary and political factors.


Gibraltar Airport (GIB) is located within walking distance of the city centre, and only serves 2 countries: Spain and England. The three British airlines that operate from the airport are EasyJet, British Airways and Monarch. While Andulas Lineas Aereas provides seasonal flights to Spain's capital city of Madrid. The airport handles a combined total of 320,000 passengers annually. International connecting flights can be made from London Heathrow Airport, to which British Airways has 7 flights per week. Malaga airport (AGP) is located 120km away on Spanish soil and serves a wider range of destinations.
There is no train or metro system in operation in Gibraltar, instead the majority of transport is via the roads. There are 5 bus routes, which serve most of the major areas. A cable car also runs from the mainland to the top of Gibraltar rock, which is mainly used by tourists as it is holds a nature reserve.
The port of Gibraltar is the countries only port, and is central to the areas thriving shipping industry; over 90,000 ships travel through the Gibraltar Strait a year. It also serves a a docking area for cruise ships, and has several private harbours for pleasure boats and yachts.


Gibraltar has a labour force of 18,465, with a very low unemployment rate of 3.3%. It has a large percentage of residents who are of a non-Gibraltarian descent, the largest group are the British who make up nearly 10% of the total population. Other notable ethnic minorities include Portuguese, Spanish and Eastern European immigrants.
The educational system in Gibraltar is based on the traditional system currently used in Britain, with 3 tiers, and it is compulsory to attend school up to the age of 16. There are no higher educational facilities or universities in Gibraltar, so students must travel abroad to further their education. Most go to study in either the United Kingdom or Spain. Because of its British territory, the official language of Gibraltar is English, but many of the workforce speak Spanish as a second language, due to its close proximity to Spain. Arabic, Hindi and Sindhi are spoken by a small minority of foreign nationals originating from Morocco, Africa and India.

Business Costs

The tax system for individuals is based on tiered system which is 20% for individuals earning less than £25,000, 30% for individuals earning between £25,000 and £75,000, and 40% for anyone who earns over £100,000 a year. There are several income tax credits available to ease the burden of taxes on individuals, earning a low income. All European Union nationals are allowed to enter and work in the country with a 6 month visa, that can be extended for up to 5 years. Corporate rate taxes are competitive, with a set rate of 27%, which is due to be replaced with a low flat rate of 10% in July 2010. There is also no capital gains tax, no estate duty and no value added tax in Gibraltar providing favourable conditions for business owners. Import duties are low, with many items being exempt from any duty, and the highest rate available for imported goods stands at 12%.
Gibraltar has moderate office rental costs, and several options for renting 'ready to go' office spaces are available. Utilities are also low, with electricity being comparatively cheap but water costs may be slightly higher than other European countries, as it is distilled from the surrounding sea.
A minimum wage rate is set that is applicable to all individuals working in Gibraltar, which stands at £4.50 per hour, or £175.50 per week. The average wage is £20,470 per annum, lower than the that of the United Kingdom, where the average full time salary is £25,123, based on median gross annual earnings.
Rules and regulations concerning company starts up are geared towards the business owner and the Invest Gibraltar Organization helps new foreign investors and local businesses with the formation and structuring of new companies.
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