Gibraltar: News Release - Portugal Roadshow

Promotional visit to Lisbon and the Algarve
Last Updated: 6 May 1999

By Guy Canessa

THE finance centre 'roadshow' started rolling at 2pm on Sunday 25 April. The six-hour coach journey from the frontier to the Algarve was broken up by a pitstop at Lepe, somewhat unfairly the butt of many a joke in Spain. However, the gruelling itinerary for the next few days would be no laughing matter as it involved getting up well before the crack of dawn (4:30 am on one occasion) and travelling for several hours ahead of an all-day exhibition followed by an evening reception.

Most participants travelled on the coach provided by the DTI but some preferred to make their own way there, whilst others were already based in Portugal.

The roadshow had been widely advertised under the slogan 'Gibraltar comes to Portugal' with full-page advertisements appearing in Anglo-Portuguese News on 22 April, the Algarve Resident on 23 April and The Weekly News on 24 April. In addition, invitations had been sent to 250 members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Lisbon.

Upon arrival at Hotel Vila Vita Parc in Armacao de Pera, central Algarve, the Gibraltar contingent was joined by Neil Wilkinson, Valmet's representative in the Algarve, and Richard Whittaker of Shepherds who had flown over from the UK to assist Savignons in marketing traded endowment policies (TEPs).

On the following morning, at the commencement of the first day's exhibition, numbers were further swelled by Portugal-based staff: Paulo Alves and Miguel Cardiga from BDO in Lisbon, and Nigel Anteney-Hoare, Gill Graham, Gabriel Moreira and Joaquim Fava from Sovereign Trust's large Portuguese offices (ten staff in Lagoa alone).

One discovery made by the Gibraltar group was that Portuguese names are too long to fit on a business card, so they tend to abbreviate them, as in the case of Joaquim Fava who's full name is 'Joaquim Jose Viegas de Sousa Fava', and the Honorary British Consul in the Algarve who attended the third day's reception, who's full name is 'Jose Manuel Teixeira Gomes Pearce de Azevedo'.

Despite the long-established business links with Portugal, there is still a distinct lack of awareness about Gibraltar in some quarters: "Is Gibraltar part of Spain?" ventured Maria Gruber, one of the managers at the Vila Vita Parc. Gibraltar, however, is not alone in having a problem with its identity. One Portuguese accountant explained the difficulties encountered in attracting business from the United States, as most US companies head straight for Madrid. "They think Portugal is part of Spain," he lamented.

Misconceptions about Gibraltar's status were soon put right by the many brochures distributed. In addition to the new finance centre brochure, the DTI team placed many Gibraltar Tourist Board brochures as the potential for the further development of tourism to the Rock soon became evident. "There isn't an awful lot to do around here," said Paul Buick, Managing Director of an English-language radio station in the Algarve. "Every five or six weeks I drive to Gibraltar to shop at Safeway and for a change generally. I know Ernest Francis so I always give his hotel a plug on the air."

The first day's event concluded with a reception at which the Minister for Trade and Industry, Peter Montegriffo, made a presentation. "Gibraltar understands the expat culture," he told guests, highlighting the advantages of investing in Gibraltar: confidence and confidentiality, the only common law jurisdiction in continental Europe, regulation to EU and UK standards, and the very favourable light the Edwards report had cast on the Rock's finance centre.

Day Two went smoothly enough despite getting trapped in the clogged traffic lanes entering Lisbon and the difficulty the coach had negotiating the Portuguese capital's narrow streets lined with illegally-parked cars. The two Peters (Isola and Thompson), who had travelled up by car, met up with the group upon arrival at the hotel lobby.

In Lisbon, the Minister and Finance Centre Director Anthony Fisher attended a series of back-to-back meetings, the first and third of which had been arranged by Francis Napoli of Prime Trust. First, a meeting at Banco Efisa with Chairman & CEO Abdool Magid A Karim Vakil and lawyer M Karim Vakil, followed by a short ride to the British Embassy to meet Ambassador Roger Westbrook and hold discussions with First Secretary (Commercial) Phil Sinkinson. Then it was off to meet Juan Simon, Director, Equity Sales, at Central Investimentos-Sociedade Corretora SA, followed by a fourth meeting, this time with investment consultants Tony Pruim and David Elkan which had been arranged via the British Chamber of Commerce in Lisbon.

In his second presentation, Peter Montegriffo reiterated Gibraltar's private client culture. "We live in the private-client belt; the Florida of Europe," he said, making the point that EU access differentiates Gibraltar from other offshore centres. "Nowhere in the EU will you find a centre that offers more fiscal advantages," he declared, pointing out that there are no capital taxes in Gibraltar and no VAT. He again stressed Gibraltar's "very sound professional infrastructure and cost-efficiency" and concluded by saying: "There is a lot that Gibraltar can do for Portugal and that Portugal can do for Gibraltar."

The third day's event was held at Hotel Quinta do Lago in eastern Algarve. This was by far the best attended of the three events, largely due to the hotel's prime location in the so-called 'golden triangle', demarcated by Almancil, Val do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, where there is a high concentration of affluent expats. Increasing numbers of foreigners are moving to the Algarve, most recently the Irish - the exclusive Quinta do Lago complex was purchased last year by the O'Brien family. Overall responsibility for running the resort still falls to Domingos da Silva of Planal SA. In a meeting with Gib's Minister for Trade and Industry, he revealed how extensive the Algarve's business ties with Gibraltar already are. Fiona Swainston, a UK solicitor based in Almancil, said that she too works closely with a Gibraltar law firm, confirming the links that already exist and the scope for further business ties.

In his third and final presentation, Peter Montegriffo drove home the point that Gibraltar has the best tax opportunities available in the EU. "From 1967, companies have been given a 25-year tax-exempt certificate," he affirmed, and went on to say that Gibraltar has a long tradition of private-client work, as witnessed by the presence of 26 banks. "Gibraltar provides the type of service you would normally find in northern Europe," said the Minister, "discreetly, competently and on a cost-effective basis". "Gibraltar and the Algarve are natural partners," he concluded.

All in all, the visit served as a very useful fact-finding mission as well as enabling the group to build on existing client contacts and explore new business opportunities. In the words of the Minister for Trade and Industry: "This is a first foray for Gibraltar into Portugal. We hope greater contact can be established through further visits in the future."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.