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 Topics
 
Related Articles
 
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions