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Date of Release: Thursday 25 March 1999

TWO BILLS were passed in the House of Assembly on 18 March to replace the Financial & Development Secretary with the Finance Centre Director "or such other public official as appointed by the Minister for Trade and Industry" in the discharge of the various functions under the Companies Taxation and Concessions Ordinance and the Income Tax Ordinance.

The former ordinance, said the Minister "deals with the important area of exempt company authorisations". He also said that the relevant support staff will also physically move from the F&DS's office to the DTI. The move is part of a wider transfer of functions that the Government has already announced. Responsibility for the granting of qualifying company certificates will also be transferred, hence the amendment to the latter ordinance as well.

Subsequently, responsibility for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and relocated executives possessing special skills (REPSS) schemes will also be transferred to the Finance Centre Division of the DTI. "This is an important step for financial services," said Mr Montegriffo. "It will bring together within the Government's financial centre unit these important functions; it should create greater co-ordination and synergy and therefore give a better service."

The Minister said he expected the legislation to come into effect in April or May when the new premises will have been fitted out and the full transfer of staff made. In response to a question from Opposition member Albert Isola regarding the function of the Finance Centre Division, Mr Montegriffo explained: "The Finance Centre Division of the DTI does not regard itself as primarily or exclusively a marketing division; it has a marketing function but it is if anything primarily a development and strategic unit."

"What we do there is much more than simply issue glossy brochures and accompany private sector entities on marketing campaigns," he continued. "What we have done over the last year and a half in particular is bring together within a Government structure something that never existed before, namely a strategic and development function where we work towards specific changes of legislation, and where the industry has a point of contact."

Mr Montegriffo emphasised that the Finance Centre Division is the strategic and development arm of the Government with regard to financial services, "and in that context," he said "it makes a lot of sense to bring into it one vital aspect of the (finance) centre which is historically in the Financial & Development Secretary's lap but for no logical reason".


Anthony Fisher

Finance Centre Development Director
Department of Trade & Industry
Government of Gibraltar
Suite 771, Europort

Tel No:  + 350 50011
Fax No:  + 350 47677
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