is a British overseas territory located near the
southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking
the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory shares
a border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has
historically been an important base for the British
Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.
The name of the territory is derived from the
Arabic name Jabal Tariq, meaning "mountain
of Tariq". It refers to the geological formation,
the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn was named
for the Berber Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad
who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance
of the main Moorish force in 711 under the command
of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Earlier, it was
known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules.
Today, Gibraltar is known colloquially as Gib
or The Rock.
A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries
and territories by Jane’s Country Risk listed
Gibraltar as the top stable and prosperous British
Territory, in 5th position overall. The sovereignty
of Gibraltar has been a major bone of contention
in Anglo-Spanish relations. Gibraltar was ceded
by Spain to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity,
under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, though Spain
asserts a claim to the territory and seeks its
return. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians
strongly oppose this, along with any proposal
of shared sovereignty. The British government
has stated that it is committed to respecting
the Gibraltarians' wishes.
Economy of Gibraltar
The barbary macaques form an integral part of
Tourism in Gibraltar
The British military traditionally dominated the
economy of Gibraltar, with the naval dockyard
providing the bulk of economic activity. This
has however diminished in the last twenty years,
and it is estimated to account for only 7% of
the local economy, compared to over 60% in 1984.
Today, Gibraltar has an extensive service-based
economy, dominated by financial services and tourism.
A number of British and international banks have
operations based in Gibraltar. Recently, many
bookmakers and online gaming operators have relocated
to Gibraltar to benefit from operating in a regulated
jurisdiction with a favourable corporate tax regime.
However, this corporate tax regime for non-resident
controlled companies is due to be phased out by
Tourism is also a significant industry. Gibraltar
is a popular stop for cruise ships and attracts
day visitors from resorts in Spain. The Rock is
a popular tourist attraction, particularly among
British tourists and residents in the southern
coast of Spain. It is also a popular shopping
destination, and all goods and services are VAT
free. Many of the large British high street chains
have branches in Gibraltar, including Marks and
Spencer, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, and the supermarket
Figures from the CIA World Factbook show the main
export markets in 2006 were United Kingdom 30.8%,
Spain 22.7%, Germany 13.7%, Turkmenistan 10.4%,
Switzerland 8.3%, Italy 6.7% while the corresponding
figures for imports are Spain 23.4%, Russia 12.3%,
Italy 12%, UK 9%, France 8.9%, Netherlands 6.8%
and United States 4.7%.
The Gibraltar Government state that economy grew
in 2004/2005 by 7% to a GDP of £599,180,000.
Based on statistics in the 2006 surveys, the Government
statisticians estimate it has grown by 8.5% in
2005/6 and by 10.8% in 2006/7 and that the GDP
is probably now around 730 million. Inflation
was running at 2.6% in 2006 and predicted to be
2% to 3% in 2007. Speaking at the 2007 budget
session, Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister said
"The scale of Gibraltar's economic success
makes it one of the most affluent communities
in the entire world."
Main article: Gibraltar pound
Under the terms of the 1934 Currency Notes Act,
the Government of Gibraltar issues banknotes which
are legal tender alongside Bank of England banknotes
in Gibraltar. These notes are backed by sterling
reserves held by the Gibraltar government and
can be exchanged at parity with sterling through
a currency board arrangement. Clearing and settlement
of funds is conducted in sterling, and Gibraltar
banknotes in circulation bear the words "Pounds
sterling". The euro is unofficially accepted
in Gibraltar by most retail outlets, though not
by the Post Office or by some payphones.
has a digital telephone exchange supported by
a fibre optic and copper infrastructure. The main
telephone operator, Gibtelecom, also operates
a GSM network and is an Internet Service provider.
A local company Gibnet Limited, started the first
Internet service in January 1996 and later changed
its name Sapphire Networks Limited.
Victorian Post Box of standard 1887 UK design
in use in Gibraltar Old Town in 2008.
International Direct Dialling is provided, and
Gibraltar was allocated the access code 350 by
the International Telecommunication Union. This
works from all countries with IDD, including Spain,
which has accepted its use since 10 February 2007,
when the telecom dispute was resolved. Gibraltar
mobile and fixed service numbers are eight digits.
Dial-up, ADSL, high-speed Internet lines are available,
as are some wifi hotspots in hotels. Local operator
CTS is rolling out WiMax.
The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation operates
a television and radio station on UHF, VHF and
medium-wave. The radio service is also Internet-streamed.
Special events are streamed in video.
The other local radio service is operated by British
Forces Broadcasting Service who also provide a
limited cable network for television to HM Forces.
The largest and most frequently published newspaper
is the Gibraltar Chronicle, Gibraltar’s
oldest established daily newspaper and the world’s
second oldest English language newspaper to have
been in print continuously with daily editions
six days a week. Panorama is published on weekdays,
and Vox, 7 Days, The New People, and Gibsport
are weekly. (Credit: