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Gibraltar belongs to High Disclosure Offshore Centres which provides for greater legal certainty. It is the only British offshore centre that is part of the European Union. It is also the only British offshore centre that can and will increasingly be able to provide financial institutions with passporting rights and access to the single European market for financial services.
A number of factors make Gibraltar attractive for offshore business conduct:
- Good geographical location and bilingual (English and Spanish) territory
- Cost effectiveness and attractive fiscal regime for offshore investors
- Excellent reputation, stable government and special status within the European Union.
- Excellent infrastructure and communications.
- Favorable tax status for offshore banks.
- No exchange controls.
In addition to the opportunities arising from Gibraltar’s status in the EU, it is also the only jurisdiction that offers a flexible tax regime. i.e. 25-year certificates, a specific exclusion form the EU requirement to levy VAT, and regulatory standards matching the EU and UK, but retaining the flexibility of a small jurisdiction. All these factors make Gibraltar unique in many respects, and all of them are able to attract offshore investors.
At the crossroad of international trade routes and the junction of East and West, Singapore is a top-class world city to live, work and play. The multi-cultural cosmopolitan city is the most competitive in Asia and is officially the world’s easiest place to do business. For 14 consecutive years Singapore has ranked second as the city with the best investment potential worldwide.
Companies benefit from a range of free trade agreements, Double Taxation Agreements and many Free Trade Agreements while being served by over 500 local and foreign financial services and more than 4,500 companies offering services such as audit and accounting, management consulting, market research, legal and human capital services.
The Government is well known for its pro-business policy regardless of world economic situations and crisis while promoting assets such as integrity, quality, reliability, productivity, rule of law and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Along with London, New York and Tokyo, Hong Kong is acknowledged to be one of the highest respected financial centres in the world. It is one of the world's busiest cities and its efficiency as a financial centre and as a hub for transacting business in Asia is world-renowned.
Hong Kong is not normally regarded as an offshore country as it is a famous for being a major financial centre; however, it is one of the few countries in the world that tax on a territorial basis. Many countries levy corporate income tax on a different basis and they tax the world-wide profits of a business which includes profits derived from activities outside of the country. Unlike other Asian countries, Hong Kong does not have any exchange or capital controls which, therefore, allow funds to flow freely in and out of the territory.
British Virgin Islands (BVI) is one of the oldest and most respected offshore financial centres in the world.
BVI is widely considered as a benchmark, which the other offshore tax havens strive to emulate.
These are some of the general advantages of the British Virgin Islands over many other offshore financial centres:
US dollar is the official currency in the BVI; therefore, by definition, there can be no currency controls and no artificial manipulation of money supply by the local government.
BVI are a British Overseas Territory which provides for an outstanding political stability. The country also maintains a low international profile and a clean reputation, thus avoiding the pitfalls experienced by some more publicised and less scrupulous offshore tax havens.
BVI has an independent judicial system based on English Common Law. Laws and regulations are routinely developed in consultation with the private sector. Offshore financial services sector contributes a very significant part to the country's gross domestic product. Therefore, an inherent and pronounced interest exists both with the government and with the general public to maintain and develop the country's status as a competitive offshore financial centre.
BVI is an independent country with a fairly high standard of living. Therefore, it avoided entering any information-sharing agreements with foreign countries or organizations for exchange of financial aid. Client confidentiality is robustly enshrined in the BVI corporate and business legislation.
BVI is easily accessible by sea and air. It also has modern telecommunications and it is on US Eastern Standard Time, i.e. 1 hour behind EST in winter.