Gibraltar’s insurance industry could boost China’s Belt and Road push

Robust financial services sector and strategic positioning are its main advantages, says minister

Gibraltar’s insurance industry could boost China’s Belt and Road push

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Gibraltar’s strengths in the insurance and maritime industries could prove helpful for China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Europe, according to an official of the Mediterranean British territory.

Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s minister for commerce, said that the territory is a good fit for many Chinese companies.

“Gibraltar’s relatively small size enables it to be nimble and respond quickly to market forces,” Isola was quoted as saying by China Daily. “We have the ability to serve Chinese firms better through greater transparency, information exchange and better engagement than our competitors.”

Isola added that Gibraltar has already begun talks with several state-owned companies from China.

“We have had detailed discussions with China’s [state-owned enterprises] about the possibility of Gibraltar as a forward base and financial services centre,” he said, adding that the captive insurance industry and shipping sector would greatly support the Belt and Road Initiative.

“With less than 10 captive insurance companies in China, we believe these [Chinese] businesses could make greater use of overseas captive insurers,” Isola said.

Gibraltar is a 6.7 sq. km British overseas territory located at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a very strategic location for shipping, with over 100,000 ships passing through the Straits of Gibraltar annually. Financial services, e-commerce, tourism, and shipping are its main industries.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which is China’s international development strategy, now involves 60 economies across Asia, Africa, and Europe, and accounts for almost one-third of global gross domestic product (GDP).

By 2020, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that Belt and Road economies could make up 80% of worldwide GDP growth.

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China’s insurers to help fill Belt and Road funding gap

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