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TG says Gib faces choice between Monaco-style economy or self-reliance

Priya Gulraj

Together Gibraltar’s Sian Jones is concerned that a GSLP/Liberal government will transform post-Brexit Gibraltar into the next “Monaco”.

The voters have a choice between a Gibraltar driven by luxury homes and outside investment and “self-reliant” Gibraltar under Together Gibraltar, Ms Jones said.

“A Gibraltar that is being driven by technology-led industries… led by its entrepreneurs, one that builds world-beating products using homegrown skills…a Gibraltar where profits are made and kept in Gibraltar,” she added.

While presenting the party’s electoral policies on business and the economy, the party vowed to work in “partnership” with local businesses to ensure the Rock’s success.

The party’s economic strategy would be used to “create value rather than extract value”, Together Gibraltar candidate Kamlesh Khubchand added.

But with the threat of a no-deal Brexit scenario for Gibraltar, the party says it will be on hand to help local businesses with training staff and emergency funds in place if a recession was to hit the local economy.

The GSLP/Liberal government was accused of being “Machiavellian” by not putting forward much information for those concerned by Brexit.

After working together with the Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses, Mr Khubchand put forward policies to improve the business offerings on the Rock.

This includes making it more efficient to do business in Gibraltar by setting up a fully functional e-gov platform while also ensuring that new businesses can just attend a “one-stop shop” to be able to get everything it needs in one place.

The party also wants to review practices at the Business Licensing Authority in the hope that this will encourage more diversity and competition in Gibraltar’s businesses and Main Street, while also attracting new businesses to the Rock.

Together Gibraltar put forward a policy so that businesses can meet with government departments on a bi-annual to help network and put forward any concerns.

The party has also pledged support for the GFSB’s Business Improvement District scheme.

“Main Street has struggled and the BID scheme will have a certain amount of control over what is going on, make suggestions to government in terms of rent and use and a new approach where there is more collaboration between landlords and tenants,” Mr Khubchand said.

Meanwhile Ms Jones said Together Gibraltar’s policy to introduce an Enterprise Investment Scheme will encourage investment in new businesses, specifically technology-led industries.

Meanwhile Mr Sacarello spoke about Gibraltar transforming itself into a “green economy”, with tax incentives and grants for businesses that engage in sustainable practices.