GIBRALTAR has entered discussions with Chinese State-owned companies over joining the country’s global trade initiative.

During a recent visit to Hong Kong, Minister for Commerce Albert Isola stressed that the Rock’s industries could provide a whole host of opportunities for Chinese investors.

The One Belt One Road Initiative is a development strategy to establish a China-centred trading network across the globe.

“We have the ability to serve Chinese firms better through greater transparency, information exchange and better engagement than our competitors,” said Isola.

“With less than ten captive insurance companies in China, we believe these businesses could make greater use of overseas captive insurers.

“This will provide local risk management to protect overseas investments, operate in local time zones and establish relationships with local reinsurance companies and regulators,” he said.

Gibraltar’s port could also be serviceable for international trade, Isola added.

“With 100,000 ships sailing through the Straits of Gibraltar every year and China’s share of world trade increasing, it makes a lot of sense for Chinese ship management companies to use Gibraltar as a base for bunkering, hull cleaning and the provision of stores and spares,” he said.

The One Belt One Road Initiative currently covers more than 60 economies across Asia, Europe and Africa.

By 2050, it is estimated that Belt and Road economies will make up 80% of the world’s GDP, according to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute.