Only Made in Gozo: New office inaugurated by Minister for Gozo

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Only Made in Gozo: New office inaugurated by Minister for GozoThis morning the Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo office officially inaugurated a new concept to Gozo called `Only Made in Gozo,' headed by the Managing Director of Sapphire Real Estate Services, Jane Chircop.

This concept in Gozo, is a new way to attract foreign investment to the island, through sales of typically Gozitan properties, the Minister said.

It aims to promote the ecological benefits as natural eco houses, the unique architectural as well as the unique villages in which these are situated. The intention is to give a special identity to each property and give it prominence in the village.

Minister Refalo explained that through this project a tourism niche has been created in Gozo. "By opening this office it has also increased employment in Gozo, with 4 people now in the world of work, employed on a full time basis."

Dr Refalo also encouraged more entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives of this kind, including those companies which are willing to invest and expand their operations in an ever growing market.

The Minister for Gozo referred to the Budget measure intended to reduce the number of vacant properties, in the form of a reduction in stamp duty, from 5% to 2.5% on the purchase of property in UCA areas (Urban Conservation Areas) as established by MEPA, if the contracts are finalised between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.

This measure also incorporates a reduction in the final withholding tax on transfers of restored property in UCA areas effected in 2016, from 8% to 5%. The Minister said that "this is to attract more people to buy and restore property and thereby conserve the heritage."

The measure in question, said Dr Refalo, "is part of a strategy that his Ministry is working on – a strategy for innovative and creative projects, capable of creating employment on the island."

"Furthermore, this measure encourages the use of existing buildings, which are often empty and thus indirectly protecting virgin land."

Managing Director of Sapphire Real Estate Services, Jane Chircop, said the notion is creative and innovative, and through it, the aim is to attract foreign investment with the help of promotion abroad, on the sale of genuine, typical, Gozo architecture.

Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri

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