Friday, 7th September 2012

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China: Bossano highlights Gibraltarís open economy

Government minister Joe Bossano underlined the Gibraltar Government’s commitment to sustainable economic development during a wide-ranging opening speech to a high-level meeting of government and business leaders in China yesterday.

A theme that ran through his address to over 2,000 delegates at the 2nd Global Economic Leaders’ Summit was the need for a fundamental shift in the global economy.

“When the use of our technology overrides the natural laws that control every other species on the planet, we have the obligation and should have the wisdom to develop rules that are self-imposed to ensure sustainability, and we are manifestly failing to do this,” he said.

Repeatedly throughout his speech Mr Bossano injected a local dimension to the global issues he was tackling.

He said that Gibraltar, despite its small size, punched above its weight both in achievement and vision for sustainable growth.

“We are a small nation but we have an open economy fully integrated in the global one, which forms part of the EEA, but has no trade restrictions and a fully independent and very competitive fiscal structure,” Mr Bossano said.

“But in the growth targets we have included action designed to reduce our carbon footprint, to green our environment, to protect our flora and fauna.”

The speech was at times philosophical and Mr Bossano was overtly ambitious in the goal he was setting out.

But for any delegate tempted to whisper ‘pie in the sky’ into their coffee, he had this to say.

“In my country I am the longest serving member of Parliament now in my 40th year and whilst I have had the benefit of a university education in UK, I have also been educated in the University of Life as a manual worker and Trade Union Leader,” Mr Bossano said.

“So my feet are firmly on the ground.”

“It is possible to move forward with pragmatic, profitable, sustainable economic policies.”

“These will enable us to come out of this ever worsening recession without sowing the seeds for the next one.”

Mr Bossano’s full speech can be read online at




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