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Commonwealth office formally opens for business

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Lord Marland of Odstock, formally opened the council’s office in Gibraltar on Wednesday, highlighting future opportunities for business in Commonwealth countries.

The office in Casemates was opened in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, who has responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth, country director Jared Peralta.

“It has been a difficult time for businesses all over the world not just in Gibraltar and a difficult time for governments too with the negative impact of the pandemic, which has been devastating,” said Dr Garcia.
“Economies have been decimated all over the planet.”

“Gibraltar too has suffered and what we hope is that through our engagement with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council through the contacts that we will be able to regenerate and to reconstruct is part of the strategy of reconstructing the economy and I am sure with the many contacts and opportunity the Commonwealth will open to Gibraltar to be able to do that.”

“This is part of the Government’s strategy to strengthen and deeper our relationship with the Commonwealth and with its different components and organisations,” he added.

The CWEIC was established in 2014 and is the main commercial and business arm of the Commonwealth.

It has a mandate from the Heads of Government to promote trade and investment across the organisation which has 53 member nations, a number of associated and overseas territories with 2.4 billion people.

Lord Marland stated that he was delighted to be on the Rock to open the office, which will assist businesses from Gibraltar should they want to seek new markets in a Commonwealth country.

He said Gibraltar had a lot of skills it could export to these countries.

“Financial services is a good one [skill] you obviously have a lot of property development and property design and creativity here,” said Lord Marland.

“Gibraltar is obviously a great trading hub and you cover so many bases. You have a lot of businesses that manufacture products, Bassadone being an example, that get exported. It is the full gambit in my view and it is really a factor whether those businesses want to develop a new market and the initiative has to come from them into a post Brexit global arena and certainly the Government wants to see that initiative and we are merely their servants.”

He noted that Gibraltar was a well-regulated and attractive place to do business, with many members from Africa keen to explore establish a presence on the Rock.

Lord Marland will also be holding meeting with the minister for tourism Vijay Daryanani and the minister for digital and financial services Albert Isola and private sector entities.

Dr Garcia has also been invited to say a few words of introduction to the Global Advisory Council meeting which Lord Marland will host virtually from Gibraltar on Thursday.

This is made up of all the public and private sector Strategic Partners from across the Commonwealth.

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