Gibraltar puts focus on Morocco
Delegates from the Gibraltar Government and the private sector have been in Morocco attending different roadshows with the aim of promoting Gibraltar.
Albert Isola, the Minister for Commerce, led a financial services delegation attending and hosting a series of meetings and a breakfast conference, while the Minister for Tourism, Gilbert Licudi, led a delegation from the Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB) in three tourism roadshows last week.
At the GTB events Mr Licudi delivered a welcome address highlighting the commitment of the Gibraltar Government to the tourism industry and the importance of looking to new markets such as Morocco in sourcing more visitors to the Rock.
Nicky Guerrero, Chief Executive of the GTB delivered a destination presentation concentrating on Gibraltar's unique attractions as a tourist destination.
The roadshows were held in Marrakech, Casablanca and Tangier and were attended by 180 travel agents and members of the press along with dignitaries from the tourism industry.
Members of the tourist industry from Gibraltar and Morocco supported the GTB. Coexhibiting with the GTB were the Bland Group, Travel Link (Morocco), the GFSB, the Rock Hotel, the Sunborn Hotel and the Caleta Hotel. Joining the road show in Tangier was the University of Gibraltar and Setitours of Tangier.
“I'm delighted at the success of these events in Morocco. The level of attendance at the road shows exceeded our expectations and the level of interest shown by those attending was remarkable. The events have given us a chance to promote much of what Gibraltar has to offer and even before leaving the country we were already receiving coverage in the Moroccan press,” said Mr Licudi.
“I must give particular mention to the Bland Group and to Travel Link of Morocco and their teams for helping with arrangements to make these events a success. Gibraltar has much to offer Moroccan visitors and we hope to be able to welcome many more in the future.”
“Direct flights from Morocco makes access that much easier and we must encourage not only our friends in that country to visit us but Gibraltarians to discover all that there is to explore in Morocco,” he added.
Mr Isola attended private meetings in Marrakech including a two hour series of presentations on Gibraltar and Morocco at a hotel venue organised by Deloitte Gibraltar. Joining him were 12 participants included senior representatives from Deloitte, tax and accounting specialists from firms in Marrakech as well as delegates from the Marrakech business development agency.
Separately, Mr Isola was also the guest of honour at a private luncheon attended by Marrakech based financiers and businessmen.
In Casablanca, he visited the offices of a Gibraltar linked investment services firm that is a member of the Casablanca Finance City or CFC and was subsequently invited to a dinner with investment banking professionals and senior lawyers specialising in corporate finance.
Mr Isola also hosted a breakfast conference at the equivalent of the Confederation of Moroccan Industry (Confederation Generale Des Enterprises Du Maroc) CGEM.
The breakfast conference was co-hosted by the Vice-president of the CGEM, Mr Hakim Marrakchi and was attended by, amongst others, financial services delegates from Gibraltar and member firms from the CGEM.
At this he noted the vision and strategic drive being implemented by the Moroccan Government over many years and urged a greater level of cooperation between Gibraltar and Moroccan business partners. There were also presentations by Aon Gibraltar on behalf of the insurance industry as well by Hyperion Gibraltar; the latter taking the opportunity to comment on social and cultural links as well as speaking on behalf of the investment industry generally.
“This visit to two of Morocco’s major cities has, in great part, been an opportunity to learn more about the very significant developments in Morocco’s economy. I have been stunned by Morocco’s diversification of its economy from the more traditional areas of agriculture, fishing and phosphates into such sectors such as automobile production and aviation high end support supply,” said Mr Isola.
“It is clear that Morocco is leading an investment charge into neighbouring countries in Africa and others further afield; providing services in technology, specialist construction and banking to name but a few. We have also taken advantage during this visit to update and inform potential business partners of the specialist areas of financial services being offered from Gibraltar.”
The Finance Centre Director, James Tipping and the Chief Minister’s Chief of Staff, Gareth Flower, accompanied Mr Isola. Logistics and marketing personnel from Gibraltar Finance were involved in the preparation of meetings and events ahead of the visit.