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US visitors set sights on future trade

Unite Union Press Call at the JMH(Photo John Bugeja) 23.03.17 Gibraltar Tony Woodhouse, a member of the Unite executive council in the UK, campaign relating to Ian McClusky. In pix Michael Netto

Economic ties between America and the Rock could strengthen further despite the uncertainty of Brexit, US members of Congress said yesterday during the third US Trade Mission to Gibraltar.
Democrat congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Republican Patrick Meehan said Gibraltar would remain an attractive place to do business even after it left the European Union.
And even though President Trump has raised eyebrows across much of the world with his ‘America first’ approach to international relations, Ms Sanchez insisted the US remain open for business.
“We know that Gibraltar is very resourceful at finding ways to move forward in terms of expansion, development and economic growth,” she told the Chronicle.
“We think that by creating these ties it could create some other avenues for investment here, opening up markets and strengthening those economic ties that would be beneficial not just to Gibraltar but to American businesses as well.”
“We have a president who creates a little bit of concern abroad and so when members of Congress can come and reassure folk that we are still very much interested in the economy and trade.”
“It reassures people that despite what they think or hear about our president we are very much open to trade.”
The trade visit organised by Gibraltar American Chamber of Commerce includes an agenda for business development programming, workshops and presentations in a bid to pair companies in the US with local businesses.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo addressed delegates yesterday at the official inaugural luncheon.
“The Gibraltar American Chamber of Commerce was established even before Brexit was on the horizon, confirming that it was right to take the view that Gibraltar should be strengthening its links with the US,” Mr Picardo said.
“In particular I think that the people of Gibraltar care about the US, and I think the US cares about Gibraltar and the economy that we enjoy today in no small measure is an economy that runs on fibre and telecoms.”
“We enjoy the ability the provide world class telecommunications services from Gibraltar because of the relationship established in the early 90s from the then Gibraltar telephones department and a company known as Nynex.”
“The relationship between Gibraltar and the US has enabled Gibraltar to grow and prosper, and I hope this is going to continue to happen.
Mr Meehan said Gibraltar is “nimble and flexible” and will retain “the world’s confidence” even after the Rock leaves the EU.
“It is important through the uncertainty…that there are plans to move forward,” Mr Meehan said.
“This is a very forward thinking area in which there is a lot of consideration of the advantages that are available.”
“There are remarkable assets that will always put Gibraltar in a favourable situation, but it is important to communicate that to people.”
He added: “We want people from the US to appreciate the opportunities that exist here. We are looking for the opportunities to create windows of access to global markets through here and really give people a chance as we see emerging areas in technology, banking and insurance.”

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