The historic and successful visit to Gibraltar by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and his British counterpart David Miliband was the most high-powered political encounter the Gibraltar Government has hosted so far. The visit by Sr Moratinos, a first by a serving Spanish cabinet minister, shows just how far our Government has progressed the Trilateral (Cordoba) process, in sometimes testing times. They are to be congratulated, for their perseverance and moving the Forum on to new heights for the benefit of all the Campo area.
The summer also saw some less than logical traffic measures introduced across the border. The measures aimed at improving traffic flow into Gibraltar back fired and caused serious congestion and jams. After much protestations and exchanges, along with quiet deliberations of our Government, and the FCO, the status quo was restored. What this does highlight is the increase in the numbers of visitors coming to Gibraltar from the Costas under their own steam. “There are now more than ever a significant number of tourists visiting Gibraltar who prefer to come in their own cars and not in organised tours” commented a local businessman. The general consensus was that the flow of traffic coming into Gibraltar at peak periods needed to be reviewed perhaps through the framework of the trilateral process.
Economic Impact Study
Members should now have received copies of the Economic impact study. This report was commissioned by the Chamber to find out the impact of Gibraltar’s economy on the Campo de Gibraltar. This is the first time that such an extensive investigation has been undertaken.
Over the past 18 months the board has spent a deal great deal of time and effort bringing together the talents of the study team from Bournemouth University, which was led by Professor John Fletcher. The Professor is an expert in his field and has undertaken many similar studies in other regions for international organisations and governments over the last three decades. The board initiated the study as a result of comments made by the previous Spanish Director General for Foreign Affairs, Jose Pons, one of the architects on the Spanish side of the Tripartite Forum.
At a Chamber dinner in February 2007 Sr Pons talked with a positive message and was supportive of the improved cross-border relations achieved under the Cordoba Agreement. However he had expressed reservations and doubts as regards the beneficial impact of the finance centre to the economy of the area.
The Chamber took this as a challenge, and commissioned the study as an opportunity to shed light on the matter The report was published by the Board at a recently held a press conference which announced the findings and results of the independent economic study. Attended by local and Spanish press, the report received significant and positive coverage in the local and campo media. “Veinticinco mil libras dice la Cámara de Comercio de Gibraltar que le ha costado el estudio. Pero, en realidad, no tiene precio. Es muy probable que nada de esto resulte patriótico. Pero es sumamente práctico.” Said the Voz de Cadiz.
The Chamber would like to offer their sincere thanks to Professor John Fletcher and his team for all their hard work on the impact study between Gibraltar and the economic area of the Campo de Gibraltar.
Professor Fletcher has undertaken economic impact studies for governments and international agencies around the world. He has constructed economic impact models for counties in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Far East as well as mainland Europe and the UK.
In particular he has undertaken a variety of economic impact studies for the UK and Gibraltar Governments since 1978 and is well acquainted with all aspects of Gibraltar’s economy. Professor Fletcher undertook the analyses in this report with Professor Adam Blake and Dr Yeganeh Morakabati, both of whom are staff within the International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research. Adam is a renowned economist who specialises and has been responsible for leading the development of Computable General Equilibrium Models of economies and Yeganeh is a specialist research methodologist who has written on international trade flows and undertaken a variety of research projects concerned with trade and risk.
Study’s main findings:
- The amount of goods and services imported by Gibraltar businesses from Spain is valued at more than £174m per year.
- Gibraltar accounts for 1 in out of every 6 jobs across the whole of the Campo area using 2007 employment data
- Frontier workers (both Spanish and other nationals) earned £126m from their Gibraltar jobs and much of this was spent in the Campo region.
- Gibraltar’s economy accounts for around 12% of the Campo’s economy as a whole.
- The effect of Gibraltar’s economy increases the size of the Campo’s economy by an extra £420m per annum.
For further copies, please call the Chamber on + 350 200 78376
At the recent AGM of the Chamber Prof. Fletcher presented The Economic Impact Study to the Members and fielded question from the floor.Past president Peter Isola’s term as a director came to an end and he requested to stand down from the board after some 17 years as a director. The President on behalf of the board, extended their thanks to him for his long and dedicated time as an active director and popular president.
The Office bearers elected were:
Mr. Nicholas Russo, President,
Mr John Isola, Vice-President,
Mr George Olivera, Treasurer,
Mr Jeremy Nicholls, Hon. Secretary.
With only one member, Mr Joe Bonavia, putting forward his name to stand for election to the board, he was duly elected to the board for a 3 year term.
The board would like to congratulate fellow director Mr Marvin Cartwright on his recent appointment as Country manager for the Royal Bank of Scotland / NatWest. To have a Gibraltarian heading up one of the Rock’s most important financial institutions is a testament to the quality of the talents and skill sets available in Gibraltar today.
Finally the Chamber welcomes the resumption of a ferry link between Gibraltar and Algeciras after a lengthy forty year break. Both sides of the Bay of Gibraltar should benefit from this new venture announced by the Spanish shipping group Transcoma.