During the autumn, Chamber Board members held a series of meetings at the Chamber with a number of Government agencies. The main purpose of these meetings was to develop a closer working relationship and so better represent members’ interests.
Details of what was discussed at these meetings is summarised below. However, should members want further information on what was discussed, or if there are particular issues they want raised at future meetings, please contact the Chamber directly on 78376.
Chamber Board meets with Commissioner of Police
Board members held an informative session with Luis Wink, the Commissioner of Police in October. A number of matters of mutual interest were raised during the meeting, including the enforcement of traffic regulations on loading bays. The Commissoner referred to the Annual Policing Plan, available on the Government website: www.gibraltar.gov.gi/judiciary/police_index.htm,
as the guiding policy for changes and challenges in the year ahead for the RGP. During the meeting, the Commissioner stressed the importance of working together to resolve problems. They are currently looking at initiatives to work more closely with all members of the business community and hope to be able to work with the Chamber and announce concrete ways of doing this, in the next few months.
Collector of Customs in talks with the Chamber
John Rodriguez, the Collector of Customs, met with Board members in November to discuss, among other things, the ongoing Customs review. The review has recommended a number of changes that will enable the Collector to allocate resources more efficiently. A main concern of members who are Main Street traders, is to ensure that checks on personal imports into Gibraltar are more rigorous. Personal imports into Gibraltar often go undeclared and this has a particular impact when many people shop for gifts in Spain in the busy pre-Christmas season. The Collector had already set up a more thorough system of checks at the frontier in the lead up to Christmas to ensure that personal imports are declared. The new lane layout at the frontier should also help to assist with this.
Mayor of La Linea visits the Chamber Of Commerce
Juan Carlos Juarez, Mayor of La Linea visited the Chamber before Christmas. The purpose of the visit was to share ideas and explore commercial opportunities following the signing of the Tripartite Agreement in September 2006. At the meeting, the Mayor was able to explain some of the plans La Linea has, not least the commitment to ensure traffic flow across the frontier, is as smooth as possible. He also indicated tentative plans to develop part of the land running alongside the frontier for a shopping centre. The size of the development is still undecided, but the Mayor said that he would give equal consideration to Gibraltar businesses looking to invest in this shopping complex. We will keep members informed as plans develop.
Malaysian Trade Commissioner visits Gibraltar
In November the Chamber hosted a visit by Mr. Abu Bakar Koyakutty, the Commissioner from MATRADE, the Malaysian Trade Commission. His visit was to evaluate the market potential for Malaysian produced products in Gibraltar and focused on three sectors in particular: OEM car parts, wood products – particularly for building materials and food products.
Although the local market is relatively small compared to other markets, Mr Koyakutty thought that there might be some potential demand for certain product lines in Gibraltar. During his visit he met a number of local Chamber members who he thought might be interested in distributing Malaysian products.
One area that was also discussed, was the possibility of having a trade mission to Malaysia to sell Gibraltar goods and, particularly, services.
MATRADE’s website which gives an overview of the various products and services available from Malaysia is at: www.matrade.gov.my
A number of DVDs with fully searchable supplier contacts directory, are available to members for use free of charge at the Chamber (see below). Please contact the Chamber directly on 78376:
Malaysia as a Trading Partner: DVD of the various business opportunities with Malaysia
Malaysian Exports: Overview of Malaysia’s principle business sectors
Malaysia Heavy Vehicles & Machinery: Directory
Food & Beverage Directory: Directory
Producers and exporters of Halal products: Directory
Information & Communications Technology: Products & Services Directory