The last 300 years or so have generated a commercial compendium of the Rock’s mercantile history and if there is one theme which runs through this, it has been the force of constant change and adaptation to new circumstances and to new opportunities.
It has not always been welcome or easy. And it was not always without risk. Indeed, many business ventures usually involved accepting undue levels of risk to exploit an opportunity. But in doing so the Rock’s entrepreneurs managed and, where possible, controlled these risks. All of this has been necessary to enable Gibraltar to develop through the ages.
The era in which we live today is no different. Yes, there are many uncertainties that lie ahead and for businesses these uncertainties represent unwelcome risks. But the risk of standing still and not changing is likely to be far more perilous.
A number of members have expressed their deep concerns to the Chamber about the outcome of the Brexit discussions in recent months. They are worried about the prospects for their businesses and for their employees, some of whom are family members. These concerns are both real and justified, but there are also likely to be many opportunities in the years ahead. And what is more, the tools to exploit these opportunities: capital, technology, expertise, are more readily available than they were to our forefathers.
In this issue of B2B the Chamber announces that it has become a member of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE). The announcement on page 22 gives more details about the rationale for the link up, but your board’s decision was based on the simple premise: Gibraltar’s business community is fully aware that no market lasts forever. Changes in trends and tastes as well as those enforced by regulation mean that goods and services lose their appeal or simply that the business case for selling them is no longer viable.
One of the significant benefits of being a member of this network is their trading platform COBCOE Connects. Unlike other online platforms, registered users can access new business opportunities across the
COBCOE network which have been fully verified i.e. these are not available or accessible on public platforms. Similarly, users can offer their goods and services to targeted users of the network in a controlled and verifiable manner. This will save time and offer many members of the Gibraltar Chamber new products and services on the one hand or new markets on the other. The Chamber encourages all of its members to look at COBCOE’s website and familiarise themselves with the benefits of being part of a wider European network. In the next few months we will be rolling out the local registration of COBCOE Connects and when available your board encourages every member to register for this service and see first-hand how this platform may be able to generate new opportunities for their business.
This is one of the many tangible steps your board has been working on in recent months so that members can take advantage of the opportunities which may lie ahead.