Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia are in Washington DC for a series of commercial and political meetings, which took off at the US Chamber of Commerce building in order to support the formal accreditation of AmCham Gibraltar.
Welcoming Gibraltar as the 117th member of AMCHAM, Rob Schroder, Vice President of the Chamber’s International Strategy and Operations department said: “If the enthusiasm that we’ve seen in putting this agreement in place is reflected in the business that’s done, we are in for a very successful time.”
At a reception that followed the accreditation ceremony, Francisco Sanchez, former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Obama administration, said: “In Gibraltar you have an amazing leader in Mr. Picardo. You have done more in the last seven months than some other national AMCHAMs have ever done in their entire history!”
Mr. Sanchez also pointed out that AMCHAM’s European headquarters is in Brussels where the Gibraltar Government has recently opened its own office.
Mr. Picardo told GBC that there is important work going on between the European Union and the United States, with the negotiation of a trade agreement that could extend the single market from 520 million people today to 800 million people, in the event that that deal were to be done.
“And of course Gibraltar has an opportunity to tap into that single market,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Picardo also said that he had originally wondered what little Gibraltar could offer to the United States but he stressed that ‘We are very welcoming. We have always welcomed members of the American Armed Forces to the Rock and will welcome your businesses in the same way.’
He emphasized that Gibraltar is an excellent entry point for American companies to do business in the European Union and that, by being so small, Gibraltar is able to be flexible and it can adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
Mr. Picardo also told GBC that this is a great opportunity to use AMCHAM “as a shop window for what Gibraltar can do.”
James Lasry, the President of AMCHAM Gibraltar, went on to explain that the idea had been launched in May 2014. A US trade mission had visited in May 2014 and now a Gibraltar trade mission was in the USA to make the most of potential business opportunities. (GC)