We may be in a time of shifting relations and uncertain alliances around the world, but it seems evident that Gibraltar is continuing to tap into the opportunities – economic, social, and cultural alike – that arise as a consequence of this.
It was apparent in the news – as reported by The Olive Press – that on Monday 12th June, the Gibraltar Morocco Business Association (GMBA) officially opened an office in the northwestern Moroccan city of Tangier.
The Gibraltar Government’s culture minister, John Cortes, led a group of about 20 cultural figures to Tangier, for a weekend that saw such activities as a music video presentation, and art, cooking, and writing workshops.
The deepening of contacts with Morocco comes amid uncertainty over relations with the EU
Strong links between Gibraltar and Morocco are hardly new; the GMBA was founded more than a decade ago, although the changed climate in the UK and Gibraltar’s relationships with wider Europe have arguably helped to make the alliance even more relevant.
And even for generations before that, the connection between the British Overseas Territory and Morocco was an important one. Indeed, in his appearance at the Tangier office, Mr Cortes drew attention to the support that the northwestern African country had given to Gibraltar after the 1960s frontier closure.
At a time when the prospect is being raised of a possible new hard frontier with Spain, it seems that the overarching reason the GMBA was established – a wish to enhance commercial links between Gibraltar and Morocco – will become even more crucial in the years ahead.
Efforts have been continuing to put in place a European Union (EU) treaty between the UK and Spain in relation to Gibraltar – but it seems that time is running out.
“An incredible weekend of cultural exchange”
It was certainly a busy and fruitful weekend for Gibraltar-Morocco relations. It saw Mr Cortes present a Mark Montovio sculpture to the Donabo Botanic Gardens in Tangier; the artwork is made from recycled materials, and is one of three looking at the idea of justice and judgement.
Meanwhile, a team-up of musician Adrian Pisarello, Liam Byrne, and Ismail Mnebhi that saw the shooting of a colourful video in Gibraltar and Tangier, culminated over the weekend with the presentation of the final edit, which features a song in English, Spanish, and Moroccan Arabic.
Helming the workshops were Gibraltar artist Ermelinda Duarte, Book Council member Melissa Bosano, and illustrator Eleanor Dobbs. The group also visited Gallery Kent, and took in a presentation of “Tangier from the Rock’s artistic lens”.
It was a combination of events that the Gibraltar culture minister said made for “an incredible weekend of cultural exchange” for people on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar.
For the official opening of the GMBA Tangier office, Mr Cortes was joined by the association’s president Joshua Llhote, who declared he was “thrilled” with the event.
Although the GMBA has already been working at the new offices since 2020, the official opening – initially planned for March 2020 – was delayed amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In Mr Cortes’ words: “The office aspires to work hard with the relevant communities to maximise opportunities, be they economic and commercial, social, academic, or cultural. The journey continues.”
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Naturally, our team here at TAG Consultancy is always heartened to hear of a continuation in the longstanding positive relationship between Gibraltar and Morocco – a situation that we also hope brings sustained opportunities for our own clients!
But we also realise that for individuals and organisations looking to conduct business in Gibraltar, there may also be a need for more specialised advice and assistance from time to time.
With our own services and knowhow encompassing the best in accounting, audit services, business development, compliance crypto services, and much more, we can be on hand to provide such help. Enquire to us now via phone or email, and we will be delighted to discuss with you how we could play a key role in your business’s growth this year and beyond.