Opening ceremony of the Gibraltar Morocco Business Association’s Tangier office


Minister for Environment, Education and Culture John Cortes on Monday officially opened the Gibraltar Morocco Business Association’s (GMBA) office in the centre of Tangier.

The ceremony, introduced in true Moroccan tradition with traditional musicians, included speeches by the Minister as well as by Joshua Lhote, GMBA President, Steven Marin, Managing Director of Gibraltar Morocco Business Exchange SARL in Tangier, and secretary of GMBA and Brahim Krikaz President of Strait of Gibraltar Association in Tangier and board member of GMBA.

In his speech, Minister Cortes highlighted the close historical ties between Gibraltar and Morocco, and stressed the gratitude of the people of Gibraltar towards our southern neighbours for their support following the 1969 frontier closure. He stressed the importance of nurturing and furthering links, socially, culturally and economically.

Monday’s opening ceremony also saw the Minister present the five first ever Duke of Edinburgh International Award certificates in the Kingdom of Morocco. The first ever recipients of the Award were Salim Akhchich, Louay Jeloul, Soukaina Chahbar, Oualid El Haddad and Aroua Benmessaoud who were trained by a number of volunteers including the Tetouan Scouts.

Also at the event was the presentation of a cheque of £2,500 for the school of the deaf of Tangier out of the £17,000 that was raised by the recent charity trek for the benefit of Gibraltarian as well as Moroccan charities.

The GMBA was co-founded by Mr Clive Reed over a decade ago with a view to enhance commercial relations between the business communities of Gibraltar and Morocco. This was not an easy task at a time when business between Gibraltar and Morocco seemed to be unnecessary since goods and workforce could be sourced from Spain and the UK. Furthermore Morocco, although geographically extremely close to Gibraltar, had no direct l commercial links with Gibraltar which also posed an impediment for local entrepreneurs.

Following the result of the Brexit referendum the need to look for commercial links outside the EU encouraged GMBA member Steven Marin to propose the opening of an office in Morocco. This was achieved with the support of Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia.