British residents of Gibraltar could be set to benefit from a new commercial route to Morocco that would boost trade and employment opportunities – and mean the British territory may no longer need to rely on goods from Spain.
Joshua Lhote, president of the Gibraltar-Morocco Business Association, told Radio Gibraltar that serious alternatives to Spain can be found in Morocco.
The association says it’s been working hard to create an effective commercial route between Gibraltar and Morocco to allow for the provision of products and services currently available through Spain.
Mr Lhote was keen to stress that developing relations with Morocco would not come at the expense of trade with Spain, rather that residents of Gibraltar would have “both options”.
The new trade relations, though still a distant prospect, could revolutionise living in the British Overseas Territory.
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Mr Lhote said: “If the culture in Gibraltar can shift from looking at Morocco as a place of holidays to a place where we can work on a daily basis, that culture change would really be the shift that allows Gibraltar to not stop having a relationship with Spain but have both options.
“This is really the message we want to come across. There is no reason for Gibraltar to choose.
“It has the option of both (Spain and Morocco), so getting the public to understand that, regardless of what happens with Spain and we hope things continue as they have been, is what we want to attain.”
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He spoke of having a “ferry coming two or three times a day” to and from Gibraltar to Morocco – the shortest distance between the two is only 10 miles – to encourage bilateral relations.
“People would actually commute and come back to Gibraltar, or vice versa,” he said.
And he also spoke of putting together a system where “cargo is being sent on a daily basis from Morocco to Gibraltar”.
This, he said, would “make Morocco as logistically close to Gibraltar as Spain” to everyone’s benefit.
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