Daryanani: Matching The Bid, Pound For Pound And Thinking Outside The Box
At a GSLP-Liberal press conference today to discuss plans for small businesses in Gibraltar should they be returned to Government on October 17th alongside GSLP/Liberal Leader, Fabian Picardo, Vijay Daryanani said: “Gibraltar has always, for its size, sported a well-diversified economy, spanning activity in areas such as financial services and gaming, the port and bunkering operations and, of course, tourism. The small business sector is the beating of our economy and it beats best when we are welcoming thousands of tourists to our shops, restaurants and other excellent amenities.”
Mr Daryanani added: “The successful promotion of Gibraltar and the success of small business are inextricably linked. For that reason, and as my colleague Gilbert Licudi discussed on Monday this week, we have invested an unprecedented amount of time, effort and financial resources into developing and widening our appeal as a tourist destination. Over 7 million paid Gibraltar a visit in the last year and we are committed to continuing to do what it takes to make sure that number grows.
“The key for Main Street in the tourism sense is cruise ship calls. We have been attracting a great volume of cruise ships to Gibraltar and whilst, for operational reasons beyond our control that number is slightly down this year compared to last year, we expect that to recover as soon as next year. We are committed to exploring a new the possibilities for partial or even full turnaround for cruise companies here, something that we believe will become a far more realistic prospect for us when we have completed the tunnel under the runway,” he explained. The runway tunnel is set to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.
Mr Daryanani went on to say: “We do not plan to rest on our laurels. We have a series of ideas and initiatives that we are committed to, starting with our support of the Business Improvement District initiative by the GFSB. We will be matching this on a pound for pound basis, underlining our determination that small businesses in Gibraltar can still strive for more.
“We will continue to work on developing links to Gibraltar, whether by sea, by air or across the border (in respect of which Brexit may play a role of course). We will also consider options for the creation of a tourist/commercial passenger landing berth on the east side, as and when the installation of infrastructure/development of the area.
Mr Daryanani concluded by saying that “Small business in Gibraltar has been a core part of my life for over 40 years now. I enjoy strong relationships with traders up and down Main Street and I understand the issues. I am certain that with a GSLP Liberal government we can continue to attract ever greater footfall, with a focus on the tourism aspect of our business. With innovation, some outside the box thinking and the right kind of investment in infrastructure and marketing of the jurisdiction, I believe our best days are still ahead of us.”
GSLP Liberal Leader, Fabian Picardo, said: “I am so pleased that Vijay Daryanani has joined the GSLP Liberal team. He brings a wealth of expertise to our ability to understand and work with business. As a result, I am keen, if we are re-elected, to once again appoint a Minister for Small Business. I consider it makes sense to establish a joint ministerial committee bringing tourism and small business together, with a view to maximising synergy of effort and, importantly, to bring the expertise and initiative of the small business sector to bear on our efforts across the wider economy too. That is where Vijay will be able to contribute greatly to our work in the next four years as we reposition the Gibraltar economy and improve the offering we make in retail and leisure for residents and tourists alike across the board.”