On Monday 2nd August, the Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted a working lunch to allow members of the business community to meet with Kirsty Hayes, the British Ambassador (Designate) to Argentina.
The Chamber invited businesses from key industries, as well as key membership associations, to a roundtable discussion with the aim of providing Kirsty an overview of the breadth of economic activities underway in the Islands, as well as the challenges faced in doing business in the region.
The discussions started with an overview of the Chamber and the Falkland Islands private sector before Kirsty introduced herself to the attendees. With a limited amount of time, the discussion swiftly turned to the fishing industry and in particular the issues surrounding sharing of fisheries data and regional management of the fisheries in the southwest Atlantic.
The Rural Business Association then led discussions on the Falkland Islands rural businesses, highlighting the particular importance of agriculture and tourism. A point on seasonal labour led the discussions toward the major importance of the (currently suspended) commercial air links for the whole community.
The Falkland Islands Tourist Association continued the conversation on tourism, providing an overview of how the industry was performing before the pandemic and the support schemes that the Falkland Islands Government has implemented since.
The focus then shifted to hydrocarbons, with the Falkland Islands Petroleum Licensees Association describing the continuing challenges and opportunities surrounding the development of the industry in the Islands.
Kirsty was then given an overview of the shipping and logistics sector, with members of the business community expressing just how essential our sea links are, as well as describing challenges faced both now and in the past. The session concluded with further questions about the Islands’ economy before Kirsty departed for the next appointment in her whistlestop tour of the Falklands.
We would like to thank all of our members for attending and making this event a success. We would also like to thank our colleagues from other membership associations for attending to represent their particular sectors: the Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association (FIFCA), the Falkland Islands Rural Business Association (RBA), the Falkland Islands Tourist Association (FITA), and the Falkland Islands Petroleum Licensees Association (FIPLA).
Kirsty is currently due to assume her role as Ambassador to Argentina in September 2021 and we want to wish her the utmost success in her new role.