FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, UK – March 5, 2015 – Albert Poggio GMH OBE, the Director of Gibraltar House, London, and UK Representative of H.M. Government of Gibraltar has been shortlisted from over 100 candidates this year for the 3rd Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, business and social issues. Mr Poggio is nominated for his longstanding commitment to Gibraltar - UK relations.
Mr Poggio has spent over twenty years strengthening political and business ties for Gibraltarians and British citizens alike. Mr Poggio came to post in 1988, where he established Gibraltar House in the Strand, London, as the official representative office for H.M. Government of Gibraltar in the United Kingdom. What started off as a one-day-a-week post expanded rapidly to a full-time job, moving Gibraltar into a modern era. At the time, Gibraltar was very dependent on military spend and in 1988, with military cutbacks, it became clear that Gibraltar had to develop an economy. Three pillars were identified: port related activities, tourism, and financial services. The economy had to succeed quickly to make Gibraltar self-sufficient.
With a population of only 30,000 people, politics is intertwined in the daily lives of Gibraltarians. A British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar is a member of the EU, as part of the UK, and adheres to all EU laws. Due to the Spanish claim on Gibraltar’s sovereignty, Gibraltar is also in the forefront of European politics. Spain vigorously pursues her claim over Gibraltar’s sovereignty, making it very difficult for the free movement of people and particularly difficult for cross border business relations. Mr Poggio has been an effective lobbyist in UK Parliament, putting forward the views of Gibraltar and developing good relations in both Houses of Parliament. He is also responsible for Gibraltar’s relationships with all regional parliaments.
Coming from a commercial business background, Mr Poggio has good footing when it comes to bringing income into new ventures. He helped to initiate several projects, including the introduction of chartered flights to and from Gibraltar to open borders and provide businesses access to the country. He also assisted many students in settling into the great capital of London and in adjusting to the demands of big city life.
Gibraltar sits at the entrance to the Mediterranean, offering port related facilities that welcomed nearly 10k ships in 2014 and 260 cruise ships and over 7m tourists annually. Gibraltar is home to a large number of blue collar companies which contribute much to its thriving financial sector. Mr Poggio has helped many entrepreneurs to set up their businesses in Gibraltar and the UK and supported them with continued active engagement as they develop their business.
In respect of young people, Albert has led from the front in developing links with the new UK charity, Friends of the British Overseas Territories, which supports students from the British Overseas Territories and raises awareness of issues affecting the Territories. He is also trustee of a number of charities, particularly The Calpe House Trust, which oversees the care of and support for seriously ill patients receiving specialised care in the UK.
Mr Poggio is also a founding member and current Chairman of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), which represents twelve UK Overseas Territories, and he continues his representation of Gibraltar at this level. He is also a founding member of MedCruise, the association of Mediterranean cruise ports, which brings together 74 ports across 22 countries for the purpose of promoting cruise tourism for the Mediterranean.
Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs, but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others in power to follow suit.”
Join Albert Poggio and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Thursday 5th March 2015. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/book-tickets or call 07511 816689.
Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards
About Grassroot Diplomat
Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to facilitate trust and better communication between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We do this by developing, strengthening, and facilitating relationships between governments and civil society stakeholders on a project-by-project basis.
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