The Gibraltar-Israel Chamber of Commerce (Gibrael) has recently celebrated its 6-year anniversary. Founded in 2015 by Eran Shay and Ayelet Mamo Shay, Gibrael Chamber has brought the relationship between the Rock and Israel to new heights. “We have put Gibraltar on the map big time, both in Israel and throughout the Jewish world,” says Gibrael Chairwoman Ayelet. “We brought Israeli innovation to the Rock and exposed many Gibraltarians to the StartUp Nation through our numerous Business Delegations to Israel and our events, both in Gibraltar, London and Tel Aviv,” adds Eran.
The idea to launch Gibrael came from the realisation that there are many potential synergies between Gibraltar and Israel. Over the last few years, both the Government of Gibraltar and local businesses have been thirsty for innovative technologies and we thought Israel, who is renowned worldwide for being a place from where many leading technologies have emerged, could best answer these needs. For Israeli companies, Gibraltar can serve as an ideal testing ground for new technologies as well as the ultimate gateway into the bigger European markets. There are benefits for both countries, and Gibrael acts as a bridge connecting people and facilitating business from both sides.
Gibraltar can serve as an ideal testing ground for new technologies.
Indeed, the objective of Gibrael Chamber is to promote, strengthen and encourage the bilateral trade relations between Gibraltar and Israel. The Chamber’s activities focus on four main channels of assistance. First, Gibrael acts as the first port of call for Gibraltar businesses or individuals requiring information about doing business in Israel, and vice-versa for Israeli businesses enquiring about doing business in Gibraltar. Second, Gibrael acts as an ‘introducer’, connecting relevant business people from both countries. Thirdly, Gibrael advertises and promotes relevant business opportunities, projects, seminars and exhibitions. Fourth, the Gibrael organises professional meetings, delegations, trade-missions and thematic seminars in areas related to the Gibraltar -Israel commercial relationship. Gibrael liaises with the Government of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce, Israeli Ministry of Economy, Israeli Embassy in London and with related institutions in Israel such as with the Israel Export Institute, the Manufacturers Association, and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.
“For me there is also a personal reason why I wanted to establish Gibrael,” says Ayelet. “For many years I felt that I cheated on my home country by falling in love with the country that welcomed us so well – Gibraltar. I realised that by establishing Gibrael Chamber I can act as a good ambassador for both countries and contribute to both of them in this way.”
Gibraltar’s unique advantages as a small jurisdiction, significantly reduce time to market and provide cost efficiencies for Israeli companies who wish to access the UK and other European markets. Innovative Israeli companies in the fields of FinTech, CleanTech, Telecom, smart city solutions, homeland security and more are already here and reaping the benefits of testing their innovative technologies first in Gibraltar, before moving on to the bigger markets in Europe. “Our Chamber has been instrumental in facilitating numerous Israeli companies in establishing operations in Gibraltar including companies such as Playtech, eToro, EcoWavePower, Colu, and other leading innovative companies. We also estimate that about 25% of all DLT Licence applicants since 2018, have come from Israeli owned blockchain/crypto companies. Altogether, the contribution of Israeli companies to Gibraltar’s economy has been significant and since Gibrael Chamber was established, the number of Israelis living in Gibraltar has grown from around 60 in 2015 to over 220 in 2021,” says Eran.
Over the past 6 years, Gibrael Chamber has done some ground-breaking work in promoting Gibraltar, says Ayelet: “We took the first ever business delegation from Gibraltar to Israel which was even greeted live on Israeli national TV by the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset); we organised the first historic Gibraltar Day event in Tel Aviv in which we hosted Minister Albert Isola along with over 100 delegates from Gibraltar; we took the first ever female-only business delegation to Israel along with Minister Samantha Sacramento; we organised and hosted the first ever Capital Markets event in Gibraltar together with the London Stock Exchange; we published the Gibrael Annual Publication for 6 consecutive years (currently working on the 7th annual edition) which has been distributed in over 40 leading international finance centres around the world and last but not least, even during the pandemic we remained active and hosted online zoom events with top Israeli companies and people including with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK.”
The objective of Gibrael Chamber is to promote, strengthen and encourage bilateral trade relations.
“We are very thankful to the Government of Gibraltar, local businesses and the people of Gibraltar for their continued support of our efforts,” says Ayelet. Indeed, last May Ayelet received the Mayor Award for her work with Gibrael, and became the first Israeli in the history of Gibraltar to receive such award.
Gibrael Chamber is constantly working on more events, networking opportunities and future delegations to Israel now that travel restrictions to Israel are being relaxed. To become a member of Gibrael or take part in any of its events, contact [email protected] or visit www.gibrael.org.