Falkland Chamber of Commerce Renews Board; prepares for the 30th anniversary celebration
The Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce held its 29th Annual General Meeting on Friday 30th September 2022. During the meeting, members re-elected Mike Summers as Chair and Marika McKay as a Board member. Mark Neves resigned as director and the members nominated Sam Cockwell to the board in his place.
Commenting on the two years he spent on the Board, Mark Neves said: “The past few years have been a very interesting time for the Chamber but ultimately it has grown and membership has increased. My service on the Board has given me a better understanding of the good work the Chamber does to support its members and the wider Falkland Islands economic community.
The Chamber is, I believe, central to this future economic growth, to speak on behalf of Chamber members and to keep the importance of the private sector to the future development of the Falkland Islands at the forefront of FIG Directors and MLAs. FIG is more likely to take the Chamber’s views to heart when it feels the Chamber truly speaks for the business community.”
Mark concluded: “It is therefore important that the Chamber is supported by its members in any way that our members can support. I appreciate that we don’t all have the time to volunteer on the board, but by simply responding to chamber polls or attending public meetings, we can all demonstrate our views. With this in mind, I wish the board and the new board member all the best.”
Successor to Mark, and with a background in environmental science and engineering and several years in the oil and gas industry and the Falkland Islands Government, Sam Cockwell brings a wide range of experience to the Board of Directors. With a current focus on the energy transition in the Falkland Islands through Atlink subsidiary eLink, Sam works to develop environmentally responsible solutions for transport and energy.
Upon hearing the news of his appointment, Sam commented, “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce. The private sector in the Falkland Islands is dynamic and forward-thinking and I look forward to working with the Chamber, the Falkland Islands Government and other stakeholders to ensure companies can continue to thrive in the ever-changing business environment. Sustainable development and environmental solutions are very important to me and I would like to share this passion with the Chamber.”
Upon returning as Chair, Mike Summers provided Chamber members with an overview of the Chamber’s activities over the past 12 months, including an in-depth discussion of the Chamber’s current identified priorities.
After the meeting, Mike Summers concluded: “It is important that the Chamber of Commerce represents its members and all companies in a way that we can promote the development of the private sector economy in the Falklands. We can only do this with the support of our members, especially those who volunteer their time by attending events, sharing their views or volunteering on our board.
I would like to thank Mark for his valuable contributions to the Chamber, particularly in relation to the work on education and training development over the past two years. In his place, we welcome Sam who brings different skills and whose experience will help the Chamber understand how we can further support the development of the green economy in the Falklands. We are also pleased that Marika will remain on the board to bring her extensive retail experience.”
Mike continued, “2023 is an important year for the Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce as we turn 30. After three decades of lobbying and supporting business development in the Falkland Islands we have come a long way but still not a fully developed economy and are still overly dependent on the fishing industry. Now is the time to look ahead, to take stock of where we come from, where the chamber and our economy are today, and what we want to achieve in the next 30 years. We must ensure that the Chamber remains relevant to businesses of all sizes and that we are doing everything we can to bring tangible benefits to our members, the local economy and our community.”
The Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce will shortly begin work on a program of events to celebrate its 30th anniversary in May 2023, with further details to be announced in due course.
After the General Assembly, the elected board of the Chamber of Commerce is composed as follows:
Officers: Chairman: Mike Summers, Vice Chairman: Sally Ellis, Treasurer: Hamish Wylie
Director: James Bates, Sam Cockwell, Steve Dent, Gareth Goodwin, Marika McKay, Sean Moffatt
Chairman Mike Summers, who believes the Falkland Islands’ economy has made progress but is still too dependent on one major industry