News

New Chamber boss: Personal views on the port project will not interfere with duties

Dec 06, 2018 Business

Newly-appointed Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Kirkconnell says while he supports the cruise berthing project his position will not affect the neutrality the local business body has maintained on the issue. Even though the Kirk Freeport vice president is now at the helm of the Chamber of Commerce, he said, that does not mean the business body will change its position on the controversial cruise berthing project. "My personal views on the cruise berthing will have no effect on the presidency or the chamber itself," he said. He said the position of the chamber has remained the same for years and that will not change under his presidency. “It is pretty much saying that cruise berthing, they feel, is something that should be in the tourism product, but obviously, it has to be done in a way that is environmentally friendly and has the right benefits and least amount of cost for the islands,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. As Chamber President, Mr. Kirkconnell said a major priority is dealing with the cost of doing business. He lauded government's efforts to cut red tape, but he said during his term he will be furthering that cause. “There is always a concern of cost of doing business and the cost of living, which ultimately, affects greatly the cost of doing business in the islands so making sure we are at the forefront of advocating for our membership and making sure that we can do whatever we can to work with government,” he said. The new President said he is paying close attention to issues impacting the financial services industry, as well as, developments coming out of Brexit. “We want to make sure we are not just silent and watching things happen, we want to make sure we are ahead of the game and keeping everyone informed as we possibly can,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. He said the upcoming constitutional talks between the government and the UK are also high on the chamber's radar. Those constitutional talks begin Friday (7 December) in London.