FOTBOT committee attends Falkland Islands Association (FIA) AGM

By Sarah Cooper-Lesadd, Research Analyst

In January, the Falkland Islands Association held its yearly AGM, a meeting which proved useful in updating members on the work of the Falkland Islands over the past year. Established in 1968, the FIA supports islanders towards their political aspirations, upholding political sovereignty and holding the protection of the environment as its highest priority. The Association has long supported the continuing freedom of the people of the Falkland Islands.

The AGM consisted of members approving a new and updated constitution before Richard Hyslop, the new Government Representative took to the stage to speak. The meeting highlighted the great strides that had been made over the past year in raising the voice of the Overseas Territories in Parliament and this was coupled with a fresh sense of increased awareness and strengthened political engagement. It was noted that the new speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle had been central to the consolidation of support and increased awareness to our Overseas Territories in Parliament and that the Falklands Islands APPG was being re-established.

While challenges inevitably remain, the meeting highlighted the progress that had been made to boosting economic growth and the creation of new trading partners and political allies. While fish remains the key export, increased tourism marks the start of a more diversified economy. Of strategic and political importance was the establishment of a new airline route, connecting Mount Pleasant with Sao Paolo. The new route will boost investment and generate further opportunities in tourism, exports and political engagement.