Gran Canaria explores Richard Branson business link
The island's authorities announced yesterday that exploratory talks have been held with none other than Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airways and dozens of other successful businesses in a variety of sectors, to have him create a centre to promote projects in fields such as renewable energies, marine research and international cooperation. Branson is due to visit Gran Canaria in the autumn for the FORUM ONE Executive Summit, which takes place at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort on 6-7 October, and he is expected to hold meetings with political and business sector representatives to finalise details of how a centre bearing his name might materialise. Gran Canaria's governing body, the Cabildo, said its external relations team had met with Branson on several occasions to discuss the idea, most recently in Ukraine. Cabildo president José Miguel Bravo de La Laguna said the aim was to use his reputation to attract international business to the island in the same way as Tenerife has capitalised on the name of Stephen Hawking to promote itself as a centre for scientific excellence.