mbr special edition 2016 low (1)




cover story

Operational Excellence

Interview with Felipe Navarro,

CEO of MAPFRE Middlesea (MMS)




Economic Perspectives

A Diversified Economy Requires A Healthy Mix of Economic Activities

Article by the Hon Prime Minister of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat

Talking Point

Our Future Depends on the Decisions We Take Today

The Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil prepares today for

the future


Malta Slammed for Cash-for-Passport Program

Harry Cooper discusses the highly controversial sale of passports by the

Maltese Government

Newspaper Post

corporate interview

corporate interview





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Malta Business Review| SPECIAL EDITION

Malta Business Review Malta | SPECIAL Business EDITION Review




Interview with Felipe Navarro,

CEO of MAPFRE Middlesea (MMS)



A Diversified Economy Requires A Healthy Mix of Economic Activities

Article by the Hon Prime Minister of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat


Our Future Depends on the Decisions We Take Today

The Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil prepares today for

the future


Malta Slammed for Cash-for-Passport Program

Harry Cooper discusses the highly controversial sale of passports by the

Maltese Government

Newspaper Post


MBR Publications Limited


Martin Vella

teChniCaL advisor

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

saLes direCtor

Margaret Brincat


Jaqueline Muscat, Gyorgy Vertes


Call: 9940 6743 or 9926 0163/4/6;

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net


Andre’ Azzopardi, JP Abela; Bernice Buttigieg;

Thomas Mahony, Josef Busuttil; Simon Busuttil;

George Carol; Harry Cooper; Bill Gates; Joseph

Muscat; Rachel Saliba; Rachel Vella

Baldacchino; James Vella Clark

sPeCiaL thanks

Bridgewest; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;

Camilleri Preziosi Advocates; Central Bank of

Malta; DOI; EC Europe; Eurostat; European

Commission Representation in Malta; ec.europa.

eu; eie Educational Group; FinanceMalta; HSBC;

MAPFRE Middlesea plc; Ministry of Finance; The

Ministry For Competitiveness, Digital, Maritime

And Services Economy; Ministry for European

Affairs and the Implementation of the Electoral

Manifesto/DOI; LinkedIn; Malta Enterprise; NSO;

OPM; POLITICO-PRO; The Malta Independent;

Times of Malta; PN Media; MACM; World

Economic Forum

Print ProduCtion



Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042


+356 2149 7814

quote of the month

“The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never

before that we need to change our present concept of

education. Education is not properly an industry, and its

proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training

or by industry-subsidized research. It’s proper use is to

enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically,

socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by

gathering or “accessing” what we now call “information”

- which is to say facts without context and therefore without

priority. A proper education enables young people to put

their lives in order, which means knowing what things are

more important than other things; it means putting first

things first.”

Wendell Berry


All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by copyright may

be reproduced or copied and reproduction in whole or part is strictly

prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content

material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese

and International Law. No person, organisation, other publisher or

online web content manager should rely, or on any way act upon

any part of the contents of this publication, whether that information

is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without

first obtaining the publisher’s consent. The opinions expressed in the

Malta Business Review are those of the authors or contributors, and

are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.


6 Operational Excellence



Interview with Felipe Navarro, CEO of MAPFRE Middlesea (MMS)

Economic Perspectives

10 A Diversified Economy Requires A Healthy Mix of

Economic Activities

The Hon Prime Minister of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat talks about economic growth

and financial wellbeing

12 Our Future Depends on the Decisions We Take


The Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil highlights the issues we should

be tackling in order to allow us prepare today for the future

Budget 2016/17

16 “A strong Economy, A Social Budget”

Exclusive interview with the Hon Minister for Finance Prof Edward Scicluna


20 Malta Climbs Global Competitiveness Index


The Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 released by the World

Economic Forum (WEF) ranking Malta 40th out of 138 countries

22 Malta Budget 2016

Infographic and Summary review of Budget 2016/17


your perfect atmosphere

Continental Cars Ltd.






26 Accelerating Innovation with




An exclusive by Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman on the importance

of leading through innovation

28 Malta Slammed for Cash-for-Passport


Through a deal with Politico-Pro, MBR brings you an exclusive

by Harry Cooper regarding the highly controversial sale of

passports by the Maltese Government

30 Malta Economic Overview 2016-2017

A unique double page spread with the entire Maltese economy

presented in info graphs


34 Malta’s Money Laundering Headache

Harry Cooper reviews and investigates the Panama Papers and

why its has cast doubt on Malta’s ability to push through EU antigraft

laws and Government’s lack of transparency

36 EC Country Report Malta 2016

This country report assesses Malta’s economy in light of the

Commission’s Annual Growth Survey

40 Island Treasure

A rare interview by Josef Busuttil, Director General of the Malta

Association of Credit Management with Sean Feast is the Editor

of ‘Credit Management’, the Magazine of the CICM (UK)

44 A Digital Single Market for Europe

MBR News Division provides the latest European Commission

update following its unveiling of its detailed plans to create a

Digital Single Market




Malta is certainly rotten! Malta

remains the most difficult place to do

business in the whole of the European

Union, according to the World Bank’s

Ease of Doing Business rankings that

were released recently. It came as

no surprise that Maltese roads were

voted as Europe’s second worse in

the EU. And, it is not comfortable to

see Italian national television channel

RAI’s news production, Governatori

Del Paradiso, mentioning our country

and its leaders in most adverse

manner associated with corruption.

This comes in the wake of Moody’s

Investors Service affirming Malta’s

A3 government bond rating and

changed the outlook from negative

to stable. The report confirms

the government fiscal and economic policy is taking Malta in the

right direction and budget measures introduced last year resulted in

Malta ranking among the UE’s top-performers on economic growth,

employment, and unemployment.

However, the Panama papers and sale of passports affair are evidence

of how much the country is not doing to tackle corruption, which apart

from overshadowing Moody’s positive endorsement of Malta, provides

a common paradox: the world often becomes aware of corruption

when someone is doing something about it! That leads people to

conclude that things are getting worse when they may be, in fact,

getting better. The incentive for Malta can thus be perverse. A case in

point is the graft that permeated Brazil’s political system, when, in 2014,

crusading prosecutors revealed that the state-owned oil company,

Petrobras, had funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to officials and

parties in exchange for contracts. The next year Brazil’s score on the

Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International,

a global watchdog, fell by five points.

David Cameron, Britain’s ex-prime minister, who styled himself as a

champion of transparency and attempted to stamp out the financial

secrecy that allows public wealth to be looted and hidden using murky

offshore arrangements, had called corruption “the cancer at the heart

of so many of the world’s problems” and “one of the greatest enemies

of progress in our time”. He referred to a web of jurisdictions, closely

bound in with the City of London and dubbed “Britain’s second empire”,

accounting for between a quarter and a third of global offshore activity.

In Malta, such are things, that half of the voting public seems immune

to “expose corruption wherever it is found, to pursue and punish

those who perpetrate, facilitate or are complicit in it, to support the

communities who have suffered from it, and to ensure it does not fester

in our government institutions, businesses and communities”. It’s as

though the misuse of anonymous companies on behalf of high profile

government officials to hide the proceeds of corruption” is something

acceptable, rather than denying the corrupt the use of legitimate

business channels. And so blinded by political allegiance, turn a blind

eye, as our corruption-fighting priorities seem to pass by.

Public procurement is a matter of public concern as it accounts for 25%

of government spending—and when contracts or sales agreements

are not submitted to the public, or have a good chunk missing, this can

only point to one thing- that this is lost to corruption. An estimated 60%

of the world’s bribes come from public contracts, points out Martin

Tisné, a transparency expert with the Omidyar Network, a foundation.

Governments that keep the details hidden must to explain why.

In light of the above events, we are proud to present our readers with

“Sate of the Economy”, a special edition of Malta Business Review,

while evoking last June, when all government departments signed an

agreement pledging to make it easier for investors to start a business

in Malta- It would be in everyone’s interest to practice what we preach,

before it’s too late.

Martin Vella

Malta Business Review’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editor,

and besides reflecting the Editor’s opinion, are written to represent a

fair and impartial representation of facts, events and provide a correct

analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

04 www.maltabusinessreview.net 05

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

cover story

cover story

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION



By Martin Vella

FELIPE NAVARRO was appointed CEO of MAPFRE Middlesea (MMS) in

September of 2015. One year after, The Malta Business Review talks

with the man at the helm of Malta’s leading insurance company.

MBR: You were appointed CEO of

MAPFRE Middlesea almost a year ago.

What were the main challenges you


FN: In the past year, the company

experienced major growth, mainly

through the acquisition of new portfolios

and inevitably, this has increased internal

work. The number of employees has

also increased significantly and therefore,

organisational restructuring was required.

My main focus has been making the

company more profitable and stable,

while producing better results for our

shareholders and keeping a good level of

service to our clients. Importance has also

been given to the development of new

products in both the life and non-life sector.

We are the benchmark

insurer in the Spanish

market and the leading

multinational insurance

group in Latin America being

number 1 in the Non-Life

ranking for the region

MBR: MAPFRE is present in many

countries and a global player in

international markets. Can you please

give us an idea of MAPFRE’s activities


FN: MAPFRE is a global insurance

company present on the five continents

and doing business in over one hundred

countries. We are the benchmark insurer

in the Spanish market and the leading

multinational insurance group in Latin

America being number 1 in the Non-Life

ranking for the region. We are one of the

10 largest insurers in Europe, and among

the 20 largest automobile insurance

companies in the United States. MAPFRE

Asistencia is the third largest assistance

provider worldwide and MAPFRE RE

stands as one of the 15 biggest reinsurers

in the world.

We have more than 38,400 employees

around the world, more than 5,500

offices and almost 80,000 intermediaries.

Fundación MAPFRE is the majority

shareholder in the company, which

strengthens our independence and

shareholder stability. MAPFRE has a

diversified business with 36 percent of

premiums coming from general insurance,

34 percent from automobile insurance and

30 percent from life and health insurance.

In 2015, our revenue exceeded 26.7 billion

euros and our net profit amounted to 709

million euros. The combined ratio stood at

98.6 percent.

We are working toward becoming the

most trusted global insurance company.

MBR: What is the main competitive

advantage of MAPFRE Middlesea?

FN: The company is fighting to be always

one step ahead than its competitors,

especially when it comes to innovation.

We were the first to introduce a motor

policy using telematics technology,

allowing young people to be rewarded for

driving cautiously.

Customers of MAPFRE Middlesea also

benefit from a 24/7 assistance for home,

health and roadside emergencies, which

can prove indispensible in times of need.

Middlesea Assist is now also making use of

a scooter to get to the client faster when

on-the-spot assistance is required.

MAPFRE Middlesea is the only insurance

company on the island which rewards

customers through a loyalty programme,

which offers customers discounts from

several outlets. The Insure and Save

scheme is very popular among our clients

and we are now working on further

improving it.

Being part of a successful international

group has several advantages. First, we

have a very steady based capital in the

world. Second, we can offer products

which have already been tested in 47

other markets. We also benefit from

economies of scale and we do actuarial,

risk and compliance as a Group and go way

beyond what is required by the law.

MBR: What values are at the core of

MAPFRE Middlesea’s operations?

FN: We are a multinational team striving

constantly to provide ever better

service, and to develop the best possible

relationships with our stakeholders:

clients, employees, distributors, providers,

shareholders and society.

The values that define us as a company

are: solvency, integrity, service vocation,

innovation for leadership and committed


Our values are in line with those of

MAPFRE. We believe in having financial

strength with sustainable results and

we are well in line with Solvency II


We also operate ethically and with a sense

of social responsibility. The company

holds several CSR activities across the year,

in which we give back to the community in

which we operate in.

Having a committed team is crucial.

The company is continually investing in

the development and training of team

capabilities and skills.

Last, but most important, is the service

vocation. We believe in caring for

customer relation and strive in excellence

in each service we give.

MAPFRE Middlesea is the

only insurance company on

the island which rewards

customers through a loyalty

programme, which offers

customers discounts from

several outlets

MBR: What are your future plans for the


FN: We continue to work toward a new

MAPFRE, with a structure consistent with

the challenges specific to our size and


We need to make the company more

profitable in the lines in which it already

operates and deliver more value to our


We need to adhere to MAPFRE’s strategic

plans for 2016 -2018. First – digital

transformation, keeping up with the

technological changes in our environment.

Second – client orientation, giving the

best service possible to our clients.

Third, excellent technical management,

improving efficiency in the processes and

services to client. Fourth, culture and

talent – allowing for the development of

our human resources.

In a nutshell, we want to be more focused

on the client, who we place in the center

of everything, to grow in a profitable

way, through operational excellence and

appropriate management of risks, and

committed human talent with the skills

and tools necessary to do their work in the

best way possible. MBR

All Rights Reserved / Copyright 2016

06 07


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

key economic indicators

2.1: Country/Economy Profiles



Malta 40 / 138

Global Competitiveness Index

2016-2017 edition

Key Indicators, 2015 2016

Population (millions)

GDP (US$ billions)

Performance overview

Global Competitiveness Index 40 4.5

Subindex A: Basic requirements 29 5.4

1st pillar: Institutions

2nd pillar: Infrastructure

3rd pillar: Macroeconomic environment

4th pillar: Health and primary education

Rank / 138 Score (1-7) Trend Distance from best

38 4.5

40 4.7

21 5.8

18 6.4

Subindex B: Efficiency enhancers 41 4.5

5th pillar: Higher education and training

6th pillar: Goods market efficiency

7th pillar: Labor market efficiency

8th pillar: Financial market development

9th pillar: Technological readiness

10th pillar: Market size

38 5.0

30 4.7

41 4.5

41 4.4

20 5.8

126 2.5

Subindex C: Innovation and sophistication factors 41 4.0

11th pillar: Business sophistication

12th pillar: Innovation

Source: International Monetary Fund; World Economic Outlook Database (April 2016)

40 4.3

41 3.7



GDP per capita (US$)

GDP (PPP) % world GDP

Edition 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17

Rank 47 / 144 41 / 148 47 / 144 48 / 140 40 / 138

Score 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.5

11th pillar:



10th pillar:

Market size

9th pillar:



12th pillar:


8th pillar:

Financial market



1st pillar:









7th pillar:

Labor market


2nd pillar:


6th pillar:

Goods market


Middle East and North Africa

3rd pillar:



4th pillar:

Health and primary


5th pillar:

Higher education

and training




a great combination

your firm benefiting from membership to FinanceMalta

Membership advantages include:

Company listing on our website •

Participate in webinars & podcasts •

Opportunities to showcase your firm •

Business networking & educational events •

Complimentary passes to some of Europe’s most important events •

Opportunity to take part in road shows, press briefings & workshops •

Access to market intelligence reports & branded marketing materials •

Most problematic factors for doing business

Inadequately educated workforce

Inefficient government bureaucracy

Access to financing

Poor work ethic in national labor force

Insufficient capacity to innovate

Restrictive labor regulations

Inadequate supply of infrastructure

Tax rates


Tax regulations

Policy instability


Foreign currency regulations

Government instability

Crime and theft

Poor public health

















Source: World Economic Forum, Executive Opinion Survey 2016

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with your smartphone

more information on:


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Note: From the list of factors, respondents to the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey were asked to select the five most problematic factors for doing business in their country

and to rank them between 1 (most problematic) and 5. The score corresponds to the responses weighted according to their rankings.

Credit © 2016 World Economic Forum

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Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economic Perspectives

Economic Perspectives

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

My Government took important decisions

on the economy; subsequently the economy

grew as we ensured financial wellbeing, thus

continuing to put the country’s finances on

a sound footing and which people are now

enjoying the benefits and wealth of these

reforms. In my opinion, the most important

measure that took effect at the beginning

of the year was the increase in pensions,

because it is the first time in 25 years that

there was any increase in pensions. There are

actually over 12,000 pensioners who have

seen and also will see an increase, while the

national minimum pension rose to € 140 per

week. We have worked also to implement an

increase also of € 8.29 per week for those

pensioners aged over 75 years, and an

additional increase to people who benefit

from other pensions. This was the first step

wherein we commenced increasing pension

to a bracket of people who were not earning

sufficiently, or did not earn enough to get by.

This is possible because there is a strong

emerging consensus in this country, a

consensus that is socially and in my view

also politically transversal, that we can

share the fundamentals of a common

vision for Malta, a vision that includes the

economic sphere but goes well beyond it.

A common vision that does not imply the

suppression of different legitimate interests

but one that, on the contrary, protects

diversity and resists monopolies of all sorts:

political, cultural, social and economic.

We certainly share the vision that

maximises prosperity for our people,

focused on a diversified successful

economy underpinned by a high quality,

dynamic, productive and innovative private

sector that positions Malta as a global hub

for business and investment”.

My Government gives due critical

importance of focusing resources on sectors

that optimally leverage opportunities

without, however, sacrificing the diversified

structure of our economy. In fact, permit

me to state and not without pride, that

after having for so long resisted the shortsighted

and delusional mantra that industry

is an obsolete economic activity and how

Malta should focus exclusively on more

glamorous activities, thereby objectively

making our economy less diversified,

we now feel vindicated by the European

Commission’s call on member states at the

beginning of this year to recognise “the

central importance of industry for creating

jobs and growth and to mainstream

industry-related competitiveness concerns

across all policy areas”.

Therefore Malta supports and will continue

to support measures to build a more

business friendly Europe through actions

to promote industrial modernisation,

to simplify the legislative framework

and improve the efficiency of public

administration at levels.

When necessary and appropriate, public

and private may become partners. What

more appropriate example of public

private partnership could I mention today

than the resolution adopted by Malta

Enterprise’s Board only a couple of months

ago to delegate its Trade Promotion

functions to Trade Malta, a joint venture

between Government and the Chamber

of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

It will be basically fulfilling the core role

that METCO used to fulfil. Details of the

agreement will be announced in the coming

weeks. Malta Enterprise will be able to

focus on Investment Promotion and its SME

promotion arm, Business First will focus

on what was originally the specific remit

of IPSE, the Institute for the Promotion

of Small Enterprise, a joint venture with

private sector constituted bodies.

Economic productivity growth must be

driven by investment in the development

of persons and in new technologies. In this

regard, we will leave no stone unturned to

facilitate access to finance, life-long learning

and multi-skilling. We must promote by

whatever means are required a culture of

quality and excellence across both the public

and private sectors. We will not compete

in today’s world only on the basis of cost

competitiveness. Without the competitive

edge provided by quality, we will sink.

Research, technological development and

innovation should not be mere buzz words

but need to become, to use your own words,

“a fundamental cornerstone of Malta’s

economy”. That the Chamber is represented

on the Research & Innovation Steering Group

together with the Malta Council for Economic

and Social Development, Malta Enterprise,

the University of Malta, the Malta College for

Arts, Science and Technology, the National

Commission for Higher Education and the

Malta Council for Science and Technology, goes

a long way to emphasise our sharing of visions.

Economic activity in Malta

continued to outperform the

weak growth in the EU

But the journey is tough and the result is not

guaranteed. We are, however, realistically

optimistic, and with good reason. The

European Commission’s 2014 Autumn

Economic Forecast, published only recently,

has this to say about Malta: “Economic

activity in Malta continued to outperform

the weak growth in the EU in the first half of

2014.” The report confirms that the Maltese

economy “continued expanding at a robust

rate in the first half of 2014”. “Annual real

GDP”, it states, “surprised positively and

reached 3.2%, up from 2.5% for 2013 as a

whole”. Moody’s, in its latest credit rating

release, awarded Malta an A3 status with

a stable outlook. The agency also predicts

that this sustained growth will continue to

manifest itself throughout 2015.

Set this against the background of the

Commission’s forecast of “weak economic

growth for the rest of this year in both the

EU and the Euro area.” The same document

states that “real GDP growth is expected to

reach 1.3% in the EU and to 0.8% in the Euro

area” compared to Malta’s projected 3%. This

strengthens our determination that whilst

redoubling our efforts to attract European FDI

and to target European markets, we must also

look elsewhere for a stimulus to growth. Our

efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment

from the United States, China, India, Singapore

and South Korea offer very exciting prospects

and are beginning to bear fruit.

The result of navigating smartly in an

uncertain international environment has

led us to identify situations created by

uncertainty itself. This is precisely how we

are optimising our location advantages in a

broad range of engineering-based niches, in

the life sciences (where we successfully reinvented

an expensive project that was set on

a deadly collision course with the real world),

in the more creative niches of information

and communications technology (including

synergies between ICT and the life sciences),

in internet based services, in financial

services, in higher education and training

for the regional and European markets, in

innovative niches within aviation services,

in the creative industries generally and the

long neglected field of international logistics

where we cannot simply satisfy ourselves

with having a vibrant marine Freeport.

Ensuring its competitiveness is a daily

challenge. Whatever the source of the

investment, foreign or local, we must also

bear in mind that there is a significant time

lag between investment decision, start up

and mature operations. Moreover, we need

to constantly ensure that it is not enough to

convince a foreign direct investor to set up an

operation in Malta, we need to ensure that

the investor is serviced and made to feel at

home, always. What we promise the investor

must be given to the investor and fast. It is not

always easy. The provision of industrial and

logistics space is a case in point. We have not

solved this particular problem yet and it has

caused delays in start-ups and expansions. We

are confident, however, that the strenuous

efforts by Malta Industrial Parks will begin to

bear fruit in the course of next year.

During 2015/16 we worked on the reduction

to the reduction in income tax and in-work

benefits which were all intended to continue

to help families, reduced the rebate in fuel

prices, granted double allowance for members

of the Armed Forces, gave tax breaks for extra

duties to make the police performed, and also

provided tax breaks for sports activities, but


a healthy mix of economic activities

then you feel sorry to find out that a number

of gyms increased their prices, with the result

that consumers did not sufficiently feel such

discount benefits.

Regarding the health sector and healthcare

in general, this field is one in which significant

progress was made, as the people who are

using health services may attest. During the

last year there was a situation where for six

consecutive months not one drug was out

of stock, while for rest of the half there were

minimal drugs out of stock.

On the waiting lists for operations, today there

is a waiting list for certain heart operations,

which have been reduced such as for cataract

operations, a number of other operations

where the waiting list has decreasing

drastically, even in cases such as MRI’s being

made both during the day and night, as well as

situations of farming out in-private hospitals.

Nevertheless, a lot still remains to be done, but

certainly we made great progress. It remains

now, to complete the second phase of our

project, through private investment, which the

Opposition is against, such as Gozo hospital

and St. Luke’s hospital.

By Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta

This year we shall bear the fruit of the

decisions we took in the first few months

of government including the Maritime

Hub project, where we are going to see it

operate, we will adjudicate the White Rocks

tender, and the award of part of Fort St

Elmo. These are some of the examples that

will continue to create more jobs

Today families and businesses are receiving

electricity bills which they can cope with and

invest, and through this stimulus the economy

continued growing. The same effect was the

measure introduced of free childcare.

Again, we will keep working to help those

who cannot find a job, or are made

redundant. I welcome the idea of GWU

certification for workers in the hotel sector

and i am will continue to discuss this in the

interest s of workers. Today our country

has an unemployment rate of 5.1%, the

lowest unemployment rate in history as the

information h collected indicates, and the

third lowest unemployment rate in the whole

European Union. The last time this figure was

registered, that was 35 years ago! MBR

10 11


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economic Perspectives

Corporate Interview of the Month

Our future depends

on the decisions we

take today

The Nationalist Party Leader Simon Busuttil sums up the

EY Malta Attractiveness Survey National Conference 2016

The theme you have chosen for your

conference - The future is today - is very

appropriate because you are right that our

future depends on the decisions we take

today. And of course, by the same token,

today is also the result of the decisions we

have taken yesterday and there have been

some momentous decisions that have

helped us shape our future.

Chief amongst these is our membership

of the European Union which has given us

free access to a vast European and global

market as well as access to €2.5 billion

worth of EU development funds. Along with

our adoption of the euro, this has enabled

us to attract new investment and build

new economic sectors, such as the gaming

sector, the aviation sector and the pharma

sector. But crucially, it has helped us spur

on our economic growth and given us the

resilience to endure and emerge unscathed

from the worst economic recession of the

past century. So yes, indeed, our future

depends on the decisions, good or bad,

we take today. And in this vein, allow me to

share with you some reflections on how we

should prepare today, for the future:

• Public finance: Our economic

performance has certainly enabled us

to steer our public finances in the right

direction. But there are some worrying

signs that could complicate things in the

future. For example:

• Public debt has increased in absolute

terms by €748 million over three

years since the end of 2012. Was this

necessary if the economy has been

performing so well?

• Public sector employment: the 25-yearlong

trend of decreasing public sector

employment has been reversed.

• The quality of public spending is a matter

of concern because Government has

been consuming more but investing less.

For instance: salaries have increased by

€26 million in the first eight months of

this year; and subsidies to Government

entities has increased by a further €42

million in the first eight months, but

capital expenditure has dropped by €83

million in the first eight months.

• Infrastructure: We are witnessing an

increasing infrastructural deficit - the state

of our infrastructure. Traffic congestion

has become a problem for our economy.

We need an alternative public transport

system, such as a tramway or light railway

that connect Malta and Gozo.

• The environment: we must change once

and for all our idea that economic growth

can only come at the expense of the

environment - this is not a zero-sum game

because the environment can be a driver

and not an obstacle to further economic

growth. The sooner we integrate this into

our economic planning, the better.

• Energy tariffs: the reduction of the past

two years has not been sufficient to

reflect the huge savings that we have

made on the cost of our electricity

generation, thanks to the interconnector,

thanks to the new BWSC powerstation

and thanks to considerably lower

international price of fuel. As a result,

our industry is having to compete with

others in the European Union that have

benefitted from bigger savings.

• New economic niches: the creation

of new economic niches such as the

logistics and distribution, fintech, and

digital media services.

• Air Malta: our national airline is not

just about tourism; it is about our

connectivity to the world and therefore

it is about our economy. We say yes to

a strategic partnership, but let’s retain

control at national level. The decisions on

our connectivity to the world cannot be

taken in Rome, Milan or Abu Dhabi. This

is why we favour a model that retains

national control over our national airline.

• Corruption: This is the big elephant in

the room. Earlier this year, Transparency

International made an unprecedented

statement calling on our Government

Dr Simon Busuttil, Leader of the Nationalist Party

“to clean up its corruption mess”. Now

you know as well as I do that corruption

is not pro-business; that conflict of

interest of people in high public office

undermines the level playing-field that

investors need and expect; and that

well, the PanamaPapers scandal may

well have been swept under the carpet,

but it is is still there for all to see. All this

creates a reputational risk today that

damages our future tomorrow. It makes

us less attractive for investment; it makes

our negotiating position weaker on tax

harmonisation and it complicates our

life at a crucial juncture where we are

about to take on the Presidency of the

European Union in January. So my strong

appeal to the Prime Minister is to sort this

out before going into the EU Presidency.

• The Opposition’s contribution: Prebudget

document: we have prepared

91 proposals to transform ensure that

our economy is truly an economy for

the people where we can all succeed

together. Our proposal are presented in

five packages:


Economic development


Public spending


Social Justice


The environment and Infrastructure


Health and Education. MBR

Source: communications@pn.org.mt

Individual or

Joint Account


Access to funds



Euro Savings Account

1.00 %


Deposit €50

USD Savings Account

0.75 %


Deposit $50

Rates of interest are on a gross per annum basis

Euro Fixed Term Deposit

Minimum Deposit €1,000

3 year: 2.30%

2 year: 1.95%

1 year: 1.85%

Visit our website, open your online bank account and start benefiting

from your savings and fixed term deposit accounts


Flexible &



Simple &


USD Fixed Term Deposit

Minimum Deposit $1,000

3 year: 2.75%

2 year: 2.50%

1 year: 2.00%

2132 2102 helpdesk@easisave.com www.easisave.com

FIMBank p.l.c. is a licensed credit institution regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, and is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.

The Bank is a participant in the Depositor Compensation Scheme in Malta. Terms and conditions apply.


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Market Indicators

Global Competitiveness Index 2015/2016


KEy Indicators

Population (millions) 0.4

GDP (US$ billions) 9.8

Performance Overview

11 th pillar:



10 th pillar:

Market sizet

9 th pillar:



12 th pillar:


8 th pillar:

Financial market


1 st pillar:


7 th pillar:

Labor market


2 nd pillar:


6 th pillar:

Goods market


3 rd pillar:



4 th pillar:

Healt and



5 th pillar:



and training

1934 saw the introduction of the

innovative 135 daylight-loading singleuse

cassette, forever changing the way

photographers worked.

GDP per capita (US$) 22,734.23

GDP (PPP) per capita (US$) 36,004.96

GDP (PPP) as share (%) of world total 0.01


GDP (PPP) per capita,

current international dollars, 1980-2015


The InnovFin SME Guarantee is a scheme run by the EIF, through which SMEs

from eligible business sectors can benefit from lower cost finance, on the basis of

a 50% loan guarantee. Facilties range between €25,000 and €2.4 million.

The scheme is locally managed by APS Bank.

2122 6644


Credit: World Economic Forum


The Banking Arrangement is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020

Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help

support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

Approved and issued by APS Bank Ltd, APS Centre, Tower Street, B’Kara BKR 4012. APS Bank Ltd is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority

to act as a licensed Credit Institution under the Banking Act 1994. Terms and Conditions apply.

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Exclusive: Budget 2017 Budget 2017

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Budget 2017 presentation

‘a strong economy, a social budget’ - Minister Scicluna

The 2017 Budget speech was delivered after the timely press release

issued by Standard & Poor’s, wherein Malta’s credit rating improved from

BBB+ to A-. This is certainly positive news. It is also very encouraging that

Malta is expected to continue to experience an average of 3% real GDP

growth between 2016 and 2019.

This is the fourth Budget for this

legislature. In the Budget speech for

2016, presented to the Parliament of

Malta on 12 October 2015, the Finance

Minister Professor Edward Scicluna

announced a number of fiscal measures

and amendments to the fiscal legislation.

Notable income tax measures include the

widening of the income tax brackets for

individuals, a reduction in income tax for

sportsmen, the possible introduction of

a fiscal consolidation regime as well as

other incentives in the form of tax credits

or deductions intended to encourage

employment and industry.

Giving his first comments to MBR, Minister

Scicluna said, “The key priorities of the

Budget are: continuing to strengthen

government finances; reducing the

fiscal burdens to increase the standard

of living; attracting foreign investment;

strengthening social services, the

environment and regional development;

increasing infrastructure investment and

improving overall Government efficiency.”

Minister Scicluna, addressing one

question on fiscal consolidation

responded that, “The introduction of a

fiscal consolidation concept in income

tax legislation will allow

companies forming part of a

group to be treated as a single

taxpayer, thus, computing

their taxable income on a

consolidated basis.

With regards to SMEs and

micro-enterprise, Minister

Scicluna explained that,

“Micro-invest funding is to be

extended with a maximum

€50,000 tax credit to be

made available for female

entrepreneurs. A maximum

tax credit of €10,000 in

respect of research and

development for companies

employing individuals with

a doctorate/ reading for

a doctorate in science, IT

or engineering is being

introduced and tax credits

to be made available for

knowledge transfer activities

between employees.

Asked about property specific measures,

Prof Scicluna added, “The first time

property buyer programme will also be

extended. The exemption from duty

on the first €150,000 of the value of

immovable property will be extended for

contracts executed up to 31 December

2016. We have introduced Stamp duty

refund for first time buyers that concluded

a promise of sale after 1st July 2015, while

a 15% withholding tax on rental income

option is to be extended to the renting

of commercial property. The opt-in may

also be availed of by companies. However,

intra-group rentals between entities shall

be excluded from this measure.

The waiting time before a sale of inherited

immovable property by heirs can take

place, where some heirs object, is

reduced to three years from the current

maximum of ten. Also, stamp duty on

transfers of regenerated property in urban

conservation areas is being reduced to

2.5% from 5%. Another incentive is the

introduction of property transfers tax

reduction from 8% to 5% on transfer

of regenerated property in urban

conservation areas.”

Among notable increase is the minimum

contributory pension to €7,280 per year,

which has been increased after a hiatus

of 25 years. “This is a social measure

which we have been long considering

to implement,” commented Minister

Scicluna, adding on, “Other key measures

include reforms expected to insolvency

legislation and incentivising Malta Stock

Exchange to continue working on place to

develop a capital market in Malta.” MBR

Credits: DOI/Ministry of Finance

Photo: DOI - Kevin Abela

By Martin Vella

Budget 2017


By George Carol

Social welfare

• Increases in the

allowances to people

who care for their

parents or infirm

relatives at home and

those who receive the

in-work allowance.

• €1m fund for

schoolchildren with a

difficult upbringing or

a deprived background

Low-income people will actually

be getting a raise of €4 per

week through improvements

to the in-work benefit and

the supplementary


A €1.75 wage increase as

part of the cost of living



• Free tallinja bus card

for a year for everyone

turning 18 in 2017

• Incentives for private

companies which

organise transport for

their workers

• Plans for widening

of part of the

Hamrun bypass and

improvements to the

Mosta junction near


New duties on non-alcoholic

drinks (excluding water) and

building materials including

steel rods, glass and tile

Income tax on government

pensions and private pensions

up to €13,000 will be removed

next year.


• 5,000 tax concession

for first-time property

buyers will stay in


• Incentives for those

who buy property

which needs renovation

in urban conservation


• Tax on Gozo property

purchases is going

down to two per cent

instead of five per cent

• Low-income tenants

will have their rent

subsidy doubled. Rents

on social housing will

be reversed to what

they were in 2013

Income tax on dividends paid

to investors on the Malta Stock

Exchange will be waived, and

the government will introduce

savings bonds a special

rate targeted at


The price of cigarettes will

go up by some 30 cents -

the same as last year


• Private sector to invest in a

new school for foreigners at

the former Mtarfa Hospital

• Plans for a new breakwater

in Marsamxett, a motherand-child

hospital, and

schools in Victoria,

Marsascala and St Paul’s Bay

• New primary schools

planned for St Paul’s Bay,

Marsascala and Victoria

• Call for proposals for

the design, building and

operation of the Gozo tunnel

will be issued next year. A

contract will be awarded for

a fast ferry service between

Valletta and Mgarr

• A new fibre-optic link will

be laid between Malta and

Marseille, France, to reduce

dependence on a hub in


• A new national oil company

will be set up to handle oil

exploration efforts.

• Pinto Wharf to be extended

by 12 metres to cater for

bigger cruise liners in Grand

Harbour. Deep Water Quay

will also be extended

• A Food Manufacturing

Centre will be set up at the

former Dowty site in Mriehel

Tax credits for employers

who set up occupational

pension schemes

Sources/References: The Malta Independent;

Times of Malta; Camilleri Preziosi Advocates; Nexia BT.




Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Corporate Focus

Baker Tilly Sant is the Malta independent

member of Baker Tilly International,

one of the world’s premiere and fastest

growing accounting, audit, tax and

business advisory networks.

Baker Tilly Sant was founded on the

ideology of creative forward thinking and

planning, while offering innovative and

independent services in support of clients’

requirements. The Firm aims to create

a balance between outstanding client

service, the financial success of its clients,

the firm and its staff. The Firm prides itself

on maintaining excellent services which

meet and surpass client’s expectations.

To further these delivered services, Baker

Tilly Sant is currently in the process of

implementing Global Focus, the new

Global Audit Methodology launched by

Baker Tilly International this year, which

system focuses the audit approach on

risks relevant to each individual client.

This new technology further enhances

the Firm’s capabilities of delivering highquality

multi-jurisdictional audits.

Very recently, Baker Tilly International has

been named winner of the prestigious

Network of the Year Award at the

International Accounting Bulletin (IAB)

Awards for 2016.

The annual Accountant & International

Accounting Bulletin (IAB) awards celebrate

excellence in the accounting profession

and bring together some of the most

prominent people in the industry.

The IAB Network of the Year is awarded

to networks that have demonstrated the

execution of profitable growth strategies

during the past 12 months and have

excelled in a number of key strategic

and operational areas. They are also

recognised by the industry as a reputable


Donald Sant

Great Firm,

Outstanding Network

brand that consistently delivers high

quality professional services.

Commenting on the award, Ted Verkade,

CEO and President of Baker Tilly

International, said: “I am exceptionally

proud that the network has been

recognised by IAB for our outstanding

growth, our innovation and commitment

to delivering excellent client service, and

for being the first network to obtain the

ACCA Approved Employer status award in

professional development”.

In today’s competitive and ever-changing

environment, businesses need to be able

to use all the resources that they are able

to attract, highlighting the importance of

acquired skills and knowledge. The Firm

places major emphasis on the constant

need for its own resources to embark

on career development objectives, and

as a result, Baker Tilly Sant manages to

provide an impeccable service to its ever

growing client base.

During 2015, Baker Tilly Sant was officially

approved as an ICAEW Training Employer,

authorised by the Institute of Chartered

Accountants in England and Wales

(ICAEW) to train Chartered Accountants.

Furthermore, students following their

professional examinations with the

Association of Chartered Certified

Accountants (ACCA) are also able to train

with the Firm. It may be pertinent to state

that with such credentials, Baker Tilly Sant

has been attracting new professionals

amongst its fold.

Indeed, Baker Tilly Sant is a true positive

reflection of the overall quality and values

of Baker Tilly International, of which it is a

very valued independent member. MBR

An Independent member of Bakery Tilly International

Ted Verkade (left) CEO/President,

Paul Ginman (right) COO

Fly high with us

Baker Tilly Sant is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, one of the

premiere and fastest growing professional networks of independent accountancy and

business advisory firms in the world. The network is united in its commitment to

provide exceptional client service. During 2016, Baker Tilly International was awarded

the prestigious IAB Network of the Year Award.

Our people are our greatest asset and Baker Tilly Sant is always looking for ambitious

forward thinking people with a passion for business and client service, whilst at the

same time developing their skills and flourishing their career.


An independent member of Baker Tilly International

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

World Economic Forum Survey


Malta climbs Global Competitiveness Index ranks

The Global Competitiveness Index

2016-2017 released by the World

Economic Forum (WEF) shows that Malta

has improved its overall competitiveness

performance. In the latest edition Malta

ranked 40th out of 138 countries included

in this publication. This represents an

improvement on the 48th place attained

by Malta in the previous release.

This publication assesses each country

on twelve (12) main pillars. Malta ranked

at least 41st under each pillar, bar for the

10th pillar (market size). Under this pillar

Malta ranked 126th. Unfortunately, little

improvement can ever be attained in this

area as the score is dictated by the size of

our country.

Malta excelled particularly well in the

areas of health and primary education

(18th), technological readiness (20th) and

macroeconomic environment (21st).

With respect to health and primary

education Malta ranked very strongly

in the areas of life expectancy (16th)

and quality of primary education (19th).

Under the area of technological readiness

significant results were attained for

internet bandwidth (3rd), fixed broadband

internet subscriptions (7th) and FDI and

technology transfer (21st). Under the

macroeconomic pillar Malta ranked as

being the best country in terms of annual

percentage change in inflation (1st). Malta

also ranked 20th for gross national savings

as a percentage of GDP.

Under the macroeconomic pillar

Malta ranked as being the best

country in terms of annual

percentage change in inflation (1st)

The report overall indicates that over the

last years Malta has gradually improved its

rankings in a number of indicators that are

included under this index. However, the

same report clearly indicates that this result

is not guaranteed and there are a number

of areas which still need to be addressed

concretely in order to enable Malta to

retain and improve its ranking further.

The index shows that improvements have

been recorded with respect to the number

of procedures to set-up a business as well

as the time required to do so. However,

the measures adopted so far have only

enabled Malta to rank 116th (procedures)

and 114th (time) in these areas. Given that

these indicators are sourced by the WEF

from the World Bank, the important work

carried out in this area is not yet reflected

fully in this publication.

The Global Competitiveness Report also

highlighted that for the first time, when

respondents came to identify the main

problematic factors for doing business, a

workforce which is relatively lacking in the

required education levels topped the list.

This is a reflection of the shift in Malta’s

economy to operations requiring far

higher levels of training and expertise than

was the case in the past. The situation is

being studied by the Ministry of Education

and the various stakeholders such as Malta

Enterprise and plans have been developed

to implement more targeted and effective

strategies in order to ensure long-term

sustainability. MBR

Source: Malta Enterprise











Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

budget 2016 infographic review

global economic index

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


The Global Competitiveness Index 2015–2016 Rankings

On 17 October 2016 the fourth Budget for this legislature was presented to the Parliament of Malta. The key priorities of the Budget are: continuing to strengthen government

finances; reducing the fiscal burdens to increase the standard of living; attracting foreign investment; strengthening social services, the environment and regional development;

increasing infrastructure investment and improving overall Government efficiency.



The Budget seeks to amend the tax bands by widening the tax

exempt brackets for individuals in the following manner:








Income tax brackets for individuals


0-12,700 0-10,500















• Individuals applying the single tax rates and earning up to €19,500

will save up to €90 tax per annum.

• Couples applying the married tax rates and earning up to €28,700

will save up to €120 tax per annum.

• Parents applying the parent tax rates and earning up to €21,200

will save up to €105 tax per annum.


• Introduction of capital allowances for office buildings.

• Wear and tear allowances amounting to 50% of the purchase

price in the year of acquisition for businesses that purchase hybrid

or electric vehicles.

• Donations to the arts will be deductible at 150% of the amount


• A company that donates over €2000 to the Community Chest

Fund can deduct the donation amount.


Tax credits

• Micro-invest to be extended with a maximum €50,000 tax credit to

be made available for female entrepreneurs.

• Maximum tax credit of €10,000 in respect of research and

development for companies employing individuals with a

doctorate/ reading for a doctorate in science, IT or engineering.

• Tax credits to be made available for knowledge transfer activities

between employees.

Reduced rate of tax on sportsman income

• The reduced rate of tax on the income of footballers and

waterpolo players to a flat rate of 7.5% is going to be extended to

all players and coaches of all types of sport.



Fiscal Consolidation

• The introduction of a fiscal consolidation concept in income tax

legislation will allow companies forming part of a group to be

treated as a single taxpayer, thus, computing their taxable

income on a consolidated basis.

Other income tax measures

• A new 15% tax on police who carry out ‘extra duties’ for

organizations, individuals or companies.



Other tax measures

• Removal of registration tax on electric


• The license for small motorcycles with an

engine of 125cc has been reduced to a

flatnominal rate of €10 per annum.

• Owners of hybrid vehicle or electric vehicle

will be exempt from paying CVA tariffs when

entering Valletta.

125cc €10


• VAT rate of 18% on sports

activities will fall to 7%.

• VAT refund on registration of

cars registered between 2005-

2008 will continue to be





Property specific measures

• The first time property buyer programme will also be extended. The exemption

from duty on the first €150,000 of the value of immovable property will be

extended for contracts executed up to 31 December 2016.

• Stamp duty refund for first time buyers that concluded a promise of sale after 1st

July 2015.

• 15% withholding tax on rental income option is to be extended to the renting of

commercial property. The opt-in may also be availed of by companies. However,

intragroup rentals between entities shall be excluded from this measure.

• The waiting time before a sale of inherited immovable property by heirs can take

place,where some heirs object, is reduced to 3 years from the current maximum

of 10.

• Stamp duty on transfers of regenerated property in urban conservation areas is

being reduced to 2.5% from 5%.

• Property transfers tax reduction from 8% to 5% on transfer of regenerated

property inurban conservation areas.

Social measures

• Increase in the minimum contributory pension to €7,280 per year.

• Companies employing 20 employees and failing to employ a minimum number of

persons with disability will be liable to pay a contribution of €1,600 per person

that should have been employed.

• Extension of in-work benefit refunded.


Company registration fees



Eco-Contribution and Excise Duty

• Continuation of process of removing eco-tax.

• Excise duty will be imposed on products seen as harmful to the

environment. Ex:chewing gum and plastic bags.

• Price of petrol and diesel to be reduced by €0.03 and €0.04


• As from 1st April 2016, an environmental contribution tax will be

levied on all incoming tourists aged 18 and over at €0.50 for every

night spent in Malta capped at a maximum of €5 per visit.

• Excise duty on cement, cigarettes/tobacco products and alcohol

to be increased.



Stamp duty on


5% to 2.5%


transfers tax

8% to 5%

• The initial registration fee for companies registered in electronic format and

whose authorised share capital does not exceed €1,500 shall be reduced to €100.


contributory pension

per year

Other key measures

• Reforms expected to insolvency legislation.

• Malta Stock Exchange to continue working on place to develop a capital market in Malta.




Source: EC Europa

Economy Score 1 Prev. 2 Trend 3

Switzerland 5.76 1

Singapore 5.68 2

United States 5.61 3

Germany 5.53 5

Netherlands 5.50 8

Japan 5.47 6

Hong Kong SAR 5.46 7

Finland 5.45 4

Sweden 5.43 10

United Kingdom 5.43 9

Norway 5.41 11

Denmark 5.33 13

Canada 5.31 15

Qatar 5.30 16

Taiwan, China 5.28 14

New Zealand 5.25 17

United Arab Emirates 5.24 12

Malaysia 5.23 20

Belgium 5.20 18

Luxembourg 5.20 19

Australia 5.15 22

France 5.13 23

Austria 5.12 21

Ireland 5.11 25

Saudi Arabia 5.07 24

Korea, Rep. 4.99 26

Israel 4.98 27

China 4.89 28

Iceland 4.83 30

Estonia 4.74 29

Czech Republic 4.69 37

Thailand 4.64 31

Spain 4.59 35

Kuwait 4.59 40

Chile 4.58 33

Lithuania 4.55 41

Indonesia 4.52 34

Portugal 4.52 36

Bahrain 4.52 44

Azerbaijan 4.50 38

Poland 4.49 43

Kazakhstan 4.49 50

Italy 4.46 49

Latvia 4.45 42

Russian Federation 4.44 53

Mauritius 4.43 39

Philippines 4.39 52

Economy Score 1 Prev. 2 Trend 3

Malta 4.39 47

South Africa 4.39 56

Panama 4.38 48

Turkey 4.37 45

Costa Rica 4.33 51

Romania 4.32 59

Bulgaria 4.32 54

India 4.31 71

Vietnam 4.30 68

Mexico 4.29 61

Rwanda 4.29 62

Slovenia 4.28 70

Macedonia, FYR 4.28 63

Colombia 4.28 66

Oman 4.25 46

Hungary 4.25 60

Jordan 4.23 64

Cyprus 4.23 58

Georgia 4.22 69

Slovak Republic 4.22 75

Sri Lanka 4.21 73

Peru 4.21 65

Montenegro 4.20 67

Botswana 4.19 74

Morocco 4.17 72

Uruguay 4.09 80

Iran, Islamic Rep. 4.09 83

Brazil 4.08 57

Ecuador 4.07 n/a

Croatia 4.07 77

Guatemala 4.05 78

Ukraine 4.03 76

Tajikistan 4.03 91

Greece 4.02 81

Armenia 4.01 85

Lao PDR 4.00 93

Moldova 4.00 82

Namibia 3.99 88

Jamaica 3.97 86

Algeria 3.97 79

Honduras 3.95 100

Trinidad and Tobago 3.94 89

Cambodia 3.94 95

Côte d’Ivoire 3.93 115

Tunisia 3.93 87

Albania 3.93 97

Serbia 3.89 94

Economy Score 1 Prev. 2 Trend 3

El Salvador 3.87 84

Zambia 3.87 96

Seychelles 3.86 92

Dominican Republic 3.86 101

Kenya 3.85 90

Nepal 3.85 102

Lebanon 3.84 113

Kyrgyz Republic 3.83 108

Gabon 3.83 106

Mongolia 3.81 98

Bhutan 3.80 103

Argentina 3.79 104

Bangladesh 3.76 109

Nicaragua 3.75 99

Ethiopia 3.75 118

Senegal 3.73 112

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3.71 n/a

Cape Verde 3.70 114

Lesotho 3.70 107

Cameroon 3.69 116

Uganda 3.66 122

Egypt 3.66 119

Bolivia 3.60 105

Paraguay 3.60 120

Ghana 3.58 111

Tanzania 3.57 121

Guyana 3.56 117

Benin 3.55 n/a

Gambia, The 3.48 125

Nigeria 3.46 127

Zimbabwe 3.45 124

Pakistan 3.45 129

Mali 3.44 128

Swaziland 3.40 123

Liberia 3.37 n/a

Madagascar 3.32 130

Myanmar 3.32 134

Venezuela 3.30 131

Mozambique 3.20 133

Haiti 3.18 137

Malawi 3.15 132

Burundi 3.11 139

Sierra Leone 3.06 138

Mauritania 3.03 141

Chad 2.96 143

Guinea 2.84 144

Note: The Global Competitiveness Index captures the fundamentals of an economy. Recent developments, including currency (e.g., Switzerland) and commodity price fluctuations (e.g., Azerbaijan,

Qatar, Saudi Arabia), geopolitical uncertainties (e.g., Ukraine), and security issues (e.g., Turkey) must be kept in mind when interpreting the results.

1 Scale ranges from 1 to 7.

2 This shows the rank out of the 144 economies in the GCI 2014–2015.

3 The trend line shows the evolution in percentile rank since 2007; breaks in the trend line reflect years when the economy was not included in the GCI.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2015–2016 | xv

22 © 2015 World Economic Forum

www.maltabusinessreview.net 23


















































Middle East,

North Africa, and Pakistan
















































Emerging and

Developing Asia

Latin America

and the Caribbean















































Commonwealth of

Independent States

Emerging and

Developing Europe



Credit: © 2016 World Economic Forum

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd

grows stronger in international trade finance

IIG Bank continued to grow its presence

in the international markets despite the

slowdown in output and traded volumes

that continue to persist. The IMF has

concluded that the weak growth in

trade volumes is largely a result of the

synchronised economic slowdown in

advanced and emerging economies. The

post-crisis slowdown in investment was

particularly significant. The IMF analysis

however suggests that there is hope and

that world trade will recover, provided the

world economy and investment do so. The

shift in the composition of global output

explains the slowdown in world trade.

It also adds that “among goods, trade

growth fell for 85 per cent of product lines,

with the sharpest slowdown observed in

trade of capital and intermediate goods.

IIG Bank continues to focus on the

financing of essential commodities,

primarily agro-products and other

primary consumables. These are products

that are always the least effected and

the most resilient in maintaining traded

volumes during persistent economic

slowdown and depressed markets.

In the first half of this year, the Bank

continued to maintain growth and

profitability trends which generated the

extraordinary results of 2015, whereby

it registered a profit for the year before

tax of $6,543,793, up from $2,838,714

in 2014. The interim financial statements

for the 6 months to June 2016 show

13% increase in operating profit when

compared to the same period in 2015.

As was declared at the beginning of the

year, all the previous year’s revenues

attributable to the shareholder were

reinvested in the Bank, resulting in an

increase of $6,200,000 in Tier I capital to


The Bank continues to build its

operational capability and its business

network internationally, venturing into

new areas while expanding its banking

relationships to support its fast growing

business. This also means additional

investment into specialist skills at all levels

of its organisational structure. The bank

continues to grow its customers, both

its depositor base and its loan portfolio

clients. The Bank remains focused on

establishing long lasting relationships

with clients, ensuring that the service

expectations of its discerning customers

are met with efficiency.

Reporting on the performance of the Bank,

Raymond Busuttil, Managing Director and

Chief Executive Officer of IIG Bank (Malta)

Ltd, said: “The Bank has succeeded

in reaching goals and exceptional

profitability during difficult times where

the crises that hit the global markets has

continued to persist to this day, creating

unprecedented challenges for businesses

and certainly for banks. The board and

executive management are encouraged

by the fact that the Bank is successfully

establishing a highly respected name for

itself in the world of international trade

and commodity finance.” MBR


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Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

exclusive: Future Leadership

exclusive: Future leadership

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Accelerating Innovation with Leadership

By Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

As the U.S. presidential candidates lay

out competing visions for the country,

I have been thinking about a topic they

have not yet discussed in detail: what

political leadership can do to accelerate

innovation. Innovation is the reason our

lives have improved over the last century.

From electricity and cars to medicine and

planes, innovation has made the world

better. Today, we are far more productive

because of the IT revolution. The most

successful economies are driven by

innovative industries that evolve to meet

the needs of a changing world. From the

advances that put a computer on every

desk to the discoveries that led to lifesaving

vaccines, major innovations are the result

of both government investments in basic

research and the private-sector creativity

and investments that turn them into

transformative products.

I have heard some people argue that lifechanging

innovations come exclusively

from the private sector. But innovation

starts with government support for the

research labs and universities working on

new insights that entrepreneurs can turn

into companies that change the world.

The public sector’s investments unlock the

private sector’s ingenuity.

I was lucky enough to be a student when

computers came along in the 1960s. At

first they were very expensive, so it was

hard to get access to them. But the twin

miracles of the microchip revolution and

the internet—both made possible by

U.S. government research—completely

changed that. It’s no wonder that today

most of the leading hardware and software

companies are based in the U.S.

Accelerating innovation requires both

political leadership and private sector

leadership. As U.S. voters decide which

candidates they want to elect to fill

national, state, and local offices, and as

many countries around the world undergo

similar political transitions, I think we

should consider what kind of leaders can

drive the innovations we need.

The key to prioritising

progress is support for


The best leaders have the ability to do

both the urgent things that demand

attention today and at the same time lay

the groundwork for innovation that will

pay dividends for decades.

As a country and around the world, we

confront a wide array of urgent issues

that our leaders must address—from

terrorism to job creation to migration.

Our next president will be part of a new

group of global leaders who will wrestle

with these urgent problems. Those

leaders can either prioritise alleviating

poverty, making everyone healthier, and

accelerating economic growth—or they

can let progress stall. The key to prioritising

progress is support for innovation.

When we innovate, we create millions of

jobs, we build the companies that lead

the world, we are healthier, and we make

our lives more productive. And these

benefits transcend borders, powering

improvements in lives around the world.

Our global culture of innovation has been

most successful at those moments when

science, technology, and great leadership

come together to create miracles that

improve modern life. I believe we are in

one of those moments.

One of the most indelible examples of a

world leader unleashing innovation from

both public and private sectors came in

1961 when President John F. Kennedy

spoke to the U.S. Congress and challenged

the country to put a man on the moon

within the decade. That speech came at a

time of cultural and political turmoil, when

national and economic security dominated

the headlines. President Kennedy believed

looking to the skies would inspire the

country to dream big and accomplish huge


That speech didn’t just launch humankind

on a successful journey to the moon.

It also inspired America to build a

satellite network that changed the way

we communicate across the globe and

produced new forms of weather mapping

which made farmers far more productive.

In the face of fear, President Kennedy

successfully summoned our country to

harness American ingenuity and advance

human progress.

It’s important to remember what made the

moonshot the moonshot—that is, what

transforms political rhetoric into gamechanging

breakthroughs. A moonshot

challenge requires a clear, measurable

objective that captures the imagination of

the nation and fundamentally changes how

we view what’s possible. And it requires

marshaling the resources and intellect of

both the public and private sectors. When

we do that, we chart a course for a future

that is safer, healthier, and stronger.

Because we are at a pivotal moment when

the conditions are ripe for transformative

innovations, there are many important

things this new group of national leaders—

including whoever is elected in the U.S. in

November—can accomplish over the next

decade. There are four objectives I think

we should prioritise:

1. Provide everyone on earth

with affordable energy without

contributing to climate change.

2. Develop a vaccine for HIV and a cure

for neurodegenerative diseases.

3. Protect the world from future health

epidemics, which might be more

infectious than Ebola and more

deadly than Zika.

4. Give every student and teacher new

tools so all students get a world-class


Provide everyone on earth

with affordable energy without

contributing to climate change

There is enormous potential to develop

technologies that will make energy

cheaper and reduce our energy imports

without contributing to climate change or

air pollution. In the next eight years, we

could start the transition to a new type

of clean fuel that doesn’t emit carbon,

deploy batteries that let electric cars

run far longer on a single charge, and

produce dramatic drops in the total cost of


Last year, the U.S. and twenty other

countries committed to doubling their

energy R&D budgets, and 28 investors

pledged to invest in the output of

that research. This is only the start. By

increasing government support for cleanenergy

research, presidents and prime

ministers could attract more private

investors to the field. As early-stage ideas

progress, private capital will pour in to

build the companies that will deliver those

ideas to market.

Develop a vaccine for HIV and a cure

for neurodegenerative diseases

With the right leadership and investments

over the next decade, we can discover

and deliver a vaccine for HIV. Many have

forgotten about the scourge of AIDS,

treating it like a disease that can be

managed instead of the deadly virus that

kills more than 1 million people worldwide

every year. Based on recent progress, I

believe world leaders could help make an

effective AIDS vaccine a reality within the

next decade. And with a vaccine, we would

be on the path to ending the disease


We can also make tremendous progress

on ending neurodegenerative diseases

like Alzheimer’s. These diseases are

devastating for the people and families

that they affect. They are also huge drivers

of out-of-control health care costs, which

deplete government budgets that could

be used for other critical functions. New

digital tools and the rapid advancement of

science are providing new momentum and

hope in the search for cures.

In the face of fear, President

Kennedy successfully

summoned our country to

harness American ingenuity

and advance human progress

Protect the world from future

health epidemics

Global leaders should be proud of their

role in bringing the Ebola crisis to an end

and helping the affected countries recover.

Many agencies, including the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and

the U.S. military, did exemplary work in the

face of significant risks to their own safety.

Other leaders around the world mobilized

their infrastructures as well. But the Ebola

epidemic and the rise of the Zika virus also

highlight the need for new advances. There

is a significant chance that a substantially

more infectious epidemic will come along

during the next decade. If one does, we

will need to be able to detect it, develop a

test for it, and produce cures very quickly.

Using advances in biology, scientists are

developing these capabilities. With vision

and support, we will be able to identify and

prevent epidemics before they devastate

families, communities, and economies.

Give every student and teacher

new tools so all students get a

world-class education

Education is one of the areas in R&D

that is often overlooked and can have

immediate payoff. The world can develop

technologies that can help students learn

in ways that are more tailored to their

needs. But that is just o ne part of the

equation for educational success. Highquality

online courses are still in their

infancy. So is personalized learning, which

combines classroom time with digital tools

to let students move at their own pace.

Technology can make teachers’ jobs easier

and their work more effective by letting

them upload videos of themselves in the

classroom, connect with other teachers,

watch the best educators at work, and get

real-time feedback from their students.

The private sector has started work on

these ideas, but funding for government

research budgets would boost the market

and help identify the most effective

approaches, giving teachers and students

new tools that empower them to do their

best work.

I hope our leaders seize these worldchanging

opportunities by investing in

great research institutions, which translate

into big opportunities for innovators.

When these ideas help shape a future

that is healthier, more productive, and

more powerful, it will be because world

leaders stepped up to do the urgent and

the important at the same time. MBR

Creditline: LinkedIn/Bill Gates


William Henry “Bill”

Gates III (born October

28, 1955) is an American

business magnate,

investor, author and

philanthropist. In 1975,

Gates and Paul Allen

co-founded Microsoft,

which became the

world’s largest PC software company.

During his career at Microsoft, Gates

held the positions of chairman, CEO

and chief software architect, and was

the largest individual shareholder until

May 2014. Gates has authored and coauthored

several books.

26 27


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION



Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Malta slammed for

cash-for-passport program

The super-rich are using the option to buy

access to the EU and beyond.

Malta has issued hundreds of passports to

non-EU nationals in exchange for huge sums

of cash over the last two years, resurrecting

concern that the country is effectively selling

access to the European Union. The passports

were granted to wealthy individuals who

made large donations to the government

and dropped cash to buy property on

the Mediterranean islands without being

required to live there.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s spokesman

Kurt Farrugia said almost 700 passports have

been issued to non-EU nationals since the

program’s launch in 2014. Those passports

have so far generated at least €200 million for

Malta. Farrugia was responding to questions

from POLITICO after the government released

a list of more than 900 people granted

Maltese citizenship last year.

Critics charge that the program undermines

the concept of European citizenship,

potentially poses security risks and provides

a possible backdoor for Russians seeking

to escape sanctions against their own

country. The program requires a €650,000

contribution to a national development fund

and investing €150,000 in government stocks

or bonds. A spouse or a child costs up to

€50,000. “If I didn’t have a great deal of love

and sympathy as well as respect for Malta as

a country, I would say what I was inclined to

say two years ago: These are the practices of

a banana republic which must be rigorously

counteracted within the EU,” said Frank

Engel, a center-right MEP from Luxembourg.

Ana Gomes, a senior Socialist MEP on the

Justice and Home Affairs Committee, said

such schemes “put at risk the integrity of

the Schengen system” and should be looked

at closer. “I am absolutely disgusted,” she

said, adding that she has demanded “an

investigation by the EU Commission to look

into member state investor schemes, not just


The price of a passport

The program requires applicants to give

a €650,000 contribution to a national

development fund and provide a €150,000

investment in government stocks or bonds.

That leads to a Maltese passport that

provides visa-free travel to at least 166

countries. Applicants must also own property

worth at least €350,000 in Malta for at least a

year to establish a so-called residency link to

the country.

Those passports have so

far generated at least €200

million for Malta

A spouse or a child costs an extra €25,000,

or €50,000, if the dependent is older than

18. The figures indicate many families

are taking advantage of the scheme: 202

applicants secured citizenship for 503

spouses or children. Each donation provides

more money for the government than

“your average Maltese will pay in a lifetime

of income tax,” says the CEO of a company

spezialising in “citizenship planning.”

“Citizenship is something that has to be

earned, not simply handed out to people

with deep pockets,” said Latvian MEP Robert

Zīle, a former finance minister. He added that

the scheme “may also be helping to defy the

sanctions imposed on Russia by Europe as a

large chunk, if not a majority, of those who

get Maltese citizenship through investment in

the country are of Russian origin.”

By Harry Cooper

Pedestrians in Valletta. Malta has issued hundreds of passports to wealthy non-EU individuals who made large donations to the government

| Credit: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Many Russians originally expressed interest

in the scheme, according to a company

involved in the program, but it is unclear how

many have actually been granted Maltese


Getting ‘quality persons’

When the government published the list

earlier this month of those who obtained

citizenship in Malta last year, including those

who used the Individual Investor Programme,

it was accused of making it virtually

unintelligible by listing individuals by their

first names and not including their country of

origin. “We have no idea about the names or

who the hell they are,” said Jason Azzopardi,

the country’s shadow justice minister.

“There’s no way of knowing.” Maltese

officials, however, defended the program and

said applicants are thoroughly scrutinised.

“The people going through the program have

to go through a very strong and thorough due

diligence process,” Farrugia said, noting that

25 percent of applicants are rejected. “We’ve

always looked to get the quality persons.”

Applicants must have no criminal record as

well as undergo checks against records at

the International Criminal Court and Interpol.

Andrew Rosindell, a Conservative politician in

the U.K. who sits on his parliament’s Foreign

Affairs Committee, said there are still security

concerns, and the program highlighted the

need for the U.K. to “urgently” end automatic

free movement for EU citizens. “Malta is

effectively deciding U.K. immigration policy,”

Rosindell said. “Clearly, there are going to be

security concerns in terms of criminality, in

terms of people coming in who perhaps are

not desirable in our own country.”

The Maltese government spokesman

dismissed such concerns by saying other

European countries have similar routes to

citizenship and are less rigorous in their

vetting. When asked, he declined to specify

which countries he meant. Although other

countries offer various visa or residence

options in return for investment, Cyprus and

Austria are the only other European countries

besides Malta to offer a direct route to EU

citizenship through investment.

Building connections to the 1


“Today, a person of talent and means need

not limit his or her life and citizenship to

only one country,” reads the website of

Henley & Partners, a company based in the

Channel Islands that handles “residence and

citizenship planning.” The company, which

was awarded the contract to design the

program in 2013, now promotes the Maltese

passport option globally and recommends

applicants to the government, receiving

a commission for every person who gets


European Union flag flies with a Maltese flag

in front of the Auberge de Castille, office

of the Prime Minister in Flordiana, Malta |

Credit: Karl Azzopardi/EPA

Eric Major, the CEO of Henley & Partners,

confirmed that Russia, former Soviet

republics and the Middle East are the main

markets for the passports.

“This is a very privileged offering for the

world elite,” Major said, adding that the

program builds “a connection with the top 1

percent of the world population.”

Major pointed out that the passport income

benefits the national development fund and

that each donation provides more money

for the government than “your average

Maltese will pay in a lifetime of income tax.”

In addition to Henley & Partners, individuals

can apply through one of 137 registered

agents, including the accounting firms E&Y,

KPMG, Deloitte and PwC.

A rocky start

When the program was first announced two

years ago, the European Parliament objected,

saying: “EU citizenship should not be for sale

at any price.” In particular, MEPs expressed

concern that a lack of residency requirements

for applicants would violate international law.

Even though the European Commission has

no say in an EU country’s citizenship and

does not formally endorse or approve cashfor-passport

programs, it encouraged the

Maltese government to introduce a residency

link, which it subsequently did.

“The Commission continues monitoring

investors’ schemes … to ensure that there is

a genuine link between these investors and

the EU country that awards them citizenship

Corrugated Packaging Solutions

From Original Design To Finished Carton

and thus also citizenship of the Union,”

said Christian Wigand, a spokesman for the

Commission. Major, whose company also

offers help with citizen programs in Austria

and Cyprus, said that business is booming but

that Malta is “the most successful investment

program in the marketplace” on account of

the amounts raised.

“It’s a very powerful passport in terms of

mobility.” MBR

Creditline: PoliticoPro


Harry worked for five

years in the European

Parliament as assistant

to ECR chairman

Syed Kamall MEP and

latterly Chairman of

the Internal Market

Committee, Vicky

Ford MEP. He advised

them both on a wide range of policy

areas, in particular financial services

and technology. Prior to that, he was a

lobbyist for the Confederation of British

Industry, with a focus on environmental

regulation and infrastructure policy. He

is a history graduate of Oxford University

and received his Master’s in global politics

from the London School of Economics.

Packaging Designers

Sample Making

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28 29


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

economic rundown

economic rundown

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION



Industrial Production

August 2015


August 2016




June 2007




August 2015


August 2016


September 2009




January 2011


New Passenger

Cars Registration


from 1 st to 2 nd quarter



February 2009


average car registration






IN 2014


1st Quarter


Quick Facts




increase (0.8% per year) of which:

• Maltese: 95%

• Foreign: 5%


1,322 (persons per km2)



1st Quarter







€ Thousand




2nd Quarter



Index Points



2.02 $/Ltr

March 2014

0.77 $/Ltr

December 1995


1.55 $/Ltr





Index Points

2nd Quarter

2nd Quarter


110.95 2005

Index Points

Revenue and Expenditure


€4.02 Billion

€3.97 Billion







Exports in Malta

August 2015


August 2016



€ Thousand



Index Points




Employed persons

in April 2016

= 1,383


Employed persons

in March 2016

Increase in

Employed Persons




2016 177751



Real GDP Growth




80% of


resulted from




0.7% 0.5%








Employed Persons



General Government Deficit as a

percentage of GDP

Economic activity

is still considered

relatively robust,

although recent

developments are

characterised by

declining growth


Domestic demand

continued to be

the main driver,

contributing to circa

80% of growth. Net

exports are expected to

contribute moderately

to growth in 2016,

explained by a recovery

in foreign demand.




Fiscal consolidation is

reported to progress in

line with Government’s

projections to extent that

original targets were


The general Government Deficit is expected to fall to 0.7%

of GDP in 2016, and projected at 0.5% for 2017, primarily

on the back of strong nominal GDP growth.

General Government Debt

63.3% 61.9%





Under a no policy change

assumption, General

Government Debt is

expected to decline to

63.3% of GDP in 2016, and

projections for 2017 place

debt at 61.9% of GDP.

Capital Infrastructure: Policy measures to support a more productive economy

Gozo’s digital


Fibre optic link between

Malta and Gozo with

an investment of €3.2

million over the next two


Ta’ Qali

Development of Crafts Village with a total

expenditure of €14 million to start in 2017.

Ex-Marsa shipbuilding

Development into a maritime hub to start in

2017. Ablecare Oilfield Services Holding Ltd will

invest €55 million over 10 years.

Tourist Arrivals

in Malta




JULY 2016





August 2016

Target Sectors



Financial services

already constitute one

of the most significant

economic drivers,

offering investors a

stringent yet flexible

operating environment

within the eurozone

in banking, financial

planning, fund

administration and

management, as well as

insurance and pensions.


Tourists arrivals


December 2005

New Primary Schools

St. Paul’s Bay, Marsascala and Victoria Gozo.

Social Housing

€50 million

investment over

the next three


Malta Budget 2017


Plans for a new breakwater.



An extension

of the present


network, via a new

submarine cable between

Malta and Marseille, to be

financed by EU funds.

Pinto Wharf, Grand Harbour

To be extended by 15m to

cater for large cruise liners.

Deep water quay also being

considered for expansion.

Smart City

Work on €56 million new

ITS campus to start in the

first months of 2017.

Hal Far

40, 000 sq m site is to be transformed

in free trade and logistics centre with

an investment of €80 million.

Loans to Private Sector


Malta offers specific incentives aimed at encouraging activities in niche

industries, particularly in the following growth-targeted sectors.


Malta boasts the largest

fleet in the EU, and

merchant shipping,

ship management and

registration, yachting/

superyachting services,

yachting crew training

and ship repair services

support this industry.

The island is also keen

to attract more service

providers and is seeking

to develop a multifaceted

maritime park.


Already a major player

in the maintenance,

repair and overhaul

sector, new legislation

has enhanced Malta’s

international reputation

as a centre for aircraft

registration, finance and

leasing business.





Malta offers one of

the most progressive

IT environments.

Investment in

information and


technology, digital

media, design, arts and

crafts, gaming and online

gaming, as well as film

editing and production

have been identified as

growth sectors.




EUR Million





EUR Million

February 2012


Investment is channelled

into special-interest

areas such as cultural

and eco-tourism,

educational tourism,

and short-duration


services – as well as

increasing Malta’s

role as a cruise ship


EUR Million


EUR Million

November 2003



Malta’s manufacturing

sector has shifted from a

low-value industry to one

that is technology-based,

with high-value-added

activities, encompassing

aircraft modification and

engineering services,

amongst others.






Q2 2016




20 OCTOBER 2016




Q2 2016








€29.7 bln






19 OCTOBER 2016







National Statistics Office, Malta; Central Bank of Malta; Eurostat; Deloitte Malta; Finance Malta; Country Report Malta; World Economic Forum; Camilleri Preziosi Advocates; Nexia BT

30 31


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economic Analysis

Malta’s Economic Growth Ranks Second in the EU

Written by: Bridgewest

This year the European Commission states that Malta’s economy will increase with a 4.3% rate, which makes it the second highest from the

EU member states. Ireland is the first in the top three, with 6%, but Malta rejoices from the best economic growth in the last ten years. At

the end of 2015, the Maltese economy continued to register significant growth, thus it is expected to further increase throughout 2016 as

well. Our company formation experts in Malta can offer you complete information about Malta’s current economic situation.


Sectors with robust

economic growth in Malta

During the first three quarters of 2015

strong increases were seen in sectors such


• scientific and technical;

• professional;

• administration and support activities

(with 17.5%);

• insurance and financial sector (11.7%);

• real estate activities and retail trade;

• food and accommodation service


The strongest growth was seen in the

service sectors and therefore it managed

to compensate for the rather slow growth

of the manufacturing sector.

A considerable increase in investment

(by 21.5%) underpinned the increase

in real GDP. This outstanding growth in

investment made the Government try

to find ways to reform central sectors of

the Maltese economy and to encourage

a further development in the new growth

sectors. Exports of services and goods is

yet another sector that increased by 2.5%

throughout 2015.

Results of the

Maltese economic growth

The benefits of Malta’s economic growth

are many and are not limited to exports

and investment, where, indeed, the results

are remarkable, but were passed on to

employees and companies. Profits during

the year of 2015 (especially during the

first three quarters), increased by 11.5%.

Salaries were also increased by 4.7 % in

the form of compensation.

The European Commission’s analysis

focuses on the increase in infrastructural

projects that can have a positive effect

from an economic point of view; what is

more, the setting up of the development

bank has the goal of facilitating loans

given to medium and small-sized

enterprises that wish to continue their



grants for start-ups


Analysing the country’s economy, the

Minister for Finance stated that the results

show a future sustainability of Malta’s

economic growth and the updated GDP

figures released by NSO are the ones that

confirm the strong, broad-based rapid

development and growth of the state.

You can contact our Maltese company

registration agents who can provide

you with further details and updated

information about Malta’s economic

growth. MBR

Sources: Bridgewest: Ciantar Associates


www.simonestates.com | info@simonestates.com | Facebook: SIMON Estates | Skype: simon.estates

159, Il-Gebla, Labour Avenue, Naxxar. Malta

223, Republic Street, Valletta. Malta

Tel: 00356 23 88 00 26

Mob: 00356 79 00 82 87 | 00356 79 44 60 72

6, Chemin du Repos, 1213 Petit-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland

Tel: +44 796 15 50 68

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION



Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION




By Harry Cooper

Exclusive to MBR

Panama Papers cast doubt on island’s ability

to push through EU anti-graft laws.

A money-laundering scandal that reached

the highest levels of government in the EU’s

smallest country has attracted the attention

of Brussels.

When a Maltese cabinet minister and

the prime minister’s chief of staff were

mentioned in the Panama Papers leaks, it

looked like a messy domestic affair.

No longer. The alleged burying of a report

into the saga has set alarm bells ringing

among EU lawmakers worried about

Malta’s ability to steer through new EU antimoney

laundering legislation when it holds

the rotating presidency of the EU’s Council

of Ministers in the first half of next year.

A spokesman for Joseph Muscat, Malta’s

prime minister, said: “We are taking this

issue very seriously.” But not everyone

is convinced.

Malta has to get serious.

It has to tidy up in order

for the whole European

financial infrastructure to

gain credibility

“This is all very embarrassing,” German

Green MEP Sven Giegold said. “We will

raise this whole mess in the [European

Parliament’s special] Panama Papers

committee. Malta has to get serious. It has

to tidy up in order for the whole European

financial infrastructure to gain credibility.”

Recently, the man tasked with investigating

the saga resigned.

The Parliament’s special committee is likely

to summon Keith Schembri, Muscat’s chief

Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat | Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

of staff, and Konrad Mizzi, a member of

the government, when it meets after the

summer break.

Schembri and Mizz were named in the

Panama Papers — leaks in April of more

than 11 million documents from the

Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

According to the documents, only days after

the Labour Party won the 2013 Maltese

elections, the two men instructed lawyers

to set up offshore trusts in New Zealand

and companies in Panama. They then tried

to set up accounts with eight different

banks in tax havens across the world.

The revelations sparked street protests

in Malta in April, and Mizzi (sort of) lost

his job as energy minister — he stayed

in the government as minister without

portfolio but with responsibility for “the

implementation of [the government’s]

energy plans.” What’s even more

troubling for Brussels is more recent

events. Last month, the man tasked

with investigating the saga resigned. No

reason was given for the decision by

Manfred Galdes, director of the Financial

Intelligence Analysis Unit, other than that

he was going to “take up a post in private

practice.” He wasn’t the first casualty of

the scandal. Galdes is reported to have

handed over his confidential report into

the saga to Michael Cassar, Malta’s police

commissioner, in April. Under Maltese law,

the police commissioner has the final say

over whether or not to prosecute in cases

relating to money laundering. But before

he could take any action, Cassar resigned

citing health reasons.

In a letter to the prime minister, Cassar

said: “I used to exercise and managed to

avoid many health problems but, due to

a lack of time, some of these problems

have returned.”

Lawrence Cutajar was last week confirmed

as Cassar’s replacement, becoming the

fifth police commissioner since the 2013

elections. The opposition Nationalist Party

immediately condemned the appointment,

saying Cutajar’s only qualification for the

job was “being Joseph Muscat’s friend”

and pointing to a 2013 Facebook post in

which Cutajar praised the prime minister

for “having balls.” Galdes and Cassar have

refused to comment on the investigation,

but that hasn’t stopped rumours circulating

about their abrupt departures.

Speaking to Malta Today at the weekend,

Simon Busuttil, leader of the Nationalist

Party and, like Muscat, a former MEP, said:

“Did Galdes resign while the investigation

was ongoing, if the investigation is

ongoing, what were its conclusions? Is

it true that an investigation report had

been handed to the police for further

action, but just two days [later], the

police commissioner resigned?”

Transparent approach

After the summer break, talks will begin

on an updated EU Anti-Money Laundering

Directive, prompted at least in part by the

Panama Papers scandal. Slovakia, which

holds the EU presidency until the end of

the year, will start off the negotiations but

the Maltese will be in charge during the

final stages, if all goes to plan. A European

Commission spokesperson said the idea

behind the new rules was to improve

transparency. “We aim for a rapid adoption

of the revision in order to strengthen

transparency rules further and to close any

potential loopholes.”

It aims to do that by giving greater powers to

national financial intelligence units such as

the one formerly headed by Galdes, which

look into tax avoidance and evasion, and

force companies and trusts to disclose who

are their ultimate “beneficial owners.” The

Maltese government would have to sign

off on any new proposals made during the

discussions with the European Parliament

and Commission.

There are growing concerns about the

country’s reputation as a financial services

hub. A spokesperson for the Maltese prime

minister said he wasn’t concerned about

any potential conflicts of interest, saying:

“We’ve always been compliant with all EU

regulation on anti-money laundering.”

A spokesperson for Malta’s permanent

representation to the EU added: “The Mizzi

and Schembri case … has absolutely no

bearing, connection or impact whatsoever on

Malta’s EU presidency or its role in steering

through new [anti-money laundering]

proposals and legislation. Malta will

continue to show commitment in combating

illicit practices through the [anti-money

laundering] directives and other related

directives.” But Carl Dolan of Transparency

International was less enthusiastic. “The

prospect of Malta steering legislation that

aims to eradicate corporate secrecy in the

EU once again highlights that the Council has

no formal procedures for dealing with any

conflicts of interest that might arise,” he said.

Malta’s Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil | Credit: EPA/Paco Campos

Image problem?

Malta’s problems don’t end there. There

are growing concerns about the country’s

reputation as a financial services hub, an

area in which the tiny island nation has high

hopes for the future. The chief executive

of Deloitte in Malta, Malcolm Booker, told

POLITICO that “any kind of disruption in

the sector for whatever reason is always

an issue. [The financial services sector]

wants a quiet, peaceful day, with business

as usual. The more transparency, the more

regulation, the better.”

this latest development with the

Financial Intelligence Analysis

Unit chief resigning, apparently

because his recommendations

were not followed

Kristy Debono, a Nationalist MP, said she

believes the scandal is causing serious

damage to the reputation of the Maltese

financial services sector. “The problem

is that the prime minister has not taken

responsibility. He needs to take certain

actions so that [Malta’s] reputation will

remain intact.” Speaking at an event hosted

by Malta’s banking association weeks

before he stepped down, Galdes made his

position clear: “There is a link between

economic growth and dealing with financial

crime. The reality being faced is that the

bar has been raised. The way we react is

key to our success. We must avoid ending

up on any gray list or black list. We need to

maintain our reputation as a trustworthy

financial sector.”

That’s harder to do in the wake of the

scandal. Ana Gomes, a Portuguese MEP

and vice chair of the Parliament’s Panama

Papers committee, said Malta was in the


“Malta is definitely a case for particular

attention, not just because of allegations

against the prime minister’s chief of

staff and the minister, and this latest

development with the Financial Intelligence

Analysis Unit chief resigning, apparently

because his recommendations were not

followed, but also because Malta is already

on our radar.”

“Malta is one of the jurisdictions in the EU

that has a very lax system of incorporation

where it is very easy for anyone who

wants to fool the anti money-laundering

authorities, they can set up a company

like a Russian doll and can make ultimate

beneficial owners hidden,” said the MEP,

who is from the Socialist group, the same

political family as Muscat, Mizzi and


“I am going to propose that Malta will be

high on our agenda … even more so with

these developments.” MBR

Creditline: PoliticoPro

34 35


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Country Report

Taking comfort to a

whole new dimension



Economic performance has been

robust over the recent years.

The economy has demonstrated

notable resilience in a challenging

macroeconomic environment over

the past several years. Real GDP

growth recovered relatively quickly

following the 2009 recession and

in 2015 it exceeded the pre-crisis

peak. Household consumption and

net exports have been the main

engines of growth. One-off largescale

projects in the energy sector

and the finalisation of EU-funded

projects boosted investment in

2014-2015, thus also contributing

strongly to the expansion of the

economy. Real GDP growth is

projected to moderate somewhat

after 2015, but to remain higher

than the long-term average. As

a result of the robust economic

performance, Malta’s GDP per

capita is projected to reach 97% of

the EU average in 2017.

The favourable macroeconomic

conditions have contributed to an

improvement in public finances,

although faster correction would

reduce risks from the inherent


The general government budget

deficit has decreased in recent

years thanks to strong revenue

growth. However, current

expenditure has been growing

faster than potential growth,

which could create problems in

case of shocks to tax revenues.

Primary budgetary surpluses and

strong economic growth helped

the general government debtto-GDP

ratio to fall. However,

moderation in economic growth

would make further debt reduction

more challenging. Sustainability

challenges remain in view of the

projected increase in age-related

budgetary costs.


EC Country Report Malta 2016

This country report assesses Malta’s economy in light of the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey published on 26 November 2015. The survey

recommends three priorities for the EU’s economic and social policy in 2016: re-launching investment, pursuing structural reforms to modernise

Member States’ economies, and responsible fiscal policies.




Growth has been job-rich and


Economic growth has been

underpinned by the improved

competitiveness of some

traditional sectors as well as

the emergence of new labourintensive,


activities. As a result, the amount

of new jobs generated in the

post-crisis period is significantly

higher than during the boom until

2008. This has been supported

by policies targeted in particular

towards attracting more women

to the labour market. The process

of diversification of the economy

has reduced its capital and

import intensity, contributing to

a significant improvement in the

external trade balance.

Maintaining competitiveness

to support the current growth

momentum is a continuous


The potential of human capital to

contribute to economic growth

remains to be fully tapped.

Notwithstanding significant

progress in recent years, labour

market activity remains low,

in particular among women.

Education and training outcomes

are still below targets, affecting

the quality of labour supply.

Furthermore, inefficiencies in

network industries, the public

administration and the judicial

system hinder the business


Overall, some progress has

been made in addressing

the 2015 country-specific


The authorities have taken steps

to improve the professional

development of teachers. This is

expected to contribute to raising

basic skills levels and to reducing

early-school leaving in the longrun,

but it is too early to assess

the results. A number of initiatives

for access to finance have been

offered to small and mediumsized

enterprises, but access to

non-bank instruments generally

remains limited.





Regarding the progress in reaching the national targets under the Europe 2020 Strategy, Malta has

made good progress towards its targets on employment, reducing greenhouse gases, while more effort

is needed on R&D expenditure, increasing renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, reduce early

school leaving, increasing the tertiary education, and reducing poverty.

The main findings of the analysis in this report, and the related policy challenges, are as follows:

External sustainability has improved

benefitting from the restructuring of

the economy. The emergence of exportoriented

services has boosted net external

trade, resulting in a surplus in the current

account balance. The net international

investment position remains positive. Cost

competiveness developments have also

been favourable on the back of growing

productivity and moderate wage growth.

The public debt ratio is lower than the euro

area average and it is approaching the 60

%-of-GDP threshold, but the sustainability

of public finances remains a challenge in the

long run. The public debt ratio has been on

a decreasing path since 2011 on the back of

fiscal consolidation and high nominal GDP

growth. There appear to be no significant

risks in the short and medium term. Yet,

long-term sustainability remains a challenge

reflecting the budgetary impact of ageing

costs, in particular pensions. The efforts by

the authorities in containing the long-term

expenditure growth in the pension and

healthcare systems so far do not appear

sufficient to address this risk.

There is still untapped potential in the

labour market to foster economic growth.

With one of the lowest unemployment

rates in Europe, the Maltese labour market

continues to perform strongly. However,

in spite of the gains over the past years,

activity rates continue to be among the

lowest in the EU, particularly among

women. The supply of skills has not fully

adjusted to labour market requirements.

To offset this, reliance on supply of skills

through foreign labour has increased in

recent years. Education, perpetuating the

low skills levels in the population.

Access to alternative sources of finance for

SMEs is still limited. SMEs rely heavily on

debt financing, with implications for the firm

indebtedness in the economy. The availability

of alternative sources of finance such as

crowdfunding, venture capital, business

angels is not developed. Since the beginning

of 2014, the government put forward

policies geared to the provision of equity and

venture capital, but these measures appear

to be relatively limited, concentrating on tax

credits and small amounts for seed funding.




Competitiveness could further benefit

from the removal of structural bottlenecks

in network industries and the public

administration. The authorities aim to

diversify the energy mix and bring an end

to oil dependency in electricity generation.

The reform, however, has yet to be finalised.

Import dependency will remain a challenge

in the absence of more focused efforts on

boosting domestic production of renewable

energy and raising energy efficiency.

The transport system continues to be

characterised by high economic costs caused

by significant road traffic congestion. The

authorities have yet to present their strategy

to tackle the issue. The low efficiency of

government administration and of the

judicial system continues to pose challenges

to Malta’s attractiveness to investors.

Apart from one-off projects, investment

has been muted reflecting structural

changes in the economy and bottlenecks.

Ongoing large-scale projects result in a

significant boost to investment over the

underlying trend. The increasing importance

of less capital-intensive services sectors,

however, lowers the investment needs of

the economy going forward. Nevertheless,

bottlenecks in the public administration,

insufficient capacity to innovate and skills

mismatches lower Malta’s attractiveness to

foreign investors and hamper the ability of

businesses to investment.

Malta is still away from its 2020 povertyreduction

target. The risk of poverty and

social exclusion increased from 2008 to

2013, most notably for children and the low

skilled. Material deprivation has been on

the rise and has contributed to the poverty

and exclusion risks. New measures have

been introduced in recent years to correct

these trends.


This document is a

European Commission

staff working document.

It does not constitute the

official position of the

Commission, nor does

it prejudge any such




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Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Employer Branding

Employer Branding

The Growing Concept

By Thomas Mahoney

At this point, you as a reader may be asking yourself; what is it exactly that the writer means by

the term ‘employer branding’?

In order to help oneself visualize the

theoretical concept, I always prefer to

describe employer branding as marketing

component within a human resources

function with particular focus on attracting

talent, investing in people’s talent and

well-being, career progression and talent

retention, as a generic overview. This

branding concept has two dimensions

to it; an internal brand whereby relating

to one’s employer brand converts into

loyalty and increased engagement, and

an external brand aiming to attract talent.

The two have to mirror each other, which

also serves as transparency filter between

what happens internally vis-à-vis what is

being promised and preached about the

organization on the outside. Portraying

a false picture of an organization’s office

life and core values to win talent over

will prove to have a short success life and

will only damage the brand, furthermore

creating high staff turnover and a tarnished

brand reputation.

An employer brand may be well aware of

the above mentioned core pillars, however

an organization has to make sure that such

pillars are active, effective and positively


contributing to the department strategy

feeding into the overall organisational

strategy, thus increasing the added value

of the brand.

I always prefer to describe

employer branding as

marketing component

within a human resources


Over the past 12-18 months around 12

fully fledged online gaming employer

brands have emerged, with all brands

investing heavily to attract talent towards

them and towards the industry. The

concept has now gained ground and I

About the Author:

believe we are in stage I like to describe as

the first generation of employer branding,

whereby most organizations are dedicating

a standalone site towards their ‘Careers

Brand’ coupled up with attractive social

media presence pushing three main

components through interactive content;

Malta, The organisation’s success story and

the office life and prospects. This is done

so well, that in my opinion some of the

best video’s promoting the Maltese islands

have stemmed out through such brands.

From an educational perspective employer

brands dedicate a segment of their efforts

in promoting and raising awareness of

the industry and educating people on the

career opportunities it offers.

Investing in people is the most profitable

investment any organization can do… MBR

Thomas Mahoney is Director with EGIM and an Employer Branding




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Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Feature Interview

Feature Interview

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


The objectives of MACM are threefold: lobbying I support Juventus – the Old

- LECTURES to ensure a AND healthy CONFERENCES

credit environment in Malta;

education - to promote good credit management

In terms of education, MACM organises a number

practices; and information - to provide a reliable and Ireland, Spain, Romania, Lithuania, Russia, Malaysia,

of lectures, workshops, seminars, conferences and

up-to-date credit management information system. Mexico and South Africa, to name but a few. “The inhouse

training and workshops that I deliver in various

inhouse training for the Maltese business community: match on TV and also try to


“These MACM events lobbies assist with the various local firms stakeholders to turn credit risks

addressing a number of credit related matters, keep my promise and fly to

into credit rewards by protecting their cash flow and countries give me the opportunity to learn about the

including: securing their dishonoured long-term profit,” cheques Josef and explains. late payment; MACM various business cultures which in turn provides me

the has EU also Late set Payment up its Training Commercial Centre in Malta, Transactions providing with

them necessary



on their



spread the




Directive; part-time The lectures EU Consumer for Maltese Credit students Directive; reading and the of good credit management practices and entice

the CICM obligation Credit Management of registered Diploma companies in Level to 3 file & Level annual 5. the Juve Stadium.

everyone to deploy the proper business culture for a

accounts. “MACM is It in also fact represents the Accredited its members’ Study Centre views in Malta on

areas of The including Chartered VAT Institute refunds of and Credit business Management better credit environment across the globe.”

cash flow,

(CICM) an accreditation that we are proud to have,” and securing their long-term profit,” Josef explains.

the Data Protection Act, and the Banking Act.

he continues. “I strongly believe that the credit REGULAR MACM CONTRIBUTOR

has also set up its Training Centre in Malta,

practitioners should be trained and skilled in order providing part-time lectures for Maltese students

LECTURES to develop enthusiasm AND CONFERENCES and impetus for the credit Josef reading also the regularly CICM Credit contributes Management to the international Diploma in

JOSEF Busuttil was born into a humble Maltese is attending the same Jesuits’ secondary school that

In function terms of within education, their respective MACM organises firms. “Skilled a number credit of business Level 3 press & Level with 5. business and credit management

family. His father, now retired, was a civil

lectures, workshops, seminars, conferences inhouse

training for the Maltese business community:

I used to attend.” After five years at the bank, Josef

practitioners also help to build professionalism and the articles: “MACM “I have is in recently fact the launched Accredited The Study MACM Centre Credit

JOSEF servant Busuttil and his was mother, born into a housewife. a humble Maltese He has

necessary expertise to manage cash flow – the lifeblood

moved “At the on to age a financial of 17, I was services somehow firm, ‘constrained’

specialising in

Management in Malta of The Reference Chartered Book Institute which is of written Credit to assist

“These of a business, events assist raise motivation the local firms and to job turn satisfaction credit

two family. younger His brothers father, now and can retired, remember was a civil clearly his stockbroking start my career and insurance a major broking. Maltese During bank, his where nine I

the Management busy people (CICM) employed an in accreditation the Credit Management

that we are

risks and create into credit dynamic rewards and by high protecting performance their working cash flow

early servant years living and his at his mother, grandfather’s a housewife. He together has two

proud to have,” he continues. “I strongly believe that

years spent as five a years. financial I strongly advisor, believe he studied that everything marketing

environments in the field of credit management. Function,” he adds. Besides credit management, Josef

with younger three spinster brothers aunties: and can “They remember looked after clearly and his happens for a reason! I thank God for that move as

“Thanks to our Membership of the Federation of has the two credit other practitioners passions: his should family be and trained football. and “My skilled

and obtained a post-graduate diploma from the

early years living at his grandfather’s house together

in order to develop enthusiasm and impetus for the

played with us as if we were their most loving soft I have met my loving wife, Charmaine, who was a

European Credit Management Associations (FECMA), family means the world to me and I love them dearly,”

Chartered Institute of Marketing.

with three spinster aunties: “They looked after and trainee at the same bank at the time. Charmaine

credit function within their respective firms.

toys, in a narrow street in Zejtun in the southern part

MACM has built a strong relationship with CICM and I he smiles. “Although my days are hectic and always full

played with us as if we were their most loving soft is now a keen and enthusiastic bank manager. We

often share ideas and discuss common issues, related “Skilled credit practitioners also help to build

of Malta,” he remembers. Josef consider himself BANKRUPTCIES AND FAILURES

of meetings and work-related activities, I look forward

toys, in a narrow street in Zejtun in the southern part have two children, Sara who is twenty and is reading

to credit and cash flow, with the CICM officials, FEATURE who professionalism and the necessary expertise to

lucky to have been educated at St INTERVIEW Aloysius’ College,

of Malta,” he remembers.

a University Degree in Medicine and Surgery, and

have been always very receptive and collaborative.” SPECIAL to spend time with my wife and children. They are my

manage cash flow – the lifeblood of a business, raise

a Maltese

Josef consider











motto for Following a number of bankruptcies and defaults in

backbone that supports me in all I do. They give me

Jake who is twelve and is attending the same Jesuits’

motivation and job satisfaction and create dynamic

educated its students at St ‘Man Aloysius’ for others’: College, “It a is Maltese a motto Jesuits’ which payments across the Maltese business environment,



secondary school that I used to attend.”



high performance

strength to


carry on and


keep me going.

in the

school, has been having deeply a clear inscribed motto in for my its mind students till this ‘Man very the After local five business years at community the bank, Josef encouraged moved on Josef


to a

field strongly of credit believe management.

that success is built with the bricks


The objectives of MACM are threefold: lobbying

When it comes to information I support sharing, Juventus MACM – the provides Old

- to ensure a healthy credit environment in Malta;

for day others’: and am “It still is a continuously motto which striving has been to deeply follow and to financial set up services MACM – firm, The specialising Malta Association in stockbroking of Credit

an effective and efficient online credit management of failure “Thanks and to I owe our Membership my career success of the to Federation my family,

education - to promote good credit management

Lady, as they are often referred

practices; and information - to provide a reliable and

inscribed practice it in whenever my mind I till can. this Helping very day others and gives am you and insurance broking. During his nine years as a

information system to to. its I Members. try to never MACM miss Members a Juventus

Management 2001: “It was a challenge for

as of they European have Credit always Management been the bricks Associations which I used

up-to-date credit management information system.

match TV and also try to

still inner continuously peace, serenity, striving motivation to follow and high practice level of me financial to start advisor, this association he studied but marketing with the and help obtained and

have access to a number of online integrated databases whenever (FECMA), I MACM failed.” has Josef’s built other a strong passion relationship is football: with


MACM lobbies with various stakeholders

addressing a number of credit related matters, keep my promise and fly to

it satisfaction, whenever I which can. Helping keeps you others going gives morally you inner strong a post-graduate diploma from the Chartered

by which they can analyse the credit worthiness of their

including: dishonoured cheques and late payment;

CICM and I often share ideas and discuss common

encouragement of the local businesses, I took this

Turin once every year to watch “I support Juventus – the Old Lady, as they are often

the EU Late Payment in Commercial

peace, serenity, motivation and high level of

Institute of Marketing.

prospective Transactions customers, them whilst play monitoring their their home existing turf - issues, related credit and cash flow, with the CICM

in life.”

referred to. I try to never miss a Juventus match on TV

opportunity with great responsibility, enthusiasm

Directive; The EU Consumer Credit Directive; and

customers on a daily basis. “The MACM online credit

satisfaction, which keeps you going morally strong

the obligation of registered companies to file annual the Juve Stadium.

officials, who have been always very receptive and

information management system helps businesses to

and also try to keep my promise and fly to Turin once

and keenness,” he explains. “Changing the business

accounts. It also represents its members’ views on




Josef Busuttil, Director General of the Malta Association of Credit of

areas including VAT refunds and business cash flow,

take profitable credit decisions and securing their in a long-term proactive profit,” manner,”

Josef explains. every year to watch them play on their home turf -‘the

culture Following was a number indeed a of hard bankruptcies nut to crack! and defaults Working

the Data Protection Act, and the Banking Act.


MACM has also set up its Training Centre in Malta,

Management, speaks to Sean Feast about his three passions: credit

Josef explains. Thus, it assists them to: identify Juve Stadium’. My only desire is that Juventus will win

providing part-time lectures for Maltese students


Maltese, Josef has always management; been fascinated his family; directly payments and football. with across the the business Maltese business people and environment, always


profitable prospective customers; minimise the risk INFORMATION SHARING

reading the CICM Credit Management Diploma in

In terms of education, MACM organises a number of

the European Champions League in the very near

Level 3 & Level 5.

Being by the Maltese, rich architecture Josef has always of the been island’s fascinated buildings, wanting the local to business assist them community in their encouraged needs, Josef Josef read

associated with credit sales; avoid bad debts; and be When it comes to information sharing, MACM

lectures, workshops, seminars, conferences and inhouse

training for the Maltese business community:

“MACM is in fact the Accredited Study Centre future. Who knows? Maybe the final in May 2017 will

by especially the rich the architecture old houses, of farmhouses the island’s buildings, and baroque OSEF Busuttil for to was set an born up MBA into MACM a humble at Henley Maltese – The Business Malta “At the Association age College, of 17, I was completing

somehow of Credit ‘constrained’

consistent in credit decisions. in Malta of The “It Chartered also Institute helps of them Credit to: provides an effective and efficient online credit

“These events assist the local firms to turn credit

family. His father, now retired, was a civil

to start my career in a major Maltese bank, where I

Management (CICM) an accreditation that we are be Juventus against Leicester City!’’ So has Josef got

especially the old houses, farmhouses and baroque Management in 2001: “It was a challenge for me

risks into credit rewards management information system to its Members.

churches in the local villages and towns as well as

manage by protecting their dissertation on credit management in Malta:

credit cash flow management processes effectively;

servant and his mother, a housewife. He has two spent five years. I strongly believe that everything

proud to have,” he continues. “I strongly believe that


churches in the local villages and towns as well as to start this association but with the help and

monitor customers on a daily basis; enhance customer any MACM advice Members for youngsters have access just starting to a number out on of their

younger brothers and can remember clearly his happens for a reason! I thank God for that move as

the credit practitioners should be trained and skilled


the architectural beauty of the capital city, Valletta, early years living “Credit at his grandfather’s has truly house become together I have my met passion my loving and wife, Charmaine, in my role who was a

in order to develop enthusiasm and impetus for the

the architectural beauty of the capital city, Valletta, encouragement of the local businesses, I took this

relationship; wincrease careers? integrated “Make databases sure that by you which study they the can subjects analyse you the

with three spinster aunties: “They looked after and trainee at the same bank at the time. Charmaine

credit function within their respective firms.

built and fortified by the knights of St John in the

played with us as of if we Director were their most General loving soft at MACM, is now a keen I have and enthusiastic always bank strived manager. We

built and fortified by the knights of St John in the opportunity with great responsibility, enthusiasm

effectiveness “Skilled credit practitioners in the also collection help to build of like credit most worthiness and that of you their feel prospective comfortable customers, with,” he

toys, in a narrow street in Zejtun in the southern part have two children, Sara who is twenty and is reading

professionalism and the necessary expertise to

sixteenth century: “This environmental splendour

dues; gain and maintain sound

sixteenth century: “This environmental splendour to and promote keenness,” the he credit explains. profession “Changing and good the business credit

of Malta,” he remembers.

a University Degree Medicine and Surgery, and

manage cash flow – the lifeblood of a business, raise advises. whilst monitoring “Set realistic their goals existing and targets customers for yourselves on a daily













to study

to study Josef consider himself lucky to have been

Jake who is twelve and is attending the same Jesuits’



cash flow; and job satisfaction and ultimately and create dynamic to

culture was indeed practices a hard whenever nut to crack! and wherever

and basis. seek assistance from those who can help you. Life

educated at St Aloysius’ College, a Maltese Jesuits’ secondary school that I used to attend.”

and high performance working environments in the

Mathematics and and Physics Physics for for my my ‘A’ ‘A’ level level in in order order

sustain long-term profit.” As

school, having a clear

to I am,”


Working he

for its


students ‘Man

directly The with Malta

After five

the business Association

years the bank,

people of



moved on to a

field of credit management.

“The MACM online credit information

the Director General of MACM,

is indeed a roller coaster – sometimes you may feel

for others’: “It is a motto which has been deeply financial services firm, specialising in stockbroking

“Thanks our Membership of the Federation

pursue to pursue a degree a degree in architecture, in architecture, a dream a dream which which inscribed was in my mind Management and till always this very day wanting and (MACM) am to assist and a insurance members-owned, them broking. their During needs, his nine notfor-profit

Helping others organisation, gives you inner providing a post-graduate a diploma central from the national Chartered

CICM and I often share ideas and discuss common But never give up, when you feel that you failed, get

years as a

of European Credit Management Associations

Josef is responsible for ensuring at management the top and some system other helps times businesses at the very to take bottom.

still continuously striving to follow and practice financial advisor, he studied marketing and obtained

(FECMA), MACM has built a strong relationship with

never was never realised realised due due to various to various difficult difficult challenges at Josef read for MBA at Henley Business College,

that members receive the profitable credit decisions in a proactive manner,”

it whenever I can.

the at the time. time. “At the age of 17, I was somehow

peace, serenity, motivation completing and high level his of dissertation Institute on of Marketing.

issues, related to credit and cash flow, with the CICM

credit management

most professional and reliable Josef explains. Thus, it assists them to: identify

organisation for the promotion and protection of all

up, put yourself together again and keep going. “A

satisfaction, which keeps you going morally strong

officials, who have been always very receptive and

‘constrained’ to start my career in a major Maltese in life.” in Malta: “Credit has truly BANKRUPTCIES become AND my FAILURES passion and

collaborative.” credit management services profitable prospective customers; minimise the risk

credit interests pertaining to Maltese businesses.

career path may surely change but make sure that

Following a number of bankruptcies and defaults in

bank, where I spent five years. I strongly believe in my role of Director General at MACM, I have

in order to help them protect associated with credit sales; avoid bad debts; and be


payments across the Maltese business environment,


The always objectives strived to of promote MACM the are credit threefold: profession lobbying

you fall in love with your job or your career. If you

Being Maltese, Josef has always been fascinated the local business community encouraged and Josef

When their it comes cash to information flow to sharing, the MACM benefit consistent in credit decisions.

that everything happens for a reason! I



the rich architecture of the island’s buildings, to set up MACM – The Malta Association of Credit

provides an effective and efficient online credit

- good to ensure credit a management healthy credit practices environment whenever in Malta; and

of the Maltese commerce and lack motivation to go to work, you may either have a

management information system to its Members. “It also helps them to: manage the credit

especially the old houses, farmhouses and baroque Management in 2001: “It was a challenge for me

God for that move as I have met my loving wife,



economy Members at have large. access to a “I number lecture, of online problem

wherever I - am,” to promote he records. good credit management


at work


which you


need to settle



churches in the local villages and towns as well as to start this association but with the help and

integrated databases by which they can analyse the

Charmaine, who was a trainee at the same bank the architectural at beauty of the capital city, Valletta, encouragement of the local businesses, I took this

coach and deliver workshops for or

practices; The Malta and Association information of - Credit to provide Management a reliable

customers you may on need a daily to change basis; enhance your job customer completely.

built and fortified by the knights of St John the opportunity with great responsibility, enthusiasm

credit worthiness of their prospective customers,

the time. Charmaine is now a keen and enthusiastic sixteenth century: “This environmental splendour and keenness,” he explains. “Changing the business

whilst various monitoring reputable their existing customers institutions

a daily Whatever

(MACM) is a members-owned, not-for-profit

relationship; it may increase be, don’t effectiveness hesitate – life in the is too collection short

that surrounds us

bank manager. We have two children, Sara who

and Maltese, up-to-date enticed me study credit culture management was indeed a hard information

nut to crack!


and business training centres

Mathematics and Physics for my ‘A’ level in order to Working directly with the business people

“The MACM online credit information

organisation, providing a central national


around the World,” he says.

of be dues; unhappy! gain and “If you maintain truly do sound what cash you flow; love and doing,

pursue a degree

is twenty and is reading a University Degree in

system. in architecture, MACM a dream which lobbies was and with always various wanting to assist stakeholders

them in their needs,

management system helps businesses to take

never realised due organisation to various difficult challenges for the at promotion and protection of all

profitable credit decisions in a proactive manner,”

“I train and coach people you ultimately will only to be sustain pursuing long-term your hobby.” profit.” MBR

Josef read for MBA Henley Business College,

the time.

Medicine and Surgery, and Jake who is twelve and addressing a number of completing credit his dissertation related on matters,

credit management

Josef explains. Thus, it assists them to: identify

credit interests pertaining

in Malta:




has truly


become my passion and

profitable working prospective in the customers; field minimise of credit the risk

“A career path may surely change including: but dishonoured make sure cheques in my role of Director and late General payment;

at MACM, I have



with credit sales;



I am

bad debts;


and be Josef Busuttil Director General MACM (Malta

always strived to promote the credit profession and

consistent in credit decisions.

that you fall in love with your continues on page 38

the job EU or Late your Payment career. in Commercial Transactions

looking “It also helps forward them to: manage and the credit eager Association of Credit of Management)

good credit management practices whenever and

If you lack motivation to go to work, you may wherever I am,” he records.


Directive; The EU Consumer Credit Directive; and

to share






and jbusuttil@macm.org.mt

either have a problem at work which you need The Malta Association of Credit Management

customers on a daily basis; enhance customer

(MACM) is a members-owned, not-for-profit

relationship; expertise increase in this effectiveness function in the collection that

September 2016 www.cicm.com to settle promptly or you the may obligation need to change of registered companies

The recognised

to file annual

organisation, providing a central national standard

The recognised standard







and maintain


sound cash flow;



your job completely. Whatever ultimately to sustain long-term profit.”

accounts. it may It be, also don’t represents organisation its members’ for the promotion views and protection on of all

hesitate – life is too short to be unhappy’’ credit interests pertaining to Maltese businesses.

Outside of Malta, Josef has Sean Feast is the Editor of ‘Credit Management’, the Magazine

of the CICM (UK).

areas including VAT refunds and business cash flow,

also lectured and trained credit

continues on page 38

the Data Protection Act, and the Banking Act.

managers in Belgium, France, credit:www.macm.org.mt

36 September 2016 www.cicm.com

The recognised standard

The recognised standard

www.cicm.com September 2016 37

Josef Busuttil, Director Director General of General the Malta Association of the Malta of Credit Association of Management, of speaks Credit to Sean of Feast

Management, about his three passions: speaks credit to management; Sean Feast his family; about and his football. three passions: credit

management; his family; and football.

“A career path may surely change but make sure

that you fall in love with your job or your career.

If you lack motivation to go to work, you may

either have a problem at work which you need

to settle promptly or you may need to change

your job completely. Whatever it may be, don’t

hesitate – life is too short to be unhappy’’

Lady, as they are often referred

to. I try to never miss a Juventus

Turin once every year to watch

“A career path may surely change but make sure that you fall in love with


your job or your career. If you lack motivation to go to work, you may

either have a problem at work which you need to settle promptly or you

www.cicm.com September 2016 37

may need to change your job completely. Whatever it may be, don’t hesitate

– life is too short to be unhappy’’

40 41


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


world of fine wine

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

the improvement of the overall tourism

product and more effective promotion and

marketing of our offer”.

The Minister for Tourism pointed out

that developments which are dominating

the Tourism agenda within Europe and

beyond include the sharing economy,

digitalisation, connectivity, seasonality,

sustainability and investment in human


All these developments and challenges will

feature in a high-level Tourism conference

to be held during Malta’s presidency next

year. This event will bring together an

extensive cross-section of stakeholders

and will serve as a platform for discussion

about the future of European tourism.

This conference will mainly target the

structure of how Europe can, and must,

adapt to evolving tourism trends in order

to maintain and improve its competitive


In concluding his intervention, the Minister

for Tourism stated that the ultimate

objectives can only become possible by

immediately embarking on two points of

action: 1) As European destinations we

must not regard each other as competitors

but we should collaborate together to

achieve an even larger market share of

international tourism and 2) It is of utmost

importance that we create enabling

mechanisms for the tourism sector in

Europe to adapt to the evolving business

environment, especially by creating

targeted funding opportunities, in the

current and future funding programmes,

which are clearly directed to the tourism

sector. MBR

PHOTO: DOI - Jeremy Wonnacott


General Assembly

As European destinations we must not regard each other as competitors but

we should collaborate together to achieve an even larger market share of

international tourism

Addressing the Hotrec 73rd General

Assembly on ‘The priorities of the Maltese

Presidency of the EU’, Minister for

Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis said that

at a time when various EU member states

are struggling on the tricky path to full

economic recovery, tourism has remained

a major and resilient contributor to the

overall European economy, as it generates

billions of euros, while guaranteeing the

survival and creation of thousands of


Minister Zammit Lewis said that as tourism

gathers further economic pace and

relevance, policy-makers are also realising

the importance of listening, and working

hand-in-hand, not only with those who

invest, but also with those who, on a daily

basis work, work within this sector. This

perspective will lead to more opportunities

for investment and employment across

Europe as a whole.

The Minister for Tourism noted that during

the recent European Tourism Forum

organised by the Slovak EU Presidency two

weeks ago, different methods with which

the Tourism sector within Europe could be

made more sustainable were discussed.

This process will also serve to face the

various challenges emerging from three

distinct factors affecting our industry:

first, the collaborative economy; second,

taxation and competitiveness and, thirdly,

the issue of digitisation.

Regarding the Council of the Presidency

of the European Union to be held in Malta

next year, the Minister for Tourism Zammit

Lewis highlighted that this will probably be

the biggest administrative and diplomatic

challenge for us as a nation since Malta’s

accession to the Union.

“In view of what Europe has been going

through in recent times, together with

the other members of our Trio, the focus

is on what unites us. In order to achieve

this aim, we need to emphatically put the

citizen at the heart of our discussion”, said

the Minister.

“This scarcity in the citizens’ faith in the

EU, often the result of a lack of effective

and timely action by European institutions

– as the case of the financial and migration

crisis - has to become a focal point of

Malta’s Presidency.”

“As an EU state where tourism is clearly

our bread and butter, we will ensure that

Tourism features within the agenda of the

Maltese Presidency and, in this regard,

our priorities are fully in synch with those

of the European Commission. We will be

looking at ways to strengthen European

tourism by encouraging discussions for

common action plans on how to maintain

and boost the EU’s market share, through

PHOTO: DOI - Jeremy Wonnacott

Organic grapes for

excellent wine

by JP Abela

MBR talks with Mark Cassar about how he has rooted, watered and pruned his

hobby until it turned into a rare pursuit. At a time when we are all more focused

on how the food we eat is farmed and produced, Mark’s focus on sustainable

winemaking practices - Methode Qvervi - and organic grape farming seems

poised to take the wine world by storm.

MBR: Tell me how you became involved

with the vineyards…

MC: Fourteen years ago I started planting,

growing and harvesting organic grapes in

my fields very close to the Salib tal-Gholja in

Siggiewi. My love for wine is what sparked

off my initial interest, and very quickly,

what started out as a hobby became a

professional endeavour thus dedicating all

my time and money to this project.

MBR: Mark’s specialty is offering this highquality

organic wine at affordable prices.

Do you think that farming in organic ways

offers something special to the wines?

MC: Knowing where your food comes

from is important. Wine is no different.

The wine is made from grapes that have

been grown without the use of artificial or

synthetic chemicals, such as herbicides and

pesticides. To keep the weeds and bugs at

bay, organic wine makers work with nature,

rather than against it, by boosting their

vineyard’s biodiversity.

MBR: Do you have a particular consumer

in mind when crafting this wine?

MC: My wine has a pretty diverse audience.

The gluten free wine is suitable for vegans

and vegetarians and has a low sulphide

level. There may be people who just like the

wines for their style-vibrant wines that are

balanced. Others are drawn to the fact that

all my vineyard and winery are organic.

MBR: What is Methode Qvervi ?

MC: Qvevri wine-making takes its

name from the distinctive egg-shaped

earthenware vessel - the Qvevri - in which

wine is fermented and stored in villages and

towns throughout Georgia.

Mark uses Qvevri because it allows the

winemaker to express the terroir and the

grape perfectly. This is a vessel that lets the

winemaker create wine holistically.

The vessel is buried in the ground, which

guarantees an optimal temperature for

the ageing and storage of wine and its egglike

shape favours the processes inside.

The inside is sealed with hot beeswax and

the lid of the Qvevri, after fermentation

is complete, is sealed with wet clay coiled

around the top with a heavy stone placed

over it. The Qvevri's torpedo shape allows

sediment to collect at the pointed bottom

of the vessel, while the wine naturally

moves around the middle.

My love for wine is what

sparked off my initial interest

MBR: The Mar Casar wine - what would

you suggest people pair it with?

MC: I would pair the Chardonnay with cold

cuts, goat cheese, spicy food, creamy pasta

and white meat. Red meat, meat and gravy

and strong cheeses are a great match for

our Merlot wines”. The Merlot is a powerful

wine that will improve and gain complexity

with ageing. MBR

All Rights Reserved / Copyright 2016

42 43


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

DSM Report

DSM Report

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

A Digital Single Market for Europe:

Commission sets out 16 initiatives to make it happen

The Internet and digital technologies are transforming

our world – in every walk of life and in every line of

business. Europe must embrace the digital revolution

and open up digital opportunities for people and

businesses. How? By using the power of the EU’s

Single Market. Today, the European Commission

unveiled its detailed plans to create a Digital Single

Market, thereby delivering on one of its top priorities.

At present, barriers online mean citizens miss

out on goods and services: only 15% shop online

from another EU country; Internet companies and

start-ups cannot take full advantage of growth

opportunities online: only 7% of SMEs sell crossborder

(see Factsheet for more figures). Finally,

businesses and governments are not fully benefitting

from digital tools. The aim of the Digital Single Market

is to tear down regulatory walls and finally move from

28 national markets to a single one. A fully functional

Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion

per year to our economy and create hundreds of

thousands of new jobs.

The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted today

includes a set of targeted actions to be delivered by

the end of next year (see Annex). It is built on three

pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses

to digital goods and services across Europe; (2)

creating the right conditions and a level playing

field for digital networks and innovative services to

flourish; (3) maximising the growth potential of the

digital economy.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:

“Today, we lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital

future. I want to see pan-continental telecoms

networks, digital services that cross borders and a

wave of innovative European start-ups. I want to see

every consumer getting the best deals and every

business accessing the widest market – wherever they

are in Europe. Exactly a year ago, I promised to make

a fully Digital Single Market one of my top priorities.

Today, we are making good on that promise. The 16

steps of our Digital Single Market Strategy will help

make the Single Market fit for a digital age.”

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus

Ansip commented: “Our Strategy is an ambitious

and necessary programme of initiatives that target

areas where the EU can make a real difference.

They prepare Europe to reap the benefits of a digital

future. They will give people and companies the

online freedoms to profit fully from Europe’s huge

internal market. The initiatives are inter-linked and

reinforce each other. They must be delivered quickly

to better help to create jobs and growth. The Strategy

is our starting point, not the finishing line.”

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society

Günther H. Oettinger said: “Our economies and

societies are going digital. Future prosperity will

depend largely on how well we master this transition.

Europe has strengths to build on, but also homework

to do, in particular to make sure its industries adapt,

and its citizens make full use of the potential of new

digital services and goods. We have to prepare for a

modern society and will table proposals balancing the

interests of consumers and industry.”

The Digital Single Market Strategy sets out 16 key

actions under 3 pillars which the Commission will

deliver by the end of 2016:

Pillar I: Better access for consumers and

businesses to digital goods and services

across Europe

The Commission will propose:

1. rules to make cross-border e-commerce

easier. This includes harmonised EU rules on

contracts and consumer protection when

you buy online: whether it is physical goods

like shoes or furniture; or digital content like

e-books or apps. Consumers are set to benefit

from a wider range of rights and offers, while

businesses will more easily sell to other EU

countries. (see Factsheet for facts & figures).

2. to enforce consumer rules more rapidly and

consistently,by reviewing the Regulation on

Consumer Protection Cooperation.

3. more efficient and affordable parcel delivery.

Currently 62% of companies trying to sell

online say that too-high parcel delivery

costs are a barrier (see the newly released

Eurobarometer on e-commerce).

4. to end unjustified geo-blocking – a

discriminatory practice used for commercial

reasons, when online sellers either deny

consumers access to a website based on

their location, or re-route them to a local

store with different prices.

5. to identify potential competition concerns

affecting European e-commerce markets.

The Commission therefore launched today

an antitrust competition inquiry into the

e-commerce sector in the European Union

(press release).

6. a modern, more European copyright law:

legislative proposals will follow before the

end of 2015 to reduce the differences

between national copyright regimes and

allow for wider online access to works

across the EU, including through further

harmonisation measures. The aim is to

improve people’s access to cultural content

online – thereby nurturing cultural diversity –

while opening new opportunities for creators

and the content industry. In particular, the

Commission wants to ensure that users who

buy films, music or articles at home can also

enjoy them while travelling across Europe.

The Commission will also look at the role of

online intermediaries in relation to copyrightprotected

work. It will step up enforcement

against commercial-scale infringements of

intellectual property rights.

7. a review of the Satellite and Cable Directive

to assess if its scope needs to be enlarged

to broadcasters’ online transmissions and to

explore how to boost cross-border access to

broadcasters’ services in Europe.

8. to reduce the administrative burden

businesses face from different VAT regimes:

so that sellers of physical goods to other

countries also benefit from single electronic

registration and payment; and with a

common VAT threshold to help smaller startups

selling online.

Pillar II: Creating the right conditions and

a level playing field for digital networks

and innovative services to flourish

The Commission will:

1. present an ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms

rules. This includes more effective spectrum

coordination, and common EU-wide criteria

for spectrum assignment at national level;

creating incentives for investment in highspeed

broadband; ensuring a level playing

field for all market players,

2. review the audiovisual media framework

to make it fit for the 21st century, focusing

on the roles of the different market players

in the promotion of European works (TV

broadcasters, on-demand audiovisual service

providers, etc.). It will as well look at how to

adapt existing rules (the Audiovisual Media

Services Directive) to new business models for

content distribution.

3. comprehensively analyse the role of online

platforms (search engines, social media, app

stores, etc.) in the market. This will cover

issues such as the non-transparency of search

results and of pricing policies, how they use

the information they acquire, relationships

between platforms and suppliers and the

promotion of their own services to the

disadvantage of competitors – to the extent

these are not already covered by competition

law. It will also look into how to best tackle

illegal content on the Internet.

4. reinforce trust and security in digital services,

notably concerning the handling of personal

data. Building on the new EU data protection

rules, due to be adopted by the end of 2015,

the Commission will review the e-Privacy


5. propose a partnership with the industry on

cybersecurity in the area of technologies and

solutions for online network security.

Pillar III: Maximising the growth

potential of the digital economy

The Commission will:

1. propose a ‘European free flow of data initiative’

topromote the free movement of data in the

European Union. Sometimes new services

are hampered by restrictions on where data is

located or on data access – restrictions which

often do not have anything to do with protecting

personal data. This new initiative will tackle those

restrictions and so encourage innovation. The

Commission will also launch a European Cloud

Next steps

The Digital Single Market project team will deliver

on these different actions by the end of 2016.

With the backing of the European Parliament and

the Council, the Digital Single Market should be

completed as soon as possible. The Digital Single

Market was on the agenda of the European Council

meeting on 25-26 June 2016 and the following

subjects were on the agenda for regulatory

framework auctioning:

Commission presents strategy on Digital Single Market and Open Science #DigitiseEU

Annex I : Roadmap of initiatives

initiative covering certification of cloud services,

the switching of cloud service providers and a

“research cloud”.

2. define priorities for standards and interoperability

in areas critical to the Digital Single Market, such

as e-health, transport planning or energy (smart


3. support an inclusive digital society where citizens

have the right skills to seize the opportunities of

the Internet and boost their chances of getting

a job. A new e-government action plan will also

connect business registers across Europe, ensure

• Overhaul of the telecom rules

• A review of the audiovisual media framework

• An analysis of the role of online platforms

• Reinforcing trust and security in digital services

and in the handling of personal data

• A partnership with industry on cybersecurity

• Rules to make cross-border e-commerce easier

• Enforcing consumers rules

• More efficient and affordable parcel delivery

• Ending unjustified geo-blocking

different national systems can work with each

other, and ensure businesses and citizens only

have to communicate their data once to public

administrations, that means governments no

longer making multiple requests for the same

information when they can use the information

they already have. This “only once” initiative

will cut red tape and potentially save around

€5 billion per year by 2017. The roll-out of

e-procurement and interoperable e-signatures

will be accelerated.

• Launching an antitrust competition inquiry into


• A modern, more European copyright framework

• A review of the Satellite and Cable Directive

• Reducing VAT burdens

• Propose a European free flow of data


• Define priorities for standards and


• Support an inclusive digital society MBR

Creditline: European Commission Representation in

Malta; ec.europa.eu


The internet and digital technologies are

transforming our world. But existing barriers online

mean citizens miss out on goods and services,

internet companies and start-ups have their

horizons limited, and businesses and governments

cannot fully benefit from digital tools. It’s time to

make the EU’s single market fit for the digital age

– tearing down regulatory walls and moving from

28 national markets to a single one. This could

contribute €415 billion per year to our economy

and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The Digital Single Market aims to create the right

environment and conditions for digital networks

and services to flourish by providing high-speed,

secure and trustworthy infrastructures and services

supported by the right regulatory conditions.

44 45


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

macro - economic analysis


State of Play – Winter 2016


No imbalances (no in-depth review).

• Strong GDP growth and labour market dynamics

• Unemployment is low but so too are activity rates

• Bottlenecks in network industries; reform needs in

public administration weigh on competitiveness

DiNe at the LaguNa WaLk

Dine I Relax I Events


• Some progress in addressing weaknesses in the

education system

• Some progress in improving SMEs’ access to


• Limited progress on pension system reform

Laguna Walk offers a selection of indoor and outdoor dining experiences

with food and beverage outlets offering a variety of cuisines to tempt every

palate. Following a delectable meal, visitors can also enjoy spectacularly

choreographed fountains as they take a stroll on the beautiful promenade or sit

on the grand steps and scenic terraced rooftops overlooking the lagoon.

fiscal situation


• No excessive deficit

• Structural balance not at the medium-term budgetary


• Public debt decreasing towards the 60% of GDP

reference value

• Draft Budgetary Plan 2016 assessed as broadly

compliant with the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact2

More info at


Dine at one of our various restaurants:



1: The overall assessment of the country-specific recommendations related to fiscal policy does not look at compliance with the

Stability and Growth Pact. This will be assessed once final data for 2015 are available and Stability and Convergence Programmes

have been submitted.

2: The Commission issued its Opinion on the Draft Budgetary Plan on 16 November 2015.


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economic Rundown


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economy of Malta: strong points and development of

Maltese business and trade

Minister for Finance launches Joint Enforcement

Task Force to combat black economy

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna

announced the formation of a Joint

Enforcement Task Force (JET) which

will bolster the government’s efforts at

combating the black economy.

Speaking during a press conference,

Minister Scicluna explained that through

JET, the government will channel the

resources and technical knowhow of the

Income Tax Department, VAT Department

and Tax Compliant Unit to various degrees

in order to prevent, detect, investigate,

and prosecute offences related to unfair

business competition and the avoidance

and evasion of Income Tax, VAT, National

Insurance and Excise Tax in order to

uphold the country’s licensing, regulatory

and tax laws.

“JET will in no way replace any of

these entities and departments,”

said Minister Scicluna, “it will serve

as a centre of intelligence and a

central coordination unit supporting

increased cooperation between these

departments and entities, as well as

facilitating the sharing of information

between them.” He also confirmed that

JET will be enabled to spearhead its own

risk assessments and investigations.


JET will be recruiting a core team of

multidisciplinary professionals in the field

of gathering of intelligence, risk analysis,

inspections and investigations. The core

team will be supported by staff from the

various entities and departments who will

be retrained for this purpose. MBR

Sources: DOI/Ministry of Finance

Malta has limited resources

but a thriving economy

Malta’s Economy after the

Second World War

Malta’s Economy in the

aftermath of EU membership

Malta does not have any natural resources

and experiences a limited fresh water

supply; and it only produces around

20% of the food requirements. Thus, the

economy is dependent on the human

resources and foreign trade. Malta’s

economy is practically driven by financial

services, tourism, real estate, Igaming

and manufacturing, particularly of

electronics. Other significant sectors are

pharmaceuticals, information technology,

and call centres.

The Development of Malta’s


Before the 1800, most Maltese were

farmers or fishermen, even if there was

considerable commerce. At the time

there were very few industries apart

from cotton, tobacco and shipyards.

During wars, Malta’s economy flourished

because of its strategic location in the

Mediterranean. With the opening of

the Suez Canal in 1869, Malta saw a

substantial rise in the number of ships

entering the port, as the Mediterranean

became the main trade road.

By the end of the Second World War, Malta

lost its strategic importance and the

British had to wonder about alternative

ways of income. When Malta got its

independence in 1964, economic activity

was minimal, but huge government efforts

to start up the manufacturing and tourism

industry yielded good results. Aided

by agreeable international economic

conditions and policies that supported

foreign investment, the Maltese economy

sustained fast growth right to the end of

the 20th century.

The Economy in Malta today

Malta managed to maintain a relatively

low unemployment rate, mainly

because of the constant growth and

by policies encouraging continuous

training for the labour force. Globally,

Malta ranks sixth in inward Foreign

Direct Investment and amongst the top

twenty among countries most likely

to sustain economic growth over the

medium and long term.

Malta joined the European Union in

2004 and the Eurozone in 2008. When

comparing the per capita GDP in the EU,

the country falls just above the middle

with respect to wealth. The Maltese

Government has pursued a policy

of gradual economic liberalization

and privatisation, taking some steps

to shift the emphasis in trade and

financial policies from reliance on direct

government intervention and control

to policy regimes that allow a greater

role for market mechanisms. While

change has been very substantial by

international standards, the economy

remains fairly regulated and continues

to be hampered by some longstanding

structural weaknesses. MBR

Source: TMIS; malta.com;

Web: www.daikin.com.mt Email: info@maa.com.mt Tel: 2385 0400

48 49


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


Setting up your


venture in Malta

By Rachel Saliba & Rachel Vella Baldacchino

Throughout the past fifteen years or

so, the small island state of Malta has

witnessed tremendous economic growth,

becoming one of the world’s fastest

growing business hubs in sectors such as

ICTs, iGaming, and financial technologies

(‘fintechs’). This boom can be attributed

to Malta’s high-quality and robust IT

infrastructure, its favourable tax regime,

and its safe and secure banking system.

A digital business

established in Malta must

apply the VAT rates or

exemptions applicable

in the Member State of


Malta’s status as an attractive base

for multinational e-commerce and

knowledge-based technology ventures

is underpinned by its secure yet flexible

legislative and regulatory frameworks for

business. Perhaps the most innovatively

regulated sector under Maltese law is the

remote gaming industry, pioneered by

Malta in 2004 as a new EU Member State.

The iGaming sector and supporting ICT

businesses have thrived due to laws that

safeguard the multi-faceted interests of

both operators and players, interposed

with the presence of a highly-skilled

and cost-effective English-speaking

labour market.

Yet, no business set-up decision would

be complete without a thorough

understanding of how the corporate

fiscal base will impact business finances.

Malta’s international tax system boasts of

a strong double tax treaty network, among

other features that permit efficient tax

planning for corporations. The operation

of a full imputation tax system means that

corporate dividend distributions on which

tax has been paid will not be subject to

further tax by shareholders, who may be

eligible for tax refunds on the Malta tax

paid by the distributing company. Several

business incentives are spearheaded

by Malta Enterprise, the country’s

economic development agency tasked

with attracting high quality foreign direct

investment to Malta. These incentives are

aimed at young technology enterprises

and encourage undertakings to invest in

innovation by providing benefits such as

tax credits.

Another important component to take

into consideration is VAT. As of 1 January

2015, new EU rules apply to the businessto-customer

and business-to-business

supply of electronically supplied services.

In either case, the applicable VAT rules are

those of the place where the customer is

established, has his permanent address,

or usually resides. The place of supply

of electronically supplied services (such

as downloadable software, supply of

books, journals or games disseminated

electronically on tangible media, purchase

of goods over the internet) has thus

shifted to the country of consumption,

and is regulated by the VAT rules of the

member state of consumption. A digital

business established in Malta must apply

the VAT rates or exemptions applicable

in the Member State of consumption.

No VAT is charged on sales to consumers

or businesses resident outside of the EU.

Without doubt this has increased the

e-commerce business administration.

A growing number of well-known

technology market players have in

recent years located their tax domicile or

operations to Malta. The forward-looking

market is also eagerly anticipating a

reformative overhaul to Malta’s remote

gaming regime, which will enhance

and modernise technology neutrality

provisions and improve efficiency and

regulatory transparency. MBR


Rachel Vella Baldacchino is

an Associate at WH Partners.

Her main practice areas are

technology law, corporate

law, M&A, corporate finance

and capital markets.

Rachel Saliba is Senior

Advisor at WH Partners.

She is a corporate and

taxation lawyer with over 11

years’ experience in assisting

multinational companies

and high net worth

individuals on both direct

and indirect taxation.

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Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


Responsible Gaming Conference

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Minister Mallia addresses

Responsible Gaming Conference

Fexserv Financial Services Launch Myney

Malta’s First Mobile Payment App

Fexserv Financial Services today launched

Myney, Malta’s first mobile payment

solution which has been developed in

conjunction with NTT DATA of Japan, one

of the world’s largest organisations in the

field of IT and Innovation, through their

Italian subsidiary, NTT DATA Italia. The

Launch aptly took place at the Casino

Maltese which formerly housed the

Treasury of the Knights of St John and

also served for a while as the Government

Treasury during the early British period.

Myney has been in creation for over three

years and has been developed at one of

the three Research and Development

Centres owned by NTT DATA.

Present for the Launch were

representatives of NTT DATA from Japan

and Italy as well as other support partners

from overseas including representatives

of Western Union, Deutsche Bank,

Paycasso, IPG – Intelligent Payments

Group, MasterCard, IDT Financial Services,

MySafePay, and GPS – Global Payment

Services who came specifically for this

occasion. Also in attendance were the

Hon. Dr. Christian Cardona, Minister for the

Economy, Investment and Small Business

and the Hon. Professor Edward Scicluna

Minister for Finance. After an opening

welcome address by David Borg Hedley,

General Manager of Fexserv and Project

Leader who explained briefly the functions

available on the Myney App through a

short video demonstration of some of

the main features, Tony Zahra Chairman

of Fexserv addressed the guests present

and thanked all those who played a part

in bringing this Payment System to market.

A number of the foreign support partners

also made short addresses following

which Ministers Dr. Christian Cardona and

Professor Edward Scicluna also spoke for

the occasion.

The Myney app is possibly the most

integrated mobile payments APP

imaginable and is available for free

download on the App Store and Google

Play as from today. Once downloaded

private customers can immediately

register and get an account. Private users

are able to register digitally, verify their

identification and get an account within

minutes without needing to visit any of

Fexserv’s offices. Myney user accounts

can be topped up in seven different ways

whilst funds on the holders account can be

utilised in ten different functions. The app

also includes a loyalty program, account

maintenance and personalisation and an

optional Personal Finance Manager system

whereby the system tracks and compares

to user budgets all transactions processed

through the Myney Payment Account.

Interest shown by the business community

is very strong and it is expected that

over 600 shops will be accepting Myney

Payments in the coming months. MBR

Credit: www.myney.com

Tony Zahra Chairman of Fexserv

Minister for Competitiveness and Digital,

Maritime and Services Economy, Dr

Emmanuel Mallia addressed guests and

participants at the Responsible Gaming

Conference organised by The Foundation

for Social Welfare in conjunction with

Sedqa and sponsored by Unibet.

The Minister commenced by stating that

the gaming industry is a pursuit of leisure

that is different from most industries

and ‘what is perfectly harmless for the

majority can have terrible consequences

for the vulnerable few’.

Dr Mallia pointed out that there is no

demographic bias between gamblers as,

irresponsible gaming can affect anyone

regardless of age, social status, religion,

gender or race. He observed that at

European level, between 0.5 % to 2 %

of those making use of gaming services,

end up with some sort of addiction, with

youths being five times more vulnerable

than adults. He continued that

Even though the number of problem

gamblers can appear inconsequential

when compared to overall figures of

persons who gamble, even one afflicted

person is one too many.

The government, he said, has been

consistent in its enactment of legislation

pertaining to gaming and ‘any liberalisation

must be tandem with enhanced player

protection, and genuine commitment to

social responsibility’. Gone are the days,

the Minister remarked, when companies

Are you an employer looking to

expand your team while saving

valuable time and recruitment costs?

acted with impunity and total disregard of

the dire consequences that the use of their

products and services wrought on society

as a whole. The government values, and

will support responsible gaming initiatives.

Self-limit and self-exclusion programmes

are indeed stipulated by the Malta Gaming


Dr Mallia added that all stake holders

and service providers in the gaming

industry have a responsibility to adhere to

guidelines, responsible gaming standards,

and programmes that are internationally


It is the intention, Minister Mallia

concluded, of this government to further

enhance Malta’s futuristic approach

towards gaming legislation. This will be

done by treating gaming addiction as the

serious problem it is, yet simultaneously

keeping Malta competitive and in the

vanguard of innovation in all aspects and

sectors of the gaming industry. Dr Mallia

thanked the organisers and sponsor. MBR

Creditline: Minister for Competitiveness, Digital,

Maritime and Services Economy/DOI

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52 53


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Salaries & Benefit Report

EU Presidency

Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

MISCO’s recent Salaries and Benefit Report

shows that there was a 4.9% increase

in the annual average salaries in Malta.

The highest increases in average salaries

were noted for the posts of Business

Development Manager, Operations

Manager (within the Services Sector)

and ICT Manager. Minimal changes in the

average salary were noted in the posts

of Managing Director, Administration

Manager, Production Manager, Warehouse

Manager and Engineering Manager.

having access to robust

and up-to-date market

information is essential

The 31st edition of The MISCO’s Salaries

and Benefit Report features 85 positions,

compared to the last year’s 79, and carries

a number of new positions, including

that of Assistant Financial Controller,

Sales Executive, Sales Representative,

Compliance / Anti-Money Laundering

Officer, Logistics Manager, Head of Stores,

Maintenance Manager, Research and

Development Specialist and Maintenance


MISCO’s Director Lawrence Zammit said that

in a challenging marketplace, effective and

competitive remuneration is a key priority.

Employers need to ensure their reward

policies and practices are both practical

and relevant to today’s labour market. As

such having access to robust and up-todate

market information is essential. In fact,

Mr Zammit said that MISCO compiles such

reports to provide guidance on the pay ranges

to be attached to grades or bands when

designing a

pay structure.

The study shows

that there was 3.8%

increase in finance-related positions and

a 5.7% in HR-related positions. Marketing-

Related positions registered a 2.1%


Mr. Zammit said that “MISCO is conscious of

the need of employers to have information

that is more focused on their specific

requirements. For this reason we also

publish a number of sector specific salaries

and benefits reports throughout the year

and provide compensation benchmarking

MISCO Study Shows

An Average 4.9%

Increase In


By James Vella Clark

reports to individual organisations

facing challenges in keeping their best

talent and concerned with matching their

packages to those offered in the market.”

In fact, he added that this report, like

the other sectorial ones, are important

tools which give the company’s senior

management the necessary information

upon which, one can take informed

decisions to ensure that pay will attract and

retain the people the organisation needs.

Having said that, Mr Zammit added that

MISCO strongly believes that salaries are

just one component of the HR strategy of

an organisation and needs to be supported

by appropriate training and development

activities, motivational activities and

creating a work environment that is caring

of the employees’ wellbeing. MBR

No income tax for

pensions up to €13,000


“Malta is well-prepared to address EU’s Justice and Home Affairs agenda during

its Council Presidency” European Commission First Vice President

The Maltese government is very wellprepared

to take over the rotating

Presidency of the Council of the European

Union on January 2017, said Frans

Timmermans, First Vice President of

the European Commission. In a meeting

with Minister for Justice, Culture and

Local Government Owen Bonnici and

Minister for Home Affairs and National

Security Carmelo Abela, on Friday 7th

October 2016 in Valletta, Vice President

Timmermans pointed out that the areas

of Justice and Home Affairs will be two of

the most important ones, as they include

highly-topical issues such as migration and

asylum, border management, and security.

During this meeting, Minister Bonnici

emphasised that the Justice and Culture

sectors are well-prepared to register

progress during the upcoming Maltese

Presidency of the European Union. He

added that amongst other preparations,

people that will be involved in every stage

of the Presidency were adequately trained.

Minister Bonnici explained that the

Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local

Government will be responsible for twelve

conferences and meetings during the

Presidency, 19 working parties and 19

dossiers. In total, Minister Bonnici said,

there are 50 people from the Justice and

Culture sectors involved in the Presidency

preparations and training has been

provided. He explained that the priority

of this Ministry is to register progress on

the respective legislative pending files and

work hard on the new legislative files put

on the table.

As regards Brexit, the Minister emphasised

that Malta as a Presidency is prepared to

start off discussions in Council. He added

that the EU should create a plan for a

post-Brexit EU and the process, which

has already started in Bratislava about a

new idea for Europe, should continue in

Malta. This, he said, is essential to have

a European Union which is stronger and

closer to the people.

On his part, Minister Carmelo Abela said it

is important to address both the internal

and external aspects of migration. He

referred to the Valletta action plan that was

agreed upon in last November’s Valletta

Summit on Migration, and noted that

Malta will be endeavouring to monitor its

implementation through a Senior Officials’



MBR Publications Limited are pleased

to announce that during MALTA’S BEST

in BUSINESS AWARDS 2016 being held

at Castello Dei Baroni, Wardija on Friday

25th November, NILARA Fashion will be

performing two high powered fashion

shows of 10 minutes each profiling

their latest Collection, designed by

Nilay Camilleri. The sow will include

professional make-up artists, hair and

atelier and this will not be the usual

set-up of a boring catwalk, but a real

interactive show, for what NILARA are

actually famous. The first show will be a

mix of NILARA famous paint it black-and

insomnia dresses which Nilay will mix out

of the best designs, with virtuous music.

The second one will be NILARA long sleeve

designs, which weren’t shown anywhere

yet, and we will go in the elegant style.

NILARA shall also be featuring some of

the latest Atelier fashion paraded by

fabulous models brought in exclusively

for the evening gala awards.

For more information please contact

Margaret Brincat on 9940 6743 / Email: margaret@mbrevents.com

Photo- DOI-Reuben Piscopo

Meeting which will be held in Malta in

February of next year to take stock of the

state of play, and map the way forward.

Minister Abela referred to the important

dossiers that will be on the table during

Malta’s Presidency, including the proposals

revising the Common European Asylum

System, proposals relating to border

management, and measures taken to

safeguard internal security and combat

terrorism. He concluded by thanking the

European Commission for its continued

support and looked forward to further

cooperation during the Presidency. MBR

Source: Minister for Justice, Culture and Local






Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Economy Focus: Gozo


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION

Sustaining economic growth in Gozo

By Anton Refalo, Minister for Gozo

As our government presents its fourth

consecutive budget, we would do well to

look at our achievements in recent months

and start thinking of how to sustain what

is good and how to improve matters that

could have been done better.

During the last days of 2015, the National

Statistics Office published its figures for

regional gross domestic product (GDP)

covering the 2011-2014 period. The

picture emerging from these statistics is

truly encouraging. Whilst during 2014 GDP

increased by 5.8 per cent in Malta, the

growth in Gozo reached 8.1 per cent. The

Gross Value Added in Malta increased by

4.9 per cent, whilst that of Gozo increased

by 7.3 per cent. Employment in Gozo

was also up, increasing by 4.8 per cent

compared with the 3.9 per cent increase

registered in Malta.

These are the first steps towards achieving

full convergence with Malta. It is also a

confirmation that Gozo is contributing

positively to the national growth rates,

something that was unthinkable only a few

years ago.

When a person is inundated with positive

news, it is expected that he or she becomes

less responsive to good news. The economic

success achieved during the last two years

has created a sense of security and at times

people take it for granted. Just to put these

figures into their context, growth in Gozo

between 2000 and 2005 averaged 0.4

per cent, while between 2009 and 2012

it managed an average of 3.9 per cent. In

employment, the same dynamics were

present: the number of people gainfully

employed increased by an average of 2.2

per cent between the first five years of the

new millennium and by one per cent during

the last legislature.

Minister, Anton Refalo

As I had the opportunity to state, these

achievements do not occur by pure

coincidence. Rather, they are the result

of a clear strategy built on the genuine

input of all the stakeholders and numerous

individuals that were willing to contribute

towards the growth and development of


The government is a key player in creating

the necessary environment that is

conducive to growth. However, ultimately

it is the private sector which invests its

resources and skills in new ventures and

creates employment and wealth. The

central role of the private sector increases

our confidence that economic growth will

not be a one trick pony but instead will be

sustained in the future.

It is exactly for this reason that we are

confident that the success achieved during

the last two-and-a-half years is not an

accident. They are, instead, the first results

of a new norm. This can only happen if

economic growth is backed up by strong


The NSO figures shed further light, albeit

indirectly, on this important issue. If one

looks at the details provided, one notes that

the growth in Gross Value Added (GVA) was

very much a broad-based development,

with all sectors, (except financial/insurance

and real estate) registering very positive

growth. Yet even for these two sectors

where GVA declined, employment

increased, suggesting that these sectors

will see an improvement in the months to


Another indicator of sustainability is the

degree of volatility - how much growth

oscillates from one period to another. Having

a sector registering a good performance in

one year and then declining in the next is

no good. Good fundamentals point towards

consecutive periods of expansion.

In fact, discounting for agriculture which

is impacted by seasonal and one-off

events, the overwhelming majority of

sectors registered both consecutive and

The newly restored Cittadella

accelerating growth. Manufacturing in

Gozo, which suffered a massive contraction

in importance during the last two decades,

seems to have succeeded in turning the

corner, registering an increase in GVA of

4.2 per cent. This augurs very well for

the future, especially now that a leading

manufacturing firm in IT and related

services has started operations in Gozo.

The changes we are seeing in Gozo are part

of a long-term process. During the past two

decades, our economic reality has changed

but at times we failed to take note and

preferred to persist in trying the same old

thing. This Administration is not afraid to

explore new things and go into new growth

sectors. The decision to back RS2 to start

its operation in Gozo is one of them. The

Barts school and the new hospital in Gozo

is another example.

Gozo will become an eco-island by 2020,

supported by a keen and committed

sustainable community. We want to see

quality of life in Gozo improving further

through education, economic development

and social progress. Gozo will strive to

reduce its carbon and water footprints. We

want to protect the Gozitan lifestyle, the

island’s environment, resources, culture

and identity, and see that all these play a

significant part in attracting more visitors

and investors to the Island.

These results and events should please a

lot of people and show that Gozo is looking

at new growth paths, giving the island a

breath of fresh air and investment. A new

year brings innovative resolutions, although

uncertainties are also a part of life. We are

confident that what we have achieved so

far is built on strong foundations and we will

do everything in our power to ensure that

its success is strengthened in the coming

years. We know that we still have a lot of

work to do but I am sure that, together, we

can see a better Gozo in the coming years - a

Gozo that will make us all proud. MBR

MBR Publications teams up with

Puttinu Cares in fundraising Activity during

Malta’s Best in Business Awards 2016

Dr Andrew Decelis thanked MBR

Publications Limited for their undivided

support, saying, “We would like to thank

you wholeheartedly for your noble gesture

which your company has embarked on to

assist former and current cancer patients,

their families, and because this event is

extremely prestigious and exhausting, we

look towards local businesses to help out in

donations for our patients.”

Martin Vella, Managing Director of MBR

Publications Limited, addressing the

media during a Press Conference held

at The Palace Hotel, Sliema, said, “We

expect to have over 500 participants this

year, nominee companies representing

the pre-eminent models of our business

community. Cancer touches so many

people in our community and providing

Puttinu Cares a platform out of something

we have successfully created and

expanded throughout the past years is a

great way, even though it is not enough, to

help fight this terrible disease, especially

for families who need to go abroad to

pursue any kind of further treatment. I

appeal to everyone to seriously consider

this request and let your family, friends,

neighbours, your customers, and your

community know that you are joining

them in the fight.”

“Disruption is changing the rules of the

game in the philanthropic space. Gifts are

being made at unprecedented levels to

resolve complex social issues, and as the size

of the gifts grow, so do the accountabilities

key funders are placing on fundraisers.

Foreign companies have come along and

inextricably not enough screening is being

done on professional fund-raising level,

that this gives rise to serious suspicions

about the end goal. Our business partners,

colleagues and customers are invited to be

part of our community of leading funders

and fundraisers exploring new strategies for

social innovation and community impact

by giving genuinely, giving suitably, giving

correctly. Our company has been always

involved in philanthropic activities and we

have supported foundations involved in such

activities, so we all should contribute to this

noble cause,” concluded Mr Vella. MBR

Puttinu Cares Children’s Cancer Support Group

Postal Address: Rainbow Ward Paediatric

Adolescent Ward, Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology

Centre level -1, Msida

VO Number: VO/0087

Contact No: +356 7980 9778

Email: info@puttinucares.org

Martin Vella, Managing Director of MBR Publications Ltd.

MBR Publications Limited are at the forefront of

leading business publications and corporate event

organisation which has an appeal to a diverse

business audience and corporate executives on

a nationwide basis. MBR Publications Limited is

a micro business aimed at the big time. In order

to reach its lofty goals, MBR Publications Limited

focuses on the mission behind the vision and has

rapidly become Malta’s premier business and

award gala event organisers and publishers of

Malta’s leading business publication the Malta

Business Review.

56 57


Malta Business Review | SPECIAL EDITION


Malta SME Week

For the eighth consecutive year, the

Ministry for the Economy, Investment

and Small Business is organising the Malta

SME Week, with the aim to provide insight

on what is offered to support start-ups and

micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

The activities organised during the SME Week

focus on entrepreneurship with one specific

focus being female entrepreneurship. It is for

this reason that, the Ministry together with

the Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs,

the National Council of Women and the

Maltese Association of Women in Business

organised a half-day conference entitled

‘Women Mean Business’.

The conference was informative, motivational

and allowed for the sharing of best practices

amongst those present. The conference was

moderated by Angele Giuliano from the

Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs, and

kicked-off with a motivational speech by

Debbie Tully. A panel discussion followed.

The panel was composed of various

successful female entrepreneurs; Claire

Cassar, Stephanie Borg, Roselyn Borg,

Claudine Cassar and Mariella Camilleri. These

shared their experience and provided their

insights and advice to the audience. Four

parallel workshops were also carried out,

each focusing on important aspects of either

starting or scaling-up one’s business;

• Access to Finance

• What’s in it for me? (Tips for aspiring


• Marketing and Innovation

• Internationalisation

Each workshop was moderated by

seasoned individuals and there were also

interventions by various organisations and

entities operating in the sector tackled in the

workshop such as ZAAR: the crowd-funding

platform, Enterprise Europe Network, Trade

Malta and Bank of Valletta.

Photo: MEIB

The participants also had the opportunity

to ask questions to relevant entities or

organisations at the end of the conference.

A networking lunch was held at the end

so as to offer an informal atmosphere for

attendees to mingle with the entrepreneurs

present in an attempt to exchange ideas

and advice with the aim of promoting

entrepreneurship in Malta. MBR



Finance Minister in Washington for IMF/WB meetings


Minister for Finance, Prof Edward

Scicluna is holding talks with senior

officials of leading international financial

institutions on the margin of the 2016

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual

Meetings in Washington D.C., USA

between 7th and 9th October 2016.

Minister Scicluna is discussing Malta’s

economic, fiscal and financial outlook,

as well as its aims and aspirations for

its Presidency of the EU Council in the

first half of 2017 to senior officials of a

number of leading international banks,

as well as top officials from leading rating

agencies Moody’s, Standards and Poor’s,

FitchRating and DBRS Sovereign.

Prof Scicluna also had high-level meetings

with World Bank Executive Director Mr

Patrizio Pagano, Country Director for the

Maghreb Ms Marie Françoise Nelly, IMF

Executive Director Mr Carlo Cottarelli,

Head of Article IV Mission to Malta Mr Nir

Klein and Deputy Director Fiscal Affairs

Department Mr Christopher Towe.

These annual meetings serve as a platform

where finance and development ministers,

central bank governors, private sector

executives and academics discuss issues

of global concern, including the world

economic outlook, poverty eradication

and economic development.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by Central

Bank of Malta Governor Dr Mario Vella and

Deputy Governor Alfred Mifsud. MBR

Photo & credit: MFIN/DOI

Completion of the Single Market is one of the Maltese Presidency priorities

The benefits of the Single Market through

the development of the Digital Market

will not just boost Europe’s home-gown

technology business to compete with

giant firms but it will also bring benefits

and a higher degree of efficiency to the

European citizens.

Minister for European Affairs and

Implementation of the Electoral

Manifesto Louis Grech said that the

Single Market is the major economic

unifying factor within the European

Union, especially at this delicate juncture

of the European integration process.

The well functioning of the Single Market

will help to restore citizens’ trust in the

European project. Both Minister Grech

and the Vice-President of the Commission

Mr. Andrus Ansip agreed that the Single

Market is the major engine which

reinvigorates the European project and

economy to create economic growth.

Having agreed on the Single Market’s

power, it was also noted that the

completion process of the European

internal market especially that of the

Digital Market is not moving at the

necessary dynamic pace. The properly

developed Single Market would

bring about the necessary impetus

making the European economy more

competitive. Unfortunately, following

the recent financial and economic

downturn, the Single Market suffered

from fatigue and mostly, the European

citizens did not perceive the Single

Market as working in their benefit.

Therefore, the completion of the Single

Market and the focus on the Digital

Market will remain one of the priorities

of the Maltese Presidency.

Europe should deliver a Single

Market that really works for the

European citizens.

Photo: DOI - Kevin Abela

Minister Louis Grech, accompanied by

Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency

2017 and EU Funds Ian Borg, held discussions

with the Commissioner for the Digital Market

and former Prime Minister of Estonia, Andrus

Ansip. Other issues which were addressed

include the Multiannual Financial Framework,

migration, Brexit, security, maritime policy and

the Mediterranean policy dimension. MBR

Credit: Ministry for European Affairs and the

Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto/DOI


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