MBR SEPTEMBER ALL LR

bdarmanin

COVER STORY

INNOVATING FOR THE FUTURE

Interview with Roderick Psaila,

Chief Executive Officer with

AgriBank p.6

IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

EMPOWERING ORGANISATIONS

TO IMPROVE THEIR CUSTOMER

ENGAGEMENT

Philip Micallef, member of the company

board of directors, iMovo Ltd. discusses

his new role p.12

SPECIAL REPORT

DRONES HELP MALTESE

FARMERS IDENTIFY WATER

SHORTAGES

How using aerial photography and

videography is helping agricultural

needs p.16

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

HONESTY, RESPECT & LOYALTY

MBR interviews George Mifsud,

Managing Director of Deco

Manufacturing Limited p.18

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 35 | 2017


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your perfect atmosphere

Malta Business Review

COVER STORY

6 INNOVATING FOR THE FUTURE

Roderick Psaila, Chief Executive Officer with Agri Bank

tell us why it is time to diversify into different business

streams, not only agriculture– but also corporate services

IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

12 EMPOWERING ORGANISATIONS TO IMPROVE

THEIR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

Philip Micallef, member of the company board of

directors, iMovo Ltd. discusses his new role

SPECIAL REPORT

16 DRONES HELP MALTESE FARMERS IDENTIFY

WATER SHORTAGES

How using aerial photography and videography is helping

agricultural needs

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

18 HONESTY, RESPECT & LOYALTY

MBR interviews George Mifsud, Managing Director of

Deco Manufacturing Limited

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

20 EXPRESS TRAILERS BUILDS FIRST OF ITS KIND

SIDE LOADER IN THE WORLD

We learn more about Express Trailers’ recent delivery of its

latest re-conditioned side-loader

6

12 18

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

CONTENTS

Issue 35

FEATURES

24 BLOCKCHAINS KEEP US TOGETHER

How encrypted databases and cryptocurrencies could

transform the way contracts are managed and payments

are sent within the construction industry

34 2017 SKILL GAMES

James Scicluna, Partner and Co-Founder at WH Partners,

writes about ‘Skills games – Malta’s cutting edge approach

to regulation

36 MALTA’S FIRST BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATION

LAUNCHED

We find out more about David Schranz and businessman

Anthony Mamo who after 20 months of research and

development, launched the first locally built Distributed

Ledger Application

40 MARTIN LANNI, CEO OF QUANTUM AVIATION,

ON WHY DRONES ARE A RISKY BUSINESS

Discover more about drones with Martin Lanni, CEO of

Quantum Aviation Ltd, a British company providing

airspace security and maritime aviation services

46 POLITICO PLAYBOOK PLUS

We pick our monthly guide’s most absorbing stories of

what’s happening in Brussels and the EU

REPORTS & AWARDS

34 36

48 IN THE DRIVING SEAT: INSIDE THE TREND

FOR DESIGN-IT-YOURSELF LUXURY CARS

The design-it-yourself approach is spreading through

the motoring world, says Simon de Burton...

50 FONDAZZJONI PATRIMONJU MALTI

COLLABORATES IN A MAJOR EXHIBITION

ON PICASSO AND MIRÓ

We bring you the latest art exhibition organised by

Fundacion MAPFRE

52 MEPS PRESENT THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS'

PRIZE 2017 TO THE GĦAQDA KAŻINI

TAL-BANDA

MBR covers European Citizens' Prize 2017

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

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

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Quentin Ariès; Antoine Bonello; Anthony Brown;

Simon de Burton; George Carol; Harry Cooper;

Jean Paul Demajo; Martin Lanni; Terence

Mirabelli; James Scicluna

SPECIAL THANKS

Demajo Dental; DOI; European Parliament

Information Office in Malta; European Research

Council; OPR; PN Media; POLITICO SPRL; Taylor

& Francis Group; The Parliamentary Secretariat

For Financial Services, Digital Economy And

Innovation; The InterNations Press Team,

InterNations GmbH

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“I always did something that I was a little not

ready to do. I think that, that is how you grow.

When there’s a moment of ‘Wow, I’m not so

sure that I can do this, and you push through

those moments, it’s then that you have a

breakthrough. Sometimes that’s a sign that

something really great is about to happen.

You’re about to grow and learn a lot more

about yourself.”

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo

Disclaimer

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.

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

EDITORIAL

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review

Somewhat, I seem to have retreated a bit in my shell in the past weeks

and months. I guess I was on a self-discovery mission. Somehow, I

was just plain frustrated about how things were going – starting with

Trump, the recent Maltese elections, the North Korean nuclear crisis to

dissatisfaction about the progress within EU structures.

The more I study and read, the more I come to the conclusion (again)

that economic theory helps getting our economy right just as much as

snake oil can cure a broken leg. I am beginning to think that the biggest

fallacy is to try to put a rationale into economic behaviour. We have

long come to the conclusion that the "homo economicus" does not

exist and never did exist.

I believe John Maynard Keynes was right when he wrote: "The ideas of economists and political philosophers,

both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood.

Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any

intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist." I view Keynes more of a philosopher

and politician than an economist.

At least I seem to have recovered from the low and I am finding some direction again. Looks like it just needed

time for my recent diagnosis and successful surgery to rediscover a better well-being. Doing research from

my desk in the virtual media is not inspiring enough. I need to be more in contact with the real world. For

that reason, I have decided to make best of my free time. I need to have a retreat and regenerate, time to

think and re-discover my amazing journey of self-discovery! Only problem is that I cannot beat the retreat!

Regrettably (and apparently), frustration and vexation have become the order of the day, and nothing seems

to be moving in the right direction. As the unabated problem of illegal migration persists, we are witnessing

powerful monster hurricanes, experiencing blistering sweltering nauseating heat waves, and yes, Malta

never seems to bemuse and disconcert! It seems that people here, in their hurry to make it to work, rush off

or return back home, tend to forget their manners and their education behind. Drivers and motorists seem

to torch their way past by, oblivious of the world around them! The more you think and worry, the more

frustration grows and as much as the widespread chaos is becoming endemic. Indeed, the biggest fallacy is

to try to put a rationale behind anything and any behaviour.

Keynes was more of a philosopher than a politician, or an economist. However, the advent of the global

financial crisis of 2007–08 caused a resurgence in Keynesian thought. Keynesian economics provided the

theoretical underpinning for economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by President Barack

Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and other heads of governments. Keynes

said capitalism was a good economic system. In a capitalist system, people earn money from their work.

Businesses employ and pay people to work. Then people can spend their money on things they want. Other

people work and make things to buy. Sometimes the capitalist system has problems. People lose their work.

Businesses close. People cannot work and cannot spend money. Keynes said the government should step in

and help people who do not have work. This idea is called "demand-side policy". If people are working, the

economy is good. If people are not working, the economy is bad. And that is why, I suppose, the Maltese

economy is doing so well!

Some people, such as conservatives, libertarians, and people who believe in Austrian economics, do

not agree with Keynes' ideas. They say government work does not help capitalism. They say when the

government borrows money, it takes money away from businesses. They do not like Keynesian economics

because they say the economy can get better without government help.

The biggest winner in the German elections was the four-year-old Alternative for Germany, or AfD. It finished

third after a campaign that centered on shrill criticism of Merkel and her decision in 2015 to allow large

numbers of migrants into Germany, but also harnessed wider discontent with established politicians. Coleader

Alexander Gauland struck a harsher tone, vowing that "we will take our country back" and promising

to "chase" Merkel. Major Jewish groups expressed dismay at the AfD's showing, with the World Jewish

Congress calling the party "a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany's past."

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, the runner-up in France's presidential election tweeted "Bravo to our allies from

AfD for this historic score!". "It's a new symbol of the awakening of the peoples of Europe." God forbid a farright

party leading the opposition in Germany!

Yes, unfortunately, it is somehow frightening to watch economic developments; nobody seems to have

learned anything from the last financial crisis. The sharks, vultures and hyenas all seem to be ready in place

again.

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:

4 5

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Malta Business Review

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Ready for the Challenge

by George Carol

Roderick Psaila has passed his whole career in the banking sector. Academically qualified as a banker

and economist, Roderick started his working life at the Central Bank of Malta, where he spent eighteen

years - taking out a short period when he was engaged by the European Central Bank - before

taking the plunge into the industry locally in 2008. AgriBank is Roderick’s third bank he

started himself and he has occupied the position of CEO from day one.

MBR: Would you say it is time to diversify

into different business streams?

RP: Yes. The Board has for the last year been

actively discussing diversification of our

banking model and a decision was taken a

few months ago on how to move from being

a monoline bank to opening up and which

business streams the Bank would delve into

as from this year. So yes, the time is now.

MBR: Now when you talk about the strategy,

the overall strategy, up till now, as that the

bank has focused on interest income, now

you are moving to fee income. How is the

bank preparing for this change?

RP: AgriBank is now moving towards offering

corporate banking services, starting with

opening bank accounts for corporates and

servicing those accounts with the required

payments. Without doubt, it was a challenge

to adapt from being a lending bank to

offering other services. We invested in new

technology, systems, human resources and

knowledge. I reiterate though, when the

fundamentals are strong and when one has

a team of professionals who are willing to

step up to the plate, then looking back to the

last three months, we all agree that it was an

enjoyable experience.

MBR: Is AgriBank thinking about diversifying

into other jurisdictions and industry sectors,

aside from UK and agriculture?

RP: Indeed, we are targeting companies

registered in Malta and belonging to different

industries, even though the plan is to focus

mainly on a particular sector during the

last quarter of 2017, namely gaming. This

means that the Bank will be able to achieve

significant diversification in its model, both in

terms of interest income-to-fee income, from

servicing UK clients to accepting companies

locally, and also from Agriculture to a wider

spectrum of industries, hence strengthening

AgriBank’s banking model immediately.

MBR: How does AgriBank expect to

beat competition locally for this market

segment? What kind of service and support

will you be able to offer?

CFO – Paul Grech; CEO – Roderick Psaila

MBR: You have been AgriBank CEO for five

years or so. Of which, if you had to pick one,

achievement have you been most proud?

RP: You are right, five years at the end of

October as CEO and a year before that, in

which in tandem with the CFO of the Bank,

Paul Grech, we obtained the bank licence and

set AgriBank up from scratch. I am actually

proud of what we have achieved during these

five years, where we have built a bank which

is not just able to address today’s challenges

but can easily be scaled up without breaking

up the present structure.

Certainly, if I had to choose one achievement,

it will have to be the team of colleagues I have

managed to amass, a group which is relatively

young, knowledgeable, motivated and still

with the fire in the belly to achieve more.

MBR: How were these years and can you tell

us about the main challenges AgriBank faces

today and how your past in the regulatory

sector assisted with these tests?

RP: AgriBank has not been designed as the

typical brick and mortar retail bank, similar

to the conventional banks which us Maltese

are familiar with. In building this Bank, we

had to regularly break into new grounds and

our regulatory knowledge and interpretation

of the banking rules was fundamental. We

started by passporting the banking licence

issued by the MFSA to the UK, so we could

do business there. The Bank reaches out

to farmers in the UK through brokers and

finances their ongoing farming projects

including green energy initiatives, and

therefore a solution had to be found on

how to channel the funds to farmers and be

able to receive the servicing of the loans in

an efficiently manner. Another innovative

move was to gather deposits online from the

UK, using comparative websites and online

due diligence of UK depositors. Massively

successful.

AgriBank is now moving

towards offering corporate

banking services, starting with

opening bank accounts for

corporates and servicing those

accounts with the required

payments.

Building the loan portfolio though, in such

a niche market was not easy and despite a

number of setbacks along the way, the Board

had decided to persist in achieving our breakeven

point singularly through the Agriculture

lending model. And here we are.

The Team

RP: There are two answers to your question.

As statistics show, the local economy has been

growing at an impressive pace in the last years

and most of this growth has been fuelled by

the private sector. Foreign direct investment

has been flowing to Malta and hundreds of

new companies are being registered every

month. The Banking sector on the other hand

has struggled to keep up with this pace and

more often than not, companies are finding it

difficult or at least time-consuming to obtain

banking services. Thus, the first answer is

that there is space for new participants in the

market. The second answer is that we will not

compete on pricing but on agility and quality

of service delivered to clients. I do have the

utmost respect for my fellow bankers but we

believe that we can do better. My team has

been preparing to go live for the last three

months, particularly with the upgrading of

our banking system and the introduction of a

new internet banking platform, which is very

user friendly.

AgriBank is ready for the challenge.

MBR: What has contributed to the stability

in board and senior management?

RP: Perseverance and determination. Each

one of us is determined to make this bank a

success. Indeed, the Bank has a very strong

board of directors. All directors bring different

skills to the table. Joe Borg as Chairman is one

of the prominent legal minds on the island;

Victor Rizzo Giusti is a banker with expertise

in compliance and risk, and he also Chairs

the Credit Risk Committee of the Bank; Frank

Sekula worked for banks like Jefferies and

Barclays Capital during his career; Stephen

Muscat is a seasoned accountant and Chairs

the Audit Committee of the Bank; and

Mario Vella has held top positions at HSBC,

particularly in credit. Paul Grech as CFO

and myself are the two Executive Directors

who also sit on the Board. Most of us have

been here from the outset and this provides

continuity and the appropriate support to the

whole team.

the Bank will be able to achieve

significant diversification in

its model, both in terms of

interest income-to-fee income,

from servicing UK clients to

accepting companies locally,

and also from Agriculture

MBR: How important is corporate

governance for the Bank?

RP: It is key to our operations at AgriBank. In

fact, the Board meets at least eight times in a

year, which is unusual for small banks like ours

and every board meeting is minuted in detail.

Same goes for the Credit Risk Committee and

the Audit Committee, and these minutes are

kept up to date and verified by all members.

It is important to note that the majority of the

board members of the Bank are independent.

MBR: Is there any specific industry you are

going to target more than others at the

outset?

RP: As mentioned above, the Bank will

address the shortage of banking services

being offered to gaming companies by the

local banking sector. As a principle, we prefer

to transact with regulated entities and the

excellent job carried out by the Malta Gaming

Authority in regulating and supervising

gaming companies gives the Bank comfort.

Hence going forward, gaming companies

registered in Malta have the opportunity

to avail themselves of professional banking

services locally. Naturally, extensive due

diligence will be performed on each applicant

and the risk profile of the prospective client

will have to be within the parameters of

risk appetite established by the Board. The

difference that we plan to make is that the

onboarding process will be quick and efficient.

MBR: Is there any intention to start even

more business streams, going forward?

RP: There certainly is and the Bank is

already making preparations to embark on

new challenges. However, in line with our

philosophy, we shall introduce additional

business streams only once we have

established ourselves in what the Bank is doing

at present. The Bank will succeed but shall not

take unnecessary risks along the way. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

6 7

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Malta Business Review

NOTICE UNDER ART. 21 OF THE PRESS ACT

DataByte Workforce

The Cloud HR suite

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Malta Business Review

Reference is made to the statement of Mr

Jason Attard of Effective Marketing Ltd

published in The Malta Independent on

Sunday 3rd September 2017 regarding the

dismissal of Ms Margaret Brincat following a

report regarding the decision of the Industrial

Tribunal carried on TMIS on Sunday, 13

August 2017; and letter sent to the Editor,

with unfounded allegations regarding Messrs

Margaret Brincat, Martin Vella, and their

company, intended to cause significant harm

to their good name and reputation. This is a

right of reply under Art. 21 of the Press Act.

1. During proceedings before the Industrial

Tribunal instituted by Margaret Brincat,

the defendant, Jason Attard, admitted

to having hacked Miss Brincat’s gmail

account, and proof of this was also

submitted during proceedings, including

documents and a pen-drive showing

that Jason Attard also hacked into the

personal bank account of Margaret

Brincat. Not only is this illegal, but as

recently decided by the Grand Chamber

of the European Court of Human Rights

in the case ‘Barbulespu v Romania’

(decided on the 5th September

2017), the Court decided that this was

an infringement of the employee’s

fundamental human rights.

2. During the Tribunal proceedings, Mr

Attard gave a number of conflicting

reasons why he dismissed Ms Brincat,

and each of these reasons was dismissed

by the Tribunal; in fact, the decision of

the Industrial Tribunal decided that the

Ms Brincat’s dismissal was “unfair and

unjust” and awarded her over €10,000

as compensatory damages.

3. Messrs Brincat and Vella wish to declare

that it is not true that they set up their

Company ‘soon after’ the dispute, since

their Company was established in 2014,

two years after Ms Brincat’s dismissal!

For the record, Messrs Brincat and Vella

confirm the company was set up as a

direct result of Network Publication’s

insolvency and liquidation, and for no

other reason whatsoever.

4. There can be no question as to

Mr Attard’s foregoing statements’

defamatory nature. Each such statement

purports to describe facts that, if

accepted by a reader as true, injure Ms

Brincat and Mr Vella’s reputation so “as

to lower them in the estimation of the

community or to deter third persons

from associating or dealing with them.”

This Right of Reply is being made and

published without prejudice and thus Messrs

Brincat and Vella reserve their rights according

to Law to proceed with libel proceedings.

Dr Joe Zammit Maempel

Obo Messrs Margaret Brincat & Martin Vella

(MBR Publications Ltd) MBR

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Malta Business Review

LOCAL POLITICS

Malta Business Review

A NEW WAY BRINGING CHANGE AND UNITY

Adrian Delia is elected as new leader of

the Nationalist Party

that if Joseph Muscat has members on board

which cannot or do not criticize, and are there

only to warm benches, the PN cannot and

does not accept this. He said the government

must be truly constructive and positive about

the participation of the Opposition.

Joseph Muscat had promised that in this

legislature it will increase public holidays.

Adrian Delia said that this issue has an

economic impact. Therefore, said the leader

of the Nationalist Party, each review must

be evaluated according to whether it is

sustainable and the government has to say

who, ultimately, will end up paying for such a

measure.

Social policy with a conscience

The Head of the Nationalist Party said that

today we have a duty more than ever to put

the family again at the center of politics. He

said, the Nationalist Party will protect not only

the PN values ​but the values ​of the Maltese.

Adrian Delia said that among the challenges

confronting our country today is the growing

problem of poverty and he explained

that the Nationalist Party is committed to

offering concrete solutions to overcome

this challenge. The increase in crime is also

plaguing the country, continued the Head

of the Nationalist Purse, and this is why

increasing number of people from foreign

countries are amassed in ghettos, instead

being integrated into society.

BIB2017

The new leader of the Nationalist Party Adrian Delia and the outgoing leader Simon Busuttil

Adrian Delia was elected as the new head

of the Nationalist Party after obtaining

7,734 votes during the General Convention

elections, which means 52.7% of the valid

votes cast. The other candidate, Chris Said

scored 6,932 votes, which means 47.3% of

the valid votes.

In this election, there were 15,501 tesserati

(PN members) who had voting document

disposal and thus could vote. Of these, 14,742

tesserat went to vote, which means 95.1% of

those eligible.

Upon announcing the official results, Simon

Busuttil, outgoing Leader of the Nationalist

Party for the last four and a half years,

congratulated Adrian Delia and wished him

well on this outcome. In his first comments to

the media, Adrian Delia said that by today, the

PN will be speaking with one strong voice.

“The change means that this should unite us

and we shall use such policy to get people

together to build an innovative and fully

inclusive political program,” said the new

head of the Nationalist Party Adrian Delia in

an interview with journalist and presenter

Peppi Azzopardi at the opening of the 2017

Independence festivities at Floriana.

Adrian Delia said that the PN is not like

the Labor Party which decides everything,

including management and inclusion of party

apparatchiks in sensitive positions, but there

are democratic processes leading to new

decisions and ideas.

“In the coming days”, said Adrian Delia, “we

will say exactly how we intend to plan and

also gain seat in Parliament, and how we can

lead the opposition”. He added that the Labor

Party will not dictate the Opposition's agenda

and while the Government should draw up

the program to be discussed in Parliament,

the PN plan will only be decided by the PN.

Opposition to protect the integrity

Adrian Delia said that the PN will continue to

build on a policy based on integrity, inclusion

and diversity. He added that from day one,

the Nationalist Party will continue to defend

Malta against corruption in the Maltese

Courts. Furthermore, to bring back normality

in our country, Adrian Delia said that the PN

will also look forward to build a strong political

vision for the coming years.

The Head of the Nationalist Party said that

the fight for justice not only will not stop,

but will continue and brought to bear. He

said that today, we have a situation where

institutions are abdicating the responsibility

conferred upon them by the Constitution.

The Government of Muscat is using the seat

of power as an opportunity for control and

profit, instead to serve and promotes the

interests of the Maltese people.

Asked about the opposition involvement in

government Committees, Adrian Delia said

Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia said he believes in the value

of life from conception to its natural end.

On prostitution he said he disagrees with

amendments to the law, which allowed the

commercialization of prostitution. The new

Leader of the Nationalist Party said that the

government will not go on a roll from the

Opposition. The Nationalist Party will hold

firm against those laws that harm society.

Asked for his position on the legalization of

recreational marijuana, Adrian Delia said that,

contrary to what Chris Fearne stated, taking

drugs is not just a personal choice, since it has

various consequences on everyone related

with users. He said that if the war against

drugs is not working, we do not give up and

simply legalise, but we seek more corrective

and effective methods. MBR

Credit: PN Media/Communications Centre

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Margaret Brincat +356 21497814

margaret@mbrpublications.net

MALTA’S BEST IN BUSINESS AWARDS 2017

Celebrating the Spirit of Best Businesses

FRIDAY 17TH NOVEMBER, 2017

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MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

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Malta Business Review

IN DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

IN DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

Malta Business Review

EMPOWERING ORGANISATIONS

to improve their Customer Engagement

Philip Micallef, member of the company board of directors, iMovo Ltd.,

the acknowledged leader in Customer Experience Management (CEM) and

Business Intelligence (BI), tells us that one thing he learnt in his thirty years

of working in so many different countries is that culture is important. As

we discuss his recent appointment, Philip emphasizes the importance of

respecting the culture of the customer instead of managing with a colonial

mentality, which is doomed to fail in today’s age. Philip reveals that iMovo,

have employees who hail from different countries like Malta, Italy, Greece

and others and this helps make iMovo very sensitive to other cultures.

MBR: Why did you join the iMovo board?

PM: Pierre Mallia, the Managing Director of

iMovo and myself go back many years, when

we were both working for the Strategy and

Planning Group at Management Systems

Unit, introducing Information Systems and

attempting to re-engineer the way the public

sector worked. Since then we both went our

separate ways but I followed Pierre and kept

in touch even though I had gone abroad for

a number of years. When Pierre asked me

earlier this year if I would be interested in

joining the iMovo Board as a non-executive

director I immediately accepted. I joined

principally for two reasons: Firstly, the

nature of work of iMovo which specialises in

Business Intelligence solutions and Customer

Relationship Management, two areas which

I realised are key to any organisation in my

career with France Telecom, Melita, MCA,

By Martin Vella

Regulatory Authority of Bermuda, and Air

Malta. Secondly, I wanted to practice what I

always preached that board members should

provide the strategic vision to an organisation,

support management and staff and not

meddle in operational matters.

MBR: You had an impression of iMovo when

you joined. Was it accurate?

PM: I always saw that iMovo was working

in the areas of Business Intelligence and

Customer Relationship Management, two

areas so important and key to the success of

any organisation. iMovo are associated with,

among others, two leading solution providers

in these areas: Zendesk and Salesforce and

this reinforced my impression of a forward

looking company providing holistic solutions

for the businesses of tomorrow. I came across

Zendesk when I was Regulator in Bermuda of

Telecommunications and had contacts with

the US Federal Communications Commission

(FCC) in Washington which uses Zendesk

to deal with 2000 complaints per day and

has transformed the FCC into an efficient

customer facing regulator at an 85 per cent

savings.

MBR: How would you define the iMovo

brand?

PM: The iMovo brand is a forward looking,

dynamic one providing tomorrow's solutions

for today's organisations and having the

customer as the raison d'etre for all its work.

iMovo builds software for better customer

relationships and empowers organisations

to improve their customer engagement and

better understand their customers. The brand

is that of a solution provider simplifying the

tough work of customer service.

MBR: Would you discuss the heritage of the

property and the vision around its recent

transformation?

PM: iMovo started off with a couple of success

stories in the local market such as providing

eCabs with customer service software that

is easy to use and gave the company the

flexibility to move quickly, focus on innovation

and scale with their growth. With success

comes growth which needs to be properly

managed and nurtured. iMovo then ventured

abroad successfully in UK and Greece and

is in the phase of further growth especially

internationally. Any company is as good as its

employees and Pierre has managed to build

a team of strong, professional individuals all

eager to learn and keep improving the way

things are done and very customer focused.

The vision is to keep growing especially

internationally, providing excellent solutions

to our customers and investing heavily in our

staff and having staff who feel proud to be

working for iMovo.

MBR: How do you intend to contribute to

this trajectory/vision?

PM: I sincerely hope to put my experience

gained over the years both in Malta and

abroad to good use in the iMovo Board. I

have a strong background in customer service

internationally having been responsible for

France Telecom/Equant Business Services in

consolidating 200 help desks round the globe

into five global centres: London, Atlanta, Rio

de Janeiro, Cairo and Sydney. There I learnt

the complexities of providing excellent

customer service. I have worked in Italy,

Switzerland, Spain and France and there can

provide some input on the local culture, way

of doing business and call on my contacts in

these countries in the various sectors I was

involved with. Some of these contacts have

their own technology companies and areas

of collaboration could be explored in due

course. Another area I can contribute is in

mentoring. I am in fact doing some mentoring

for an American Company which specialises

in mentoring and am mentoring a US C+

executive working in Europe. This is an area

I enjoy and gives me great satisfaction seeing

young professionals take on important roles.

By nature, I am always challenging the status

quo and seeing how things can be improved

and done in a better way and I shall certainly

do this at board level.

MBR: What is your strategy for growth?

PM: iMovo has a solid base on which it has

to continue exploiting its accomplishments

and expand its client base both locally and

especially internationally. One of the board's

next main tasks is to define an international

strategy. Growth has to be properly managed

both from an organizational perspective

and from a human resources one. As they

say "Growth can make or break you", and

at iMovo we are determined to manage our

growth to expand the company and ensure

that it keeps increasing its profitability year

after year. Staff are vital for the success of any

organisation and this growth must be coupled

with continual training and development of

our staff both in hard and soft skills.

Ensuring that your present customer

requirements are satisfied is another

important facet of growth as a satisfied

customer could lead to providing solutions

to its suppliers or distributors or its overseas

offices etc.

MBR: What in your view are the key

ingredients of success for a new economy

business?

PM: The key ingredients of success for a new

economy business in my humble opinion are:

• Organisational leadership and culture.

Organisations must reconfigure their

structure to better deal with the much

demanding electronic environment and

business models. Certain structures that

worked yesterday will not work in the fast

changing digital economy where agility is

a prerequisite for success. Organisations

that are more able to change course

of action in the shortest possible time

will outperform those that spend most

of their times in boardrooms seeking

approvals.

"

Growth has to be

properly managed both

from an organizational

perspective and from a

human resources one

• Commitment. Commitment must

always start at board level and permeate

to all other levels of the organisation.

The digital economy requires processes

to be transformed to meet the needs

of the digital environment. Without the

proper commitment, organisations run

the risk of simply translating old business

models into the digital era. This is surely

a recipe for disaster.

• Customer expectations and

experience. Today's customers are

more empowered, demanding and

knowledgeable and can easily change

suppliers, complain and can make

any discontent go viral with the flash

of a second. Meeting expectations of

these digitally empowered customers

is the biggest challenge for modern day

marketers.

• Product Enhancements. The digital

world has brought opportunities

to extend and restructure industry

boundaries creating new industries

in the process. Related products

and services can be integrated into

sophisticated industry solutions. The

digital nature of the digital economy has

also disrupted conventional distribution

channels and intermediaries.

• Collaborative Innovations. Doing

everything alone has become a burden

and collaborative innovations become

key to success. Innovation enables

organisations to better respond to the

highly competitive global business

environment. Collaboration is crucial

for this innovation to take place and

this could be within the organisation,

outside with other partners, customers,

competitors, research institutions and

communities.

MBR: You place a major emphasis on service

standards. Would you discuss iMovo’s

focus on employee training and providing

personalized service?

PM: As mentioned previously no company

can be successful without the proper staff

who are professional, motivated and have

the right attitude. iMovo works at the leading

edge of technology and it is vital that its

staff keep abreast with developments in

technology. iMovo invests in training of staff

and this training is not only on technology or

what we call the hard skills but also in soft skill

training such as customer service, team work,

right attitude, and other behavioral aspects.

Each customer at iMovo is a special customer

with his/her own needs and requirements

and iMovo provides this personalised service

during the sales phase, during the project

and implementation phase and then in the

maintenance phase.

MBR: As you look to the future, are there

key markets that you are focused on to grow

the iMovo brand?

PM: We are in the process of finalising an

international strategy and Italy could be one of

our next target markets. As regards sectors we

are particularly strong in transport, iGaming,

local Government and retail in UK so we need

to focus on these sectors in new territories.

Having said that we are always on the lookout

for any sector which has a strong customer

interaction as our "forte" is to provide a cloud

easy to-use platform that simplifies the tough

demanding work of customer service. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

EDITOR’S

Note

"

Prior to his appointment at

iMovo, Mr. Micallef was

most recently the Chief

Executive Officer of Air

Malta. He has also held the

position of CEO of other

major organisations such

as Malta Enterprise and

Melita Plc. He previously

was the Chairman of the Malta Communications

Authority and Chief Executive Officer of the

Regulatory Authority in Bermuda. He has also

held strategic roles with organisations like

Management Systems Unit, Olivetti in Italy,

Switzerland and Spain as well as France Telecom

Equant.

12 13

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Malta Business Review

MOBILE INTERNET

Malta Business Review

VODAFONE

brings

4G+

to Malta

Vodafone Malta is the first operator to bring

superfast 4G+ mobile internet to Malta.

The new technology allows for the

downloading of data at unprecedented

speeds, 60 per cent faster than 4G, at up to

210 Mbps.

After having first successfully rolled out the

innovative 4G+ network in Gozo in June,

Vodafone has now fulfilled its pledge to bring

the technology to Malta.

4G+ was activated on the 15th of September

in the north of the island, with the new

network being rolled out to other localities

over the subsequent weeks.

“Social networking, accessing apps, cloud

storage, loading photos and video streaming

are all activities that we’ve grown accustomed

to doing on the move,” Head of Technology

Sheila Kavanagh said.

“The demand for data has exploded due

to content-rich platforms such as Facebook

and Snapchat, which revolve around the use

of high definition video clips. The new 4G+

technology will offer a faster, smoother and

higher quality viewing experience devoid

of buffering, connecting our customers

instantly.”

Head of Enterprise Kenneth Spiteri said that

4G+ will open up a new world of mobilisation

for business clients.

“4G+ will vastly improve video calls and cloudbased

apps, whilst enabling our business

clients to launch new services on the move for

their own customer base in various industries

such as media, transport, distribution,

medical, safety, security and professional

services, to name but a few.

“Vodafone keeps leading innovation in

mobile technology in Malta, with the new

4G+ technology being at least 1.5 times faster

than the technology operated by any of its

competitors.”

4G+ speeds will automatically be available to

customers with compatible phones. MBR

For more information, visit www.vodafone.com.mt/

network

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14 www.maltabusinessreview.net 15

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Malta Business Review

AGRI-DRONES

ERC STORY

Malta Business Review

Drones help Maltese farmers

identify water shortages By Terence Mirabelli

Global warming is a reality, and it is not just

higher temperatures but also less rain that is

affecting local farmers, olive and vine growers.

Only recently, Malta’s main wine growers

were warning of the dire circumstances they

face because of the lack of rain and the longer

heatwaves.

Rain in the Maltese islands falls mainly during

winter and with a few harsh storms in late

summer, and is inconsistent.

The overall situation is not expected to

improve; farmers and agriculturalists must

adapt and make use of the latest technology

available to ensure that their crops survive,

grow and provide a healthy return on

investment. AgriDrone, a division of IPL, has

the technology to assist local farmers monitor

the wellbeing of their crops more precisely.

Using aerial photography, the company can

identify areas of cultivated fields that require

watering, thus enabling growers to speedily

take action. AgriDrone has the capability of

providing accurate information and early

insights into sowing quality and plant growth

for seasonal crops, as well as the ability to

accurately manage and keep track of plant

count in perennial plantations.

Using drone photography and analysis,

AgriDrone can count plants in the scanned

area, generate a report where the number

of counted plants is compared to the

recommended set and other details where

applicable.

Besides counting, AgriDrone provides reports

on plant health such as weed and pest

detection, plant disease analysis and water

stress. Data provided is precise and easy

to use, helping farmers make quick and inseason

course corrections to maximise crop

efficiency.

AgriDrone can supply seven types of analyses

which can be used to gain accurate and

reliable information about plant counting or

plant health monitoring: plant population,

stand count, weed analysis, pest analysis,

water stress analysis, plant disease analysis

and plant stress analysis.

“All that is required is to fly over a designated

area at regular intervals and photograph

the fields”, explains IPL Managing Director

Terence Mirabelli.

“The aerial photographs are then analysed –

it normally takes up to 48 hours for this. The

photographs and analysis are then sent to

the farmer or grower for him to action”, add

Mirabelli. “It’s simple and effective”.

“In today’s climate, all produce growers need

to know their fields are well irrigated. We can

provide that knowledge speedily and help

avoid loss of revenue”. MBR

For more information and pricing of

AgriDrone, and how it can work for you, call

Terence Mirabelli on 99995201 or email

tmirabelli@me.com.

Credit: Island Publications Ltd

16 17

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Malta Business Review

INDUSTRY: CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

INDUSTRY: CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Honesty, Respect and Loyalty

by George Carol

MBR interviews George Mifsud, Managing Director of Deco Manufacturing Limited. The Company shingle

reads, “Choose your style with elegance, design your ideas with inspiration and achieve them with Deco”.

George agreed to speak with us about his business, which has enjoyed a reputation for their leading custom

designed hand-crafted picture frames. In this interview he speaks about the significance of working,

travelling, planning new products and marketing strategies, and how he works with fine artists to reprint,

enhance and present their work in the best possible way.

If you are loyal towards your clients, the

clients will be loyal to you.

In a small market like Malta you can feel

the results instantly because it is very easy

to interact with the clients. We offer a

special service to our clients and our clients

appreciate our service. We sell ready made

products but our best sellers are the items

which are customised by our clients. The

company motto is ‘Choose your style with

elegance, design your ideas with inspiration

and achieve them with Deco’.

MBR: What is the main reasons clients

chose Deco?

GM: Deco is coming from Decoration and

Deco is the only Art Company who offers

to its client’s personalisation of the Art they

purchase. Deco has a library of over 250,000

images from all over the world, all licensed as

we pay royalties for every print we print. We

have a selection of 500 different mouldings

for frames in wood, MDF and Polystyrene.

We have seven different finishes of wall arts

starting from the traditional frames to Art on

Glass, Art on Wood with Hand embellishment,

Art on Canvas, Block Frames, Art on Marble

and Al Frescos.

So clients have a large variety of arts in

different presentations to choose from.

MBR: What lead you to become involved in

home décor?

GM: I am a Maltese, living in our lovely island

where the Maltese love their home. It’s their

special place and they want only the best.

On the other hand, one has to keep in mind

that not everyone has the same budget for

the décor of his home. The idea of entering

into the framing and art business came as

in this sector one can offer a variety of wall

decorations with a variety of prices which

everybody afford. It is a concept that evolves

around the client. We found this niche’ market

where the company can offer low price and

high price which falls under the same concept

which is that we manufacture whatever the

client want.

MBR: How does the local market differ from

the International Market?

GM: There is a lot of difference between the

local market and the International market.

They are absolutely opposite. In Malta the

trend nowadays is having large frames, large

canvas and large mirrors on a wall as a feature

whilst in the International market the sizes

are all small. Even the designs are totally

different. Our company does exports to some

countries such as Germany, Switzerland and

U.K. We only have a small percentage of our

turnover in Export but we are happy that our

products are also in the International market.

There is a lot of competition in our line of

business especially from Eastern European

countries and the Far East but our aim for

George Mifsud, Managing Director of Deco Manufacturing

MBR: Can you elaborate on your mission,

vision and values?

GM: I am proud to say that I was born in

a very humble family, where morality and

values were the order of the day. My parents

were very arduous working people, especially

my mother who was very strict. Coming from

such background, I became a self-made man,

with a strong character and also with a clear

vision of where I want to be. I always planned

the future and took my decisions in a level

where I was sure that I can reach them. I

strongly believe in the steps of life. One can

jump to achieve his targets, but I believe that

the safest way is to climb the steps one by

one.

MBR: What is it about your job that makes

it so special?

GM: I built my present company over a

period of 30 years, starting in a very modest

way. Today, when I think about those days, I

cannot understand how we used to work. I

believe a lot in research and development,

and one of my jobs is going around in Trade

shows to learn what’s in the market, and

also learn more about modern equipment.

One can jump to achieve his

targets, but I believe that the

safest way is to climb the steps

one by one.

R & D is the most important factor for the

success of a company. One has to introduce

always new products in the market in order

to survive especially in our small market. The

idea of travelling, planning new products and

marketing strategies makes me excited and

feel that I am not working, but enjoying myself

during the working time. When someone

asks me where do you work, I always say that

I do not work because I do not feel that I am

working. My job gives me a lot of satisfaction.

MBR: What does it take to be successful on

an island of our scale?

GM: Honesty, respect and loyalty are the

secret of success in such a small market. It is

not easy to accomplish, but if you make them

as your target you will definitely attain them.

If you are honest in your work and product,

clients will come back to you.

If you respect your clients, clients will respect

you.

Framing Arts

the export market is not the large distributors

or department stores but small groups who

cannot handle volume and we can offer small

quantities at a good price and short time of

delivery.

MBR: Could your company name one project

that was important for the company?

GM: Our Company has completed two large

notable projects, one in Kuwait and the other

in Qatar. Our Company was commissioned

the design and the setup of replica of Deco

Manufacturing in these two countries. We

successfully executed these two projects,

where we planned the production, supplied

the entire equipment and also taught all the

workers how to produce the products on the

same level and quality that Deco produces

and manufactures. Both contracts were a

dream come true for me, as I have been

working very hard to secure these contracts

for approximately two years, until they were

finally commissioned to us. In Malta we also

had some significant contracts especially in

hotels, communal homes and hospitals.

MBR: Are you happy with where your

product is today and are there changes

clients expect in the future?

The pleasure of Art

GM: I am very satisfied for the success of the

company, for the success of the concept the

company created and for the standard the

company reached in its production. But one

never can say that we reached our goals as in

today’s world, where changes occur so fast,

especially in technology, we have to be always

on alert on what is new in the market, so that

the company will remain on track all the time.

Today clients are very demanding and they

have a lot of knowledge about everything. So

one has to be on his toes all the time ready to

go with the new developments.

MBR: What is the secret of success?

GM: The secret of success as already

mentioned above are the clients. The company

without the clients cannot be successful and

today it is so difficult to create clients in a

competitive world, where the world becomes

a small market with all the present technology

and who knows what else the future will offer.

When a company has a good client base the

success is guaranteed. Clients have to believe

in you and with honesty, integrity and respect

clients will reciprocate, and reward you

the business you need and henceforth the

accomplishment. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

18 19

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

Malta Business Review

Express

Trailers

Builds First

Of Its Kind

Side-Loader

In The World

Express Trailers has just delivered its latest

re-conditioned side-loader, an ADR-approved

Hammar 195 HC which is radio-controlled

and equipped with automatic steering,

parking sensors, reverse sensors and many

other features, making this model the first

of its kind in the world. This side-loader has

now been shipped to its client in the Canary

Islands.

This is the eleventh commissioned sideloader

since Express Trailers’ appointment as

HAMMAR's European base for the re-building

and customization of HAMMAR side-loaders

for the global market a year and a half ago.

Express Trailers in fact has already delivered

rebuilt and re-conditioned side-loaders to

clients in the UK, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, the

United States and the Canary Islands.

Side-loaders, or side-lifters, enable transport

companies to load and unload containers

and out of gauge cargo onto flat-bed trailer

trucks without the use of cranes but instead,

with the use of a specially mounted hydraulicpowered

mechanism installed on the trailer

chassis. These hydraulic structures can also

be telescopic; adjusting to varying sizes of

containers and can handle weights of up to 33

tons without any counter weight.

“This new milestone is another feather in

Express Trailers’ cap and confirms how the

company is keeping to its commitment to

deliver the highest level of service for its clients

round the world,” said Franco Azzopardi,

Chairman and CEO of Express Trailers.

“We have invested a lot in this collaboration

with HAMMAR to re-build and re-condition

side-loaders on behalf of its clients, operations

that effectively saw Express Trailers moving

into the manufacturing business. The result of

this investment is that we have already seen a

successful year and a half and we are already

envisaging more business in the coming

months that will see us working on an even

bigger order book,” added Franco Azzopardi.

Work on this latest side-loader started 10

weeks ago and saw the involvement of two

welders and three mechanical assemblers

working non-stop to finish this commission

on time. After the dismantling of the old

chassis, it was sent for sand-blasting. Back

at Express Trailers’ garage, all technicians we

went through the plans and drawings sent

over by Hammar, started welding whilst the

mechanics refurbished the brakes and all

mechanical systems. All the metallic paintwork

was also carried out at the paintshop followed

by the assembly process. Upon completion,

the side-loader was tested by an independent

engineer.

“Re-building and reconditioning of sideloaders

is a service we are delivering in

collaboration with HAMMAR, a world-known

brand in the side-loader business. We have

been offering this service for a year and a

half now and prospects of increased business

required us to invest in our workshops to

be able to cater for the demand. The newly

installed roof and mobile crane system not

only helps us reach new efficiencies but

provide a safer working environment for

our employees,” said Noel Vella, Director

at Express Trailers who oversees the

management of the fleet and the side-loader

business.

“We currently have a team of very talented

workers who are doing a fantastic job but

as we expect business to grow, we know we

will need to recruit more workers especially

welders. We need people who are passionate,

want to learn and are willing to be part of a

successful team. From our end, we are ready

to offer them all the required training.”

“Availability of capable and talented workers

in this field however, remains an issue and it is

proving to be very difficult to find these types

of workers. Unless we find more tradesmen,

we will not be able to meet the growing

demand,” concluded Noel Vella. MBR

20 21

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

EUROBRIDGE:

The Award Winning Trailer Operator

David Abela, Managing Director of Eurobridge, receiving the award

The Eurobridge team

Take a close look at our advert. It says ‘WE

DELIVER’ but it doesn’t say just that. We took

whole weeks to formulate those few words

under that nice tagline because we wanted

them to mirror exactly who we are.

We deliver because we are a trustworthy

partner for your business whatever your

transportation needs. Take a look at the

testimonials shown on our web-site. Those are

real and they were written by a good number

of our customers because they believe in

what they were writing when claiming that

we ‘help them meet all their needs, especially

deadlines’ or when we ‘manage to solve all

their problems immediately’. In this latter

case, the customer might have exaggerated

in claiming we solved all their problems as

we are probably useless when it comes to pet

grooming or plumbing but you get the idea.

We deliver because we have the expertise.

Our expertise is mainly groupage cargo to

and from Europe and to copy another advert,

we are probably the best Maltese trailer

operator where it comes to this part of our

job. We already have the best rates on the

market and give daily accurate updates on all

shipments. At the moment, we are investing

into a new custom-made system that will give

all our customers a great tool to manage their

shipments on-line and make us even more

efficient than ever before. When this system

will go live, we might even have the guts to

remove the ‘probably’ in the above claim.

We deliver because we have experience. All

of us have been groomed at a young age into

this job and are still young enough to have

the energy and learn new ways to give our

customers the best possible service. We are

all under 40 here but most of us have been

working in shipping since our teens. We just

love the job and wouldn’t trade it with any

other job out there. Just try us and you will

recognise the enthusiasm.

We deliver because we are all the time

investing in new trailers. We remember when

just 7 years ago the company invested in its

first trailer with great trepidation. In these

7 years, we have grown together with our

customers in such a way that we now own

25 and are constantly looking to increase the

number with all the new customers the sales

department is bringing in!

We deliver and this is proven by the

accolades we are receiving. Besides the many

testimonials by our customers, in less than a

year we have won 2 prestigious awards. In

November last year, we won ‘Outstanding

Industry Contributor Award’ at the Malta’s

BIB Awards whilst a couple of months ago, our

Managing Director won ‘Best International

Trade Entrepreneur’ of the year. We want

to win even more that is why we continually

strive to improve.

In a nutshell, WE DELIVER because we are

LOGISTICS PEOPLE TO COUNT ON. MBR

22


Malta Business Review

COMMUNITIES

Malta Business Review

Blockchains keep us together

By Anthony Brown

J.M. Vassallo Vibro Steel Ltd

Mdina Road, Zebbug, ZBG 9019, Malta www.jmvibro.com sales@jmvibro.com 2146 7421

How encrypted

databases and

cryptocurrencies

could transform

the way contracts

are managed

and payments

are sent within

the construction

industry

It’s not often that you get to tie the

conservative world of construction

together with the hi-octane lifestyle of

Superstar DJs, but if the former were to

look at the advantages of the latest secure

communications techniques then it really

could be rubbing shoulders with the later.

It might take a leap of tremendous faith –

not something the construction industry

is traditionally blessed with – but with

a little forethought and a willingness to

plunge headlong into the choppy waters

of cryptocurrencies, the industry could be

looking at waving goodbye to the scourge

of late payments, retentions and cashf-low

crises and saying hello to smart contracts and

instant payment.

The route to this fiscally efficient Shangri-

La is through Blockchain technology.

Fundamentally, the blockchain is a database

made from a series of secure, encrypted

entries – or blocks - that can contain

information. The information in these blocks

is confirmed at the point of acceptance into

the chain and is then secured, making it

virtually impossible to alter any of the data

that they contain without the acceptance

or knowledge of other sections of the

chain – perfect for international money

transfers, shareholder information or indeed

complicated and nuanced business contracts.

With a little forethought and a willingness

to plunge headlong into the choppy waters

of cryptocurrencies, the industry could be

looking at waving goodbye to the scourge of

late payments.

The music world has already cottoned on to

the idea that the blockchain can help deliver

payment fairly and instantly. American star

DJ Deadly Buda is using the system to pay

the artists that feature in his latest ‘Rock the

Blockchain’ music mix. He has integrated

smart contracts into the blockchain that

supports the Musicoin cryptocurrency and by

attaching them to this latest mix, those artists

are paid their royalties with seconds of the

mix being played.

With a little forethought and a

willingness to plunge headlong

into the choppy waters of

cryptocurrencies, the industry

could be looking at waving

goodbye to the scourge of late

payments.

Now the success of that system rather

depends on everyone in the system being

signed up to the Musicoin currency and

happy to be paid in it, but swap Musicoin

for a more widely accepted cryptocurrency

such as Bitcoin, DJ Deadly Buda for a main

contractor and the supplementary artists

for sub-contractors and it is easy to see just

how blockchain technology could benefit the

construction industry.

By placing all contractual requirements within

smart contracts and the financial triggers

within the blockchain then we could see subcontractors

getting paid automatically and

immediately – with no contractual fighting

and an indisputable trail of proof showing

clauses had been met.

If blockchain has the potential to integrate

with BIM software, then it could automatically

generate contracts between supplier when

amendments are made to construction

model.

It is the ability to create, validate, authenticate

and audit contracts and agreements in realtime,

across borders, without third-party

intervention, almost standardisation by proxy,

that makes this technology so appealing to

the construction world. Blockchain also takes

transparency to a new level with ability to

track the supply chain in terms of material,

contracts and payments, with ‘real-time’

information regarding when material have

arrived on site.

Operationally, if blockchain has the potential

to integrate with BIM software, then it could

automatically generate contracts between

supplier when amendments/updates are

made to construction model.

Of course, there is the relative danger of the

unknown. The concept of dealing within a

currency that is supported only by the fact

that there are so many others exposed to it

even the prospect of its failure is viewed as

abhorrent, can be difficult for some to accept.

But for others the blockchain has the potential

to offer a secure alternative to the traditional

banking process, saving time and money

while also offering the chance of real, tangible

benefit to the supply chain with smarter, cost

effective, fair and immediate contracts. MBR

EDITOR’S

Note

Anthony Brown, Sales &

Marketing Director, BW

Green products for structural strengthening

KERAKOLL.

Products and services

to build healthy homes

that are kind to the

environment.

INNOVATIVE

ECO-FRIENDLY

RECYCLABLE

HEALTHY

24 25

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

SERVICE OFFICE

SERVICE OFFICE

Malta Business Review

Are Serviced Offices the way forward?

by Amanda Balzan

The popularity of serviced offices has

surged in the last few years and it is hardly

surprisingly. Serviced offices, such as Business

Office Services International (BOSi), offer a

number of unique advantages to businesses

of any size and working in any industry. These

advantages are at the basis to why more and

more companies are now reconsidering their

approach and opting for leasing agreements

with centres like BOSi.

Renting traditional office premises is usually

a huge expense and when doing so normally

there is a term agreement of anything

between three to five years, if not longer.

This expense is additionally compounded

through further capital layouts required for

the necessary office furnishings, interior

decoration, finishes, and telecommunication

systems, amongst others.

At face value serviced offices are often

overlooked purely because their monthly

rental fees are higher, however, what

companies are now understanding is that a

serviced office is essentially a pay-as-you-use

space, which means that the monthly fees

actually work out to be cheaper.

In the past few years, various articles and writeups

have been penned on the advantages of

serviced offices, all coming-up with quite a

similar list of advantages. We are very proud

to say that BOSi Malta, offers prospective and

current clients all the mentioned advantages,

which include;

1. Added Flexibility

Serviced Offices offer businesses the

opportunity for short-term lease agreements.

An important consideration is that companies

will have more freedom and flexibility, an

essential cushion especially for start-ups, in

case things do not work out as planned. This

flexibility is also invaluable for companies that

are currently within their growth phase as the

company will have the possibility of leasing

a larger office, rather than being stuck in a

crowded office due to a long term agreement.

BOSi offers its clients this flexibility of

shorter term leases and our prestigious

business centre in Mriehel, is made up of

offices of varying sizes. This means that a

growing company will have the opportunity

to eventually lease a larger office to

accommodate its team whilst keeping the

same office address and not having the need

for further capital outlay.

2. Maintenance comes as Standard

One of the main perks of using serviced office

space is that you don’t have to worry about

ongoing maintenance chores, which may vary

from IT and Connectivity issues to Cleaning

and Office building Maintenance. Such tasks

take up a lot of time and resources and are

generally considered to be an added stress for

companies.

Administrative and IT personnel at BOSi

are highly trained individuals that pride

themselves with offering high levels of client

service, allowing the clients to focus on their

core business whilst being assured that

administration and maintenance are being

taken care off. Services offered include an

initial IT survey, free secure private network

set-up on moving in and daily cleaning of the

premises.

3. Client Service Team Included

A serviced office has a body of staff employed

to provide clients with the basic office

services to keep the workspace running,

such as secretarial support and a reception

team. BOSi ensures that all the personnel in

the client service team are highly trained to

ensure high standards of client service on

a daily basis. Not only do companies gain

significant savings from not having the need

to hire such staff, but they also gain through a

corporate concierge service rather than just a

work place provider.

4. No Downtime when moving in

When moving to new premises downtime

can significantly hinder the work flow for a

business. BOSi serviced offices in Malta, are

already set up and ready-to-use. Everything

from communication systems to office

equipment will be operational from the

second you step in the door, meaning you

won’t suffer any downtime waiting for phone

and internet companies to install new lines

or set up new gear. In today’s fast-paced

and competitive world this ensures business

continuity despite an office move.

5. Networking Opportunities

Serviced offices give companies the chance to

network and cross sell with a variety of other

businesses residing within the same building.

Gone are the days when only start-ups or

small businesses reside within a serviced

office space. Today one is just as likely to find

divisions of national and global multinational

companies in the office next door. This offers

endless possibilities of networking without

having the need to leave the building.

We are very proud to host clients who work

within a variety of diverse industries some of

which also forming part of the Fortune 100

companies. The networking opportunities

within our offices in Malta are very concrete

and are facilitated further through the

availability of high-quality finished common

areas ranging from an outdoor terrace with

lovely countryside views to fully equipped

kitchen areas.

The above mentioned advantages are

complemented by further benefits that our

clients can enjoy. These include the availability

of professional boardrooms fully equipped

with conference facilities, mail handling

and availability of a courier together with a

private car park. At BOSi, besides temporary

or permanent, private or shared office space,

the current offering also extends to providing

Disaster Recovery Sites (DRS), a requirement

for regulated entities, not limited to just the

financial services and gaming operations.

Every Entrepreneur or Manager reading this

article will immediately comprehend why the

popularity of serviced offices has surged in

the last few years. This is especially the case

if these same people are currently facing

cost- cutting challenges and are trying to trim

expenses to increase profitability. We are

very confident that the mentioned benefits

and advantages offered by Business Office

Services International in Malta will contribute

and allow the space for our clients to reach

and fulfil their potential.

Should you be interested to know more,

please contact Amanda Balzan for further

information on +356 99004016. Our offices

are based within Vision Exchange Building,

Territorials street, Mriehel. MBR

EDITOR’S

Note

Author: Amanda Balzan, Office Manager at

Business Office Services International, Malta

26 27

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

AUTO REVIEW

The new Renault Zoe –

enjoyable and hassle-free

by George Carol

This supermini-sized electric car is an EV that

has been designed as one from the ground

up, with Renault’s glamourising the design,

and manufacturing a fantastically affordable

EV. Normally electric cars tend to be on the

high side, this time Renault have made the

price as the key USP.

If there is to be a global transition from

combustion-engine to electrically powered

cars, it has not thus far proved quick, smooth

or particularly profitable for the car makers

leading the field. However, with the Renault

Zoe, this difficulty has been avoided. The

Renault Zoe has been conceived as an

electric vehicle from the outset. After driving

Renault’s titchy eco-warrior for a few hours

around the suburbs of Mosta, Mdina and

Rabat, it’s much easier to believe that it makes

perfect sense even for business organisations

requiring an economically reliable company

vehicle. Maybe enough for a working week if

the owner cannot be bothered plugging the

Type 2 charge cable into the socket behind

the Zoe’s frontal Renault badge. The Zoe is a

remarkably pleasant car to drive. As with any

EV there is that initial moment of eeriness

when you turn the key, or press the start

button. It comes equipped with GPS satellite

navigation system and there is no noise and

no vibration. Initial acceleration is as strong

as could be needed for a city commuter and

Renault reckons the Zoe will hit 50km/h from

standstill in 4.1 seconds, although it takes

longer to wind-up to the next bit and zero to

100km/h is a 13.2 second wait.

What is far more impressive is the almost

total silence in which this all happens and

the smooth building of speed without

any mechanical vibration at all. To protect

pedestrians from having a Zoe creep and

skittle them, Renault have added what it calls

a “ZE Voice”, in fact a roiling, humming note

similar to Luke Skywalker’s waving lightsabre.

The electric motor turns into a generator to

charge the batteries when the driver backs

off the accelerator pedal or brakes, but there

is very little of the disconcerting retardation

caused by heavy power regeneration some

EVs can exhibit. The rear hatch reveals quite

an amount of luggage space and overall a

smooth ride is guaranteed.

My conclusion: no other electric car drives as

enjoyable and hassle free as the Zoe. MBR

Renault Zoe comes highly equipped and includes amongst other things; ABS, climate

control, front and rear electric windows, automatic lights and wipers, 16”alloy wheels, touch

screen with navigation system and R-Link, ISO FIX seats and day time running lights. The

Zoe is now covered by 5 years warranty or 100,000km whichever comes first and includes

a wall box for easy charging at home. As I write this, there have been further changes to the

government subsidies on electric vehicles and plug in hybrid. So, in addition to the existing €

5,000 subsidy and € 3,000 if you choose to scrap a car then you will benefit from removal of

registration tax and free road licence for 5 years. The purchase price now hovers in between

€20,000* with all subsidies deducted to €23,000* (without scrappage scheme). The other

advantages of owning a Zoe includes low cost of ownership and reduction of your carbon

footprint which is becoming a major consideration for everyone.

*Prices are approximate calculations

Excavation

Demolition

Rock cutting

Trenching works

Road works

Drainage connections

Plant hire including large

and small machinery.

Property for sale.

Property for rent including

commercial, residential

and warehousing.

V & C Group Ltd - Whyte Harte, Triq il-Kostinjus, Naxxar NXR 6352

Tel: +356 21 420 086, +356 79 424 661, +356 79 494 661

info@vccontractors.com www.vccontractors.com

Road paving

Landscaping works

Concrete suppliers

Asphalt suppliers

Instant road repair

suppliers

28


Malta Business Review

IN DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

IN DEPTH INTERVIEW SERIES

Malta Business Review

EVALUATING COSTS, RISKS AND STRATEGIES

by Martin Vella

In our In-depth series interviews, MBR talks with

Jevon Gatt, Founder, Owner and Managing Director of

AGF Turnkey Contractors Ltd.

MBR: What has been the secret to the

success of AGF Turnkey Contractors?

JG: More than a decade ago I realised that

our clients needed not only a company to

design their project, but also one that could

be able to complete all turnkey construction

projects. So I decided to broaden our range of

activity and started to offer more services like

procurement, construction, commissioning,

finishing works, operation and maintenance.

I decided to meet that growing need among

our clients because I had something to bring

to the table for building projects with cuttingedge

technology. And it was a wise decision,

because today the market increasingly looks

to the project finance model, which generally

requires turnkey contracts.

During the past ten years of conducting

business within the construction sector,

there has been growth within the company,

both financially and both in the PR sector.

Personally, I have learnt a lot in these last

years. All that being said, AGF’s secret is a

very simple one, Client satisfaction at all cost.

Besides wanting to grow bigger and stronger,

my plan was to retain our original philosophy

in maintaining our clients at the centre of

whatever we do. AGF has come a long way,

and we attribute our success and also growth

to this principle. This is what kept us striving

for; quality satisfaction.

MBR: What is the Company’s main

specialisation and what are the products

and services provided?

JG: We offer full tailor-made proposals and

packages for individuals and companies,

residential or commercial businesses, who

want to build, renovate, upgrade, finish and

furnish to a specific design. The company’s

main aim is to provide a professional job,

carried out to the highest standards possible,

on budget and on time, every time. All

necessary preparations, permits, schedule of

works, timing, plans, materials involved would

be handled by our team. Our specialization

is surely in the high standard of project

management we offer and are capable of

delivering.

Today, in large projects, we are thought of

purely as a finishing construction company

because our clients value our expertise in

engineering and technology. Therefore, we

are also recognised as construction engineers.

MBR: What are the biggest challenges facing

the infrastructure and construction industry

today?

JG: Technology and demand have increased

over the years. The biggest challenge

sometimes is lack of knowhow of new staff

and highly trained personnel and education is

limited sometimes.

The construction industry is always moving

at a fast pace when it comes to infrastructure

needs and the future of building methods will

surely change in time for the better. We were

faced with risks and challenges. We decided

to restructure and develop all the capabilities

we needed in order to offer a complete

range of services. In addition, we overcame

the challenge of ensuring peace of mind

and inspiring trust among both our clients

and partners. There are times when we are

responsible for 100% of the turnkey project

as well as cases in which we collaborate

with other construction companies in a

consortium.

But we also took on risks with these contracts:

in addition to delivering the agreed-upon

project, we also have to do so on time and

within budget. So, right from the beginning

we had to approach turnkey projects as

prudently as we could.

Our specialization is surely in

the high standard of project

management we offer and are

capable of delivering.

MBR: How hard is it when you have grown

so much to keep that family feel and

closeness?

JG: It is always a matter of how close a

relationship you manage to keep with your

clients, especially key accounts. When it

becomes a robotic company, then people

might lose their trust. I try hard to keep myself

busy by going onsite and meeting clients on

a daily bases, meeting my workers in the

morning before heading to work and keeping

a close relationship with them. And it’s always

important to be present. Ultimately, my face

is my company.

MBR: What can you tell us about the

Company’s growth and how are the

Company operations run?

JG: The Company has grown a lot in the last

four years of operations. Operations are run on

a daily basis. My foremen in-charge of various

sites, managers that keep control of what’s

going on, construction managers, people

specialised in procurement, subcontracts,

health and safety and the environment; these

are all important elements contributing to

our growth factor. The company’s growth is

also attributed to our flexibility. Since we are

flexible and have the necessary resources, we

can decide what’s in our best interest at any

point throughout the process, and that’s the

important thing.

We design, engineer and build the civil

works such as construction, as well as the

installations to create the internal climate as

required by the client. With people whose

interests coincide with mine. What AGF

does well is to streamline ideas into practical,

realistic and achievable plans with a deadline.

And this strength in operations gives us the

growth we need.

MBR: What kind of clients do you usually

cater for?

JG: We cater for all kind of clients. No job

is too small for us. We are here to cater for

anyone wishing to invest, or simply renovate

a home.

MBR: What makes AGF Turnkey Contractors

stand out?

JG: Our image, our closeness, our clients’

relationship, and the quality of the work

we do. With our knowledge of the different

processes, and our out-of-the-box overview,

we have the ambition to stand out from the

rest.

MBR: Is there such a thing as long-term

planning in this business?

JG: Evaluating costs, risks and strategies. This

is my long-term planning mantra, apart from

being close to my employees and our clients.

Various approaches exist when embarking

on turnkey process and for good reasons,

the choice of the contracting approach

could affect the outcome of the project.

The strategy must be selected with careful

consideration of not only the potential upside

of the approach, but also an appreciation of

the demands each strategy places on the

owner’s organisation. Any of these strategies

can result in undesirable consequences if it is

selected without the necessary resources in

place.

MBR: What do you consider your most

rewarding project with the company and do

you take on big projects (pls name a few)?

JG: There were many rewarding projects

in the past. Surely ST Microelectronics is

the most we enjoyed doing. To name a few

that come to mind are Corinthia Spa Resort,

intercontinental Casino, other private offices,

and commercial premises, houses and Villas

MBR: AGF has achieved great success and is

consistently an industry leader. Do you take

moments to reflect and celebrate the wins

or are you always looking at what’s next?

JG: Over the years, AGF has taken on various

projects that have enabled the company to be

able to feel confident in its experience, and to

be able to guarantee client satisfaction at all

times. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

30

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

CHAUFFER DRIVEN SERVICE

Elegance Chauffeur Drive Ltd

Elegance Chauffeur Drive Ltd (ECDL) was

founded in middle of 2017, taking on Tony

Cutajar as its general manager and started

operations recently. Tony had worked

previously with On-Time-Cabs, and having

partnered with Dmitry Golomovzy, the two

had founded ECDL, a chauffeur service

for high-end executive, corporate and

government based clients in Malta.

ECDL is striving to break into the Maltese

market with new practices and ensuring

its staff dedicate their time to care about

the clients and ensure the best of service.

Tony and Dmitry have a lot of combined

experience between the two of them, in the

transport service, financial and management

sectors respectively – to know what their

clients needs and expectations will be. The

services range from basic trips to weddings

to large motorcades with their new Mercedes

fleet consisting of top-end executive sedans

and vans.

Establishing a new firm in a competitive

Maltese market is not easy, but Dmitry believes

that they can edge their way in through

upholding its practices and guaranteeing that

they stick to their core principles.

Dmitry was quoted saying: “We believe it is

important to remember that the people that

know Malta best are the locals, and they can

give our clients the best service here. That is

why we make the effort and commit ourselves

to hire local professional drivers.”

This year, ECDL hopes to expand its fleet of

10 Mercedes Executive cars to provide that

they can meet the anticipated and growing

demand for the high quality service in Malta.

For more information visit: https://www.

elegancedrivemalta.com/ MBR

32


Malta Business Review

FOCUS: GAMING REGULATION

FOCUS: GAMING REGULATION

Malta Business Review

Malta’s cutting edge approach to regulation

by James Scicluna

James Scicluna, Partner and Co-Founder at WH Partners, has recently

written an article entitled ‘Skills games – Malta’s cutting edge approach

to regulation’ for EGR Intel. The article assesses Malta’s decisionmaking

and regulatory legislature used to define which games are

based on skills and which are based on chance alone.

The matter of how, and indeed whether, to

regulate games of skill has been pondered and

discussed over the years at national level in

several jurisdictions, and in international fora

such as meetings of the International Masters

of Gaming Law (IMGL) and the International

Association of Gaming Attorneys (IAGA).

It always seemed to me that contributions to

these discussions by European stakeholders

tended to follow the approach of the

UK, France and several other European

jurisdictions which consider a game to be

one of chance if the outcome involves any

element of chance at all, whilst contributions

by American stakeholders, most notably

from the U.S., tended to take a more open

approach and make allowance for the

possibility that a game the outcome of which

was preponderantly skill based should not

be considered to be a game of chance. The

laws of several U.S. states do allow a strong

argument to be made that a game the

outcome of which is prevalently dependent

on skill should be classified as a skill game. It

followed from this that recently several U.S.

states have regulated fantasy sports, including

daily fantasy sports, on the basis that it is

really and truly a game in which skill makes

the difference.

The narrative of the discussions which I

followed over the past years tended to revolve

around whether or not the presence of any

element of chance would implicitly mean it

was gambling and whether it would not then

automatically follow that the game could

attract or encourage compulsive behaviour,

what the risk of money laundering could

be and that therefore the game should be

strictly controlled. It remained more or less

undisputed that games of skill – let’s call them

games of pure skill – such as quizzes, chess

and a few others would not be considered

to be gambling and would therefore remain

unregulated even in a scenario where a

player staked money on, for example, him

beating a machine at a game of chess. On

the other hand, those who considered

that a preponderance of skill implied that

a game was not gambling often seemed to

suggest that no regulation of such games was

necessary or desirable.

On the other hand, those

who considered that a

preponderance of skill implied

that a game was not gambling

often seemed to suggest that no

regulation of such games was

necessary or desirable

The discussion rarely evolved to consider

whether offering skill games for money

actually in and of itself deserved to be

regulated, licensed or somehow overseen

not so much because of issues of potentially

compulsive behaviour but because of

consumer protection from a payments, player

account, and absence of bias point of view.

This is all by way of background, but the

context is important when considering how

Malta now approaches games of skill.

Malta is course a full member of the European

Union. It has been since 2004. It has also

become the beating heart of the European

remote gaming industry, not only gambling,

and increasingly of games which are quite far

removed from those traditionally associated

with a gambling environment. Irrespective

of what anyone might say, the Maltese

regulator of all-things-gaming, the Malta

Gaming Authority (“MGA”) is probably the

regulatory authority which has globally seen

and continues to see the greatest diversity

of gaming and gambling products and the

newest and most cutting edge games, before

they are offered in any other market. It is

also an authority set up by law with the clear

objective to regulate not only gambling but

also gaming, including games of skill. It has

had this function for years.

Some six or seven years ago the MGA (or

as it was known then, the Lotteries and

Gaming Authority (LGA)) started to look

closely at how it might regulate, further

to the powers and responsibility already

granted to it by law, certain games other than

gambling the provision of which online (or

otherwise remotely) was becoming far more

widespread. At the time the MGA was looking

at social games, digital games, massive multiplayer

games and certain other games the

outcome of which was preponderantly skill

based. However, that initiative never gained

enough momentum or focus to get off the

ground.

It was more recently, and specifically in January

2015 that the MGA opened a consultation

process pointing out its concern that aspects

of how skill games were being provided might

not be adequately covered by legislation and

regulations in force at the time. In particular,

the MGA expressed its concerns on:

• the increased trend for games based on

skill to be played for the opportunity to

win a prize, whether monetary or having

monetary value,

• several online skill game operators

holding money in some form of “virtual

wallet” on behalf of their customers,

• there being effectively no supervision

at all of whether the outcome of games

said to be based on skill was actually

such and on whether prizes or winnings

were being distributed fairly,

• there being no guidance, regulation

or supervision whether monetary

transactions were being entered into by

minors.

In a position paper published in December

2015 on Digital Games of Skill with Prize,

following a strong response from industry,

NGOs and government agencies that the

MGA advocated for the separate regulation

of certain types of skill games.

The Maltese government, persuaded by the

strong public interest rationale set out by the

MGA, spent the best part of 2016 working

on regulations which focus on consumers,

ensuring that skill games are conducted in

a fair and transparent manner and ensuring

that the sector is kept crime-free. This led

to the Skill Games Regulations of 2016

(“Regulations”) being published and coming

into force on 24 January 2017.

The Regulations govern the provision of

certain games of skill, in or from Malta. They

key consideration for a game to potentially be

subject to the Regulations is that its outcome

must be predominantly, but not solely,

based on skill. The regulations are intended

to address a range of games which vary

substantially from typical games ofW chance.

They seek to distinguish between areas where

the state’s intervention is deemed necessary,

and others where it is not, by referring only

to certain types of skill games (which include

fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports) as

“Controlled Skill Games”.

It is evident that Malta would not like to

impose a regulatory burden on the provision

of services where additional state supervision

is not necessary or justifiable. At the same

time, and in line with the prevalent trend

already noticeable in the United States, Malta

has recognised that an entire new sector of

the economy deserves specific and separate

recognition.

The Regulations empower the MGA to

issue licences of a period of validity of 5

years (and renewable for further periods) for

the provision of Controlled Skill Games and

even Controlled Skill Games Supplies. The

former covers games for the participation by

consumers, whilst the latter covers supplies

made from one business to another.

Importantly, Malta has recognised the need

to afford protection to consumers who play

certain games of skill online, including Fantasy

Sports, whilst differentiating these games

from games of chance.

Activities carried out under a Controlled

Skilled Games licence are clearly not gambling

under Maltese law. It is interesting to consider

what the applicable cross border rules are

when services provided under this type of

licence are provided by a Maltese licensee

to persons in another EU member state.

An argument can undoubtedly be made

that country of origin principle for the free

movement of services should apply. In other

words, that the rules to be observed by the

providers of these services are those which

apply in the EU member state from which

they are offered. As readers will know, the

provision of gambling services does not

benefit from this principle.

The burden of proving to the MGA that a

game is a skill game is entirely on the applicant

for a Controlled Skill Game licence. When

carrying out its analysis of the game the MGA

will follow the list of criteria set out in the

Regulations which include looking into the

game structure and the number of variables

built into a contest to subvert the elements of

chance.

The Regulations have been well received with

around 25-30 applications for Controlled Skill

Game licences reportedly filed with the MGA

since February 2017 and it looks like this is a

sector which will grow in Malta with increased

interest being shown by fantasy sports and

other skill game providers.

A full copy of the article can be found on EGR

Intel. MBR

34

www.maltabusinessreview.net

35


Malta Business Review

BLOCKCHAIN LAUNCH

Malta’s first Blockchain

Application launched

Are you converting, retaining and winning back

clients by offering a customer experience that is

more meaningful and personal?

“Blockchains are not merely a business

opportunity, but a way to change how

governments serve their citizens and private

companies their clients. The main priorities

should be regulation and incentives to

attract the right capital and talent to

stimulate growth in this sector.”

This was stated by well-known technologist

David Schranz and businessman Anthony

Mamo who after 20 months of research and

development, have just launched the first

locally built Distributed Ledger Application

targeted at property transfer management,

LP 01, through their newly set up company

Ledger Projects.

“Rolling out such technology as lock

chain is easier in Malta since the country

enjoys a strong financial system, talent,

entrepreneurial spirit and a can-do approach

that can turn our island into a base and a testbed

for new sectors and technologies. Malta

has become a centre of excellence with an

enviable reputation in many sectors, and not

only ones that are ICT related. The formula, so

to speak, is already tried and tested and can

therefore be replicated in other areas such as

block chain,” said the two entrepreneurs.

36

Speaking about the main advantages of

blockchain, David Schranz explained how

the technology enables any two parties to

make an exchange without the oversight

or intermediation of a third party, strongly

reducing or even eliminating counterparty

risk. “This means that the users are in control

of all their information and transactions.

Furthermore when using blockchain one can

claim that data is complete, consistent, timely,

accurate, and widely available.”

The team at Ledger Projects is being

mentored by Dr Abdalla Kablan, who is a

widely respected fintech expert and data

scientist. Dr Kablan has always been at the

forefront of disruptive technology and is

considered a renowned entrepreneur and

published academic. His interdisciplinary

background in fintech and machine learning

has been paramount to his international

success, and Ledger Projects is delighted that

he has mentored our team academically.

Speaking about Ledger Projects’ first product

LP 01, Anthony Mamo said “We have been

focused on researching, developing and

testing LP 01 for the past 20 months. The

design process was somewhat difficult

because we wanted to ensure that we would

be able to scale horizontally within reasonable

time frames. During this time we also focused

on identifying immediate opportunities

where DLT could bring tangible benefits

to multiple users and the plan is to deploy

another 2 applications at 6 month intervals.”

Referring to the people at Ledger Projects,

Anthony Mamo added, “the team is small

but very diverse, and consists of people with

very different skillsets and backgrounds. We

have managed to attract persons who are

academics, technologists with a passion for

innovation and people with a strong legal

background. We are also fortunate enough to

be able to involve from time to time people

with experience in a particular field to explain

inefficiencies in their business process and

provide feedback to our proposed solutions.”

Ledger Projects will be launched during a

morning event at the Westin Dragonara this

coming Thursday 28th September when the

company will also present its first 'ready to

use' Blockchain application. Those interested

to attend may register by sending an email to

info@ledgerprojects.com. Places are limited

and requests received will be accepted on a

first come first served basis. MBR

Creditline: Corporate Identities

Our goal is to offer best-in-class services and

technologies that help you visualise and use

your information in a meaningful way; enabling

you to take the right decisions at the right time.

Empowering Business

imovo.com.mt


Malta Business Review

HIGHER EDUCATION

Committed to Providing the

Best Education Learning Experience

eie educational group

Malta Business Review

OUR MISSION

To enhance the level of Academic

training and Tuition of both pre and

post graduate levels by:

Learning a language or obtaining an academic

qualification is more important than ever in

the global economy. eie Educational Group

provide students with a first-class educational

teaching and training service at a fair price.

Students ask for an excellent teaching

environment so that they quickly progress

through their course, but also that they will

want to enjoy themselves whilst studying.

At eie Educational Group, you will have a

fantastic studying experience. eie encourage

social interaction trough regular, fun and

varied leisure programmes, as this improves

a learning experience.

eie Educational Group, was established in

January 2000 and their success is built on a

long-standing commitment to the specific

needs of local and international students. eie

constantly expands its worldwide networks,

partners with established renowned

organisations, invests in its facilities and in

social commitments. The eie Educational

Group is redefining the landscape of modern

education.

The eie Educational Group aims to develop the

appropriate competencies and knowledge

needed in planning, evaluation, research and

development tasks in education and related

fields in the midst of societal changes, both

on local and global levels. This network gives

eie the key to be competitive and to share

the collective experience and continuous

professional development with their cilients.

In a fast moving world, challenges are

demanding and change is constant.

Tomorrow’s future depends on today’s

knowledge. MBR

For more information about eie’s degree programmes,

English language courses or other business related

courses you can e-mail at info@eie-group.com,

phone on +35621332804/5

• Contributing actively towards the

propagation of equal opportunities

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• Continually engaging in the pursuit of

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• Continually investing in its own

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• Striving to afford the best service to all

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• Establishing itself as a leader in the

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• Contributing towards the social

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Through its companies, the EIE EDUCATIONAL GROUP is able to

offer the following services:

Academic programmes

Training programmes

English Language courses

Student Accommodation

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Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor, Master degrees in various

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of Further and Higher Education – License Number 2005-TC-

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Business courses, thematic seminars for business excecutives

offered through eie Mangement Centre;

English courses at Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate,

Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Business English and

Advanced levels are offered through Unilang International

School of Languages, Valletta (Licensed by the EFL Monitoring

Board – License Number 249/MB16)

Provision of quality accommodation around Malta ideal for

students offered through eie Residences

Organisation of Work placement and Internships for

international students offered through eie internships.

Commitment to

EXCELLENCE

The eie

Educational

Group

eie Educational Group, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta

Tel: +356 21 332804/5 info@eie-group.com

is an acknowledged leader

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Higher Educational courses - eie Institute of Education

(NCFHE License Number 2005 - TC - 001)

English Language Courses - Unilang International

School of Languages (EFL License Number 249/MB16)

Executive and Business courses - eie Management

Centre

Internship services - eie Internships

Student Accommodation - eie Residences

International Educational services - eie International

www.eieEducationalGroup.com

38 www.maltabusinessreview.net 39


Malta Business Review

DRONES

eCOMMERCE

Malta Business Review

Launch of the FastTrak initiative

and the revised eCommerce Strategy

Martin Lanni, CEO of Quantum Aviation,

on why drones are a risky business

Drones are becoming

an ever more common

part of modern

life but should you

be wary of them?

Martin Lanni, CEO of

Quantum Aviation Ltd,

a British company

providing airspace

security and maritime

aviation services and

consultancy which has

worked on the London

2012 Olympic Games

and numerous counterterrorism

projects, sets

out everything you

need to know...

The anti-drone market is taking off at quite

some rate. It’s not an exaggeration to state

that if you care about your security in any

way, there’s a very good chance that you’ve

considered or will soon consider adding the

threat of drones into your risk assessments.

If you're responsible for a superyacht or

luxury property then you should be aware

that drones are taking your picture, checking

where you park your cars and noting when

you leave the house. The very nature of these

fabulous boats and houses draws attention

- desirable or otherwise - which is precisely

what owners usually want to avoid.

What’s your appetite for risk? Are you averse

or tolerant? How does your assessment

process consider the likelihood and severity

of a drone threat? The objective target for

incidents should be zero, of course, but

in reality creating a situation where the

risk is ‘tolerable and as low as reasonably

practicable’ is a working solution. Many

organisations claim to be risk averse, but it’s

likely that while there may be a line on a risk

assessment, little practical mitigations are

actually in place for a number of threats. This

is not a criticism, merely an observation of

the budget-driven reality of security. Resource

prioritisation is the perpetual burden of any

manager and security is no different.

From a practical perspective, what means

are available to protect you against drones?

Regulation plays a big part. This both

manages the benign drone operator, be they

hobbyist or commercial, and helps restrict the

availability of unregistered drones. Regulation

helps prevent a benignly intended but

incompetent operator accidentally infringing

your privacy. However, the malignly driven

person is unlikely to be dissuaded by rules.

Burglars know that breaking into a house is

against the law but still they burgle. Drones

are a paparazzi’s dream. Much easier than

lurking in the undergrowth with a massive

telephoto lens.

Thankfully there are options beyond mere

regulation. We see a lot of ‘solutionising’ in

this industry. Buy some equipment and then

work out what to do with it. This is letting

the tail wag the dog. At Quantum we prefer a

requirements driven approach. What actually

is your problem? You may not know exactly

so do a risk assessment and get professional

help.

Of course, this comes with its own dangers so

remember the cliché ‘if you think professionals

are expensive, you should see what an

amateur costs’. Do your own due diligence

on anyone purporting to be an ‘expert’. Are

they really experienced in the field? Can they

prove it? The anti-drone industry, like any

other, is full of snake oil salesmen. Before

you commit to a product, check if it’s really

in production and out there getting used,

there’s a proliferation of beta systems – you

don’t want to be surprised the system works!

Quantum use a blend of sensors to protect

a project – every situation is different and

demands a bespoke approach. Call us. We’ll

be happy to help. MBR

Visit quantumaviation.co.uk

Creditline: Boat International

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri

launched the FastTrak initiative and the

publication of a revised eCommerce Strategy.

Silvio Schembri explained that the aim of

both initiatives is to raise awareness on the

use of social media by businesses - not only to

facilitate administrative practices but also to

ensure an efficient channel of communication

with the consumer, keeping in mind that 70%

of the population use the internet to seek

information before purchasing a product.

“Social media facilitates closer proximity

between buyer and seller”, explained

Parliamentary Secretary Schembri, while

pointing out that a number of microbusiness

owners are now interacting with

their clients via Facebook. Yet, there still

remains room for improvement in order to

enhance competitiveness between and for

the businesses - the greater contributors to

Malta’s economic growth.

“In this context, we are launching these

free training sessions to help businesses,

particularly the self-employed, to boost their

economic activity”, added Silvio Schembri.

The Malta Communications Authority,

with the support of the Malta Employers’

Association (MEA), and the Malta Chamber of

SMEs (GRTU), will offer free training sessions

on Digital Marketing with a special focus on

online presence and social media. FastTrak will

offer retailers the opportunity to learn how to

enhance communication with customers and

how to adopt an appropriate strategy for their

business while knocking down the barriers

that stop retailers from using social media in

their business activity.

This complements other initiatives that

MCA took since the launch of the National

eCommerce Strategy in 2014 which was

updated after a public consultation. The

revised eCommerce Strategy emphasizes the

need that businesses should now embrace

the digital shift that is transforming the retail

industry.

Businesses interested in attending these

training sessions are invited to visit MCA’s

website, www.mca.org.mt and complete the

FastTrak application form. MBR

Source: The Parliamentary Secretariat For Financial

Services, Digital Economy And Innovation

40 41

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

BLOCKCHAIN

BLOCKCHAIN

Malta Business Review

TRANSPARENCY AND IMMUTABILITY

Taking Malta at the forefront of fintech

and disruptive innovation

David Schranz, CEO of Ledger Projects

MBR: Can you describe and define blockchain

application? I'm always interested to

hear people describe it because everyone

seems to have a slightly different take…

DS: Using just two words, the most suitable

definition is digitized trust. It is also the most

relevant definition today since we seem to

live in a time when counterparties trust each

other less and less and the trust gap needs

to be bridged. From a scientific viewpoint

Block chain is a technology that creates an

incorruptible digital ledger of economic

transactions that can be programmed

to record not just financial transactions

but virtually everything of value including

contracts. In my opinion distributed ledger

technologies really have the potential to

revolutionize most industries in the very near

future.

MBR: What can you tell us about your

pioneering work building the first Maltese

Distributed Ledger Application targeted at

property transfer management?

DS: Our system is very scalable and

flexible, focused on building a framework

of micro services designed around the

blockchain proposition. And thanks to our

technical team's strong capabilities, we are

continuously looking at other improvements

to the system, such as the use of chain

oracles since computing on the blockchain is

expensive and sometimes slow. We also plan

to implement sharing mechanisms, which

by Martin Vella

reduce the information every node has to

store and process, so that the system can

process more parallel transactions; thereby

increasing scalability. The true strengths of

the technology are trust, transparency, less

friction, reduced costs and overall increased

efficiency. These are strengths that can be

applied to the infrastructure supporting

property transfer management and this is

why with our first blockchain application LP01,

we seek to consolidate all of the benefits

just mentioned for use in this particular

area. We have been focused on researching,

developing and testing LP 01 for the past 20

months. Now the plan is to deploy another 2

applications at 6 month intervals.

Due to the decentralized

networks, blockchain does not

have a central point of failure

and is better able to withstand

malicious attacks

MBR: What are the main advantages of

using block-chain technology?

DS: One of the main advantages of

blockchain is that it enables any two parties

to make an exchange without the oversight

or intermediation of a third party, strongly

reducing or even eliminating counterparty

risk. This means that the users are in control

of all their information and transactions.

Furthermore when using blockchain one can

claim that data is complete, consistent, timely,

“Blockchains are not merely a

business opportunity, but a

way to change how governments

serve their citizens and how

private companies serve their

clients. The main priorities

should be regulation and

incentives to attract the

right capital and talent to

stimulate growth in this

sector,” stated by Maltese

technologist David Schranz,

CEO of Ledger projects,

who recently co-launched

the first ever Maltese

built Distributed Ledger

Application targeted at

property transfer management,

LP 01, through their newly

set up company Ledger

Projects.

accurate, and widely available. And due to the

decentralized networks, blockchain does not

have a central point of failure and is better

able to withstand malicious attacks. This adds

a layer of Transparency and immutability

because changes to public blockchains are

publicly viewable by all parties creating

transparency, and all transactions are

immutable, and cannot be altered or deleted.

MBR: How can one regulate block-chain

applications in order to attract the right

capital and talent to stimulate growth in this

sector?

DS: Malta already enjoys a number of

important advantages. Geographically, we

are excellently positioned, we are English

speaking, have a strong financial system, we

are talented and resourceful and have always

shown a strong entrepreneurial spirit and

a can-do approach. These qualities, couple

with our country’s small size, make Malta

into an ideal base and a test-bed for new

sectors and technologies. These are already

very important qualities that investors look

for and which can attract capital investment

to our country. Malta has become a centre

of excellence with an enviable reputation

in many sectors, and not only ones that

are ICT related. The formula, so to speak, is

already tried and tested and can therefore be

replicated in other areas such as Blockchain.

Growth in this sector should also be

supported by the right legislative framework,

developed by Government, hand in hand

with the sector’s experts. Government has

already stated its wish for Malta to be at the

forefront of fintech and disruptive innovation.

Therefore, whilst in many other jurisdictions

block chain still has an uncertain regulatory

status, local decision makers need to realize

the benefits of adopting the technology

and act fast to ensure we’re ahead of other

competing jurisdictions. This will stimulate

further growth in this sector and make it

attractive to more investment.

MBR: Can you tell us how Ledger Projects

came into being and what are the core

objectives?

DS: Blockchain technology has been on the

local radar for a number of months. Malta’s

Government has also expressed its wish for

Malta to become 'The silicon Valley of Europe'

when it comes to fintech and disruptive

innovation. We also believed that Malta, being

a small market, commands a better advantage

when it comes to rolling out technology such

as Block-chain. With this in mind, we already

knew that the right environment was being

fostered and decided to invest 20 months of

research and development that finally led us

to launch of Ledger Projects and its first locallybuilt

Distributed Ledger Application targeted

at property transfer management. We are

proud to be the first Maltese company with

the first blockchain application developed in

Malta because our core objective is to put

Malta on the blockchain map. Following our

successful launch two weeks ago, we have

already started seeing very encouraging

feedback.

MBR: It seems from the industry perspective

there’s also a bit of a herd mentality with

blockchain that’s acting in its favour. Once

one bank moves, all the others want to

be involved too. How long have you been

trying to pitch this to the banks?

DS: We agree with your statement that

there's a bit of a herd mentality but we can

also expect this to dwindle, at least slightly,

when all this hype dies down. In a way its

history repeating itself; just recently every

conference mentioned Big data and we saw

the creation of companies offering big data

solutions. Shortly after, as big data became

less of a buzz word Artificial intelligence

became its replacement, and a number of

companies wanted to get involved in Artificial

Intelligence. And this is now happening with

Blockchain.

We also believed that Malta,

being a small market,

commands a better advantage

when it comes to rolling out

technology such as Blockchain.

As we have said on a number of occasions

we have been interested in the sphere of

Distributed Ledger Technology for over two

years, thanks to our friend and Science and

Technology Mentor Dr Abdalla Kablan who is

an international authority in this field, and in

our opinion, a person who is quite a few steps

ahead in the Fintech/Regtech world. Let's

remember Abdalla had presented in Malta

a high frequency currency trading platform,

using AI, six or seven years ago - quite some

time before Artificial intelligence gained

prominence. The same with Big Data. At the

moment we are not focused on pitching

a solution to banks, even though on an

international front, a great number of banks

are showing interest in DLT, and will most

likely adopt the technology quite soon. We

know a number of similar companies to ours

are collaborating with banks and are already

past proof of concept stage, and the results

are very positive.

MBR: Does this technology need a critical

mass to go main stream?

DS: If by critical mass one is referring to

Government related services then as is the

case with the provision of most services, and

not only technology, the true potential of DLT

may be maximised if adopted by such a 'large'

single user, but there are other stakeholders,

or even, groups of professionals, who, if

working together utilising this technology

will bring out the best of DLT in just the

same way. There are also very prominent

technologists and academics who believe

that it is almost inevitable that DLT will go

main stream. Richard Etwaru, the author of

a very informative book on the subject titled

'Blockchain - Trust Companies' claims that

most companies will be disrupted by a trusted

version of itself. Definitely a bold claim, but a

possibility nevertheless. From a technical

perspective, since DLT are still young, we can

foresee problems related to scalability and

speed however once networks grow however

these issues are being addressed and it is fair

to assume, will be resolved.

MBR: How long do you see industry

adoption of blockchain taking?

DS: Malta is already at the forefront of

international developments when it comes

to DLT adoption. In September our island

became the first country, not in Europe, but

in the world to manage educational records

through DLT. This is very encouraging and

we are hopeful that other Government

Department's will follow suit. It is very

clear that the local authorities believe this

technology is indeed a tool to better serve

citizens. We are also seeing interest for DLT

solutions from medium - large sized firms,

since the private sector too has come to

realise that the technology can help to better

serve customers and clients. If this kind of

momentum is maintained we can cautiously

say, sooner rather than later. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

42 43

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE

EU: ROAMING

Malta Business Review

Lack of faith

and overcoming your fears!

Cheaper

A Case Scenario

A young woman in her late 40’s, presents

with a poor-looking heavily treated dentition.

She is unhappy, disappointed and has almost

given up on finding a solution to her troubled

smile. She was given a few options, from jaw

repositioning to removable dentures, which

were too extreme for her. Her saving grace

was that she wasn’t expecting any miracles.

She was realistic in what she wished to

achieve and more than anything determined

to get it done. 3D radiography showed more

obstacles; the presence of a large cyst, lack of

bone quantity both in width and height, all

difficult factors to deal with. Her wish was not

to have a Hollywood smile (almost) but to be

able to smile again, with confidence!

The treatment consisted of 2stages.

Stage 1

Cosmetic crowning and veneering

of the lower dentition

Removal of remaining upper

teeth and cyst

Placement of 6 implants with

simultaneous bone grafting

Stage 2

Provisional fixed bridge to assess

new tooth angulations, colour

and contour.

Conversion of provisional fixedbridge

to a definitive porcelainbridge.

Extra-Oral before treatment

Lateral view before treatment

For some dentistry is a sore point and not a

topic of conversation. It could be a subject

that makes you churn and even sweat.

Why? A history of bad dentistry? Repeated

toothache? Is it true to say that not everyone

is blessed with good teeth? I believe it is

partly true. According to Darwin we are

both what our environment makes us to be

and what our parents made us to be. Fiftyfifty!

The environment includes sugary diets

and lack of hygiene while in some, genetics

may predispose them to weak teeth. Some

patients brush and brush religiously and yet

still develop cavities or have gum disease.

Others rarely or never brush and yet have

intact teeth with no gum disease.

Some patients say they have been let down

by their dentist. This could be due to poor

treatment, pain during treatment, lack of

communication and cosmetic end result.

They may have never been offered the

right treatment plan that suits them. These

scenarios are not necessary associated with

old age. Some patients have real dental

problems early on in their adult lifetime. Some

mothers say that their teeth degenerated

Extra-Oral after treatment

Lateral view after treatment

during pregnancy and early motherhood. An

old wife’s tale? Maybe, however there might

be some truth at least in timing as young

career mothers have less time for themselves

and their daily needs resulting in a possible

decrease in dental care amongst others.

It is never too late to fix your smile. All ages

matter! Previous failure in fixing your teeth is

nothing but the opportunity to start again!

Ask your dentist! MBR

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon,

Trained in London working in

private practice in Malta

MEP Marlene Mizzi

Long-distance intra-EU calls should cost the

same as calling within the same country,

according to a draft law approved on Monday.

The Committee on Industry, Research and

Energy (ITRE) voted on Monday evening on an

update of EU rules on telecoms. The objective

is to improve access to networks across

the EU, including making 5G connections

available to all citizens. The bill, still to be

agreed with EU Ministers, also provides for

measures to protect consumers.

Cost of long-distance calls

EU communications companies should

justify when they charge additional fees to

users calling from mobiles or landlines to

another EU member state, committee MEPs

agreed. The Body of European Regulators for

Electronic Communications (BEREC) would

set out guidelines on how service providers

could recover the costs they incur in other

ways.

Reverse 112 to alert in the event of a

terrorist attack

A “reverse 112 system” was also introduced

by committee MEPs, enabling national

authorities to alert citizens in the event of

imminent major emergencies and disasters,

such as a terrorist attack or a natural

catastrophe, using geo-localisation tools.

This system aims to reduce casualties by

instructing people on what to do if they are

in danger.

Protection from hacking

MEPs also want the use of end-to-end

encryption to be mandatory to protect the

confidentiality of communications. Users

should be informed of risks resulting from

a security incident and possible protective

measures or solutions that they can take.

New rules for businesses

The reform of EU telecoms markets aims to:

• stimulate competition and reduce

differences in practices among national

antitrust bodies

• encourage bigger and longer-term

investments in network infrastructures

• provide consumers with faster

connections, including 5G

In addition, MEPs want licences for the radio

spectrum for telecoms companies to last 25

years to incentivise investments. They should

be subject to a review after at least 10 years,

to ensure they are being used efficiently.

MEPs also want reserve prices (i.e. price set

for a bid) and licensing fees to reflect real

market conditions.

Finally, companies providing electronic

communications services in more than one

member state will benefit from a home

market regime, i.e. the same conditions as

local companies.

Setting up of BEREC

The committee finally voted on a separate

draft legislation, still part of the same package

of proposals, for the establishment of the

Body of European Regulators for Electronic

Communications (BEREC), with the objective

of implementing electronic communications

legislation consistently across the Union.

phone

calls to

other EU

countries

MEPs

MEP Marlene Mizzi, S&D negotiator on

this file in the Internal Market Consumer

Protection Committee (IMCO) said:

"Roaming was a great political victory, but

now it is time for the next big step towards

creating a single telecoms market for

European consumers. Now, it is time to lower

international call charges and to ensure that

having access to basic and affordable internet

is an universal right to all EU citizens.

Today, with one vote we have won many

battles. We not only lowered the price gap

between national and international calls,

but we improved enormously consumer’s

rights and rights for people with disabilities

in the telecom sector. This proposal will bring

many tangible benefits to European citizens

and might even save their lives with the new

provisions on the emergency numbers 112

and 116 on missing children and with the

adoption of a special public warning system

that will inform people who find themselves

in danger zones, such as terrorist attacks or

natural catastrophes."

Next steps

Informal negotiations with EU Ministers are

expected to start promptly, once plenary has

approved the draft negotiating mandate. MBR

Creditline: Directorate-General for Communication,

Directorate for Information Offices, European

Parliament Information Office in Malta

44 45

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

EU

EU

Malta Business Review

YOUR MONTHLY GUIDE TO WHAT’S

DRIVING BRUSSELS AND EUROPE

By RYAN HEATH with HARRY COOPER and QUENTIN ARIÈS

A TALE OF TWO

INFRASTRUCTURE

PLANS

The European Union is rightly accused of

being a slow-moving beast; even Jean-

Claude Juncker admitted as much in media

appearances this week. That accusation

has never stuck to the investment plan that

bears Juncker’s name, formally known as

the European Fund for Strategic Investments

(EFSI). The first version exited the EU labyrinth

in record time in early 2015. After 300,000

jobs created and more than €200 billion

invested, a second version was agreed this

week, adjacent to Juncker’s State of the

European Union address. But where is U.S.

President Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar

infrastructure plan?

Gillian Tett of the Financial Times spoke with

Dan Slane, the man charged with drafting

Trump’s plan and found that he’s not even

sure if the president has read his plan. The

ideas, it seems, are hostage to everything

from possible tax reform to the U.S. transport

secretary being married to a Senate leader

that Trump can’t stand: Mitch McConnell. All

this from a president who is actually an expert

in infrastructure. Maybe there’s an answer to

Henry Kissinger’s famous question after all.

If you want to “call Europe,” try calling the

infrastructure team. MBR

REMEMBERING

PAUL McLEAN

WHO’S UP?

Jean-Claude Juncker: His State of the

European Union address was notable for its

ambition and optimism, and he didn’t veer

off-script.

Erna Solberg: Norway’s center-right leader

looks set for another term as the country’s

prime minister after facing down her Labor

rival.

SPEAK, PRAY, LOVE: MEET

RENAISSANCE WOMAN

When Theresa May announced she would

give a big Brexit speech in Florence, one of the

first questions asked was “Why Florence?”

Was it a Machiavelli or Medici reference?

A Thatcher-esque Bruges speech for 2017?

Not so much, according to what Playbook is

hearing.

Until her disastrous 2017 election campaign,

May’s career was defined by speeches in

which she challenged her audience’s orthodox

views. The tradition started in 2002 with her

FT Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker wrote to

readers about his colleague who died tragically

while on holiday in Sri Lanka: “He was smart,

supremely generous, and infectiously funny,”

and lauded “his genuinely groundbreaking

AND WHO’S

DOWN?

Sigmar Gabriel: He may be Germany’s

most popular minister, but Angela Merkel

crushed his plan to suspend arms exports to

Turkey over human rights concerns.

Beata Szydło: The Polish prime minister

faces European court cases on all sides, this

week on allegations of illegal logging and

potentially on judicial reforms.

labelling of the Tories as “the nasty party.” The

speech-as-strategy plan reached its height

with her first speech as prime minister, in

which she cast herself as the champion of the

vulnerable and powerless.

While Brussels waits for a divorce offer from

Britain, something that May could provide in

Florence, expect the speech to unveil “Theresa

May, European Renaissance Woman.” Or

perhaps “Theresa May, spokesperson for Europe

without the EU.” You’ve been warned. MBR

work on the EU,” that was exceptional given

his youth. The last achievement: Calculating

that Britain would need to renegotiate no

fewer than 759 treaties with 168 countries as

a result of Brexit. MBR

QUOTE OF THE

MONTH

“I can promise you,

when you get to

know him, you’ll

like him.”

— Woody Johnson, the U.S. ambassador to

the U.K., threatening to introduce his boss

President Donald Trump to Brits.

FEUD OF THE

MONTH

Emmanuel Macron vs. the Slackers:

Between 220,000 and 400,000 people

turned out across France Tuesday

for protests against French President

Macron’s controversial plans to

overhaul the labor code, according

to estimates from the police and

organizers, respectively. The number

might have been smaller if the president

hadn’t moaned about “slackers and

cynics” holding up reforms. Many of

the marchers co-opted the “slacker”

term and turned it against Macron. “I’d

rather be a slacker than a CEO,” read one

placard hoisted by a protester in Paris.

“King Macron, the slackers will kick you

out,” read another. Macron missed the

protest. He spent Tuesday in the French

Antilles surveying the devastation caused

by Hurricane Irma. MBR

EUROGROUP —

SCHÄUBLE GOES

OUT WITH A

BANG:

GAFFES & LAUGHS

Play the hits, Sting: The British pop star is

holding a concert in Estonia at the same

time as EU leaders are in Tallinn for a digital

summit. All the VIP packages are sold out —

but were they snapped up by the leaders?

If Sting decides to go for a Brexit-themed

setlist, he could play “If You Love Somebody

Set Them Free,” “Why Should I Cry For You”

and “Don’t Stand So Close To May” On a non-

Brexit theme, how about “Russians?”

EU board/bored game: Have you been

looking for a quirky EU-themed card game?

Well, Playbook has found it. The game

comes in the form of a pack of cards, and

the rules can be found at comeonover.eu.

You can spend hours answering questions

such as “Who gets airplane tickets from the

government?” and “Who turned a crane into

a hotel?” The game was created by Mosaik, a

communications agency.

Theresa stew anyone? George Osborne told

people he wants Theresa May “chopped up

in bags in my freezer,” according to an Esquire

A MESSAGE FROM

THE EPP GROUP:

Hiding behind calls for transparency, the

Greens and the Left in the European

Parliament wanted to prevent shedding

light on the use of EU taxpayers’ money

in funding NGOs. Transparency is

wholeheartedly supported by the EPP

Group. However, the Giegold report in

reality seeks to transfer power from an

elected parliament to unelected NGOs.

“Risks arising from the accumulation of more

and more liquidity and the growth of public

and private debt” could cause a new financial

crisis, outgoing German Finance Minister

Wolfgang Schäuble warned in a Financial

Times interview, ahead of his final Eurogroup

meeting today. Schäuble is worried about the

weight of bad loans still on European bank

books and the amount of money central

banks are pumping into the economy. MBR

magazine profile of the former chancellor of

the exchequer-turned-editor of the Evening

Standard newspaper.

The perils of a slim majority: Theresa May

asked Donald Trump to intervene in a trade

dispute that threatens 4,500 jobs in Belfast,

Northern Ireland, after coming under

pressure from the Democratic Unionist Party,

whose votes she relies upon to govern, the

Times reported. Big on the big things, Theresa.

We’re all doomed: The Daily Express website

was curiously free of anti-Juncker diatribes

for much of Tuesday’s State of the European

Union speech. What got top billing instead?

“Nibiru APOCALYPSE? Planet X passing will

fulfil 2,000 year prophecy and DESTROY

Earth.”

New Statesman’s Rude Ruth Page Break: Oh

dear. The left-leaning magazine’s sub-editors

are very cunning or very red-faced at the

moment.

Take the new UK immigration test. As

imagined by Irish comedy ensemble Foil,

Arms and Hog. MBR

CATALAN CRISIS …

‘Shall we talk?’ Thousands rallied around

that slogan in Barcelona and Madrid Saturday.

A much larger group rallied Sunday against

Catalonia secession: Barcelona police said

350,000 people participated, while march

organizers Societat Civil Catalana said 930,000

turned out. Another thousand showed up at

the European Parliament in Brussels. Le Soir

has more.

Symbolic declaration of independence: Is

there such a thing? The BBC’s Katya Adler

tweeted Sunday the Catalan government will

opt to make such a declaration but stop short

of a unilateral declaration of a Catalan state

independent of Spain.

Rajoy says all legal options remain on table

to prevent independence: Enric Millo, the

Spanish prime minister’s representative

in Barcelona, may have apologized for

injuries among Catalans on October 1, but

PM Mariano Rajoy gave an interview in El

Pais Saturday that gave no hint of talks or

mediation. MBR

Creditline: POLITICO SPRL | POLITICO Pro

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47


Malta Business Review

LUXURY CARS

INSURANCE

Malta Business Review

IN THE DRIVING SEAT: Inside the trend for

design-it-yourself luxury cars

by Simon de Burton

The design-it-yourself approach is spreading through the motoring world, says Simon de Burton...

Back in the golden age of motoring, cars,

like boats, were built to a buyer’s personal

specifications. Marques such as Rolls-Royce,

Bentley, Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza would

supply a “rolling chassis” complete with

engine and gearbox, leaving the owner

to employ a coachbuilder to create the

bodywork and trim the interior to order.

The spread of mass production largely put an

end to that by the late 1940s, but there has

recently been a resurgence in demand for

one-off cars as luxury becomes ever more

focused on the unique rather than merely the

high quality and expensive. The new luxury

is having something no one else has got –

and, when it comes to cars, even the best

production models aren’t exclusive enough

for some if they’re in standard trim.

One of the first companies to recognise the

market for such customising was Overfinch.

Established in 1975 in Leeds, UK, it has grown

into the go-to company for anyone wanting to

seriously upgrade their Land or Range Rover.

From marquetry dashboards and jewelled

badging on your Discovery to a remotecontrolled,

slide-out boot floor and titanium

exhaust pipes on your Sport, Overfinch will

create the SUV of your dreams.

Such is the demand for after-market

“bespoking” that many high-end car marques

offer personalisation services direct. Aston

Martin’s Q division (named, of course, after

James Bond’s gadget boffin) promises to meet

your every whim when it comes to creating a

really special car. It has demonstrated this by

building a version of the Vanquish dedicated

to the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic display

team and painted in the same “Eclat red”

as the aircraft and with seats the colour of

flight suits. Q can also design and build you

a car from the ground up, complete with

exclusively designed body.

A similar service is offered by McLaren’s

Special Operations department, which,

thanks to the carbon fibre MonoCell on

which its production cars are based, can

create any coachwork you desire to put on

top, so long as it’s road legal – and doesn’t

compromise safety or performance. Frankly,

if you can design a better looking car than

the professionals at McLaren then you’ve

probably missed your calling. MBR

Visit overfinch.com; astonmartin.com; cars.

mclaren.com

Custom McLaren P1

Aston Martin’s Red Arrows Vanquish

Overfinch specialises in high-end customisation of Range Rovers and Land Rovers

MAPFRE Middlesea launches client portal

MAPFRE Middlesea has launched its client

portal, MyInsurance, allowing customers to

view and manage their insurance policies

online, through a user-friendly and highly

personalised interactive service.

The client portal will offer the ease of selfservice

to client with regards to various

insurance products. The service will offer

an overview of the client’s policies and the

status while also allowing them to submit a

claim, track the status of that claim and pay

the excess. If a policy renewal is pending,

customers will get a notification and they

will be allowed to renew the policy and pay

online.

Customers also have access to the report

library and will be able to download the policy

certificate and schedule. MyInsurance also

allows for personal details to be updated and

for queries to be made online. The services

are available for home, motor, travel, health

and commercial insurance products.

Upon their first access to the portal, clients

will be requested to enter a unique code,

which they would have received with their

renewal notice. A 24/7 call centre will be able

to assist clients with the usage of the client

portal. The portal can be accessed on https://

myinsurance.middlesea.com/ MBR

Register to win

Meanwhile, customers who register and sign

into the web portal enter the chance to win a

weekend break.

The launch of the client portal is in line

with MAPFRE’s global value of digital

transformation. For more information visit:

www.middlesea.com

Mapfre Middlesea p.l.c. (C-5553) is authorised

by the Malta Financial Services Authority to

carry on both Long Term and General Business

under the Insurance Business Act, 1998.

MMS180917/2

Malta is planning to start allowing the use of

Cryptocurrencies in iGaming

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri

The Government is working on a plan which

will allow the use of cryptocurrencies in

iGaming, where a player will be able to

transact in digital currency in and out of

gaming platforms.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial

Services, Digital Economy and Innovation

Silvio Schembri announced this at the launch

of a blockchain application intended for the

property market and developed by a private

company, Ledger Projects.

Mr Schembri said that these initiatives

showed that Malta was gaining momentum

and moving fast in the adoption of blockchain

technology.

He added that this work will enable to harness

the market with the right regulation.

This blockchain app, named LP01, was

launched by Ledger Projects, a company

incorporated in Malta with Maltese

shareholders focused on developing

blockchain and distributed ledger technology

for state and private use.

This blockchain app eliminates the possibility

of having multiple promises of sale

documents on the same property, therefore

it will facilitate the works carried out by

notaries. It caters both for the acquisition

and sale of property, increasing efficiency

and transparency particularly on the tax paid

when transferring property.

The CEO of Ledger Projects David Schranz

and entrepreneur Anthony Mamo said that

the introduction of new technology such as

blockchain help Malta to become a centre of

excellence. MBR

Courtesy: DOI

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49


Malta Business Review

ARTS & CULTURE

Malta Business Review

Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti collaborates

in a major exhibition on Picasso and Miró

ORGANIZED BY FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE

Photo: from left to right, Mr John Cassar White, Mr Michael Lowell, Mr Martin Galea,

H.E. Mrs Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Mr Felipe Navarro, Mr John Camilleri

Throughout the spring of 2018 the Grand

Master’s Palace in Valletta, which will then

be the European Capital City of Culture, will

open its doors to a remarkable collection

confronting the work of two major

Spanish artists of the 20th century: Pablo

Picasso and Joan Miró. This exhibition will

be part of a major international project

“Picasso-Méditerranée”, an initiative from

Musée national Picasso-Paris, which is an

international cultural event held from Spring

2017 to Spring 2019. Over sixty cultural

institutions have come together to conjure

up a programme around the Mediterranean

work of Pablo Picasso. Initiated by the Musée

national Picasso-Paris, this journey into the

creation of the artist and across the places

which inspired him, aims at strengthening ties

between all the shores.

The exhibition is being brought to Malta by

Fundación MAPFRE who believe that culture

enriches people’s lives and one of its principle

aims is to bring art and history closer to the

public through exhibitions, courses and

publications. Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti

(FPM) will be collaborating with Fundación

MAPFRE and the Office of the President of

Malta who is kindly making available the

Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta for the setup

of the exhibition ‘Picasso and Miró: The

Flesh and The Spirit’ - the first of its kind to be

displayed in Malta..

Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and

most influential artists of the twentieth

century. He has a worldwide reputation and

his works fetch the highest prices at auction

houses. The exhibition comprises a suite of a

hundred etchings produced by Picasso in the

1930s for the legendary art dealer, Ambrose

Vollard; and over forty paintings by Miró, in a

bid to explore the different possibilities which

modern art offered them. Pablo Jiménez

Burillo, Director of the Culture Department

at Fundación MAPFRE and curator of the

show, explains: “This project intends to

display something more than a show of two

of the most significant creators of the 20th

century who really shook up traditional art.

This exhibition not only tries to delve into

the soul of the artists through their powerful

passions, feelings and inspirations, but also

it will demonstrate the significance of their

personal universes, full of symbols, which

depict their personalities. While Picasso

unties the dark forces of the male obsessions

and delights in female beauty, Miró instructs

us in pure colors and free gestures, which

represent the generosity of nature and the

key to attain happiness.

Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with

the Office of the President of Malta and

Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti (FPM) is offering

this unique chance for those interested to

learn more about Picasso and Miró: The Flesh

and the Spirit. The exhibition will open to the

public on 7th April and will run until 30th June

2018 at the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta,

Malta.

For more information contact Ana Zammit

Munro [AnaZ@middlesea.com] MBR

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51


Malta Business Review

ECP 2017

SUPERMARKET LAUNCH

Malta Business Review

MEPs present the European Citizens' Prize 2017

to the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda

DAVEs delivers better

customer experiences

After a long, hot Summer of festi, where

Maltese band clubs are the core of every town

and village celebration, the Għaqda Każini

tal-Banda has been awarded the European

Parliament’s prestigious European Citizens'

Prize for 2017.

MEPs Roberta Metsola (EPP), Miriam Dalli

(S&D) and Francis Zammit Dimech (EPP)

commended the deep-rooted role of the

band clubs in Maltese society, highlighting

their invaluable contribution to culture, their

role in the heart of towns and villages where

they serve to educate Maltese youth musically

and culturally, support them in their musical

aspirations and open up their horizons in their

interaction with other European cultures.

Members encouraged the representatives

of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda, the Maltese

laureates, to attend the European ceremony

of the European Citizens’ Prize to be held in

Brussels on 11th October 2017, to which

all Laureates are invited by the European

Parliament, and pointed out their potential

to be part of European programmes such as

Creative Europe.

“This Prize will raise the level of our activity

Europe-wide, reinforcing and enhancing

our long-standing musical, cultural and

educational traditions”, President Noel

Camilleri stated. “This Prize, this recognition

by the European Parliament which represents

Europe’s peoples, will also help do away

with the undeserved stigma placed on band

clubs by certain parts of Maltese society. As

recognised by the MEPs, we are a core part of

our identity as a nation. We have also come a

long way in our history”.

Maltese MEPs nominated the Għaqda

Każini tal-Banda – on the 70th anniversary

of its founding – for the Citizens’ Prize in

recognition of its role in promoting crossborder

musical cooperation with its twinning

Dr Noel Camilleri, President of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda, receives the Citizens’ Prize medal from

MEPs Roberta Metsola, Miriam Dalli and Francis Zammit Dimech (l-r)

Group photo of the Executive Committee of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda with MEPs Roberta Metsola,

Miriam Dalli and Francis Zammit Dimech (l-r) and Anna Zammit Vella, Press Officer of the European

Parliament Information Office in Malta

agreements with other European towns and

villages and enhancing in Maltese society the

European values of tolerance and solidarity.

Moreover, Maltese band clubs are drivers of

societal engagement particularly for youth

and women and help reinforce ties across

generations, MEPs said.

Since 2008, the European Citizens’ Prize

has recognised projects and initiatives that

promote EU values, mutual understanding

and facilitate cross-border cooperation.

The European Citizens' Prize Laureate from

Malta will join laureates from the other 27

EU countries at the European Parliament in

Brussels for the European award ceremony.

Background

The European Parliament’s Citizen’s Prize

The European Citizen's Prize was launched by

Parliament in 2008 to recognize exceptional

achievements by Europeans. The Citizen's

Prize can be given for activities that either

facilitate cross-border cooperation within the

EU or promote better mutual understanding

and closer integration between citizens and

member states. It can also be awarded for

day-to-day activities reflecting the values

enshrined in the EU's charter of fundamental

rights.

Every year, each MEP has the right to

nominate one candidate. Past winners from

Malta include Chris Delicata (International

Diabetes Federation - European Region), Rev.

Victor Grech (Dar tal-Providenza), Puttinu

Cares, Hospice Malta, Richmond Foundation,

and most recently Dar il-Kaptan in 2016. MBR

Credit: European Parliament Information Office in

Malta

Fresh-

Fast-

Convenient

David Grech, owner of DAVEs Supermarket

When Dave’s opened its doors in 2014

shoppers flocked to check out Malta's latest

addition to the supermarket industry. The

awe factor may have worn off, but customer

loyalty is flourishing. Owner, David Grech,

with 20 years in the supermarket industry

says his formula is working. When it comes to

pushing the horizon of Malta’s retail business,

it’s difficult to find a person that dovetails it

better. If there was one mantra I’d associate

with him, it would be “where there is a will,

there is a way”.

Gone are the days when retailers could get

by with a limited and unimaginative product

range. Consumer expectations are changing

rapidly, and with increasing competition and

constantly-evolving technology, retailers are

being forced to up their game. At Daves we

have adopted a new operational three tier

concept namely: Daves Mini, Maxi and Super.

Whereas the Super and Maxi concept will

cater for a wider choice of products and

a more focused supermarket shopping

experience, the Daves Mini concept revolves

around the idea of modernising ongoing

groceries and enhancing their assortment

to better satisfy the everyday needs of their

clients. Daves Mini is the alternative to the

village grocer, providing highly focused one to

one service.

Our focus remains that of being

a good employer, providing

equal opportunities to

our people

From the moment one enters at DAVEs, the

team aims to create a complete shopping

experience that combines best-in-class

quality products, customer service and

store experience. David’s confidence in this

field is resolute. Over the years, Maltese

supermarkets have mushroomed and

prospered, but there have been some

casualties along the way. David knows how

best to look after the business - keep your

finger on the pulse, always be present and

keep the customer happy.

"Daves is a solid business," explains David.

"It is here to stay. I'm not worried about the

competition - existing or in the pipeline -

because I have total confidence in this project.

There is always a staff member on the shop

floor to deal with problems as they arise and

solve them. Any complaints are dealt with

swiftly and amicably,” continued David.

Speaking about the employees David explains

“At Daves we consider our employees as

the most important asset and the face of

our brand. Our people distinguish us as a

caring, friendly and flexible employer that

is focused on supporting our clientele. Our

focus remains that of being a good employer,

providing equal opportunities to our people.

We are steadfast in our committment to

retain a good level of employee motivation

and provide training opportunities to our

people and rewards based on performance.

We believe in an engaged workforce which

ultimately affects customer service and the

success and profitabililty of our business”.

“Hard work and determination are vital

ingredients to a successful way forward,”

explains David. “We thank all our customers

for the ongoing support; we always strive to

bring to our customers the best experience

possible whilst making constant innovations

and improvements to ensure we can achieve

a high level of service”. MBR

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Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

THE SEPTEMBER

STORM

for bright white colours to obtain the opposite

effect.

The idea of one material fits all is just a

fairy tale, especially when it comes to

waterproofing. Thermal waterproofing

insulation are now a reality. Membranes like

Fibro Guaina reflex are able to reduce 90% of

heat intake inside buildings and provide an all

year round protection.

Product knowledge and how to use them

correctly is the secret of an able installer.

The Malta Waterproofing and Resin Flooring

Association provide technical knowledge and

professional formation to all Maltese installers

who wish to improve their workmanship or

start a carrier in the waterproofing business.

The Association also assists its members

by providing the services of a profession

advisor when facing challenging situations

or other difficulties during their works.

The Association also provides its qualified

members the Certified Installers Card. This

is done to reassure the general public that

the person has all that is required for a job

carried out at its best. All this is being made

possible thanks to the Resin and Membrane

Centre and NAICI International Academy.

For further information with regards the

Malta Professional Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association visit our website on

www.maltawaterproofing.com or call us on

27477647. MBR

by Antoine Bonello

with the building. If the membrane is to be

exposed to the sun, then it should be UV

resistant. The membrane should be flexible

enough to take any shape it is laid over, and

be capable of turning up and over walls and

other construction features.

Environmental conditions and house designs

are different from one country to another and

so is waterproofing. North European houses

are subject to intensive cold and experience

no Sun almost all year round, which is why they

have slanting roofs and black waterproofing

membrane to help absorb better the few

hot UV rays. On the contrary Mediterranean

countries subject to intensive heat must opt

Thermal Protective waterproofing membrane

Houses in Sweden have black roofs to attract the UV rays

Implementation of Thermal Waterproofing with Fibreglass reinforcement

It is the time of the year when we experience

our annual September/October rain fall. This

usually comes after a six month dry period of

intensive heat. During this time of the year

we experience a drastic temperature change,

shorter days and lot of traffic. In short winter

is coming back. But what exactly happens to

our houses in summer and why many people

endure water intake at this time of the year.

The need to protect our house and especially

our roofs from the elements is of vital

importance, failing to do so can result in

deterioration and damages beyond repair.

There are situations when structural damages

are so extensive that architects condemn

entire roofs to be rebuilt again. This practically

means that you will be required to remove

all your belongings from your house, find a

garage to store them somewhere safe and

to go and live with your in-laws or rent a

place while the works are going on. In short

a nightmare.

The fact that you are not experiencing water

drooling down your walls does not mean you

are not experiencing water intake. Most of

the time water enters from small openings

and cracks. This ends up being absorbed by

the sand and stone mixture beneath the slab

and create dampness. This dampness is bad

for the metal inside the concrete. Corroded

steel expands up to three times its volume

resulting in spalling concrete. A visible early

indication of this happening are black mould

spots on the celling. Mould and mildew are

fungi - simple microscopic organisms that

thrive anywhere there is a moist environment,

they grow within 24 to 48 hours.

All the above mentioned problems can be

solved with a proper waterproofing resin

membrane. A waterproofing membrane is

a thin layer of water-tight material that is

laid over a surface. This layer is continuous

and does not allow water to pass through

it. For example, on a roof or flat terrace,

a waterproofing membrane could be laid

above the structural slab and below the finish

tiles. This will ensure that water does not

seep into the structural slab. The tiles and

membrane must be laid over a filler material

that is sloped to ensure that water flows into

sumps and drains. Any water that remains as

puddles over the tiles roofs is likely to seep

into the slab over time, so puddles are to be

avoided at all costs.

A good outdoor waterproofing membrane

for outdoor must be should be strong,

flexible, tear-resistant and elastic so that it

can stretch to cover cracks and also move

Roofs in Greece are Mostly white to reppel the

Intensive UV rays

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Malta Business Review AVIATION SMES

Malta Business Review

Following discussions between Ryanair and

the Maltese Government, Ryanair have

just announced a major expansion of flight

connections from Malta. This expansion will

add twelve new routes operated by Ryanair

starting from April 2018.

This was announced during today’s press

conference addressed by Minister for Tourism

Konrad Mizzi and Ryanair Chief Commercial

Officer David O’Brein. In order to operate

these new and additional routes, Ryanair will

be allocating an additional aircraft based in

Malta.

The additional routes will include the

following destinations:

• Aberdeen (Scotland)

• Belfast (Ireland)

• Gothenburg (Sweden)

• Porto (Portugal)

• Pescara (Italy)

• Seville (Spain)

• Tallinn (Estonia)

• Naples (Italy)

• Barcelona (Spain)

• Bratislava (Slovakia)

• Paris Beauvais (France)

• Charleroi (Belgium)

As from April 2018 Ryanair will start to operate

twelve additional new routes. Air Malta and Ryanair in

discussions on a future collaboration.

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi with Ryanair

Minister Mizzi expressed his satisfaction on

this major expansion, describing it as a ‘vote

of confidence in Malta’s tourism sector.’ He

said that this investment means that Ryanair

is confident to expect further growth in the

number of tourists coming to Malta in the

coming years.

Minister Mizzi explained that this

complements the government’s vision to

further increase Malta’s connectivity.

Also speaking about Air Malta, Minister Mizzi

and Mr O’Brein announced that Air Malta

and Ryanair are in discussions about a future

collaboration with each other. Ryanair and Air

Malta are considering collaboration on sales

and marketing initiatives, including leveraging

Ryanair’s web presence for sales.

The Minister thanked all key stakeholders

involved, particularly the Malta Tourism

Authority and the Malta International Airport,

which were crucial to make this major

investment happen. MBR

Source: Ministry for Tourism/NSO;

photo DOI James Borg

Hurricane Irma has left behind a trail of

unimaginable destruction. There truly is

a momentous task ahead restoring the

British Virgin Islands (BVI). People need

help rebuilding their lives and there is an

immediate and critical need for food, water

and shelter.

While we are incredibly thankful for everything

being done to help the BVI communities,

more help is needed. While many expats

have left, the local people have nowhere to

go. They need the world's attention now. This

appeal is not for Necker and Moskito Island –

it is about helping the local communities of

the BVI with basic survival and recovery.

When there’s a crisis, you really learn what

people are like. Thanks to everyone who

has shown their true colours by helping the

BVI in any way they can. We now need to

raise as much money as possible for the local

community. If you would like to support this

fundraising effort then please donate via

Virgin Unite’s donation page. MBR

Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by

Richard Branson and the Virgin Group,

meaning that 100% of all donations received

will go directly to helping support local BVI

communities.

SMEs are a priority for Government -

Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia announces aid in the form of grants

Parliamentary Secretary Dr Aaron Farrugia

Parliamentary Secretary Dr Aaron Farrugia

announced the launch of a further two calls

under the Start-up Investment Grant Scheme

and the SME Growth Grant Scheme. These

are financial aid in the form of grants directly

towards entrepreneurships in order to help

them maximise their potential with direct

investment.

Farrugia noted that the Maltese Government

aims to strengthen small and medium

enterprises as these not only employ

thousands of people, but also greatly benefit

the Maltese economy. The Parliamentary

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In collaboration with

Secretary noted that these businesses have

a lot of potential that sometimes gets lost

because of lack of capital. Farrugia stated that

“this aid is what the Maltese entrepreneurs’

need, in light of the challenges and limitations

that one could have in a global economy.”

The Schemes

With an indicative allocation of 2 million euro

Call 2 under the Start-up Investment Grant

Scheme is aimed at providing assistance

to micro and small enterprises established

for less than three years through a grant to

part-finance eligible expenditure in their

productive investment. This Grant Scheme

has an allocation of 7 million euro and eligible

enterprises may be assisted by a maximum

grant value of €300,000, part-financing up to

50% of eligible expenditure.

The call under the SME Growth Grant Scheme

with an indicative allocation of 2 million

euro shall seek to assist SMEs to respond to

market demands by part-financing eligible

expenditure on productive investment

required in the implementation of their

growth strategies related to the extension of

the capacity of an existing establishment, or

the setting up of a new establishment. This

Grant Scheme has an allocation of 8 million

euro and eligible enterprises may receive

assistance up to a maximum grant value

of €500,000 with aid intensity on eligible

expenditure of 35% for micro and small

enterprises and 25% for medium enterprises.

These Grant Schemes are financed under

Operational Programme I Cohesion Policy

2014 – 2020.

Both of these calls are competitive calls and

applications for project proposals will be

received up to noon of Friday, 20 October

2017. MBR

56

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www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

“Manufacturing

increasing its

economic value”

- Economy

Minister Chris

Cardona

The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and

Small Businesses highlights the manufacturing

industry’s contribution towards the GDP

growth registered by the national economy in

the second quarter of 2017.

As expected, the economy overall continues

to grow at a staggering pace. Official statistics

issued by the National Statistics Office show

that when comparing this year’s quarter with

last year’s, in real terms the economy grew at

the real rate of 6.4%.

It is worth noting that the manufacturing

sector has performed well. When comparing

Q2 2017 with Q2 2016, the Gross Value

Added generated by the manufacturing

sector at market prices increased by 6.1% (+

€ 11.7 million).

Taking into consideration a wider timeframe

comparing the first 6 months of 2017 with

2016, the manufacturing sector at market

prices grew also at a positive rate of 5.2%.

Amongst other sub-sectors, aviation MRO

(maritime, repair, and overhaul), and the

manufacturing of electronic components

were the best performers in the wider

manufacturing industry.

In comments after the NSO announcement

on real GDP growth, Minister for the Economy

Chris Cardona stated that the efforts by

government bodies like Malta Enterprise and

Malta Industrial Parks, and local operators

alike were continuing to bear fruit.

“While Malta’s avant-gardism as witnessed in

the regulation of gaming and now even block

chain will never waiver; high-added value

manufacturing will always have a strategic

value for our economy. The deep ripples in

supply and support services that this industry

provides are singular. This ministry in tandem

with our entities Malta Enterprise and Malta

Industrial Parks will progress our efforts

to attract new companies but also sustain

established operations and establish linkages.

Reputable high added value manufacturing

remains at the centre of what the Maltese

industry stands for”, said Minister Chris

Cardona. MBR

Incentives for

employers to invest

in private pensions

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna

launched a number of fiscal incentives aimed

at employers and their employees to take up

voluntary private pensions. These incentives

were announced in this year’s budget.

Minister Scicluna explained the benefits

reaped by employers when they introduce

such incentives for their employees.

Employers will be in a position to retain their

best talent within their organisations, offer

better working conditions, and strenghten

their position as ideal employers.

While benefitting from tax credits, employers

who introduce such schemes will be showing

their committment in the future well-being of

their employees. The tax credit being given to

employers is capped at €150 per annum per

employee.

For the employees, the investment made

by their employers on their behalf will not

THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE,

CULTURE AND LOCAL

GOVERNMENT

Second edition of the world’s largest

photography competition launched in Malta

The second edition of Wiki Loves Monuments,

the Guinness World Record holder for the

largest photography competition, is taking

place again in Malta this year. The competition

brings together photographers from around

the world to take stunning pictures of our

cultural heritage to be shared on Wikipedia.

During a press conference, Minister for

Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen

Bonnici explained how this serves to raise

awareness about cultural heritage in our

communities which, despite not being as

popular, is characterised of beautiful aspects

that the photographer manages to capture.

Speaking at the competition launch at the

National Museum of Archaeology, Wikimedia

Community Malta President, Tony Micallef

explained that this year’s competition will

be taking place in over 50 countries across

six continents. Since the competition started

be considered as a fringe benefit and will

therefore be tax exempt. Employees are also

being given the opportunity of investing their

own funds in such schemes, whereby any

such investment up to €1,000 per annum will

carry a tax credit of €150.

Minister Scicluna concluded by saying that

fiscal incentives for voluntary private pension

schemes are another boost to income during

retirement. The recent issue of the 62+

Government Savings Bond had the same

objective. These investments will augment

the annual income of pensioners during their

retirement. MBR

in 2010, nearly 2 million photographs have

been uploaded, with last year’s competition

attracting over 277,000 submissions across

42 countries. This is the second time that

Malta will be participating.

Spazju Kreattiv Chairman Rupert Cefai stated,

“It is our interest to serve as a platform and

catalyst for such projects and initiatives. As

an integral project from the Spazju Kreattiv

programme, Wiki Loves Monuments

allows Spazju Kreattiv to serve the creative

community, namely the photographers

participating but also reaching out to other

communities and strengthening their

relationship with the local monuments in

their respective settings”.

The competition opens on September 1 and

the deadline for submissions is September 30.

A jury composed of experts within the field of

cultural heritage, photography and Wikipedia

will be selecting a number of winning entries.

Submitted photos will also be exhibited at

Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta (St James Cavallier)

throughout November and December. Ten

winning submissions will be nominated for

the international Wiki Loves Monuments

contest, with the opportunity to win further

prizes.

For more information on how to participate,

visit www.wikimalta.org/WLM2017. Wiki

Loves Monuments in Malta is organised

by Wikimedia Community Malta (WCM) in

collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv and Heritage

Malta, and is sponsored by Photocity. MBR

Source: The Ministry For Justice, Culture And Local

Government/Doi

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58

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