An exclusive interview with

Nick Dobrovolskiy, Co-Founder/Vice-

President of Parallels p.6



Interview with Kenneth Mallia, Director

at Seamless p.14



MBR sits down to talk with intrepid Dorianne

Kurtcu Mifsud, Director and owner of Diar

Il-Bniet Diner in Had-Dingli p.22





EIG Berlin: BtoBet’s chairman

Alessandro Fried discusses the hot

topics and changes that will affect the

gambling industry p.36

ISSUE 36 | 2017



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Malta Business Review


October 2017



We publish abridged versions of speeches made by the Hon

Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat and the Leader of the

Opposition the Hon Dr Adrian Delia at EY’s AAS conference


We review joint venture agreement accelerating

Innovation and Supporting Blockchain Initiatives in Malta



An exclusive interview with Nick Dobrovolskiy, Co-Founder/Vice-President

of Parallels





Engineer Martin Pillow talks with MBR about the creation

of various types of space frame structures, roofing

numerous industrial buildings in Malta



Focus on the main highpoints from the last Budget





EP committee of inquiry into the “Panama Papers” leaks

confirm some EU member states are obstructing the fight

against money laundering, tax avoidance and evasion

14 22



Interview with Kenneth Mallia, Director at Seamless






We learn more about Express Trailers’ recent acquisition

of a new warehouse in Qormi



MBR sits down to talk with with intrepid Dorianne Kurtcu

Mifsud, Director and owner of Diar Il-Bniet Diner in Had-






We go behind the scenes with one dynamic and resolute

company switching their online objectives to growth



One page paparazzi on Malta’s largest and most

successful boats and yachting awards



Following the EIG Berlin, BtoBet’s chairman Alessandro

Fried discusses the hot topics and changes that will

affect the gambling industry


Your monthly guide to what’s driving Brussels and Europe

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.




The Chamber of Advocates refers to the current situation

in Malta and why the rule of law is under

unprecedented pressure





Malta Business Review


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I make a conscious effort to keep things in

perspective when I get burned out. It is easy to

get stuck in the daily grind, but if you think

about all the distance you have covered, and

what lies ahead, it is much easier to feel

motivated and optimistic.

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Martin Vella


Even though they are completely unrelated, the abhorrent and evil

murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia immediately reminded about

Harper Lee’s epic Novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and of the protagonist

Atticus, the fearless lawyer who was on a relentless search for truth

and justice, as portrayed by Gregory Peck in the very touching film. Like

myself, Daphne was a journalist, possessed by her relentless fight for

freedom of speech and the prevalent corruption, which seems to be

embedded as part of the culture in Malta. Stepping on people's toes

has never been a good idea in Malta and car bombings seem to have

become a common means of silencing troublesome persons, almost

like in the rampant years of the mafia in Sicily. She was controversial;

she was irritating; she was also an uncompromising campaigner for

freedom and democracy, fighting for a better Malta.

The ghastly and grim manner she was blown up reminds me how the Italian anti-mafia judges Giovanni

Falcone and Paolo Borsellino were both taken out in similar fashion by mafia death squads, following a

contract killing and with some inside police information. The Falcone murder, or the Capaci massacre—

became a turning point for the way Italian society, politics and judiciary conceived of and dealt with

organized crime.

But this time, the mafia’s strategy backfired. For a long time it had been common to claim—as Mayor of

Trapani Erasmo Garuccio infamously did in April 1985—that “here the mafia does not exist” (despite the

fact that three days earlier a car bomb targeting a senior Trapani prosecutor had instead killed 30-year-old

Barbara Rizzo and her six-year-old twin sons). After the murders of Falcone and Borsellino, Italy could no

longer deny that it had a problem with the mafia. Daphne’s murder, like Falcone’s and Borsellino’s murders,

should signal a point of no return. There was a great awakening. A great conscious awakening. Following the

Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, all the French rallied behind one flag and acted in unison. Why do the

Maltese find it so hard to do the same, stand up and be counted. We can win the fight against corruption

and against tyranny. The battle is still very long, there are many people who are indifferent, and politics is too

slow and too weak. But we can fight for liberty, for freedom of expression and. Some good must come out

even from the most horrendous act these Islands have ever seen.

The ease with which the killers struck against Malta’s top journalist, and the impunity with which the

assassins escaped the scene of the crime suggest that it is the state that is impotent. The assassination is

not a challenge to the state. It is an indisputable victory over the state and its laws. It is a defeat for everyone

working for a moral and political renewal in Malta. The devastating consequences of this crime will be felt

for months and years to come.

The killing of Daphne in such a short time exposes the main structural weakness in fighting organised crime:

that is, the absence of a real institutional framework combating the Mafia-style criminal conspirators. Local

police have been hampered by lack of resources, laws that favour the corrupt, and an apparent absence of

political will in Malta to commit the manpower to investigate where there is need. The death of Daphne, like

Borsellino’s, will lead many to adopt the pessimistic stance of Il Gattopardo, a leading character in Giuseppe

Lampedusa's novel The Leopard, that Malta, like Sicily, cannot fundamentally change, yet all things must

change so that they can remain the same. Daphne, like Borsellino, did not share this view. A journalist once

asked Borsellino why he ran the daily risk in his thankless task of fighting the Mafia. His stern face cracked

into what passed into a smile. 'Because I'm not a gattopardista. I don't believe that things cannot change.

And for Maltese, like the Sicilians, there is a choice. Either they can leave the island, or they can stay behind

and try to improve the situation.

Daphne has been a symbol of the institutional struggle against corruption and a beacon in the dark. She was

an inspirational voice of freedom, champion of investigative journalism in Malta, and extremely undaunted

and courageous woman. Perhaps too perfectionist, she was fighting against all odds and against a prevalent

negative and misguided mentality. Her family, relatives and many Maltese, will once more express their

anger at a state which they feel has lost control over the rule of law and abandoned them. Daphne died in

a massive car-bomb attack. Daphne has always been a living target, 'a walking corpse' in the graphic Italian

expression, because of her extensive knowledge of what was happening behind the scenes of power, that she

knew too much, because of what she was about to reveal. No other practising journalist could understand

the Maltese mentality as well, or could penetrate the Maltese nature of their actions and responses as

Daphne could. Playing the freedom of expression card is incompetent, when one remembers so many tried

their hardest to shut Mrs Caruana Galizia up by attempting to bankrupt her, and fellow journalists idly and

hopelessly observing without taking any action of defending solidarity.

We can all be certain that Malta's Justice System and the Law will never solve this murder and it will always

remain a mystery, like the mystery of the Panama bank accounts and Pilatus Bank transactions!

Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go to the Caruana Galizia family.



Malta Business Review


Making Malta The Center of Innovations

By Martin Vella

Nick Dobrovolskiy, Co-Founder/

Vice-President of Parallels,

talks with MBR to explain the

significant €10 million investment

made by Acronis, who has joined Runa

Capital and Parallels In Accelerating

Innovation and Supporting Blockchain

Initiatives in Malta. In this exclusive

interview Mr Dobrovlskiy tells us

just why technology innovations

and strong customer demand for

data protection solutions fuels need

for expansion in the Mediterranean

region through a concerted and

strategic partnership approach with

the Island of Malta.

Runa Capital is going to become the first

Venture Capital Fund in Malta to provide

funding to local startups. Acronis and Parallels

will be engaged in joint research projects with

local firms and institutions with a possibility

of creation of a new R&D Center. It will be

focused on advanced technologies in Data

Protection, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and

Blockchain. The group of our companies is

expected to contribute up to $10 million over

a three-year period through expanding its

presence in the country, providing venture

capital, R&D.

MBR: Parallels, Acronis and Runa Capital

have announced a €10 million investment

to a European Technology Hub in Sliema,

Malta. How is this support to an island

state and developing of National Blockchain

Initiative going to turn it into a Smart

Digital Territory? Through accelerating


ND: We are group of independent companies

united just by common shareholders. We

have similar vision of the future and our

common aim is digital development! We

discovered Malta as one of the best places for

innovative business due to the high level of

educated population and the strong support

Nick Dobrovolskiy, Co-Founder / Vice-President of Parallels

of development by the government. That's

why we are here jointly.

From my side, I want to note a good positive

investment climate in Malta, a high level of

IT-industry development. That's why we can

move forward really fast and make the Island

famous around the world with IT products

made here.

Parallels has already been investing heavily in its

Maltese branch since 2015, and will continue to

do so in foreseeable future. Today our team in

Malta consists of 40 Maltese specialists. It means

that more than 12% of worldwide Parallels

employees work at Sliema office nowadays.

MBR: Runa Capital will be the first Venture

Capital Company in Malta to provide

funding to local start-ups. Can you tell us

more about these funding initiatives?

ND: Runa Capital is a really successful Venture

Capital Fund which works in hi-tech areas

in many countries in the world. It has a

good experience in fintech and other digital

projects, and I’m confident that its activities in

Malta will be visible in a short period of time.

MBR: In what joint research projects are

Parallels and Acronis engaged?

ND: Parallels has more than 100 US Patents

for inventions. Our expertise in virtualization,

mobile technologies and IT-sphere in whole is

truly unique. Collaboration with the biggest

universities and research centers all over

the world gives excellent results. This is a

good example of synergy between practice

and theory. These days we are discussing

with colleagues from University of Malta



Malta Business Review

some research projects on a cutting edge of

innovation. I hope you will see results of this

partnership very soon. By the way, Parallels is

the Gold Partner of The University of Malta.

MBR: How does Parallels intend to continue

its international expansion?

ND: Parallels is a world leader in crossplatform

solutions. We are a successful

global organisation with ten international

offices worldwide and sales in more than

60 countries, keeping strong ties between

our regional headquarters. Our products

help businesses and individuals securely and

productively use their favorite devices and

preferred technology, not depending on actual

OS, providing an intuitive end-user interface.

This meaningfully increases productivity and

reduces complexity. It doesn’t matter where

we are right now; we are everywhere just

because we are international IT-company. If

you mean our global ambitions then we have

sales in 60 countries and they are growing

up. When you have many good products that

are on demand in global markets - it is easy to

expand. This is our story.

MBR: How significant is it to open a new

European technology hub in Malta?

ND: For us it is not the first experience to act

with our partners from Acronis and Runa

Capital in the world. We have already had

the same experience in other countries. Why

we are doing it in Malta right now? I think

it’s clear. Malta has a really good chance

to become the center on innovations. The

country has a good location, a good positive

investment climate and understanding from

the government that IT-technologies are a

new oil.

MBR: What about blockchain? Does this

technology need a critical mass to go


ND: I think in reality not everybody knows

how it works and why blockchain some call

a new Internet. But in a few years, it will be

everywhere. Just try to remember your

feelings about first social networks or Apple

pay. Today, it’s usage by everybody is normal,

but fifteen years ago seemed like fantasy.

In my opinion, in a couple of years we will

need more privacy and data protection. And

blockchain technology which can secure

your sensitive info is a good solution. Just

imagine that you are free from paperwork.

Only trustworthy due to Blockchain data in

databases in operation. Sounds like the Matrix

is coming, remember a famous movie. But

maybe it's true and AI will become a reality in

the life of everyone, I mean in 5-7-10 years.

MBR: How long it will take to adopt

blockchain technology by global industry?

Part of Parallels Team

ND: IT-industry is working on it right now.

Other industrial spheres will wake up in a

couple of years. I think the first will be banks.

Next – Insurance, logistics, Healthcare, Law.

Sure, the last will be sport. Though I know

some startups which works with hi-tech

solutions for estimation of results and on this

basis creating personal training programs for

sportsmen. The Future is coming fast. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

About Parallels

Parallels is a global leader in cross-platform

solutions, makes it simple for customers

to use and access the applications and

files they need on any device or operating

system. The company is a key partner

of Apple and Microsoft and has more

than 5 million users worldwide. In 2016

the Parallels has got award as the Most

Innovative Company of the Year as well

as the Best Software & Web Development

Company in Malta.

Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta came to Parallels office. Parallels in collaboration with Runa Capital and

Acronis, announced the opening of a new European Technology Hub in the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Malta Business Review





I am confident that the Maltese authorities

will spare no effort in getting to the bottom of

what happened. Every lead must be followed

up. In my view Europol must also be involved,

as part of an international investigation in

which all police forces work together to bring

those responsible to justice.

In the presence of the Caruana Galizia

family in the visitors' gallery, the European

Parliament President said that it is through

free and independent press.

Statement by President Tajani in plenary

in the presence of the family of Daphne

Caruana Galizia

As President, as a citizen and as a journalist, I

should like to express my sense of outrage at

the brutal murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

She was a brave woman, and a fine journalist.

She epitomised everything that is good about

that profession: she sought out the truth, the

facts, and refused to let anyone stand in her

way. She was not afraid to do whatever it

took to fulfil what she saw as her duty.

In 30 years as a journalist, she never lost

heart. She continued to shine a light in dark

places, to speak the truth, answering only to

her readers, the only people to whom she felt

accountable. Drawing on that inner strength,

she published more than 20 000 articles

European Parlament

denouncing abuses of power, corruption and

the failings of governments.

Like every true journalist, she was the sentinel,

the soldier in the front line defending our

values. We have a free and independent press

to thank for democracy, the rule of law and

freedom of expression - all the fundamental

rights on which the European integration

process and our very civilisation are founded.

Our Union is far more than just a market or

a single currency. It is the manifestation of

our values, of our identity, at the heart of

which stand the freedom and dignity of the

individual. If we are to defend that freedom

and that dignity, inside and outside the Union,

we must safeguard the independence of the

press. I am proud that this Parliament has

always been in the front line of that battle.

Daphne’s murder must not go unpunished.

How can we credibly claim to defend

journalists around the world if we cannot

even offer them protection and justice here

at home?

The example Daphne set must never be

forgotten. Together with the Vice-Presidents

and the Quaestors, I have decided that the

press room here in Strasbourg should bear

the name of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

"She was a brave woman, and a

fine journalist. She epitomised

everything that is good about

that profession: she sought out

the truth, the facts, and refused

to let anyone stand in her way."

Her family is here with us today in the

gallery. To them I would like to say that we

are together in spirit with the thousands of

Maltese who on the Sunday following her

assasination took to the streets to call for

justice and to pay tribute to Daphne’s work.

I would ask you now to observe a minute’s

silence in memory of Daphne Caruana

Galizia. MBR

Courtesy: European Parliament Information

Office in Valletta





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Malta Business Review



The key measures announced during the budget speech for 2018 have been summarised below for your convenience.


• There is no change to any tax band.

However, for full-time and part-time

employees earning less than €60,000,

they will be entitled to a refund

amounting from €40 to €68, depending

on the gross income of the preceding


• Pensioners shall be exempt from tax on

their first €13,200.

• Individuals who are below the age of

40 years enrolling for a post graduate

course equivalent to Masters and PHD

will be exempt from income tax for a

maximum period of two years.


• The exemption threshold for Small and

Medium Enterprises will be extended

from €14,000 to €20,000.

• VAT will be exempt on motorcycles,

scooters and pedal bicycles.

• There is a 7% reduced VAT on hiring of

bicycles. Electric and hybrid cars to be

exempt from registration tax. Certain

vehicles may benefit from a 5 year

exemption on road tax.

• VAT Grouping will be introduced to the

Gaming and Financial Services industries.

• Through VAT Grouping companies which

form part of the same group may have

one VAT number. Supplies of services

intra group would fall outside of scope

of VAT.


• A white paper is expected to be

published to discuss changes to the

rental market.

• The exemption on the first €150,000

stamp duty for first time buyer’s is to be

extended for another year.

• Second time buyers may benefit from

a maximum stamp duty exemption of

€3,000 upon certain conditions being

satisfied. Reduction in stamp duty to

2.5% on property purchased in urban

conservation area.The reduction of

stamp duty from 5% to 2% on property

purchased in Gozo, is being extended for

another year.

• The reduction of stamp duty from 5%

to 2% on property purchased in Gozo, is

being extended for another year.


• MircoInvest Scheme – the value will be

increased to €50,000 for the enterprises

based in Malta and €70,000 for

enterprises based in Gozo.

• Enterprises employing less than 50

employees on a full-time base will also

be entitled to the said scheme.

• Private Entities in Gozo offering an

employment contract of at least 3 years

will benefit from a 30% refund of an

average wage of an employee up to

€6,000 per employee.


• Citizenship by Merit to be introduced

and granted only to those who excel in

science, research, sports, art and culture.


It is the Government’s vision to make

Malta a center for excellence in Blockchain


• The Government has already set up a

Task Force to evaluate proposals on a

national Blockchain strategy.

• As part of this strategy, there will be

the creation of Blockchain Lab for the

training of civil servants to become more

acquainted with the use of blockchain


• The Government will also set up a

Blockchain Hub to assist startups and

investors using this technology.


• There will be a €10,000 maximum grant

to couples to cover adoption expenses in

relation to adoption proceedings.

• There will also be an Increase in foster

care allowance to €100 per week.

• Pensioners aged 75 or over living in their

house will be provided with a grant of

€300 per annum. MBR

For further information kindly contact: tax@


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Malta Business Review


EU countries fail to fight money

laundering and tax evasion,finds committee

• Lack of political will among some

member states for reforms

• More dissuasive sanctions against

banks and intermediaries needed

• Condemnation for the “assassination”

of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana


Some EU member states are

obstructing the fight against money

laundering, tax avoidance and

evasion, the EP committee of inquiry

into the “Panama Papers” leaks


The Committee of Inquiry into Money

Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

(PANA) approved its final report by 47 votes

to 2 with 6 abstentions on Wednesday, after

an 18-month probe into breaches of EU law in

relation to money laundering, tax avoidance

and evasion.

The committee also approved the inquiry

recommendations, by 29 votes for to 2 votes

against, with 18 abstentions.

Daphne Caruana Galizia

The meeting opened with a minute’s silence

as a tribute to Maltese investigative journalist

Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a

car bomb explosion on Monday. Ms Caruana

Galizia gave the committee evidence about

her work on the Panama Papers at a meeting

in February 2017 in Malta.

An oral amendment brought forward by

David Casa (EPP, MT) condemning the

“assassination” of the journalist, was

overwhelmingly supported. The text

described Ms Caruana Galizia as being “on

the frontline of the battle against money


EP President Antonio Tajani has invited the

family of the journalist to Parliament’s plenary

session next week in Strasbourg to join MEPs

in paying their respects to Ms Caruana Galizia.

Lack of political will among EU


MEPs expressed regret that “several EU

member states featured in the Panama

Papers.” They pointed to the “lack of political

will among some member states to advance

on reforms and enforcement.” This, they

suggested, had allowed fraud and tax evasion

to continue.

The committee was sharply critical of the

secrecy surrounding the work of the Council’s

Code of Conduct Group and highlighted

how moves to counter tax evasion are often

“blocked by individual member states.” It

wants the Commission to use its authority

to change the unanimity requirement on tax


"It is clear that urgent reform

is needed, not least within

the Council Code of Conduct

Group on business taxation.

The citizens of Europe have

a right to know what their

national governments are doing

- and not doing - in the Council

to help end harmful crossborder

tax practices.”"

Common definitions of tax havens

The committee backed a call for a common

international definition of what constitutes

an Offshore Financial Centre (OFC), tax

haven, secrecy haven, noncooperative tax

jurisdiction and high-risk country. It gave

overwhelming backing to a call for the Council

to establish by the end of this year a list of EU

member states with “where Non-cooperative

Tax Jurisdictions exist.”

The committee members also supported

a proposal that any entity with an offshore

structure should have to justify to authorities

their need for such an account.

The committee stressed the need

for “regularly updated, standardised,

interconnected and publicly accessible

beneficial ownership (BO) registers.” It

also called for proposals to close loopholes

which allow for aggressive tax planning as

well as more dissuasive sanctions at both

EU and national level against banks and

intermediaries “that are knowingly, wilfully

and systematically involved in illegal tax or

money laundering schemes.”


Co-rapporteur Jeppe Kofod (S&D, DK) said:

"Europe needs to get its own house in order

before it can end the scourge of systematic

money laundering, tax avoidance and

evasion. It is clear that urgent reform is

needed, not least within the Council Code

of Conduct Group on business taxation.

The citizens of Europe have a right to know

what their national governments are doing

- and not doing - in the Council to help end

harmful cross-border tax practices.”

Co-rapporteur Petr Jezek (ALDE, CZ) suggested

that the practices revealed by the Panama

Papers were not inevitable. “Our conclusions

are clear: had the EU and its member states

played a more proactive role in the past, the

problems revealed by the Panama Papers

could have been avoided. They arose because

EU legislation against money laundering and

exchange of tax information was not properly

implemented,” he said.

Quick Facts

The setting up of the Inquiry Committee was

triggered by the leak of personal financial

information, collectively known as the

Panama Papers, which revealed that some

offshore business entities had been used

for illegal purposes, including fraud and tax

evasion. Here is an overview of its inquiry.

Next steps

The Inquiry Committee’s final report and

recommendations will be put to a final vote

by the full Parliament as a whole in Strasbourg

in December. MBR

Courtesy: Hyun-Sung KHANG


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Malta Business Review





Interview with

Kenneth Mallia –

Director at Seamless

By JP Abela

Kenneth Mallia - Director at Seamless

"basically if I can imagine and

draw something, chances are

solid surface can be used

to create it.”

As more and more of us engage with design

and try to push the boundaries of what

our homes can be, we are turning to some

exciting products and technologies to deliver

the perfect spaces we envisage. Anyone who

has looked into the huge range of options

for kitchen benchtops, for example, is likely

familiar with ‘solid surfaces’. If you don’t

know the term, you may know their brand

names, such as Hanex and HanStone – two

major brands in the local market supplied

by Seamless. At 29 years Kenneth Mallia is

the Director of Seamless who is steering the

Company from strength to strength.

Back in April 2008, when the business was

established little could one imagine that by

2017, Seamless was to become the leading

supplier of bespoke solid surfaces solutions

in Malta.

As a manufactured acrylic, Hanex come in

flat sheets of varying thickness and an array

of different colours. While originally used

largely in commercial projects – think hospital

counters, McDonald’s, banks – they now

present huge scope for innovative design

throughout homes and small-scale projects


In a traditional kitchen environment, there’s

plenty of room to use these products in

innovative ways. “If I feel the project calls for

solid surface, it doesn’t take much convincing.

Once a client appreciates they can have any

size and shape desired, without visible joints,

they’re instantly impressed and willing to

explore it. If a design would benefit from having

integrated sink bowls, coved splashbacks,

unusual shaped drop-downs or features, solid

surface is our only serious choice,” explains

Kenneth. Unlike other options, such as stone

or porcelain our surfaces get a uniformity of

appearance, providing bold, solid colours with

only imperceptible variations in texture and


Of course, the applications don’t stop in the

kitchen and bathroom, with the products

now finding their way into countless other

environments and in some pretty amazing

forms. “When we started manufacturing

we used [solid surface] for table and kitchen

tops and began using it for wall cladding

as well,” explains Kenneth who has made

everything from basins and bathtubs to bar

and restaurant counters using the man-made


Solid surface applications seem to be limited

only by the creativity of the designer or

architect – and the budget, of course. They

also offer the ability to develop, not just

remarkable concepts, but truly long-lasting

design solutions. As Kenneth explains:

“Oversized designs, curves, engraving,

seamless finishes, total integration of bench

and splashback… basically if I can imagine and

draw something, chances are solid surface

can be used to create it.” MBR


Malta Business Review


Plenary session

Legal Affairs & Employment

EU-wide protection needed for whistleblowers

• Whistle-blower protection fragmented

by rules that differ from country to


• EU-wide protection plan should be

tabled before end 2017

• Calls for support, legal protection

against retaliation and clearer reporting


Whistle-blowers acting in the public interest

deserve proper protection and support, say


EU rules are needed to better protect and

support whistle-blowers and their role in

revealing serious breaches of the public

interest, such as corruption, miscarriages of

justice, tax avoidance, lack of protection for

food safety or the environment and attacks

on social, human or workers’ rights.

Whistle-blower protection in the EU is patchy

and often inadequate, say MEPs. They call on

the EU Commission to propose EU-wide rules

before the end of this year.

They also argue that all EU countries should


• reporting mechanisms, to facilitate

internal whistle-blowing and allow

whistle-blowers to report to NGOs or

the press, including the possibility of

anonymous reporting,

• protection against retaliation, including

sanctions against those attempting to

prevent whistle-blowers from speaking

out and measures to discourage the

retaliatory actions,

• supporting measures, such as legal and

financial aid, psychological support and

compensation for damage suffered

by whistle-blowers in the event of civil

proceedings, and

• national independent bodies,

responsible for reports, verifying their

credibility and guiding whistle-blowers

and an EU level authority, to facilitate

coordination in cross-border cases.

The non-legislative resolution was passed by

399 votes to 101, with 166 abstentions.

Rapporteur Virginie Rozière (S&D, FR),

said "Luxleaks, Panama Papers, Monsanto

Papers... Thanks to whistle-blowers, who

raise collective awareness about serious

encroachments on the public interest, our

democratic rules have been improved.

Despite their irreplaceable support for press

freedom and democratic debate, they still fall

prey to severe reprisals.”

“With this resolution, we call for rules to be

established to protect whistle-blowers and

their rights to directly inform citizens", she


Posting of workers: EP ready to start

negotiations with member states

Negotiations with EU governments on the

revised rules for the posting of workers can

start after the full House gave the green


The plenary refrained from objecting to the

Employment Committee’s decision to start

negotiations with the Council, which means

that the committee can now start talks with

EU ministers, who approved their negotiating

mandate on Monday.

Key issues

The reform of the rules on the posting of

workers aims to ensure better protection

of posted workers and fair competition for

companies. The key changes compared to the

1996 Directive govern the remuneration of

posted workers, the duration of the posting,

collective agreements and temporary agency


“Now that Council is ready to join the

European Parliament at the negotiating

table, we are very eager to finalise a Posting

of Workers Directive that is up to date and

fit for purpose. Things are moving in the

right direction, but the devil is in the details.

We will pay particular attention to the

road transport issue, to make sure that the

revision strikes the right balance between

the freedom to provide services and better

protecting workers”, rapporteurs Elisabeth

Morin-Chartier (EPP, FR) and Agnes Jongerius

(S&D, NL) said.

Next steps

The Parliament and the Council are expected

to start talks in November, with the aim of

reaching a first-reading agreement.

Quick Facts

A posted worker is an employee who is sent

by his employer to carry out a service in

another EU member state on a temporary

basis. In 2015, there were 2.05 million posted

workers in the EU.

Poland, Germany and France are the biggest

senders of posted workers, while Germany,

France and Belgium are the biggest receivers.

Posting is particularly frequent in key

sectors such as the construction sector, the

manufacturing industry, education, health

and social services and business services.

Credit: Iina LIETZÉN, Press Officer, EP

EP Office, Valletta, Malta.

Virginie Rozière



Malta Business Review



Malta Business Review




Express Trailers has acquired a new

2,800sqm warehouse in Qormi to

centralize all its managed warehousing

activity and to be able to cater for the

increased business in this sector.

Express Trailers entered the managed

warehousing sector in 2011 when the

company invested in its first two warehouses

for the storage and distribution of

pharmaceutical products in a temperaturecontrolled

environment. These facilities are

licensed by the Medicines Authority and

complement Express Trailers’ international

pharma transport services which are up to

EU Pharma GDP (Good distribution practices)

standards in the Industry.

“The company always had vision. In 1995,

Express Trailers was already the first local

service company to attain ISO certification

and subsequently licenses and GDP standards.

Today, we are reaping the fruits of those

business decisions,” says Franco Azzopardi,

Chairman and CEO of Express Trailers.

Explaining how this business activity

developed, Franco Azzopardi said “The

first two pharma warehouses meant that

Express Trailers had to also invest in a

Warehouse Management System, an ITbased

platform that can be modified to cater

for different types of commodities besides

pharmaceuticals. Since different commodities

require different handling, this WMS allows

us to include permutations that can cater

for other goods such as brown goods, white

goods, manufacturing goods and more.

We therefore invested in another two

warehouses and structured them accordingly

to store such items. This led to two major

companies, a telecom and a white goods

company to contract us to start handling their

warehousing and distribution.”

“Today, the prospects of more growth in

this activity led us to start consolidating our

available space and we decided to centralize

our managed warehousing service under one

roof to be able to offer a better and more

efficient service to an increased demand.

Our pharma warehouses will remain next to

our main offices but our current managed

warehouses located opposite will be moved


to this new 2800sqm warehouse in Qormi,

leaving us with more space that will be

utilised better to gain more efficiencies,”

added Franco Azzopardi.

“Companies should not be

investing in storage space,

transport and logistics

but should concentrate on

investing on their people and

their core operations"

Commenting on what led to this move, Mr

Azzopardi explained how space is increasingly

becoming a very valuable asset and

companies should look into more ways how

to utilize it more productively.

“Companies should not be investing in storage

space, transport and logistics but should

concentrate on investing on their people and

their core operations and leave the handling

of imports, warehousing, picking and packing,

exports, deliveries and distributions to a

company like us who is specialised and already

equipped with the space, risk management

experience, enabling proprietary software

and highly competent people to handle this

increasingly complex activity.”

“What we are offering is a scalable storage

and distribution solution, a ‘pay-as-you-use’

offering where merchants, instead of owning

and managing their ancillary warehouses

and being tied down with idle space and

human resources, can avail themselves of

the space they need thus cutting significant

costs, especially when their stored stocks are

at their lowest, while at the same retaining

full visibility of their inventories through the

power of proprietary software we provide,

and moreover, concentrating on their core

business and commercial functions.”

“This latest investment in our new 2,800sqm

warehouse in Qormi’s industrial estate and

in a software development company with a

leading long-standing software house is one

of our company’s strategic moves. We are

confident that this will be a concrete step

that will cement Express Trailers as the leader

in the local Managed Warehousing sector,”

concluded Franco Azzopardi. MBR

Pride can lead to great things.

We are proud of what we achieve,

through our ability, our services

the reliability we offer and the trust we enjoy.

Orange is our pride.


We deliver your cargo from wherever to anywhere, and however,

whether by road, sea freight, airfreight or multimodal

We are experts in total logistics.


Express Group Malta

Velbro House, Qormi Road,

Luqa LQA 9040,


Tel: (+356) 21 242311

Email: info@expressgroup.com


Malta Business Review


Transport Malta signs an agreement with CAR2GO Israel

on electric car-sharing service GoTo

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and

Capital Projects Ian Borg addressed a press

conference on the occasion of the signing of

an agreement between Transport Malta and

CAR2GO Israel. This agreement which marks

the introduction of an electric car-sharing

service, will be a big step forward in favour

of the environment and the electrification of

the transport system. The service will operate

under the Global brand GoTo - Anytime

Anywhere. The company was selected after

the Authority issued an international public

call with this aim in the last few months.

This concept kicks off fittingly following the

announcement of a number of other budget

schemes targeted towards catalysing the

evolution of our country’s transport system.

In his speech, Minister Borg spoke about the

importance of a modal shift from the private

vehicle to other alternatives as well as the

concept of “sharing transport”, both in the

face of an obstacle such as traffic congestion

and in favour of a cleaner environment.

CAR2GO Israel will be providing car-sharing

services on our island, with a total investment

of over €8 million. The fleet will be composed

of a mix of vehicles of different classes,

including commercial vans, which can be selfdriven

by paid members from a designated

exclusive public car space to another. Dr

Borg expressed his satisfaction with the

fact that the 150-strong fleet, which will be

used in both Malta and Gozo, will be a fully

electric one. This positive advancement

in our transport system is only enhanced

by the fact that the company will invest in

225 charging pillars which means 450 new

charging points. Adding these up to the 102

government-owned charging points which

are already installed would exceed the EU set

national target of 500 for 2020 by 52 points.

The Minister added that Malta is expecting

to reach this target 2 years ahead of the set


Dr Borg described this investment as a

strategic one, stating that together with the

charging point target, the deployment of such

a sizeable fleet will also contribute towards

Malta’s target to have at least 5000 electric

vehicles registered on the road by 2020. This

will also be an opportunity for the public to

try out an electric car before investing in the

conversion from their own private petrol

or diesel vehicles to the cleaner and more

efficient electric alternative. The Minister

went on to say that this new investment by

a foreign company will also be generating

employment as we will see around 25 persons

being employed to manage the service.

These vehicles will only be permitted to park

in designated car parking spaces distributed

fairly around 40 strategic locations around

different towns and villages. The selection of

the exact locations will be done by Transport

Malta through one-to-one consultation with

the respective local councils so as to avoid

negative impact on street parking and will

focus on locations which suffer from acute

parking problems. In fact, consultation with

Local Councils had commenced last year

through the Local Councils Association and

prior to the publication of the tender.

The Ministry is introducing this service in a bid

to encourage people to share a vehicle when

one needs to drive one, rather than purchase

a new car or a second car. From research

carried out, it transpires that between 85% to

90% of its lifetime, a private passenger car is

not being used and when not garaged it takes

up precious road space which otherwise

can be utilised better by public transport

or bicycle users. Through the use of such

services, using a car when you really need

to, a would-be car owner will save time and

money, spending much less than owning,

servicing and operating a personal car.

Members of the service can book a vehicle

through a mobile app, other web applications

Credit: Omar Camilleri - DOI

or through a phone booking and will access

the vehicle through an RFID card. The service

is self-drive and the user will be charged a fee

for the duration the car is being used.

Dr Borg reminded attending press that

this initiative falls within the scope of the

Malta National Electromobility Platform.

The platform was set up in December 2013

between the Ministry for Transport and

Infrastructure and Transport Malta with

the aim to promote and bring about the

electrification of transportation in Malta.

Another role that the MNEP has, is to

implement the Malta National Electromobility

Action Plan (MNEAP) which was also launched

together with the Platform in the same year.

The MNEAP also includes a number of actions

such as policy measures, financial grants, and

a roll-out of related infrastructure and pilot

projects with a 2020 timeline. The MNEAP is

currently being updated to take into account

other developments in the sector, including

the decarbonisation of land transport in

Malta, introducing new and innovative

Sustainable Mobility Concepts and the

deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems.

The Minister made clear that this service is

not to be confused with other car-sharing

services which undercut the competitive

price structure of current taxi operators.

These other services have already been

refused by the Government. MBR




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Malta Business Review


Taste of tradition

By Martin Vella

MBR: Where did your passion for the food

you produce come from and can you give us

brief glimpse into your background?

DKM: My passion for food dates back to

my early days. I remember visiting my

grandmother on a daily basis and simply

enjoying sitting next to her watching her cook

hearty meals for all the family. Moreover,

my dad’s passion for the estate has sown the

seeds of love for local produce in me and all

my siblings.

MBR: Why did you decide to pursue a career

in the restaurant business?

DKM: Given my passion for fresh quality

produce, home cooking and authentic

traditional Maltese recipes, the decision to

pursue such a career was a natural one. As a

matter of fact, one which was aligned with my

roots and personality, thus I dare say a perfect


MBR: Tell us about your career path. How

did you get your start? How and why did

you open Diar Il-Bniet?

DKM: I always considered education as

critical, so I wanted to pursue tertiary

education when I finished Sixth Form. For this

reason, I read a Management Course at the

University of Malta and right after graduation

I started working at HSBC. During the eight

year term of my tenure at the bank however,

I never had the job satisfaction I had aspired

for when I was studying, I felt inclined to do

something about it. Being fully aware of

my love for vegetation and authentic local

produce, I dreamt about this concept which

somehow linked the farmland to my Nan’s

recipes. The timing was also right because

this happened at a time when the farming

industry was going through an economic

decline, so I felt duty bound to help my family.

MBR: You have emphasized community

service in your career and through your

Dorianne Kurtcu Mifsud, director and owner of Diar Il-Bniet Diner

in Had-Dingli, started in the restaurant industry as a traditional

family eatery priding itself in its use of home-grown produce,

freshly picked from the family-run farm roughly 200 meters away.

Since then, she has worked in every area of the restaurant, from

the front to the back, calling the restaurant business a "lovehate

relationship" in which "you definitely have to have grease

(passion) in your veins to survive."

As a business owner, she has placed special emphasis on to

the family’s origins, heavily inspired by the teachings of her

grandmother, Manan. The cuisine Diar Il-Bniet provide is nothing

short of a family legacy of Maltese home grown produce.



Malta Business Review

restaurant. In addition to being active

in many organisations, you have been

recognised locally and nationally. Tell us

why you do this kind of work?

DKM: We do get a wide spectrum of foreign

visitors ranging from food bloggers to

journalists, writers, gourmet experts even VIPs

like Ambassadors and High Commissioners.

The attraction is essentially the farm to table

concept which we promote and practice

on a daily and seasonal basis. Moreover,

the homely, authentic feel of the restaurant

design and ambience, do leave the desired

impact on all our guests.

"the challenges of a dynamic

operation which is very much

dependant on people is never

easy to manage"

MBR: What home grown products are you

working on now? Which ones have been

your favourites and what sort of family

legacy is there?

DKM: Dar il Bniet Management Team is

presently working on the Autumn produce.

My all time favourites are the pumpkins and

quince, both of which take me back in time

to my nan’s memories who simply used to

love making delicious quince jam for all of us.

With regards to pumpkins, I remember that

as child I used to be fascinated seeing my dad

storing them on the roof of our farmhouse. I

just loved their shape and colour.

MBR: What's your secret to keeping

customers coming in? What have been

some of your most successful promotions,

and where did they originate?

DKM: The recipe for success leading to repeat

customers is ensuring that the products used

are genuine and of high quality. Also service

must be consistent and personalised.

MBR: You have worked in all areas of the

restaurant, from the kitchen to the floor to

sales. What insights can you share about

the differences and the difficulties?

DKM: Creating a start-up is no mean feat

however when seeing that your vision has

become a reality, the satisfaction is enormous.

Having said that, the challenges of a dynamic

operation which is very much dependant

on people is never easy to manage. Also

finding the right people for the job, that is

having the right expertise and real drive and

passion for the concept can be daunting.

Managing a team of employees with different

personalities and keeping up with the market

demands whilst retaining excellent customer

service can be quite challenging at times.

However, working passionately as a team is

the key to success!

MBR: As a restaurant manager and owner,

how important is it to have actual experience

in every aspect of the business, as you have?

DKM: Having been there done it yourself

helps a lot when managing your own

business. The direct experience enables you

first and foremost to put forward requests

which you know first-hand are tenable and

doable. It also enables you to know what

attributes, qualities and skills to look for when

recruiting staff. More importantly experience

earns you your 'team members' respect.

MBR: What are some of the challenges of

being a restaurant owner and manager?

DKM: I would classify this more as an

opportunity rather than a challenge. Being

able to work on your own steam for your own

targets is what many aspire for. The difficulty

with this is that given it is your own, the job

never comes to an end and finding the time

to unwind is difficult. Having put so much

energy in the creation of such a concept

and seeing it moving in the right strategic

direction, it is difficult to stop and rest. I guess

the challenge is more about achieving the

right balance between work and home which

is in fact something I struggle with on a daily

basis being also the mother of a seven month

old baby boy

MBR: How important is artistic expression in

your work?

DKM: Artistic impression and design are

fundamental in what I do. I give a great deal

of attention to detail because I am a firm

believer that first impression counts. Given

our daily craze for speed, being able to offer

a special dining get away place where guests

feel very much at home, will surely make the

dining experience a memorable one.

MBR: How can the reality of a traditional

restaurant management as a career differ

from typical expectations when that is

heavily inspired by the teachings of ‘timehonoured’

family origin?

DKM: Although my only experience in the

hospitality sector is essentially at Diar Il-Bniet,

what I can vouch for is that our teachings are

truly inspired by teachings of my Nan which

have run in the family for years. For this

reason, the delivery of high quality produce

coupled by the firm belief of our teachings do

distinguish DIB restaurant from the rest. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

Diar Il- Bniet

Diar Il- Bniet

Diar Il-Bniet Diner



Malta Business Review


Starting Afresh!

By Jean Paul Demajo

Extra-oral before treatment

Intra-oral after treatment

Treating patients is a professional affair.

However there is a very big personal touch,

which is not thought in textbooks. When

patients are about to embark on a big dental

job they tend to go down one of two roads.

One road may lead the patient to the Internet

forcing them to go on some Google marathon

searching every detail available to help the

patient make up their mind on how he/

she would like their teeth to be fixed. Then

whilst comparing photos and quoting big

treatments plans they agree with the dentist

on the plan. This is not the ideal way of doing

things but at times ends up in this manner.

The second road is all about leaving it entirely

in the hands of the professional. In this

scenario the patient tells the practitioner

what he/she have in mind and then after

having received the best treatment options

from the dentist, they confirm which plan

they wish to take on.

Either road leaves the patient determined,

excited, worried, anxious and full of

expectations. More often than not the desire

to correct ones teeth is associated with a

milestone such as their children’s wedding,

their anniversary, retirement plan and may

often be attached to a financial commitment

with the bank. This places the dentist in a

position to have to tick all the boxes on the

patient’s list delivering them on time and up

to the patient’s likings or sometimes more

importantly the likings of their better half!

It is not easy to please all your clients. There is

always someone who isn’t happy with the end

result. Your only saving grace would be to redo

the teeth until the patient is happy. A costly

affair! Certain programs help in visualising the

final result. For example, using certain smile

design software, a close-up photo of the old

teeth is taken and by modifying the colour,

shape and character of the teeth, the final

result may be visualized by the patient. This

image may then be translated into a model

producing a temporary plastic mock-up to be

fit onto the teeth for a few hours allowing the

patients to see the new teeth in situ.

Once the treatment commences all those

emotions are left in the hands of the dentist

to address and deal with whilst having the

patient in their dental chair. Communication

and trust between the dentist and patient

build up, and a friendship is established. The

relationship doesn’t remain only professional,

but also very personal, as the dentist would

not want to displease or disappoint their

patient. Ask your dentist! MBR


Is a dental and Implant Surgeon,

Trained in London working in

private practice in Malta

A Case Scenario

A young professional man would like to fix

his teeth. He takes good care of himself,

is always smartly dressed but never took

care of his teeth. He now wishes to fix

his dentition and have it look as nature

intended it to be.

Treatment Plan

1. Lengthy consultation involving

photographs, study models,

radiography and digital planning

2. Gum treatment establishing

healthy gums

3. Conservative tooth preparations

taking good care of the teeth

4. Placement of four dental implants

5. Removal of old restorations

including heavily filled teeth with

amalgam, old crowns/bridges

containing dark metal

6. Try-in of new restorations

7. Approval and subsequent

cementation of new porcelain



8. Restoration of the new implantretained

all-ceramic implant


9. Review and maintenance plan



Malta Business Review



Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Speech by the Prime Minister of Malta

Joseph Muscat during the EY Malta’s

Annual Attractiveness Event

Ten days ago, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s

assassination scarred the landscape of this

country, of our people. Not recognising that

the country has taken a knock would be like

staring at the elephant in the room straight in

the face without acknowledging it. Our image

of the stable country that we are has suffered.

Ironically, EY’s annual Competitiveness

Survey—conducted before last week’s

barbaric act— tells us a completely different

story. The Malta shown in EY’s study, the

various credit reports, and the image of

families and businesses moving up the social

ladder, that is the real Malta. Malta is a

peaceful, thriving nation. A strong and stable

democracy where the rule of law is as strong

as in any other EU member state.

Having said this, my feet are firmly rooted

to the ground. I acknowledge the need

for introspection and for even more


I want to be very clear about this: This horrific

murder, for motivations that are still unknown,

does not define us as a nation. More than

ever, we must be united and send out the

message that this is a horrific exception. An

occurrence that I, for one, will not be ready to

forget. But we are a positive nation that can

rise to the occasion and unite to defeat those

trying to instil fear.

This was an attack on us all. As Prime Minister,

I am determined to get to the bottom of this

horrific act and to get the country back on its

feet as quickly as possible.

Positive budget and challenges for the future

Three weeks ago, the Finance Minister

presented one of the most positive Budgets in

our history. No increase in taxation, tax refunds

for 200,000 workers, and VAT exemptions

for small businesses. All against a backdrop

of over 6% economic growth, a surplus in

our finances, while introducing some €35

million worth of social justice measures and

social mobility that show that this country is

compassionate and considerate towards the

wellbeing of those who need it most.

Our problem in jobs does not stem from

unemployment. Our challenge is that our

employers are not finding enough employees.

That is an issue we will be tackling this year

through Jobs+ by formulating policies to

ensure that our systems are open enough to

receive workers, whilst having the necessary

checks and balances not to allow any abuse.

Last year, one of the major issues raised during

this same event was transport. This is still an

issue, and I know the nature of the challenge

that we face. Years of under-investment and

fragmentation of public transport. Massive

increases in new cars on our roads each and

every day, and an increase in passengers

on buses. Our roads are suffering the

consequences of economic growth. They’re

taking a toll. Our plan is to improve our

infrastructure to European standards over the

next seven years.

Another challenge of a growing economy is

housing prices. To put it mildly, conspiracies

of a property bubble or a housing crisis are

completely off-track, as studies have shown.

Yet even here, we are not ignoring challenges

and we are focused on the matter, working

on solutions through a thorough white

paper proposing strong measures to ensure

sustainable growth in this sector.

Preparing for the future

We are living in an exciting digital age that has

brought about huge socio-economic progress

on a near global level, radically transforming

the way we live in a relatively short period. We

have been living a digital revolution of sorts for

a few decades already. The information age

has, so far, generated a significant net positive

dividend, albeit not uniformly distributed

across the world. It has swept away many old

economic structures, transformed society,

created new jobs, generated economic

growth, and changed our lifestyles. The

drive for the next generation connectivity

such as 5G only addresses the last mile

challenge. Connectivity is important, but it

is not the only critical success factor for the

EU to take a leading positioning in the data

economy. Successful data economies will rely

on a broader set of enabling technologies

and intelligent platforms. A strategy aiming

at, say accelerating the introduction of

autonomous driving vehicles, would likely

fail if such technology is disconnected or

isolated from the rest of our infrastructure

or streaming data that should be available

from the environment in which such vehicles

operate. Intelligent transportation and traffic

management systems, for example, should

take priority.In the data economy, data will

become the new factor of production, and

the primary assets across many sectors.

The new digital revolution has the power to

widely disrupt the labour markets across all

sectors, fuelled by machine learning (AI). The

education sector needs to start preparing for

this now, as traditional education offerings

could fail to meet tomorrow’s requirements

Harnessing new economic niches

Disruptive innovation is as old as the wheel,

and mankind has always benefitted from the

adoption of technology. Resourcefulness

has always turned undesirable short or longterm

side effects of disruptive technology

into new opportunities, paving the way for

new industries, services, and jobs. There is

no reason why this should not also happen to

address the opportunities and challenges of

the new digital revolution today.

This government is working relentlessly to

harness these new economic niches.

Recently, while celebrating one of the first

venture capital investments in Malta, I

announced new areas in innovative disruptive

technology which are being explored. Firstly,

a study to discuss regulation and supervision

of persons providing investment services in

virtual currencies such as ICOs and exchanges

to create a regulatory environment for

new business, such as innovative banking

solutions. Secondly, we will be establishing a

taskforce with the aim to propose initiatives

to attract new companies operating in Fintech

and its sub-segments such as Regtech and


We are not rushing through such important

innovative areas. But we are working

relentlessly to be among the first in the world

to provide a regulatory framework that will

create the right environment for new business

to set up in Malta. MBR

Courtesy: Office of the Prime Minister/DOI



Malta Business Review


our professionals and institutions to provide

the best workforce according to the business

needs, or are we discussing the safety of our


Reputation is Malta’s strongest selling

point. But we are here today discussing

the sustainability of an economy and its

attractiveness for the coming ten to fifteen

years from now. What is our plan? Are

we late? Are we being outcased by other

emerging economies?

Credit: Michael Callejja - EY

We cannot just talk cliche about how we want

our children to prosper unless we invest in

them. We cannot talk about the securities

of our investments if we do not have

autonomous institutions to act. We cannot

adhere to authorities and institutions which

we don’t trust.

Speech by Opposition Leader Adrian

Delia - EY Malta’s Annual Attractiveness


We are here today to discuss Malta’s

attractiveness to the business world, Malta’s

sound economic structure to develop new

industries and to create more opportunities

for collaboration with giants in the business

world. We are here today to speak about how

much it is secure to do business in Malta and

to invest millions in setting up house in Malta.

Let me start by saying that after the

unprecedented events which took place last

week, and that brutally assasinated Maltese

journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s

reputation as a secure and robust country

was rocked.

The main contributors to our Maltese

economy are the Financial Industry, Gaming

Industry, Tourism and Construction. These

have been growing and heavily contributing

for the past fifteen years. The main reason for

that is because Malta has had a robust banking

system, sound institutions and a secure

place to live. Malta was special because of its

culture, because of its people and because

families had peace of mind. This economy

reflected this sentiment as it was one of the

only few economies which didn’t regress

during a financial crisis and war in the North

African countries. Today Malta’s economy

is under a threat. Security is not a buzz word

or perception. Its the universal value for

sustainability and productivity. It is what unites

us. It is one of Malta’s unique selling position.

Malta never shied away from challanges and

so it shouldn’t now in this difficult moment.

That is why we are meeting today to discuss

Malta’s attractiveness to the world. I ask, is

the progress registered in Malta at stake?

We know that this Government has louded

Malta’s name on many occasions. Today is

one of them. What ever happens in Malta, is

known world wide. We know what happened

in countries with internal warfare. Let us open

our eyes and identify the elephant in the

room. We have a solid legislation in place. It’s

all about administering and implementing it.

That is what is failing this Government. That is

what is failing further growth of the economy.

Malta needs to attract new industries for the

only reason so to continue in its progress.

The world’s economies of scale are becoming

more and more difficult to compete with and

yet, we are ignoring signs within our own


And what about cybersecurity? According the

EY, (Forbes, 2017) it shoud be the number

one priority for businesses, with more or less

4,000 attacks of Ransomware per day in 2016.

This also is a threat to Malta, as it is a threat

for all economic players around the world.

Where do we stand? Are we talking on how

we can attract new niches and industries or

are we discussing the state of affair for the

existing ones in Malta? Are we talking about

incentives and legislation to attract new

business to the island or are we discussing the

sustainability of the current business regime?

Are we discussing the way forward on

education in Malta and how we should equip

We are here today to send a message to the

international business community, that we

believe in goodwill and that we do our best to

safeguard our reputation. We believe in Malta

and we believe in our people. Lets not be shy

from taking concrete action for the national

interest. Let’s strengthen our institutions. Lets

give them independence and freedom from

any partisan or political objectives.

"Let’s thoroughly secure our

country first!"

Then we can discuss and plan together:

How are we going to upgrade the

infrastructure on the island? How are we

going to improve the quality levels of our

industries and the service level of our civil

service? How social justice and business

prosperity go hand in hand? How we should

save AirMalta and make it once again Malta’s


How we should make way for new industries

such as: Fintech, Knowledge Based Industries,


However, let’s thoroughly secure our

country first. MBR

Courtesy: Pn Media Communications



Malta Business Review



Serguei Beloussov CEO of Acronis

In Accelerating Innovation and Supporting

Blockchain Initiatives in Malta

Nick Dobrovolsky

Nick Dobrovolsky co-founder / Vice-

President of Parallels

Technology innovations

and strong customer demand

for data protection Vice-President

solutions fuels need

for expansion in the

Mediterranean region through

a concerted and strategic

partnership approach with

the Mediterranean Island

of Malta.

Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data

protection and storage, in collaboration with

Runa Capital and Parallels, today announced

the opening of a new European Technology

Hub in the Mediterranean island of Malta.

The group of companies will support Malta

in becoming the first Smart Island through

accelerating innovation and participating in

national blockchain initiatives. Runa Capital

will be the first Venture Capital firm in Malta to

provide funding to local startups, and Acronis

and Parallels will engage in joint research

projects with local firms and institutions with

a possibility of a new R&D center focusing on

advanced technologies in data protection, AI,

and blockchain. The group of companies is

expected to contribute up to $10 million over

a three-year period through expanding their

presence in the country, venture capital, and


“We are happy that another global investor

chose Malta to expand its operations in

Europe”, says Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime

Minister of Malta. “There is one added crucial

factor that brings us here together today.

We share the same vision for Malta – that of

becoming a hub for technological innovation.

The government is embracing new disruptive

technologies and wants Malta to become a

leader in new technology in Europe. We are

doing this by preparing the right regulatory

frameworks as well as laying the foundations

for businesses such as Acronis, Parallels

and Runa Capital who offer support for our

national blockchain efforts to invest in this

new emerging economic niche. Government

is laying the grounds for such sectors. We can,

and we are, providing leadership and policies

that allow ideas to flourish. We are also

simplifying access to finance and investment

which will help our young professionals to

make their ideas happen. But we surely

cannot succeed without companies such as

Acronis, Runa and Parallels who are coming

forward to invest in local start-ups.”

As part of the joint collaboration, Acronis will

support Malta’s drive to become a center

for blockchain applications. Earlier this year,

Malta’s Cabinet approved the first draft of

a national strategy to promote blockchain,

supporting local firms in applying the

technology in a variety of industry sectors.

Acronis will share its expertise in using

blockchain in production, being the first

global company to deploy blockchain-based

Acronis Notary for data certification. In the

first six months since its release, Acronis

Notary certified more than 500 thousand

backups, giving users undisputable proof of

data integrity.

“Malta is becoming a focus for our presence

in Europe, similar to Singapore in Asia, where

Acronis, Runa Capital, and Parallels created

a functional eco-system for innovation

and startups to flourish. Government’s

commitment to innovation, strong economy,

and convenient geographical location

between Europe, Africa, Middle East and

Asia, creates a perfect environment for our

innovative activities,” said the co-founder

and CEO of Acronis, and the chairman of the

Board of Directors of Acronis, Parallels and

Runa Capital, Serguei Beloussov.

Peter Bauert, Partner at Runa Capital,

agrees: “Supportive to innovation on the

highest level, English-speaking and friendly

to business, Malta is to be the right place to

be for an EU-focused venture capital firm like

Runa Capital.”

Jack Zubarev, President of Parallels, whose

company opened a Malta office four years

ago and currently employs more than 40 staff,

also welcomes the move: “From my side,

I want to note a good positive investment

climate in Malta, a high level of IT-industry,

that's why we can develop here really fast

and spread our products around the world."

Malta’s transformation into an international

technology center is on the rise. The Maltese

government is developing the concept

of Malta as the Smart Island, embracing

technology as a primary business enabler

and transforming Malta into a European ICT

innovation hub.

Mr. Dobrovolsky is a co-founder and Vice-President According to the 2017 of Digital Parallels. Economy and Since t

Society Index published by the European

company’s founding, he is playing a key role in the development and launch

Commission, Malta ranks 12th out of the

Parallels Desktop for Mac, the world’s first software 28 EU Member that let states, Mac with strong users positions run Mac O

in broadband connectivity, use of digital

X and Windows applications at the same time. technology Nick by has businesses, more and than the provision ten years

of public digital services.

experience in virtualization systems development and leading the Research a

Development division of Parallels, overseeing more than 200 staff members.

“We are happy that another

Mr. Dobrovolsky holds a degree in Moscow State



investor chose

of Radio

Malta to


Electronics and Automation. In 2010, he studied at expand Harvard its operations Business School.

2012, he graduated from Foundation and Leadership program in Europe” of Yale University.

With its stable macroeconomic environment,

recording strong GDP growth of 4.6% in

2017, well ahead of the 1.9% in the EU as

a whole, Malta offers high tech companies

new avenues of growth amidst a backdrop of

financial and political stability.

Acronis continues to expand its presence

internationally, reaching new markets and at

the same time supporting local talent and

government initiatives. With its Corporate

Headquarters in Schaffhausen, Switzerland,

and International Headquarters in Singapore,

Acronis already employs over 1,000 highly

skilled professionals in more than 14 different


Acronis, Parallels, and Runa Capital were cofounded

by Serguei Beloussov and have a

cross-shareholding structure. MBR


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Malta Business Review


The joy of a perfect fit during the insertion of a temporary

moving platform in Caracas Venezuela



By George Carol

Martin Pillow

Onsite supervision at Medavia Hangar Safi

Entrepreneur Martin Pillow talks with MBR about the creation of

various types of space frame structures, roofing numerous industrial

buildings in Malta. The recent Esplora Planetarium project at Bighi

is proof that even though Pillow Space Frame is a relatively small

firm, his vision and dynamic efforts developed further to the extent

of designing, manufacturing and exporting a total of seven train

station structures to Caracas Venezuela in 2012.

MBR: When did you start thinking about

steel structures and steel construction in

sustainable building?

MP: My first steel structures were realised

in the mid-60s when I designed and

manufactured an arched greenhouse of 12 x

30 meters at Msida, when I was still attending

the sixth form. In 2001, my Company designed

and manufactured the largest Space frame

roofing in Malta for Playmobil; being the

most sustainable as it was designed to have

the north lights covered with the PV panels

facing the South. Moreover the space frame

consumed relatively low quantities of steel of

which 90% is recycled.

MBR: What are some of the things you do for

Pillow Space Frame?

MP: My role at Pillow Space Frame is mostly

research and Development, securing orders

through my network of satisfied clients,

recruitment of young engineers to take over

the running of the business, overseeing major

projects, succession planning.

MBR: What are the biggest challenges facing

the infrastructure and construction industry


MP: The biggest challenges I see today are

the strict deadlines to execute projects in the

least time frame after spending more time

for tendering, adjudicating, negotiations and

permits process.

MBR: Could you sum up why construction

delays are so costly and damaging? How do

these numbers get so big?

MP: Construction delays are very costly as they



Malta Business Review

create a ripple effect to other sub-contractors,

such as finishes and MEP. The numbers can get

big if they inflict penalties and problems with


MBR: Could you describe the one of your

most important projects to date and what

was learned from it?

MP: After more than 50 years of working

experience my, most important project to

date is the design and manufacture of the

Planetarium at Bighi. The reason being that

it was a design and build contract, and my

Company was responsible for all the trades for

its realisation. The tender brief was that of a

sphere all in glass 18 mm thick of 12,800mm

diameter, an inner skin of 10,700mm diameter

made up of sound and thermal insulation

material, support system of only three points, a

free space in between the two skins for lighting

and services, flooring to take 7.5Kn, tiered

seating for 54 seats, internal lining to control

sound reverberation, and a wraparound

metal veil in the form of waves. The total

design factored load of the Planetarium is

270 Tons so we had to design a system of two

geodesic domes based on an icosahedron

with frequency three connected to each other

radially at each node. On the outer structure a

series of fifteen vertical aluminium ribs were

attached to form the base for the double

curved glass which was procured from Spain

only a few days after signing of the contract.

Before proceeding with the production of

the nodes we carried out tests to two times

the ultimate loads at our factory and it was

resolved to reinforced only six nodes at each


The full assembly was done at ground level

using a mobile crane hooking the structure

from its north pole and gradually hoisting

it every stage of assembly until the whole

structure was completed which weighed 18

tons. The hoisting operation was subsequently

done after we inserted three stainless steel

rods of 72 mm diameter inside the concrete

columns and after the lift we simply inserted

three pins and the structure was in place. From

this point onwards we started with laying the

40 mm marine plywood flooring followed

with the inner skin made up of 174 triangle

panels which has the outer skin in cement

boards that were finally plastered at the joints

and painted to form a homogenous skin

which today can be seen through the glass.

Then came the painstaking stage for the glass

fixing formed by 120 panes made up of four

sizes and fifteen segments. Finally the tiered

seating was installed and the wraparound veil

in aluminium also completed well in time for

the inauguration on the 28th January 2017.

From this project I learned that thanks to the

new generation of young in house engineers

that worked in this project using advanced 3D

design cad programs, the Company can with

courage and determination embark on even

more complex projects of this nature.

MBR: What is your personal opinion on the

state of Maltese infrastructure? How do you

think we got here, and what are the major

hurdles towards improving the situation?

MP: I have witnessed the early infrastructure

of the late 50s and early 60s when in Malta

we had the conversion from 100 to 50 cycles

and the building of the Marsa power station,

together with the building boom of that time

particularly at Swieqi, Kappara and the building

of the new University at tal-Qroqq. Up to the

early 70s the number of cars on the road was

just one sixth of what we have today. Since we

entered the EU we have seen intensification of

the infrastructure particularly in road building,

but I believe that we are always getting stuck

as the moment roads are made better, we are

building more and more, and getting denser to

the extent that we end up worse. The major

hurdles I see to improve the situation are the

mentality of using private cars with the driver

only instead of public transport, and parents

picking their children from school with their

private cars when school transport is available.

MBR: What is your personal opinion on the

state of Maltese infrastructure? How do you

think we got here, and what are the major

hurdles toward improving the situation?

MP: I believe that as a nation and

proportionately to its size we stand at par

to other countries in terms of producing

geometrically complex steel structure. I have

been witnessing this in the works of student

architects that come to me for advice on space

frames. Such structures can be improvised with

the use of modern computerised machinery

that are available in Malta or the use of foreign

European service Companies that does this


MBR: How structural steel can be innovatively

used in construction to execute aesthetically

designed structures and at the same time

offer economical solution?

MP: Structural steel is the ideal material for

innovations in construction of aesthetically

designed structures. With the introduction

of modern laser cut machines and large scale

section benders, pre-engineered components

can be produced in complex shapes and

assembled on site with bolts, thus rendering

the project economical when compared to

other designs.

MBR: How do you see the role of structural

steel being used in construction five years

down the line?

MP: Steel structures in construction have been

in use in Malta for quite some time now. A

particular building known as Mamo Brothers in

Gzira was built in steel and it had so many steel

that whilst being built it was nicknamed ‘La

Traviata’ Up to the late 50s all roofs of building

were using steel joists and clad with stone, until

we had the first pre-stressed concrete factory

that multiplied in 20 years later. Now we are

seeing an increase in the use of structural

steel lately for commercial buildings, and I can

predict an exponential increase in use for the

coming 5 years. Although sometimes it works

out a little more expensive in the long run it pays

as it is faster to erect and the project is finished

before and more clean for the environment. A

case in point is the new building being built at

Portomaso just before entering the Hilton.

Supervision of the Mariche Metro Cable station in Caracas Venezuela

MBR: If there was one thing you could

change or recommend others change, what

would that be?

MP: Lately an excise duty of €50 per ton

was introduced on the importation of steel

section for building, but you can import a preengineered

steel building ready for erection

and pay nothing as it falls under a different

HS code. This is against the local industry and

as members of the EU this duty should never

been introduced. I strongly plea to be removed.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017




Malta Business Review


Meet Growth Gurus

A local business with global reach, impact and aspirations

by Josh O’Cock

In a world where everyone is trying

to make a splash online, one local

company has shifted their focus

from your typical agency into

business partners concentrated on

driving growth.

Over the past two years, Growth Gurus, a team

of digital marketing experts, have positioned

themselves as industry leaders, connecting

thousands of people with the brands they

love. Their individual skillsets range from

web design to video animation, branding

to campaign strategy, paid and social reach.

Collectively, Growth Gurus are the Swiss army

knife of online business development.

Drive for Results

For a company with only two years under

their belt, Growth Gurus have managed

to attract an impressive list of clients. The

digital marketing agency has worked with

over 70 brands from across the world,

ranging from leading hotel chains, SaaS

platforms, celebrity astrologers, art galleries,

conferences, restaurants, investment bankers

and everything in between. Growth Gurus

treat the business of their clients as their own,

stating “our partners’ success is our success.”

“Determination and desire for achieving the

best results possible in everything that we

do resonates within our company. We are

passionate about what we do and our clients

businesses. We want to be renowned on a

global level as being the best in our industry,

which only motivates us to work harder

and achieve it.” - Joshua O’Cock, Managing


Company Culture

The success of Growth Gurus can be

attributed to their company culture.

“We are continuously working on creating an

open and positive company culture, whereby

our team can feel composed and motivated.

As marketers, we know the impact of positive

marketing on brand value. Our office perks

have not been designed to get our team

talking about Growth Gurus, but rather as

a reward for all the hard work every one of

them has dedicated to helping us build our

brand.” - Alex Thomson, Director

Local Business / Global Presence

After conferences, multiple consultancy

sessions and meetings with several potential

partners, Growth Gurus will be opening

a brand new office in Europe as well as

expanding their Brussels office. The goal is to

become industry leaders on the international

playing field, nothing short of that will do!

In the world of social and digital marketing,

the world is becoming smaller and smaller.

The world is their oyster. By Q3 of 2018, once

Growth Guru's offices are up and running in

Malta, New York, Brussels, and London, the

company aims to become a global agency

with international impact. MBR




As we welcome leading Maltese catering company, Island Caterers,

into the Corinthia family, we offer you unrivalled catering experience

and world class events. Welcome to Corinthia Caterers.



Malta Business Review





Crank up your holiday event at the Hard Rock.

It’s a one-of-a-kind party venue where you can throw down like rock stars.


Malta Business Review




Following the

EIG Berlin,

BtoBet’s chairman

Alessandro Fried

discusses the

hot topics and

changes that

will affect the

gambling industry

Which are the most visible digital

transformation signals that gambling

operators must focus on?

The increasing rate of change in new devices

and technology are intrinsic to our daily

lives and betting is a part of these broad

trends. Customer expectations are changing

accordingly, meaning operators have to stay

updated and study new approaches to attract

new clients and keep existing clients loyal to

the brand.

The rules of the game have changed, driven

by the consumers and their preferences.

Whether it is on the desktop, on the mobile

or in the shops, the gambling consumer is

seeking entertainment and personalization

from their gambling choices. Giving them the

bets they want, when they want them and

in whatever form suits them best, is both a

challenge and a requirement.

Which is the fastest growing digital channel

in the gambling industry, today?

Mobile is the primary technology device

in everybody’s daily life. In terms of

communication, entertainment, games,

social media, banking education or shopping

smartphones are ubiquitous. Their use is

increasing and the gaming industry is evolving

in step with the technology. Already, the

majority of new acquisitions now come

through the mobile channel.

What about the future and what is your

vision about the customer evolution in the

sports betting and gaming markets?

In today’s digital world, the pressures affecting

the gambling world are the same in the rest of

the business world with digital transformation

affecting every part of the economy. To

keep pace, gambling operators have to be

forward-looking and equip their business

with the appropriate tools and technology

to provide them with the flexibility they will

need to answer the questions posed by a

consumer which is more digitally adept than

ever before. Only by employing systems and

processes with the appropriate technology

will operators be providing gaming and

betting services that will compete with the

very best in the sector and truly impress the

consumer. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017


Malta Business Review



Malta Business Review


Committed to Providing the

Best Education Learning Experience


To enhance the level of Academic

training and Tuition of both pre and

post graduate levels by:

• Contributing actively towards the

propagation of equal opportunities

for all.

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


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

• Continually engaging in the pursuit of


• Continually investing in its own


• Striving to afford the best service to all

our clients.

• Establishing itself as a leader in the

international education field.

• Contributing towards the social

welfare of the community.

Through its companies, the EIE EDUCATIONAL GROUP is able to

offer the following services:

Academic programmes

Training programmes

English Language courses

Student Accommodation


Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor, Master degrees in various

subjects for young and mature adults are offered through eie

Institute of Education (Licensed by the NCFHE as an institute

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


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

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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.


eie educational group

Commitment to


The eie



is an acknowledged leader

in international education

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


Internship services - eie Internships

Student Accommodation - eie Residences

International Educational services - eie International

eie Educational Group, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta

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


Malta Business Review



in Gozo

Credit : Terry Camilleri

Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana addressed a seminar entitled

‘Grants, Schemes & Incentives for SME’, organised by the Gozo

Business Chamber in collaboration with the Ministry for the

Economy, Industry and Small Businesses as part of the SME

Week Malta 2017.

Credit : Terry Camilleri

Credit : Terry Camilleri

Minister Caruana noted that the main goals

of the SME week are to provide information

on what kind of support are being offered to

micro, small and medium-sized businesses

on both an EU and national level. Moreover,

it showcases the help being offered by

regional and local authorities, and promotes


‘Dialogue leads to further understanding

and better planning, and I have ensured to

personally discuss business-related issues,

both individually and with your constituted

representative bodies. It was precisely in our

initial meetings, in the very first weeks of my

appointment as Minister for Gozo, that we

had acknowledged the increasing difficulties

in recruiting the required numbers of Gozitan

workers. And we had purposely commissioned

professional studies, particularly to analyse

the skill gap on the island and the kind of

employment Gozitans are looking for in terms

of the career they wish to follow’ stated

Minister Caruana in her closing speech.

Minister Caruana highlighted the main

points which were earmarked during this

year’s Budget speech in connection to

SMEs, particularly in Gozo. She noted that

the Government was going to increase the

Microinvest assistance to Gozitan SMEs up to

Eur 70,000 and a refund of up to 30% or Eur

6,000 for every new job created by the private

sector as long as the employer offers a 3 year

term contract to the employee.

The Minister for Gozo pledged the

Government’s continuous support in the

interest of small and medium enterprises,

whom she described as the backbone of the

local industry. She mentioned the €10 million

investment at the former MDP for which the

Planning Authority has recently approved the

permits. Justyne Caruana also mentioned the

projects at tal-Ħofra and the SME Park both in

the Xewkija Industrial Zone.

Minister Caruana said that the next step is to

attract investment which provides jobs for

locals and those who decide to settle down in

Gozo. Minister Justyne Caruana emphasised

that the Ministry for Gozo is fully committed

in supporting such initiatives, which will

improve SME’s business operations both

locally and on an international platform. This

is geared towards a healthier economy. MBR


Malta Business Review

DataByte partners


DataByte are announcing a service

agreement with GARTNER, the world’s

leading research and advisory company.

Thanks to this agreement, DataByte will

tap in Gartner’s wealth of expertise in

IT and IT projects marketing, which is

normally sought from business leaders

across all major functions in every

industry and enterprise size.

DataByte’s objective is to maximise on

Gartner’s global insights that will support the

internationalization efforts the company will

be taking in the near future.

Frederick Micallef, founder and Managing

Director of DataByte described this agreement

as another significant milestone for the company.

“Through this agreement, our company will

be significantly strengthening its offering to

its partners and clients, in the development

of new products and the enhancement

of its current software offering. As we

embark on new ventures, Gartner’s body of

knowledge will be fundamental to ensure an

internationally marketable product offering,”

said Mr Micallef.

Kevin Camilleri, Director at DataByte

responsible for the Technical development of

the organization said that this agreement with

Gartner will continue to position DataByte as

the company which builds cloud solutions to

support businesses grow through technologyenabled

business initiatives. MBR

Like us on


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Malta Business Review



It’s not a real month in Europe if there’s no

summit. So the EU’s putting on five summits

for you over the next seven weeks to make

you feel at home. There’s the Social Summit

in Gothenburg, Sweden November 17. Then

there’s the Eastern Partnership Summit

(with its own logo!) November 24, the EU-

African Union summit November 29-30,

a December euro summit (with eurozone

wannabes invited too) likely to be attached

to the Eurogroup meeting in the first week

of December, and then the regular EU

leaders’ summit December 14 and 15. MBR


President Jean-Claude Juncker is in Portugal

to meet Prime Minister António Costa and

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. First Vice

President Frans Timmermans is in Greece

to receive the Grand Cross of the Phoenix

medal and also an honorary doctorate from

University of Athens. High Representative

Federica Mogherini is in Italy to speak about

European defense initiatives. Vice President

Valdis Dombrovskis is in Estonia to meet

leaders and give a speech on eurozone reform.

Commissioner Pierre Moscovici meets Nick

Clegg, the former U.K. deputy prime minister

and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Kenneth

Clarke MP and Andrew Adonis (all opponents

of Brexit). Commissioner Phil Hogan is in

Northern Ireland for the World Dairy Summit.



French President Emmanuel Macron is using

state cash to foster tech startups, writes

Mark Scott, and it’s starting to work. So far

this year, French venture funds raised more

cash compared to their British or German

counterparts, while Macron has won plaudits

for promoting startups as a solution to the

country’s sluggish economic growth and

double-digital rates of youth unemployment.

But don’t be fooled; not everything is rosy

in France’s tech scene, particularly when it

comes to creating billion-euro startups and

offering bumper profits to investors.

A message from Iberdrola: The future of

energy today: being one step ahead of the

energy transition. By embracing renewables,

energy storage, digitalization and smart

networks, we have become “the Utility of the

Future.” Discover Iberdrola’s commitment to

a sustainable future. And we are still only at

the beginning of a long road!



If the EU blocks its own farmers from using

glyphosate, those same farmers could make

it almost politically impossible for Europe to

continue importing food grown using the

herbicide, write Simon Marks and Giulia

Paravicini. MBR




Independence demonstrators

Seventy of the Catalan parliament’s 135

members voted in favour of independence

at 3:30 p.m. local time Friday. Within minutes

Wikipedia had been updated to list Catalonia

as a “disputed territory.” Spanish Prime

Minister Mariano Rajoy said “the rule of law

will restore legality in Catalonia,” the Catalan

Parliament was dissolved by Madrid, and new

elections will be held December 21. The moves

are a major escalation in a years-long conflict

between Catalonia’s pro-independence

leaders and the Spanish government that

came to a head with a disputed referendum on

October 1. European Commission President

Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU “doesn’t need

any more fissures.”

Spanish protest: At least 300,000 marched for

Spanish unity in Barcelona Sunday 30/10/2017.

Who’s in charge? Spain’s Deputy Prime

Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has

become the de facto president of Catalonia.

Madrid fires Catalonia’s EU ‘ambassador’:

Amadeu Altafaj told Playbook he is one

of more than 140 officials fired by the

Spanish government. Unlike all of Catalonia’s

delegations abroad, parts the EU delegation

office have been retained by Madrid because

of the technical nature of EU-related funding

and other negotiations, but Altafaj’s role was

considered political rather than technical.

Antonio Tajani says ‘No one will ever

recognize Catalonia‘: The European

Parliament president, speaking to reporters

Saturday, said the EU’s position is very clear:

“The referendum was illegal … The state of

law should be restored,” and no EU country

will recognize Catalonia as an independent


Asylum in Belgium for Puigdemont? Theo

Francken, Belgium’s controversial state

secretary for asylum and migration and

a Flemish nationalist, told Flemish public

broadcaster VRT that Carles Puigdemont,

removed from office by the Spanish

government last week, could apply for asylum

in Belgium. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander

De Croo shut him down, saying on Twitter such

talk was unnecessary. MBR





Theresa May stands accused of ignoring

Tory MPs’ sexual misconduct and allowing

ministers facing allegations of wrongdoing to

serve in her Cabinet. Guido published, with

names redacted, a spreadsheet featuring

36 serving Tory MPs on a “dossier of shame”

being circulated by junior party aides. The Sun

reports May now fears for her government and

may bring forward a Cabinet reshuffle in light

of a growing set of harassment allegations,

including against Mark Garnier, a minister at

the international trade department, who the

Mail on Sunday reports admitted calling his

former secretary “sugar tits” and asking her

to buy two vibrators at a Soho sex shop. The

Sunday Times claims a serving minister placed

his hand on the thigh of a female journalist

and declared: “God, I love those tits.” Stephen

Crabb, a married former Cabinet minister,

apologized for “sexual chatter” with a teenage.

Westminster employees are organizing to out

harassers via WhatsApp groups, and Labour



Malta Business Review




is urging victims to come forward, Buzzfeed

reports. Diane Abbott, the shadow home

secretary, told Andrew Marr on Sunday:

“This isn’t a problem for any particular party

or faction of a party, it runs right across



DEADLINE TODAY: London will set the country’s

budget if Sinn Féin and the Democratic

Unionist Party fail to reach agreement by the

end of today, Reuters reports. MBR


Go green or else! The European Commission’s

unusually swift move to prepare its Emissions

Trading System (ETS) in case of an abrupt nodeal

Brexit on March 29, 2019 sends a clear

political message to London: We’ll protect

our industries and flagship tool for cutting

greenhouse gases — at your expense.

Over 100 devolved powers for Scotland

after Brexit: David Mundell, the U.K. secretary

of state for Scotland, aims to publish a list

before Christmas of Brussels powers that will

shift to Scotland after Brexit. The government

hopes the list of 111 powers to be devolved

to Holyrood will ease tensions with Scotland’s

governing Scottish National Party, the Herald


Opinion — UK is now the nasty country:

Maria Farrell on how Britain no longer feels

like home, and is working to turn itself into a

nastier country.


Adam Bryant in The New York Times on

what he learned from interviewing 525 chief

executives through his years writing the

Corner Office column. MBR









The professor who is said to have introduced

George Papadopoulos — the foreign policy

adviser who worked on Donald Trump’s election

campaign and pleaded guilty to lying to federal

investigators — to Russian government officials

who had “dirt” on Hilary Clinton was confirmed

Tuesday to be Maltese national Joseph Mifsud.

A former chief of staff to Michael Frendo, Malta’s

Nationalist foreign minister from 2004 to 2008,

Mifsud’s network extends to the highest levels of

the European Parliament.

The professor was president of the Euro-

Mediterranean University, a Slovenia-based

institution founded in 2008 and backed by the

European Parliament until 2012, when he was

accused of having spent €39,332 in wrongly

claimed expenses. According to the minutes of a

meeting chaired by Socialist & Democrat leader

Gianni Pittella in 2012, the Parliament was set to

give the university €1 million, although Parliament

spokespeople did not respond to a request for

comment to confirm the payment had been

made. Mifsud also could not be reached for

comment but told the Telegraph: “I have a clear


Mifsud and Pittella are friends: A spokesman for

Pittella told Playbook’s Harry Cooper they are

friends and that Mifsud had asked the Socialist

leader to “give some lessons (gratis) to the

London School of Diplomacy” — Mifsud’s place

of employment as of March 2016, when he is said

to have met Papadopoulos. “Never ever — never

ever — Pittella had the impression or feedbacks

on Mifsud’s possible interference between the

U.S. and Russia,” the spokesman said. MBR


Professor Joseph Mifsud



Ellie Geranmayeh for the European Council

on Foreign Relations argues Iran is becoming

the foreign policy focal point of Europe’s

division with Trump’s America. She advises EU

governments to prepare legal mechanisms to

block renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran, and

to work with Russia and China to preserve the

core elements of the deal.



The party now “rules everything,” writes

François Godement for ECFR. MBR



Just when it looked like Spain had ceded

ground to Catalonia in the PR wars, the

Spanish embassy to the EU launched a

#ProudToBeSpanish campaign. Vinces, a

leading Spanish public affairs consultancy, will

launch in Brussels November 13, rolling out

with speeches by Spain’s Secretary of State

for European Affairs Jorge Toledo Albiñana,

former EEAS chief and ex-Permanent

Representative of France to the EU Pierre

Vimont, Bernardo Aguilera from Spanish

industry association CEOE, and Elena Herrero-

Beaumont, partner at Vinces and executive

board member at Transparency International

Spain. MBR

Secretary of State for European Affairs Jorge Toledo Albiñana


“There are crooks everywhere you

look now. The situation is desperate.”

— Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s final

blog post minutes before she was killed by a car bomb.



Brussels paid its respects to the crusading

Maltese journalist killed by a car bomb by

holding a silent vigil on Wednesday. Caruana

Galizia, a member of the 2017 POLITICO

28 list of people who are changing Europe,

generated strong opinions and is fondly

remembered by the Playbook team for her

efforts to hold powerful people to account,

and not only in Malta. Paul Dallison and Harry

Cooper discuss their memories of Daphne in

latest EU Confidential podcast episode.

If you’re anything like Playbook, Brexit navelgazing

is now a bore, typified by Monday

night’s Juncker-May dinner and the insipid

joint statement that followed it. There is

deeper meaning in the bombing of a journalist

in Malta; the news that Catalan activists are

now in jail for sedition and the fact Europe is

missing in action at the Chinese Communist

Party congress. It’s also EU Codeweek:

teaching the most useful new digital skill to

Europeans of all ages. MBR




Malta Business Review


Chamber of Advocates

To Commission Study On How Best To Strengthen Rule of Law

The Chamber of Advocates refers to the current situation

in Malta, and the apparent perception formulated by a

number of people, including some of its own members,

that the rule of law is under unprecedented pressure.

It is against this backdrop that the Chamber

will be commissioning a study to analyse any

structural deficiencies in the legal framework

and the checks and balances intended to

create the right balance between and within

the different organs of the state. The 21st

century and modern society has brought

about new challenges, and the existing

controls and checks may well not be sufficient

to ensure an effective safeguard of the rule

of law. The chamber will also be reviewing

existing proposals, yet to be implemented, in

this area.

The Chamber believes that it is critical in a

democracy, that all the country’s citizens,

without exception and without any shadow

of doubt, should have the firm belief that

there exist within the state the necessary

checks and balances to ensure the supremacy

of law. Any doubts or perceptions that this

may not be the case are a serious concern to

the Chamber and cannot be easily dismissed.

These doubts and perceptions can be the

product of a number of factors, not least that

the infrastructure of checks and balances

intended to safeguard the rule of law are

outdated and need to be strengthened to

meet today’s new challenges; a mentality

where anything goes; where profit or

pecuniary advantage have priority over other

values, such as respect of the law.

The Chamber of advocates believes that it

ought to contribute in a substantial manner

to the debate about the rule of law. Such

contribution should be the product of serious

consideration and serene deliberation

rather than an instinctive reaction to what

is currently being stated publicly. It is in this

vein that as a professional body, it shall first

examine the position of the current legal

infrastructure in some detail and then make

concrete proposals on how the rule of law

can be further strengthened to be able to

meet the challenges of a modern society, in

the foreseeable future. The Chamber plans

to publish its study on the matter and then

launch a national conference to debate its

proposals. The Chamber believes that it

should take the initiative to promote a serious

national debate on how the rule of law can be

further strengthened.

It is expected that after publishing its study,

the national conference will be organised in

the first half of the year 2018.

The Chamber wishes to advise that this is

the only statement that sets out the formal

position of the Chamber of Advocates. MBR


Malta Business Review






• EU privacy law to be updated to cover

new communication tools

• Stronger privacy rules for all new

electronic tools

• Ban on cookie walls blocking access to

a website if no consent







Draft proposals to ensure high standards

of privacy, confidentiality and security in

electronic communications across the

EU were approved by the Civil Liberties

Committee on Thursday. These would apply

to SMS and telephone services, and would

update the EU’s existing e-privacy rules to

cover recently introduced internet-enabled

services such as WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger

and Facebook.

The text, drafted by Marju Lauristin (S&D,

ET) constitutes Parliament’s draft negotiating

mandate for talks with the Council on the

revision of the e-privacy rules. It was passed

by 31 votes to 24, with one abstention.


MEPs call for a ban on “cookie walls”, which

block access to a website if the person does

not agree to his or her data being used by the

same site.

Snooping on personal devices via cookies or

software updates, or tracking people without

their clear approval through public hotspots

or Wi-Fi in shopping centres, should also be

prohibited, say MEPs.

“Privacy by default” settings should become

standard for all software used for electronic

communications and service providers must

provide for strong encryption, they add.

Consent always needed for any use of

personal data

MEPs want to set strict limits on data

processing and insist that data should only be

used for the purpose of which consent has

been given by the individual.

So-called “meta-data”, which can give

information about numbers called, websites

visited, geographical location or the time and

date a call and other sensitive data, should be

treated as confidential and never passed on

to third parties.


Parliament’s lead MEP Marju Lauristin

(S&D, ET) said: “E-privacy can give a great

competitive advantage to European

companies and help them to create a real

European model for digital economy, with

high quality services, consumer trust and free


“E-privacy can give a great

competitive advantage to

European companies and help

them to create a real European

model for digital economy, with

high quality services, consumer

trust and free choice”.


The full Parliament will be asked at its plenary

session in Strasbourg next week to formally

confirm the committee decision to enter

into negotiations with the Council. But the

Council must agree on its own negotiating

mandate before talks can start.


The current directive on privacy in the

electronic communication sector was last

updated in 2009. The proposal for a revision,

presented by the Commission on 10 January

2017, replaces the directive with a regulation

and brings the rules into line with the General

Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will

become applicable in May 2018.

EU e-privacy rules aim to ensure the

fundamental right to privacy and protection

of personal data as enshrined in the Treaties.

Creditline: Rikke Uldall, EP Press Service & EP,




Malta Business Review


from the

Ground Up

The masterly crafted Gran Cavalier

collection of noble varietal wines is the

signature series of Malta’s fourth-generation

family winery, Emmanuel Delicata.

The award-winning range of four flagship

wines is made from hand-picked grapes

grown in the most expressive vineyards

of the Delicata domaine.

In bringing you the finest from the vineyard

to the glass, no leaf has been left unturned,

no labour spared, no time rushed.

Each wine reflects the goodness the

Maltese land can bring forth under

Delicata’s careful custodianship.

The Gran Cavalier Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah D.O.K. Malta selection holds Malta’s highest quality wine classification.

The wines have won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and a total of 23 awards at international wine competitions.



Malta Business Review


The Core is Cracking

Asset Managers Must Reboot Their Technology Infrastructure

By Jay Wolstenholme

Thin investment returns, shifting regulations,

and tight operating margins are forcing asset

managers to evolve their operational and

technical business models to stay competitive.

Competition among managers is fierce, and

the need to differentiate themselves beyond

performance, through portfolio breadth,

operational efficiency, client communications,

and smart marketing.

The six buy side front-to-back operations and

technology trends tracked throughout 2016

and into 2017 are still very much in play.

1. Low Return Investment

Environment, Multiasset


2. Reevaluating Operational and

Technical Architecture Due to

Regulatory, Client Demand, and

Cost Pressures

3. Increased Demand for

Investment Decision Support

Tools from AMs and Asset Owners

4. Growing Adoption of Systems and

Business Process Outsourcing

5. Growing Exploration,

Experimentation, and Interest in

Use Cases for Big Data and AI

6. Asset Managers Search for

Greater Volume and Direct


These trends hold up well, but within these

six there is an underlying theme lurking. This

certainly sounds ominous, and unfortunately

in a way it is: the buy side needs to pay

some back dues for not paying as much

attention and effort to its full front-to-back

investment processes. When investment

returns were high, it was convenient to patch

in manual operational processes to get past

the problems, but in the current economic

and investment environment this ln longer is


In order to have an industrialized asset

management operational base the technology

foundation needs to be automated, digital,

reliable, efficient, and cost-effective. For the

majority of asset managers, this will mean

needing to optimize incumbent systems

rather than replacing systems. MBR

if you would like a copy of the report or to

speak with Celent Analyst Jay Wolstenholme

about the research: www.celent.com

Credit: Celent, a division of Oliver Wyman

Low Return Investment Envoirment, Unique Mandates, and Multiasset Portfolios

Client requirements differ across segments

DB Pensions | DC Pensions | Insurance | High-Net Worth | Endowments & Foundations | SWFs

Envolving investor priorities, sophistication and regulations



Low Fees




High Liquidity


Asset allocation strategies / multi-asset




Alternatives Passives Multi-asset Direct

Spectrum of investment strategies


Factor Smart













Malta Business Review



Geneva, 19 October 2017 – The world’s

commercial fleet grew by 3.2 per cent

to reach 1.86 billion dead-weight tons in

early 2017. UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime

Transport 2017 reveals that the persistent

imbalance between supply and demand is

keeping freight rates and earnings low in

most segments.

The Review of Maritime Transport 2017, in

keeping with previous issues since 1968,

contains a wealth of critical analyses, new

and unique data. The review covers the latest

developments in international seaborne

trade, shipping, the world fleet, ports, freight

markets, and transport-related regulatory

and legal frameworks.

This year’s edition features a special chapter

on the shipping connectivity in relation to

trade and access to foreign markets as well as

a five-year projection for seaborne trade.

The Review of Maritime Transport 2017 will

be launched on 25 October 2017 (under

embargo until 1700 hours GMT).

Journalists who have access to the UNCTAD

virtual newsroom may download press

releases and summaries of UNCTAD reports.

Access to the virtual newsroom requires a


After the lifting of the embargo, documents

related to the report will be available on the

main UNCTAD website. MBR

For further information or to request or

schedule interviews with UNCTAD experts,

please do not hesitate to contact the UNCTAD

Press Office (41 22 917 58 28, unctadpress@


Courtesy: UNCTAD

The European Union receives Princess of

Asturias Award for Concord

European Parliament President

Antonio Tajani, European Council

President Donald Tusk and European

Commission President Jean-Claude

Juncker received the Princess of

Asturias Award on behalf of the EU.

The panel chose to award the European Union

with the 2017 Princess of Asturias Award for

Concord for its contribution to providing the

"longest period of peace in modern Europe"

and for spreading "values such as freedom,

human rights and solidarity".

The award ceremony took place on Friday 20

October, in Oviedo, Spain.

"I accept this award on behalf of all EU

citizens, with the commitment to continue

to work for a Europe that is closer to their

concerns. Europeans want the European

Union to be truly efficient and democratic,

able to listen, to protect them and provide

answers to their problems," said President


The award, with twenty-eight initial

candidates from sixteen countries, will be

conferred at the Teatro Campoamor in

Oviedo. The ceremony will be presided over

by the King of Spain, Felipe VI, in the presence

of the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Background - The "Princess of Asturias"


The Princess of Asturias Foundation

(Fundación Princesa de Asturias) is a nonprofit

private institution which promotes

scientific, cultural and humanistic values that

constitute universal heritage.

Since the coronation of His Majesty, King

Felipe VI, he has assumed the honorary

presidency of the institution that has given

out the award annually since 1981.

The prizes are awarded in eight different

categories: arts, literature, social science,

communication and humanities, scientific

and technical research, international

cooperation, concord and sport. They are

handed out each year in October at Oviedo's

Teatro Campoamor. The award ceremony

is considered one of the most important

cultural events on the international agenda.

Nominees must have an exemplary

profile and their work must be recognised

internationally. Those who have received the

award in the past include Nelson Mandela,

Philip Roth, Stephen Hawking, the World

Health Organization, Woody Allen, Umberto

Eco, Paul Krugman, UNICEF, Riccardo Muti,

National Geographic Society and Mario

Vargas Llosa. MBR

Further information:





Malta Business Review


EU/EP: Parlemeter

Public confidence in the EU and its Parliament

continues to grow

• Parlemeter opinion poll of citizens’

views on European Union and European


• 64% say their country has benefitted

from EU membership

• EU membership a good thing say 57%

The share of EU citizens who believe that their

country has benefitted from EU membership

is 64%, an increase of four percentage points

compared to 2016. In Malta this percentage

shoots up to 89% with the majority of

respondents on this being of the opinion that

the EU contributes to economic growth in our


In the latest European Parliament survey, 57%

say EU membership is good for their country

- a share that is almost back at its pre-crisis

level. In Malta, 64% feel that EU membership

is a good thing.

The 2017 Parlemeter poll was held among

27,881 citizens in the 28 member states. 47%

feel that their voice counts in the EU, the best

result since the European elections 2009.

51% of Maltese respondents feel their voice

counts in the EU, though 40% disagree totally.

The Parlemeter survey takes a close look at

citizens’ views on EU membership and its

benefits, whether their voice counts in the EU

and on their attitudes towards the European

Parliament, its priorities, actions and mission.

The survey confirms the citizens’ increasingly

favourable view of the EU, continuing a trend

visible in surveys since 2016.

EP President Antonio Tajani said: “The result

of the survey is very positive and encouraging.

The poll shows that the confidence in our

institutions and our work continues to rise

and that we are leaving the crisis of recent

years behind. People increasingly see the EU

as a core player when it comes to tackling

the big challenges and to protecting them

against common threats such as terrorism,

unemployment or poverty and exclusion.

For us, as the people’s Parliament, that

means we need to deliver and that we will

work even harder to fulfil people’s hopes

and expectations. I also take the results of

the survey as a mandate for the European

Parliament to continue to play a key role

in shaping the EU’s future. The best forum

for debate on what the EU should look like,

what tasks it should perform, or what powers

it should have, is here, in the European


The result of the survey is very

positive and encouraging. The

poll shows that the confidence

in our institutions and our work

continues to rise and that we

are leaving the crisis of recent

years behind.


46% of Maltese respondents have a positive

image of parliament, compared to 33%

Europe-wide, up eight points within one year.

The share of citizens who have a neutral image

of the European Parliament is 42%, whereas

the share who have a negative image is down

seven points, to 21%.

Over half the respondents (55%) stated being

interested in the 2019 European elections -

with the figure rising to 65% for Malta - and

47% thought the European Parliament should

play a bigger role in the future. This figure

goes up to 56% amongst the Maltese public.



The previous survey held in March 2017

already showed that citizens are more and

more aware that the EU is acting on their

behalf in areas they see as priorities. Building

on this growing acknowledgement of the EU’s

action, interest in the EU remains high and at

57%, showing a steady increase over time.

European citizens also clearly expect the EU

to help protect them against certain threats.

When asked against which threats the EU

should protect them, citizens cited terrorism

(58%), unemployment (43%), poverty and

exclusion (42%), and uncontrolled migration

(35%). For the Maltese respondents terrorism

(63%) and uncontrolled migration (56%) pose

the greatest threat.

Fewer than a quarter cited climate change

(23%), religious radicalism (23%), organised

crime (22%), armed conflict (21%), political

extremism (20%), the spread of infectious

diseases (10%), cyber-attacks, social dumping

and threats to data privacy (9% each).


Citizens expect the EU to safeguard

fundamental rights (44%), freedom to travel,

work and study across the EU (36%), labour

rights (34%), adequate pensions (34%) and

economic well-being (33%). They expect the

European Parliament in particular to defend

human rights (56%), free speech (34%) and

equality between men and women (32%).

For Maltese respondents, the chief concern is

the environment (53%).


Citizens expect the European Parliament to

support action against poverty and exclusion

(41%), terrorism (also 41%) and youth

unemployment (31%). A common European

response to the issue of migration should also

be a top priority according to 35% of Maltese



The 2017 Parlemeter survey is based on faceto-face

interviews with 27,881 Europeans,

aged 15 or more, in all EU 28 member states,

between 23 September and 2 October 2017.

Creditline: European Parliament, Directorate-

General for Communication



Malta Business Review



Malta Business Review


Achieves Positive Rating

from Sigma Ratings

FIMBank has achieved a positive

rating from Sigma Ratings following

a comprehensive review by the USbased

specialist. The entity issues annual

ratings on company-level financial crime

risk posture, and utilises cutting-edge

computer science to generate daily risk

approximations on companies around the

world. It has pioneered a technology-driven

approach to understanding non-credit

counterparty risk, evaluating inherent risk

and control effectiveness data, to generate

financial crime vulnerability ratings.

Whilst most control sub-areas were rated as

‘strong’, the overall rating places FIMBank in

the upper quartile of Sigma’s ‘satisfactory’

rating band. Sigma also classifies FIMBank’s

outlook as ‘positive’. Commenting on the

Bank’s recent achievement, FIMBank Group

CEO Murali Subramanian stated that “Sigma’s

rating is consistent with the recent affirmation

of our ‘BB Rating’ and Stable Outlook by Fitch

Ratings. It is the outcome of the enhanced

risk management framework adopted and

encourages us to invest additional time and

resources to seek further progression.”

Mr Subramanian explained that over the past

years, FIMBank has implemented a number

of management and operational reforms,

and boosted investments aimed at improving

its financial crime compliance posture across

the entire Group. “This has led to a dramatic

shift in culture, one which places a particular

focus on financial crime risk management and

compliance. In line with guidance we receive

from our Board, we have continued to adopt

a group- wide “zero tolerance” policy on

compliance failure”. MBR

For more information about FIMBank plc, visit

www.fimbank.com. For further information

please contact:

Jason Zammit, Head of Marketing &

Administration, FIMBank plc


EVENTS Malta Business Review



since 2003, boasting one of the most

successful and durable partnerships in the

sport of yachting.

BOSS Store St Julians hosted an intimate

breakfast for the press and yachting

enthusiasts, welcoming star sailor Alex

Thomson ahead of his participation in the

Rolex MIddle Sea Race on Saturday, aboard

the iconic black HUGO BOSS Yacht. MBR



Malta Business Review



By Antoine Bonello

Water is life and we simply can’t

live without it. Yet many people

hate rainy days. This truth is always

related to a reason and most of

the time is due to inability to carry

out with our daily plans or a bad

experience similar to a friend of mine

who called me in the middle of the

night, in a state of panic because of a

serious water infiltrations inside his

house from almost everywhere.

The truth is that for many of us the roof is

something secondary or worse we just expect

it to protect us any time unconditionally. But

for this to happen we need to protect it and

prepare it well beforehand.

But what is the best way to waterproof our

roof and how can I be sure that the persons I

doing it are trustworthy?

While there are many solutions and many

self-thought roofers available we have to be

very careful at this stage as for some reason

this is a trade were everyone seems to be an

expert in the field. Many unqualified people

give out the most ridicules solutions just to

show off, or worse suggest you the same

product everywhere just because they know

any better.

So one is left to wonder which the best way

forward is and how to make the right decision.

So let me help you out with regards both.

At present there are two types of

waterproofing systems, liquid and carpet

membranes. In Malta the traditional bitumen

carpet membrane is still considered a

solution by some. These products are mainly

dark coloured, made from bitumen and

covered with gravel. Once implemented it

starts to harden, loose cohesion and harms

the environment due to evaporation of oils

caused by direct sunlight. They also tend to

open from the sealed seams when subjected

to concrete movements.

Another important effect is the transmission

of heat inside buildings due to their colour and

properties, elevating considerably the room

temperature and creating a hot and humid

environment. This occurrence will inevitably

result in making more use of air-conditions

and an increase in electricity consumption.

In our hot country these products are mostly

recommended for use in foundations and in

countries where there is no direct Sunlight like


In today’s world technology moves at a very

rapid pace with materials being continuously

developed and modified to meet today’s

building exigencies. Resins membranes are

proving to be the future; they are designed

to meet our harsh hot summer and sudden

climate change. Their application is simply by

roller, brush or sprayed and can be applied

easily in corners and obstructed areas. The

final result is completely seamless, elastic,

resistant to heavy traffic, can withstand direct

bonding of tiles if desired and guaranteed to

last for years due to their resistance to UV

rays. They are light in weight compared to

other materials and can become stronger

when they are reinforced with fibreglass type

matt 225.

Resin membranes also help to reduce heat

intake due to their ability to reflect natural

radiation and low heat absorption properties.

A new thermal resin liquid membrane has

now been launched in the market with

elevated thermal and reflective properties

able to increase solar panels efficiency and

intake. A leading producer of these products


This revolutionary product is the perfect

solution for our Maltese flat roofs. A strong

waterproofing membrane with thermal

properties that reduces by far structural

movements and heat intake inside buildings.

This means less use of air-conditioners to

cool our houses and workplace. Another

astonishing benefit of this innovative product

is the ability to increase the efficiency and

the intake of solar panels by redirecting the

UV sunrays horizontally towards them. This

means more money in the owner’s pocket,

and a cleaner energy.

Delicate works that involve waterproofing

must be carried out by professionals who are



Malta Business Review

able to identify the problems and address

them with the best possible materials and

solutions possible. Nowadays our houses

are becoming more elaborated therefore

waterproofing works must be carried out

by properly trained people. Always make

sure that the persons are members of the

Malta Professional Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association. This guarantees good

work, traceability and trustworthiness.

thanks to 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 on

27477647 MBR

Serious roofers are in possession of the

Association’s Installers Card for the peace of

mind of their customers. Always ask to see it

prior to any works.

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 is able to carry out the requested

job at its best. All this is being made possible

Bitumen membrane carpet offers provides a poor

waterproofing solution and cannot be applied everywhere

Damages caused by carpet membrane

Thermal resin membrane with micro fibres - perfect for DIY




Malta Business Review





Air Malta will start operating a twice weekly

scheduled service to Sicily’s Comiso airport,

every Friday and Sunday as from 17th

December. Comiso is an ideal destinations

for commuters and for weekend tourists

going to Sicily from Malta and vice-versa.

Air Malta’s popular GO-LIGHT fares will apply

on the route making it possible to fly for just

EUR39 per way including taxes and charges.

Last summer the Maltese airline also restarted

a two to three times weekly scheduled

services to the Sicily’s capital Palermo, and

with another 14 weekly flights to Catania,

Air Malta is now serving three airports to the

neighbouring Mediterranean’s largest island

creating ideal connections for commuters

and tourists alike.

Malta’s Minister for Tourism Dr Konrad Mizzi

commented, “Great to see Air Malta's growth

strategy gaining momentum. Air Malta will be

actively strengthening its operations in Sicily

with a view to better serve Sicilian tourists

and business passengers who can connect to

other destinations via Malta.”

Ragusa Ibla

Commenting on this newly launched service,

Mr Paul Sies, Chief Commercial Officer at Air

Malta stated, ‘’This is more good news both

for Malta and Sicily. This is the first time that

Air Malta will start operating to this Sicilian

airport and this announcement continues to

strengthen the airline’s position in the Sicilian

market with at least 18 weekly flight this

winter between the islands. The new addition

will definitely improve connectivity between

both islands as through the introduction of

this route we shall now be also covering the

southern province of Ragusa. This welcome

addition is further proof of our commitment

to Malta and Sicily and will strengthen our

position by tapping into new markets in

line with our current growth strategy and

becoming the Airline of the Mediterranean


The flights will be go on sale by Monday, 16th

October and will operate as follows:


Comiso is surrounded by the municipalities

of Chiaramonte Gulfi, Ragusa and Vittoria.

The city of Comiso and the neighbouring

towns and villages offer spectacular scenery

and impressive land marks. Wandering

through the streets and cobbled lanes of

Comiso, visitors are intrigued by the baroque

architecture which is present throughout the

entire city. The Naselli Castle which is an eight

sided tower of Gothic origins is regarded as the

main landmark of this Sicilian City. The interior

of the castle is adorned and decorated with

14th century frescoes while the precious floor

mosaic which used to cover the entire floor is

now preserved in the municipality library.

Discovering the UNESCO World Heritage

Site towns of Ragusa Ibla, Modica and Scicli

is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience

which takes any traveller on a unique journey

to ancient civilisations. The municipality of

Ragusa is renowned for an exceptional cuisine

through simple dishes characterised by

authentic taste of tradition. Comiso is home

to a great number of Michelin star restaurants

and the culinary activity of the region is placed

among the first thirty Italian cities in the chart

of high quality food and wines.

In the coming days customers will be able

to book flights through www.airmalta.com,

by calling Air Malta’s Call Centre on +356

21662211, from Air Malta sales office at

Malta International Airport or from Travel

Agents in Malta and Italy. MBR

KM658 Dep.


20:30 Arr.



KM659 Dep. Comiso

22:00 Arr.





Malta Business Review

Best Deal Properties launch new interactive portal

By JP abela

Best Deal Properties has launched

a new web portal, which can be

accessed at www.bestdealmalta.

com – a portal that is set to act as

an increasingly important customer


Best Deal Properties’ new web portal

enables customers to not only find current

information about our properties and our

services but also provides direct access to our

instant website updates.

For the first time, through the www.

bestdealmalta.com customers will also be

able to go for improved navigation, fresh

content and functionality.

Developed with the end user in mind, the site

has also been built to learn individual user

trends and patterns and then put forward the

most relevant information or functionality to

the particular user. Our Portfolio section of

the website has been designed to feature our

array of top class interior design and finishing

the customer would enjoy upon completion.

The website’s Sold Properties area will feature

an album of each finished property thus

ensuring that all our projections are carried to

the final detail.

“We are proud to launch our new web

portal that was designed with the objective

of providing a convenient, dynamic and

interactive channel,” said Erskine Vella,

Director at Best Deal Properties.

“When we first embarked on this project,

our goal was to create a space where a

customer could browse. This site is all about

our customer first and foremost,” explained

Erskine. MBR



Once again Gianpula Main Room has

been placed in the list of The World's 100

Best Clubs.

For the first time this list has been produced by

combining the direct public votes through the

Facebook page of the International Nightlife

Association and that of a qualified jury taking

the publics opinion into great consideration.

The World's 100 Best Clubs is an exclusive list

that is released every year, taking into account

different aspects such as security, innovation

or the quality of services to offer users a way

to select the best nightlife venues.

The city with the most venues, winning

public recognition according to The World's

100 Best Clubs 2017 list is Ibiza with ten

establishments followed by Las Vegas, with

nine. The Balearic Islands bring names such

as Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel (World's Best

Club 2017), Hï, DC10, Amnesia, Pacha Ibiza,

Sankeys, Heart, Blue Marlin Ibiza, Lío and

KM5. Las Vegas keeps also remains strong

on the list with Omnia, Hakkasan, Marquee,

Drai's, XS, Foxtail, TAO and Surrender, to which

they join Exchange, Avalon, Space, Sound

Nightclub, E11even, LIV and Coda, and La Vela

on American territory. Other clubs that are

also strong in the list are Zouk, in Singapore;

Cavalli Club in Dubai; Collosseum in Jakarta or

Octagon in Seoul.

Gianpula Village is more than a nightclub. It

is a destination. Consisting of eight venues

in one central area, it caters for every taste

and genre. Gianpula Village’s success lies in

providing a complete and comprehensive

experience in one location. MBR



Malta Business Review


Consistent improvement in the fiscal

balance in the first nine months of 2017

A surplus of €56.4 million was recorded in

the consolidated fund balance for the first

nine months of this year. This represented

an improvement of €120.1 million in the

consolidated fund balance, turning a deficit

of €63.6 million recorded in January to

September last year, to a surplus this year.

This significant improvement was the result

of notable increases in all the main revenue

categories, while growth in expenditure

remained contained. Indeed, during the

period January to September of this year,

recurrent revenue increased by €346.7 million

or 13.2 percent while total expenditure

increased by €226.6 million or 8.4 percent.

The largest increase in revenue was recorded

in income tax (€83.4 million), reflecting the

robust growth in employment recorded in

recent years backed by the making work

pay budget initiatives. Indirect tax revenues

including VAT, customs, and excise duties as

well as licenses, taxes, and fines continued

to record significant increases reflecting both

the dynamic growth in private consumption

and Malta’s positive performance in net

trade. The Government’s salary bill increased

by 5.6 percent.

The Minister for Finance comments, “It is

encouraging to note this year’s consistent

improvements in the consolidated fund

balance over last year’s already successful

outcome. I am also pleased to note that the

fiscal performance for the first nine months of

this year is better than the Budget projections

for the same period, auguring well for the

end-of-year fiscal outturn.” MBR

Source: Ministry of Finance


Credits : Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill - DOI

Credits : Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill - DOI

Minister for Finance addresses

the legal profession practicing in

commercial activities

“Legal practitioners have an obligation

to adopt high standards when it comes

to customer due diligence, including strict

know-your-customers procedures. We must

not allow criminals to set up shop in Malta.

Company legal practitioners should also be

vigilant on the ongoing activities carried out

by Maltese companies”, stated Minister for

Finance Edward Scicluna when addressing the

Annual Company Law Conference organised

by the Academy within the Chamber of

Advocates at the Old University in Valletta.

He also stated that Malta has high standards

of company legislation, providing for the

company registration process and for the

retention of extensive and up-to-date

information and documentation on every


“The Government is determined to take all

the necessary steps to ensure that Maltese

companies are not misused for crime and

money, and that they have the standards and

fundamental requirements of the Financial

Action Task Force”, said Minister Scicluna.

The Minister for Finance concluded by

saying that, to further reinforce transparency

and to fully comply with the requirements

of international standards and the 4th

Two year Framework Agreement

between UOM and MITA to help students

familiarise better with practical aspects

with the ICT Industry. “Concrete measure

to address the challenges brought about

by the digital economy” – Parliamentary

Secretary Silvio Schembri

MITA and the University of Malta signed a two-year

Framework Agreement that will help students

studying in different faculties to experience

and familiarise better with practical aspects

within the ICT industry.

During the signing of the agreement,

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial

Services, Digital Economy and Innovation

Silvio Schembri said that the way forward

to address the challenges that the digital

economy is bringing about is by means of

closer collaboration between entities and


“Creating and sustaining people’s talent

sustains our economy,” said Schembri

while insisting on the importance of the

involvement of academics and professionals

to develop study-units in a way that will reflect

today’s industry and today’s IT technology. In

this way, students from various faculties will

have a practical experience on what the ICT

industry is expecting from them.

University of Malta Rector, Professor

Alfred Vella described the agreement as

an example of how stakeholders involved

Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the

Government will over the coming weeks

publish regulations requiring every company

to hold information on its beneficial owners

and to submit this information to the Registrar

of Companies. The Regulations will also

provide for the establishment of a register of

beneficial owners of companies which will be

directly accessible without any restriction to

competent authorities, to obliged persons,

and possibly to the general public, depending

on the outcome of the current negotiations

on the proposed amendments to the 4th

Directive. MBR

Courtesy: Ministry for Finance

Credits : Clifton Fenech - DOI

Credits : Clifton Fenech - DOI

Credits : Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill - DOI

in the industry and the University of Malta

can work closer together to understand the

industry requirements while at the same time

strengthening the educational curriculum.

MITA Chairman Tony Sultana explained that

that the Terms of Further Collaboration

agreed with the University of Malta reflects

the continuous discussions with the industry.

He added that the agreement is going to

establish a mutually beneficial collaboration

that allows for a number of initiatives to take

shape between the Parties. This is the first

agreement reached with the Faculty of ICT

and currently there are ongoing discussions

with FEMA Faculty to establish a similar


After the signing, Parliamentary Secretary

Silvio Schembri was toured around the Faculty

of ICT accompanied by Rector Alfred Vella and

MITA Chairman Tony Sultana.


Courtesy: Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial

Services, Digital Economy and Innovation

An Inspiration

For your HOME


22, Vallea Road, Qormi. - Mob: 79477542 - Email: prenss@innogreens.com

Exceptional Properties.

Exceptional Clients. Exceptional Service.

Tel. : +356 79798282, e-mail : info@simonestates.com

6, Chemin du Repos, 1213, Petit-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland: 159, Labour Avenue, Naxxar NXR 9025 : 223, Republican Street, Valletta VLT 1116, Malta

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