MBR_ISSUE 37_Lowres

bdarmanin

COVER STORY

RELIABILITY, FLEXIBILITY

& INNOVATION

Interview with David Abela,

Managing Director at Eurobridge

Shipping Services Ltd p.06

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA’S BEST IN BUSINESS

AWARD WINNERS

EXCELLENCE VALUES &

COMMITMENT

Interview with Elio Desira Director of

Oceanus Marine Ltd p.12

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA’S BEST IN BUSINESS

AWARD WINNERS

PERSEVERANCE AND CONSTANT

INNOVATION

Winners’ interview with Alex Grima,

Director, Progressive Information

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA INTERNATIONAL

BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS

PASSION & RESPONSIBILITY

A unique winners’ interview with

Mark Gaglione, Managing Director,

Medcomms Ltd p.46

Systems Ltd p.16

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 37 | 2017

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your perfect atmosphere

Malta Business Review

COVER STORY

06 RELIABILITY, FLEXIBILITY & INNOVATION

An encompassing interview with David Abela, Managing

Director at Eurobridge Shipping Services Ltd

SPECIAL FEATURE: MALTA’S BEST

IN BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

12 EXCELLENCE VALUES & COMMITMENT

Interview with Elio Desira Director of Oceanus Marine

Ltd, winners of Small to Medium Size Business of the Year

Award and Award for Excellence

14 SIMPLY HOLDINGS CEO HADRIEN

MAJOIE EXPLAINS WHY THE WORLD HAS

BARELY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE WITH

CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Interview with Hadrien Majoie CEO of Simply Holdings

16 PERSEVERANCE AND CONSTANT INNOVATION

Winners’ interview with Alex Grima, Director, Progressive

Information Systems Ltd

20 BRINGING SCIENCE TO THE SHAKER

Interview with award-winning mixologist and Director of

Molecular Fusion, Edward Bonello

HIGH LEVEL CONFERENCE ON

CLEAN ENERGY FINANCING

24 DELIVERING THE ENERGY TRANSITION FOR

JOBS, GROWTH AND INVESTMENT

MBR Editor Martin Vella, invited as special rapporteur in a

high-level conference in Brussels on 7th November 2017,

reports on how to finance clean energy as well as create

jobs and boost economic growth

BITCOIN

26 VIRTUAL CURRENCIES IN MALTA – THE BRAVE

NEW WORLD OF BITCOIN

What is driving the ever-growing interest in Bitcoin and

other virtual currencies – Excerpts from a report by Lexology

compiled by Joseph Borg, Ramona Azzopardi, Kelly Fenech

and Erika Micallef

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

6

CONTENTS

Issue 37

EDUCATION

30 THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION: A

CONVERSATION WITH SIR MICHAEL BARBER

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF

THE MONTH

34 TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Interview with Geraldine Noel, Managing Partner at

Acumum and inspirational woman leader

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA INTERNATIONAL BOATS &

YACHTING AWARDS 2017

42

55

According to a recent report by PwC, within 15

years, artificial intelligence will take over 38% of U.S.

jobs. This trend is expected to continue. What will

employment look like?

12

34

PRIDE, PROFESSIONALISM, ATTITUDE

AND ETHICS

2nd winners’ interview with Ing. Elio Desira, Director,

Oceanus MarIne Ltd., judges’ No. 1 and winners of

Best Yachting Achievement of the Year Award and

Best Marine & Industrial Consultancy

Company of the Year Award

44 AC MARINE

An exclusive interview with Ing. Anthony Camilleri,

Managing Director, A.C.Marine Co. Ltd., winners of

two prestigious awards during Malta’s International

Boat & Yachting Awards

45 WORKING TOGETHER TO MEET

CHANGING NEEDS

MBR interviews Kurt Camilleri, Managing Director of

O&S Shipping Ltd, winners of Malta’s Best Shipping

Agency during the B&Y Awards

46 PASSION & RESPONSIBILITY

A unique winners’ interview with Mark Gaglione,

Managing Director, Medcomms Ltd

47 DIVERSITY, PROTECTION & SAFETY

Capt. Jesmond Mifsud, Chief Pilot, Malta Maritime

Pilots, talks about the vision and success behind

Malta Maritime Pilots

49

BUSINESS INTERVIEW

30

46

A CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE

An interview with Cedric Mifsud, Founding Partner of.

Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates, winners of Malta’s Best

Marine Legal Service of the Year Award during the

recent Malta International Boats & Yachting Awards

AN EVOLUTION INTO SOMETHING BIGGER

JP Abela interviews Justin Haber, emerging

business entrepreneur

4


MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

EDITORIAL

Malta Business Review

As another year comes to a close, I decided to write my December

editorial on a controversy debated recently in Parliament to reform

the archaic media law and abolish criminal libel. Taking a leaf

from exceptional writing by Teresa M. Bejan’s The Two Clashing

Meanings of 'Free Speech', the recent debate reminded me about

how it reflected a battle between two distinct conceptions of the

term—what the Greeks called isegoria and parrhesia.

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

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EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

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

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

J. P. Abela; Viktor Almquist; Ramona

Azzopardi; Antoine Bonello; Joseph Borg;

Claudia Caruana; George Carol; Jean Paul

Demajo; Thomas Gass; Alexander Gersti; Kelly

Fenech; Balint Linder; Lina Lietzen; Erika

Micallef; Isabel Teixeira; Jason Zammit

SPECIAL THANKS

DOI; European Parliament Information Office in

Malta; European Parliament, Directorate-

General for Communication; European Research

Council; OPR; POLITICO SPRL; Taylor & Francis

Group; The Parliamentary Secretariat For

Financial Services, Digital Economy And

Innovation; Politico Global Policy Lab; David

Wine, C. M. RUBIN;

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“People do not decide their futures; they decide

their habits, and their habits decide their

futures.”

F. M. Alexander

Disclaimer

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

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

prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content

material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese

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

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

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

is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without

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

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

are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

Little distinguishes democracy in Malta more sharply from Europe

than the primacy—and permissiveness—of our commitment to

free speech. Yet ongoing controversies at local level suggest that

free speech is becoming a partisan issue. While conservative minds

defend the importance of inviting controversial speakers to debate

on TV and giving offense, many self-identified liberals are engaged in increasingly disruptive, even

violent, efforts to shut them down. Abundant examples of this is found on facebook. When it comes

to public opinion, businesses, or social media, the would-be censors are our fellow-citizens, not the

state. Free speech for some, they argue, serves only to silence and exclude others. Denying hateful

or historically “privileged” voices a platform is thus necessary to make equality effective, so that the

marginalized and vulnerable can finally speak up—and be heard.

There is a more fundamental conflict between two, very different concepts of free speech at stake.

The conflict between what the ancient Greeks called isegoria, on the one hand, and parrhesia, on the

other, is as old as democracy itself. Today, both terms are often translated as “freedom of speech,”

but their meanings were and are importantly distinct. In ancient Athens, isegoria described the equal

right of citizens to participate in public debate in the democratic assembly; parrhesia, the license to

say what one pleased, how and when one pleased, and to whom.

The chief threat to free speech in democracies was not the state, but the “social tyranny” of one’s

fellow citizens. And yet today, the civil libertarians who style themselves as inheritors of heavenly

wisdom have for the most part failed to refute, or even address, the arguments about free speech and

equality that their opponents are making.

The two ancient concepts of free speech came to shape our modern liberal democratic notions in

fascinating and forgotten ways. But more importantly, understanding that there is not one, but two

concepts of freedom of speech, and that these are often in tension if not outright conflict, helps

explain the frustrating shape of contemporary debates, both in the Malta and in Europe—and why it

so often feels as though we are talking past each other when it comes to the things that matter most.

Debates about free speech today suggest that the rival concepts of isegoria and parrhesia are alive

and well.

For philosophers like Spinoza and Immanuel Kant, “free speech” meant primarily the intellectual

freedom to participate in the public exchange of arguments. In 1784, five years before the French

Revolution, Kant would insist that “the freedom to make public use of one’s reason” was the

fundamental and equal right of any human being or citizen. Similarly, when Mill wrote On Liberty

less than a century later, he did not defend the freedom of speech as such, but rather the individual

“freedom of thought and discussion” in the collective pursuit of truth. While the equal liberty of

isegoria remained essential for these thinkers, they shifted focus from actual speech—that is, the

physical act of addressing others and participating in debate—to the mental exercise of reason and

the exchange of ideas and arguments, very often in print. And so, over the course of two millennia, the

Enlightenment finally united isegoria and logos in an idealized concept of free speech as freedom only

for reasoned speech and rational deliberation that would have made Plato proud.

Our goals should be securing the equal right and liberty of citizens not simply to “exercise their reason”

but to speak their minds. It does so because the alternative is to allow the powers-that-happen-to-be

to grant that liberty as a license to some individuals while denying it to others. As the evangelicals or

zealous, protesters, and provocateurs who created Malta’s parrhesiastic tradition knew well: When

the rights of all become the privilege of a few, neither liberty nor equality can last.

On behalf of all the team at MBR Publications Limited, I wish you a happy Christmas and prosperous,

peaceful New Year.

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editor, and besides reflecting the Editor’s

opinion, are written to represent a fair and impartial representation of facts, events and provide a correct

analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

www.maltabusinessreview.net

5


Malta Business Review COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

MBR: You are regarded as a highly successful

Reliability, Flexibility and Innovation

By Claudia Caruana

David Abela, Managing Director at Eurobridge Shipping Services Ltd, gives us an

exclusive insight on his humble beginnings and company background, shares his

opinion regarding the traditional shipping landscape and announces the company

has moved into a new state-of-the art offices in Qormi.

‘transport and logistics entrepreneur’. Can

you describe what this exactly means and

what you do?

DA: I don’t know about being regarded as a

very high successful entrepreneur, however, I

do feel I am doing a good job managing my

company nowadays. I took over EuroBridge

when it was in the doldrums and I was only

22 years old with no experience, or any

management training. After learning from

initial mistakes and with great perseverance,

I managed to change the company’s direction

and the internal culture to bounce back big

time. We are now one of the leading trailer

operators on the Maltese Islands and over

here the feeling is that we are only getting

started!

MBR: Where did your interest in shipping,

transport and logistics start?

DA: I grew up in Qormi which has deep roots

in all the three sectors above. My extended

family has also been for decades greatly

involved in transportation, however, I only

walked into it by chance! I started working

in totally different sectors, then a leading

haulier, who happens to live across the street

from my mother, came literally knocking on

our door one morning to go to work for him,

as an Office Administrator. Following one

year into my new job, I was approached by a

friend of mine who I knew from my Theatre

days to go and work for him as a Customs

Clearance Executive. This is how I got in at

EuroBridge back in 1998. The rest is history. I

fell in love with the job, took evening courses

to get better at it and here we are!

David Abela, Managing Director at Eurobridge Shipping Services Ltd.

MBR: Can you share your views and opinion

regarding the traditional shipping landscape

and tell us why there is need for growth and

change in such industry?

6


COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

DA: This sector is booming. The private

sector has done wonderful things over the

last few years in investing in new technology

and equipment with its limited resources.

The problem here in Malta lies with the

infrastructure. Over the years the various

Governments have done very little to help

us develop the logistics sector which could

become a proper backbone to our economy.

Groupage trailer operators like us are

confined to using an outdated and structurally

condemned complex in Hal Far, managed

by the Government which is keeping us

from properly developing further. There

are currently talks undergoing between our

Association and the Government, however,

these should have started a long time ago.

Don’t get me started on the roads and traffic

either…

MBR: Why is culture and background so

important for EuroBridge Shipping Ltd and

its organisation?

DA: I always remind my team not to take

anything for granted and always remember

where we come from. We are all hard

workers and the results over the last years

have shown what we can achieve when we

work as a team with one common purpose.

My team knows that with all my faults, I

will never let them down and will continue

striving to improve their work experience.

We also do love to have fun together and this

has increased incredibly the bond between

us. Rewarding them continuously for the

company’s achievements also helps.

the results over the last years

have shown what we can

achieve when we work as a team

with one common purpose

MBR: How would you define your role

today?

DA: I am a sports fanatic so I always compare

the company to a Formula One team. I am

the team chief engineer, where I design the

engine and build the car, but it is then my team

who has to drive it as fast as possible. Being

the sole Director in what is now a medium

sized company is never easy, and time seems

never to be enough, however, we have now

three managers that take care of the different

sectors of the company and my main focus is

to listen to what they tell me to try and always

improve the company.

MBR: What is it about your work that has

made your job so special?

DA: It is the responsibility I have of other

people’s well-being. It is a huge weight on

Eurobridge Shipping Services Ltd. Staff.

my shoulders, although I am also very proud

to be able to carry it. I have had my share

of problems and let-downs over the years,

wherein even people who I have improved

and helped out, have not always treated

me back the way I deserved. Again, this has

not deterred me from always looking at the

people that work with me under a positive

light.

MBR: What challenges is your company

facing at present?

DA: The biggest challenge is definitely to

be able to keep up with the high standard

of individual customer care we offer, whilst

experiencing the exponential growth we

have over the last three or four years. The

other challenges we are experiencing is to

find a proper location where we can start

maintaining our trailers which now total 25

(and more on the way) at the high standards

the industry rightfully has come to expect.

As previously indicated, we could also be

shortly looking at an alternative to the current

warehousing facility.

MBR: As a key leader in this space, is there

anything you are working on that you are

particularly proud or excited about?

DA: By the time this interview comes out,

we should have moved into our new stateof-the

art offices in Qormi. This office will

be a proper corner-stone for us; wherein the

employee comes first and will feel at home

as much as possible. When I look back at

where I started and what I had to go through,

this is the achievement I am the proudest

of. I am not going to rest on my laurels

though; we have already started the process

to implement a new internal automated

system that will change the way forwarding is

handled in Malta, and we are very excited on

the vision we have on how it will work.

MBR: How do you define the EUROBRIDGE

brand, its achievements, and its future?

DA: Reliability, Flexibility and Innovation. Our

motto is ‘Yours to Count on’ and we mean

it. We treat each of our clients differently

depending on their needs. Listening to them

and what they want out of the transport

partner is the best way to move forward in

this sector. We don’t stop there though.

We are always on the look out for new

technologies that will help improve our

service and anticipate the customer’s needs.

These three definitions are what have helped

us grow in what we are today and that will

help us become even better at what we do

in future. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

Eurobridge Shipping Services Ltd.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

7


"

"

Malta Business Review

CELEBRATING MALTA'S BEST-IN-BUSINESS

MALTA’S BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARDS 2017

Recognised as one of the most prestigious and glamourous business award programs in

Malta, Malta’s Best in Business Awards® celebrate the country’s most innovative business

organisations. The awards are also accredited with the EU’s European Network Enterprise

and recognized by various international award programmes and affiliations. These awards

were held on Friday 17th of November, at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands.

"

Well done, once again, for a very well

organised and professional Event last Friday.

All went well throughout the evening and all

present seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

We surely did.

David J. Dingli, Managing Consultant Resource

Productivity Consulting Services

"

First and foremost I would like to express my

sincere complements for the well organised

and wonderful evening. I am happy to say

that it was a huge success from start to finish.

A big well done for all your efforts.

Antonie of ' The Resin and Membrane Centre'

8


CELEBRATING MALTA'S BEST-IN-BUSINESS

Malta Business Review

"

I think everyone had a very enjoyable evening.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to

be a part of this success and hope that the

event carries on and grows in the future.

Prof. Norman Martinez, IMO International

Maritime Law Institute, International Maritime Law

Institute, Faculty Member

"

MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

www.maltabusinessreview.net

9


Malta Business Review

CELEBRATING MALTA'S BEST-IN-BUSINESS

MBR PUBLICATIONS LTD WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THE

WINNERS OF MALTA'S BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARDS 2017

Martin Pillow, Pillow Space Frame Ltd

Lifetime Achievement of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Steel Construction &

Engineering of the Year Award

NetRefer

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Overall Company of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Place to Work Award

ACT_N Architects & Civil Engineers

Kristine Bonnici Design

Mizzi Studio

Tipico

Malta’s Best-in-Business Architect &

Engineering Company of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Interior Design

Company of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Creative Design

of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Innovative

Company of the Year Award

Chairman’s Value Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Employer of the Year Award

Chi Consultants Ltd

Vodafone Malta Ltd

DHL Express

The Resin & Membrane Centre Ltd

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Customer

Focus of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Corporate Social

Responsibility of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Top Business Motivator and

Industry Driver of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Product & Customer

Service of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Most Socially &

Environmentally Green Company of the Year Award

AGF Turnkey Contractors

Molecular Fusion

Oceanus Marine Ltd

XCaliber

Malta’s Best-in-Business Building and

Construction of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Food & Beverage of

the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Small to

Medium Size Business of the Year Award

Award for Excellence

Malta’s Best-in-Business Start-up of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Online Web & Design

Agency of the Year Award

WST Systems Ltd

Progressive Information Systems Ltd

Simply Holding Co.Ltd

Growth Gurus

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Information

Technology Company of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Software & Web

Development Company of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Cryptocurrencies &

Blockchain of the Year Award

Malta’s Best-in-Business Marketing

Company of the Year Award

10

MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Excellence, Values &

Commitment

By George Carol

Following hot on their success at the Boats &

Yachting Awards 2017, we sat down with ,

Elio Desira Director of Oceanus Marine Ltd., to find

out more about the company and gaining an

insight into what motivates their ambition after

having won the prestigious Small to Medium

Size Business of the Year Award and Award

for Excellence during Malta’s Best-in-Business

Awards 2017.

Ing.Elio Desira and Dr Isabella Desira, Director and Manager of Oceanus Marine Ltd. receiving the award.

MBR: What is the clients’ feedback regarding

the awards given to Oceanus Marine at

Malta’s Best in Business Awards 2017?

ED: The feedback that we received by

telephone, emails and Facebook has been

unbelievably exhausting. The number of likes

on Facebook was immense. Our local and

foreign clients were extremely happy with our

achievements.

One of the emails we received states, “Elio,

well done and deserved. You worked very hard

for this to happen, built up a good team, and

in my opinion, you were the game changer

for the local marine surveying industry. Our

(as insurers) perspective on marine insurance

surveys surely changed since we started using

your services. I am sure your competitors look

up to you too! Keep up the good work.” So as

you can see, the collateral impact and huge

success we had following these awards was

unprecedented.

MBR: What made you compete and take

part in these prestigious awards?

ED: We were nominated by clients, and we felt

that we couldn’t let down who nominated us

and our esteemed customers. I knew that the

competition would be tough, but again, we

never give up, and we accept all challenges.

We also believe that such events create more

exposure to companies.

MBR: And were you surprised to win two

awards during such a large and competitive

field, being Small to Medium Size Business

of the Year Award and Award for Excellence?

ED: I was surprised. Some of the companies

that we competed with have been established

for many years and are considered to be big

companies. Winning the first Award was a big

surprise but when we were called up for the

second Award, which in my opinion was the

best Award – Award for Excellence – we were

overwhelmed. After all those years of hard

work, we felt that finally we had achieved

recognition in a great atmosphere and unique

organization.

MBR: Why has Oceanus Marine become a

respectful and recognized company, and a

judge’s favorite in this year’s B&y Awards

and also MBIBA?

ED: Oceanus Marine Ltd., has been since

day one a very professional and accredited

company. We strive to be prompt with

requests, we assist our clients in every

endeavour, and produce professional work.

We dedicated five days work for all company

supporting documentation to be compiled

and presented to the judges.

The result proves that we were prepared

well, and that the submitted documentation

supported by evidence has given a full view of

who we are, what we do and how we work.

MBR: How much of a focus on B&Y to

further develop your business are you

presently concentrating?

ED: Although Oceanus Marine Ltd., renders

service to all the maritime industry, the Boats

and Yachting sector remains at heart of what

we do. Innovation is very important and our

company’s aim is to continue expanding and

improving on the strong foundations that

already exist. Thus our focus on Boats and

Yachting will be 100%, along with a 100% on

all other Maritime sectors. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

Dr Isabella Desira, Manager of Oceanus Marine Ltd.

BIB2017

12


SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Malta Business Review

CSR Strategy

BY CLAUDIA CARUANA

Ms Kim Dalli, Corporate

Affairs Senior Executive

at Vodafone Malta and

manager of the Vodafone

Malta Foundation, discusses

the importance Vodafone

places on corporate social

responsibility and how its

dedicated Foundation strives

to bring about social change

and support the vulnerable in

our community.

MBR: Congratulations on winning

Malta's Best-in-Business Corporate

Social Responsibility of the Year

Award! This was your second

consecutive nomination for these

prestigious awards. What are your

thoughts on winning?

KD: Last year, Vodafone Malta was presented

with the Best in Marketing Award, the

Company of the Year Award and the Award

for Excellence, which recognised outstanding

and exceptional achievement in business

excellence, innovation and ethics.

This year, we were honoured with the

CSR of the Year Award, which is a great

way to highlight the fact that Vodafone’s

commitment to the community flows

from our core values and principles. To us,

corporate social responsibility and social

investment is not a mere ‘add-on’ to business

activities, but is at the heart of how we engage

with the communities where our customers,

employees, investors and suppliers live.

MBR: How is corporate social

responsibility viewed at Vodafone?

KD: Over the years, Vodafone Malta has

not only introduced new technologies and

services to the island but has also contributed

positively by investing in a more sustainable

society. We care deeply about the community

we operate in and we are passionately

invested in helping bring about social change.

Vodafone Malta employees during this year’s National Clean-Up Day in Golden Bay. 40 bags of waste were collected and sorted.

The company puts together a calendar

of regular CSR activities. Employees are

galvanised into dedicating their time and

energy towards multiple worthy causes, from

taking it upon themselves to restore Golden

Bay to its pristine beauty during national

clean-up day, to embarking on a number of

painting and carpentry jobs to help renovate

children’s homes.

The company culture reinforces this spirit of

giving by granting every employee three days

of annual community service leave, over and

above their regular leave allowance.

However, the cornerstone of our commitment

to CSR and social investment is the Vodafone

Malta Foundation, through which Vodafone’s

largest and most impactful projects are

delivered. Since 2003 when it was first set

up, the Vodafone Malta Foundation has

donated over €3 million to local causes across

Malta and Gozo. Since 2014, the Foundation

has operated under the Connecting for

Good strategy, which centres on exploring

innovative ways through which connectivity

can deliver social change.

MBR: What type of projects has the

Vodafone Malta Foundation cocreated?

KD: The Foundation has helped youths

experiencing any form of trouble, such as

relationship problems, anxiety, addiction,

abuse, self-harm and family breakdown, by

providing real-time, one-to-one counselling

through the Kellimni.com mobile app and

web portal in conjunction with SOS Malta.

Together with the Speech Language Pathology

Department, the Foundation created a

mobile app, NaqraNaqra, to complement

speech language pathologists’ treatment of

children with severe speech and language

impediments.

In collaboration with the Paulo Freire Institute,

the Foundation launched an online literacy

toolkit called iċ-Ċavetta for disadvantaged

adults and youths who lack basic reading and

writing skills.

The Vodafone Malta Foundation has also

recently announced its “Hero Project” – its

flagship project at an investment of EUR

100,000. Together with the Centre for

Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, it is

developing an online interactive IT platform

and mobile app which will facilitate cutting

edge research that explores genetic causes

and potential treatments for diseases such as

diabetes, asthma, thalassemia, and ALS.

Up to 20,000 people in Malta alone could

benefit from the work undertaken by the

biobank, while the model, if successful, could

inform genetic research across the globe. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Simply Holdings CEO, Hadrien Majoie, receiving the award from Mr Kevin Norville, Director HR, TIPICO.

SIMPLY HOLDINGS CEO HADRIEN MAJOIE

EXPLAINS WHY THE WORLD HAS BARELY SCRATCHED

THE SURFACE WITH CRYPTOCURRENCIES

By Martin Vella

• There's a huge opportunity in

emerging cryptocurrencies.

• The total value of bitcoin today

is about $75 billion, compared to

roughly $9 trillion for gold.

Following unprecedented success by

being voted as Malta's Best-in-Business

Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain of the Year

Award, I spoke to Hadrien Majoie soon

after this achievement about the explosion

in popularity of cryptocurrencies this year,

whether we are in another dot-com era,

and what he sees as the long-term role for

cryptocurrencies to play in our world.

14

MBR: You are now CEO. What attracted you

to establish this company?

HM: It reminds me of the dot-com era in that

this is a transformational platform that will

affect far more industries than are aware today.

Blockchain technologies will change transactions

in a broad way.

I had been exposed to bitcoin early. I thought the

consumer application of it felt, to me, further

away. I thought there would be faster adoption

of the Blockchain in the enterprise space and

with banks.

When you look around at new companies,

there are very few ideas that are going to make

a dent in the universe. But when I met with

other investors, their vision was to enable the

Internet of Value. There are secondary and

tertiary implications of that vision which I think

even people at the company aren't aware of yet.

MBR: Why did you decide to focus initially

on wire transfers at banks?

HM: The term "wire transfers" dates back to

the 1800s. It's based on an antiquated system.

The friction of moving value remains surprisingly

high. Simply Holdings Co Ltd is built to solve a

payments problem. And we can help make that

a much more Internet-ready process.

MBR: What makes it easier for your

customers to do money transfers with

Bitcoin than their old SWIFT process?

HM: We are selling these banks a financial


SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Malta Business Review

process that allows them to transfer money

with each other and settle the transaction

in a matter of seconds versus days. The cost

to do that is dramatically lower. The visibility

into the whole process is much higher. I could

send you a wire transfer today, but there's

no Fedex or DHLtracking number for that

transaction. Yet, we expect on-demand alerts

and notifications of what's happening with

some process. So we sell our software to

banks to do this sending and receiving in realtime

at massive scale.

Some in the bitcoin community have always

taken an anti-government, anti-fiat, antibank

approach to their philosophy. Simply

Holdings takes the orthogonal side of each

of those. I don't think governments or

banks are going away in my lifetime. Most

governments are going to continue to

have Know Your Customer and Anti-Money

Laundering rules. That's not going away.

We also believe there's a powerful role that

digital assets can play but that fiat currencies

are going to continue to exist. Because we

have engaged banks, governments and

regulators and educated them on how

digital assets can benefit them, we have

found a receptive audience. We have signed

up various reputable banks now, deploy a

faster payment system, and many others.

On identity, banks require identity verification.

I and Simply Holdings can identify transactions

between our banking customers using our

technology because they require it. There are

some cryptocurrencies out there that provide

anonymous transaction between users, but

we operate in a sphere of banking, laws and

regulation and we abide by those. We think

the market opportunity for the non-black

or gray market is much greater and in the

trillions of dollars. Simply Holdings is going

after that opportunity.

MBR: Tell me about that opportunity. Is

this the thin edge of the wedge into other

opportunities?

HM: Any time you are building a business and

you see a transformative opportunity, you get

excited about all the adjacent opportunities,

but you have to think of insertion points.

But you can't boil the ocean or spread your

peanut butter too thin. Today, the world

sends $155 trillion across borders. If we

solve this payment opportunity, we enable

this Internet of Value and should have lots of

other opportunities beyond that.

When Amazon started, it just focused on

books. They chose a vertical, got really good

at it, and expanded to other verticals. We see

lots of other compelling verticals to go after in

the blockchain space.

MBR: Why is the Bitcoin Bockchain ledger

able to handle scale of transactions so much

better than other cryptocurrencies?

HM: Bitcoin today takes about 4 hours to

complete a transaction. Bitcoin can handle

3-4 transactions per second. It can handle

over 1,000 transactions per second. The

reason is that they were designed for different

use cases, using a consensus of validators to

confirm a transaction. The bitcoin blockchain

uses a proof of work framework as security.

But we are looking very closely at the new

3rd generation 'Aeternity'. It has unlimited

transactions per second as opposed to only

6 of bitcoin. It has a modern blockchain, can

handle smart contracts and is open source.

MBR: The blockchain was going to be

adopted more quickly in the developing

world than here where the financial system

is more built out and mature. Do you see

that with the banks you deal with?

HM: I would compare this to the

telecommunication systems that have

developed. We have seen many emerging

countries leapfrog by going straight to the

Simply Holdings CEO, Hadrien Majoie.

current technology. The same will be true

that governments and financial institutions

will go directly to where the blockchain

technology can take you. In my experience,

we have seen many emerging countries lean

in stronger and earlier.

MBR: What do you think is the right way to

value a cryptocurrency?

HM: I definitely lived through the dot-com

bubble. Josh Hannah wrote a post about

that bubble and what's going on with cryptos

today. Most people think a future discounted

cash flow is the best way to value a company.

But digital assets are a commodity trading

on supply and demand. There's fixed supply

and increasing demand. I think you're going

to continue to see more demand. People

are looking at the success Simply Holdings

has been having as a company, and I think

that's increased the value of Bitcoin. We

want to keep focusing on making Blockchain

a valuable payments tool, and that value will

increase accordingly.

I'm convinced on the future increased value

of cryptocurrencies. One thing I would like to

point out is that gold is not worth $9 trillion

because of its future discounted cash flows. I

do think a comparison with gold is appropriate

on a store of value basis. Gold is worth $9

trillion today. Bitcoin is worth $75 billion.

MBR: Is Simply Holdings going to be involved

in Internet of Things?

HM: If you go back to my idea of enabling the

Internet of Value, I am very excited about our

ability to play in this. There are undoubtedly

going to be use cases for microtransactions

taking place between devices in the future,

and we want to be there.

It's very hard to predict what's going to happen

in the next three to five months, but it's pretty

clear that there's going to be real value created

in the next three to five years. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

15


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

The team from Progressive Information Systems Ltd receiving the Software & Web Development Company of the Year Award .

Perseverance

and Constant

Innovation

By George Carol

“The real reason is that,”

Alex Grima, Director,

Progressive Information

Systems Ltd tells us, “in

my mind, there’s nothing

more important than

helping outsiders gain a

greater understanding of

what kind of company we

are and how they might

fit into our team.”

MBR: Tell us a little about yourself and what

you like to do outside of work.

AG: I would describe myself as being a very

ambitious and hardworking person, and

somewhat of a perfectionist. I love the world

of IT and founding my own company in this

field is certainly a dream come true.

Outside work, I love to read, workout and

follow my favourite football team, Inter Milan.

MBR: What do you find most rewarding

about working with Progressive Information

Systems Ltd?

AG: Definitely the biggest reward is the ability

to interact and work closely with a diverse

portfolio of clients operating in various

industries. Keeping tabs with what is going

on around you plus getting to see so many

different processes and workflows, opens up

your horizons, and in turn helps you guide

your clients on best practices.

MBR: What does Malta's Best-in-Business

Software & Web Development Company of

the Year Award recognition mean to you?

AG: The business software solutions we

develop support local businesses in their

day to day operations at various levels. Most

applications integrate fully with the off the

shelf software solutions we implement here

in Malta, most notably those originating from

Sage and Lightspeed. This award is very big

prestigious for our organisation and rewards

our constant efforts in providing the most

effective and efficient information systems to

best suit the needs of our clients and to help

them unleash their true business potential.

MBR: What is your leadership style and

what motivates you?

AG: In the organisational decision making

process, I like to get the rest of my team

directly involved. I believe that this really helps

to come up with the best and most creative

ideas and solutions, whilst at the same time

ensuring that everyone has a strong sense of

ownership in the decision taken. Naturally,

the thing which motivates me the most is

when a client makes big operational wins

thanks to our solutions and actively refers us

to others. That is the best certificate for our

work and gives so much motivation to work

harder and to strive for more.

MBR: What is your key to success?

AG: I would say that the most important key

to business success is to do what you love

and what you are passionate about. Secondly,

surrounding yourself by good people who

have the right base skills and are enthusiastic

about their work is imperative. Focusing

on the needs and wants of your clientele,

perseverance and constant innovation are

also major contributors to a successful

organisation. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

16


SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

The Resin and Membrane Centre:

High Level of Expertise

By George Carol

Malta Business Review

Antoine Bonello’s passion is his work. He is a perfectionist and likes to have thinks properly done at

the fist go. Since he was of a young age he was passionate about all the cool tools and equipment

used during works and would never stop asking questions at what was going on. Today Antoine aims

is to grow NAICI® into the most trusted and recognised waterproofing business in Malta. His passion

for and knowledge of the business and industry combined with his desire to help NAICI® brand

achieve their goals will certainly make his vision become reality.

MBR: Firstly, can you briefly explain what

your entry in Malta’s Best in Business

Awards 2017 was about?

AB: It is all about team work. We at The Resin

and Membrane Centre have a fantastic team

filled with positive energy who are very proud

of their work. Our high standards and thirst for

knowledge and research about new products

and their implementation modalities makes

sure that each and every waterproofing

project is carried out at its best. We are

customer orientated and we want to be sure

that our customers are not limited in their

choice or solutions. We value our workforce

and their dedication, and Malta’s Best In

Business Award was a way to show they are

valued and respected, to the point that they

are the best in their field of work.

MBR: Congratulations on winning Malta's

Best-in-Business Best Product & Customer

Service of the Year Award! How did it feel

when you found out you had won one for

the second consecutive year?

AB: This is a very important award for us and

winning it twice in a row means only one thing

that we are very good at what we do. This

year seven other companies competed for

this prestigious award and we couldn't believe

our ears when the Host called our name. A

huge joyful scream came out from our table

that echoed all over the hall. I felt ecstatic and

I must also say it was well deserved as we had

a very intensive year with many important

projects carried out as always at its best.

MBR: What did you hope to achieve when

you decided to enter the awards?

AB: To tell you the truth it never crossed our

minds to take part in such events. It was many

of our satisfied customers who stressed on its

importance and sponsored our entry bid. For

us it was already an achievement to make it

to the final night let alone winning it twice in

a row. I think we achieved excellence in our

field of work and the awards are a tangible

proof of a company dedicated in providing all

its customers high quality materials combined

with professionally executed works. All this

gives us the upper edge and places us steps

ahead of our competitors.

MBR: What has been your personal

satisfaction and feedback from and about

these awards?

AB: My personal satisfaction as company

director is to see our company grow and

achieving evermore a good and solid

reputation as the centre for high quality

products and works. We have received

sincere congratulations from many parts of

the world and that also includes many friends

and prominent people in our business who

regularly make use our services knowing that

they are putting their mind at rest when it

comes to waterproofing solutions.

MBR: What are you hoping to do next?

AB: We will continue to increase and impress

everyone with our new range of high

specialization waterproofing products so that

all our customers who visit our showroom can

find all they require under one roof, especially

for those who love the DIY sector. Also we

will invest more on our work force which we

intend to increase and provide them with

all the knowledge possible thus asserting

our high level of our expertise. We are also

considering opening another showroom in

the northern part of the island in order to

serve evermore better our customers. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

Resin and Membrane Centre staff receiving the award.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

17


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

WINNERS OF

Malta’s Best-in-Business Best Information Technology Company of the Year Award

18

CONTACT

WST Systems Ltd.

Warp Speed Technology

Kalcidon Gatt Street,

B'Kara BKR 4620

MALTA ( Europe )

Tel: 21496373 & 21447003

Mob: 99493257

Email: enquiry@wstsystems.com


SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Malta Business Review

PROFESSIONALISM, HONESTY AND TEAM WORK

Rubyanne Cauchi, Marketing professional, at CHI Consultants Limited, recent winners

of Malta's Best-in-Business Best Customer Focus of the Year Award, and a unique water

and building management consultancy firm, tells us why the company stands for growth,

sustainable living and greener futures.

By George Carol

Rubyanne Cauchi, Ing. Matthew Cauchi and Ing. Luke Micallef.

MBR: Congratulations on winning the

Malta's Best-in-Business Best Customer

Focus of the Year Award! What are your

thoughts upon winning?

RC: We are very pleased to have been

nominated and included with other leaders

in the industry and consequently won the

award. It also gives us great pleasure that we

won the ‘Best Customer Focus’ award since

we are very proud of the level of services we

provide to our clients. We are always striving

to improve our services with the aim of

keeping our clients’ satisfaction in mind when

solving the problem as efficient and as timely

as possible. This is what I think what make us

stands out from our competition.

MBR: This was your first consecutive

nomination for these prestigious awards.

What was it like to finally win at event,

considering the tough competition this

year?

RC: It is definitely very encouraging to be

considered for a nomination, let alone to be

nominated together with some giants in the

industry. Therefore winning the award, in

spite of the competition, certainly gives us the

more push and motivation to continue work

hard and continue improving our business.

MBR: Winning in MBIBA is a prestigious

endorsement of an organisation’s projects,

initiatives, products or achievements.

Winners are acknowledged as industry

leaders and named the best in their

respective categories. Why is this significant

to you and why is this is a valuable measure

of success?

RC: It is of great significance for us since we

are a relatively small company, in an industry,

where competition is high at many levels.

To be acknowledged as an industry leader

helps us establish more our position in the

market; to increase customer confidence in

our service and to be in a position where we

feel acknowledged for our achievements and

encouraged to venture in new areas.

MBR: What do you think are the most

important factors that contributed to your

overall success?

RC: We think that our success stems out of

three key aspects: Professionalism, Honesty

and Team work. All our staff is highly qualified

in our daily roles. We are each responsible for

the work that we carry out in our company.

As directors we also encourage our colleagues

to find out what they are best at and work to

excel in it. We let our colleagues grow with

us through work and at a personal level. This

leads us to honesty. We, as colleagues, are

honest with each other but most importantly

we are honest with our clients. Honesty also

leads to respect which is the key of holding a

good reputation. We have managed, over the

years, to gain respect and trust from other

companies in the industry, and we are often

engaged by the said companies to service

their clients too. Lastly we would not have

been successful without team work. Our staff

is supported by a back office and we keep

our line of communication always open and

cooperative, both we each other and our

partners in the industry and clients.

MBR: How do you define the CHI

Consultants brand, its achievements, and

foresee its future?

RC: The CHI Consultants brand is ultimately

about finding innovative solutions to

the challenges that people face in their

properties. Our services are oriented towards

finding a solution and provide a consultation

of a way forward in solving the problem.

Through new technology, experience and

research we always strive to improve and

increase our services to fit our clients’ needs.

Our achievements reflect the level of service

we provide to our partners and clients. In the

future we will certainly continue in the path

we have chosen to achieve more goals for our

company. We would like to see our company

grow and to increase more services in our

portfolio. Another achievement we aim for

is to continue improving our reputation as a

company clients can trust to have their best

interest in mind. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

19


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

BRINGING SCIENCE

TO THE SHAKER

By George Carol

Molecular Fusion recieving the award.

Mixology is an art. It is the

bartender’s creative flair brought

to life in a perfectly–balanced

cocktail, a stage where their

personality and skills shine. And

no one understands the theatre

of mixology better than awardwinning

mixologist gamechanging

mixologist Edward

Bonello. Edward is a pioneer on

the Maltese bartending scene

having won many accolades for

his distinctive cocktails. Putting

his vast knowledge to great

use, he is also the Director of

Molecular Fusion.

MBR: What has been the secret behind

Molecular Fusion’s motivation and

subsequent success?

ED: I do not think there has been one factor

to constituent the secret behind molecular

fusions motivation and subsequent success.

Most definitely, work ethic, thirst for

knowledge, creative spirit and boundaryless

ideology may all form part of our success.

However, if I may share one vital ingredient

to an aspiring entrepreneur, I would say it

would be human relations. Take care of your

employees and your external customers

will be taken care of. This will surely be a

sustainable gearstick for success.

Leading a unique business perspective with

your business model, do your experience

and skills, with those of your team

transfer, or do you have to take different

entrepreneurial views?

ED: Hoping to have understood the question

properly, I feel that Molecular Fusion and its

staff share a mutual mindset. Respect for

different ways of working is encouraged and

adopted. The energy, drive and spirit brought

forward from a shared understanding of

all that Molecular Fusion stands for is also

present. The fact that knowledge sharing is

ongoing within and between teams, I believe

that tacit and explicit knowledge transfers

efficiently and effectively, without the need to

impose a view deliberately.

How do you define the Molecular Fusion

brand message and how critical is that to be

consistent?

ED: I would address this question in two

parts. Firstly, Molecular Fusion’s brand

message is simple: Bringing Science to the

Shaker. This encapsulates all that Molecular

Fusion is about because we are, what we

do! Secondly, consistency is everything. I

cannot stress that enough. Customers need

to be enticed, reminded and enticed again.

It is basic marketing principles that follow

the main importance of communicating

a brand message. Nevertheless, enticing

our customers is not solely about being

innovative. Yes, Molecular Fusion is all about

being innovative, however quality is key.

Ensuring quality throughout a customer’s

experience: in the marketing material we

publish, in the customer support that we

provide, and also in the product and service

offerings. It’s all about total quality, even

quality in consistency.

Looking at the success and impact you had

during the Malta's Best-in-Business Awards

2017, do you ever take time to reflect and

step back and celebrate?

ED: It’s constant. Reflection, as I remember

mentioning to numerous awardees at the

Award ceremony, keeps one humble. It also

allows me, personally, to keep an open mind

on what challenges may be flipped and

turned into opportunities. Reflection, indeed,

does help you appreciate the journey that we

have been through and be thankful for the

struggles that have bore steep learning curves.

However, I do not think that I have reflected

as much before as I have after Malta’s Best in

Busness Awards. What surprised me most is

that I was not alone. My family and my hardworking

and loyal team members took time

to reflect on their own performance and how

they felt they can contribute further towards

Molecular Fusion’s growth. I cannot be

more proud and thankful for having all these

exceptional souls in my team.

How does winning two prestigious awards

such as Malta's Best-in-Business Food &

Beverage of the Year Award feel?

ED: As of 2017, we have been honoured with

one prestigious award. While we are striving

for more prestigious awards for 2018, we gear

a lot of our attention on quality. Nevertheless,

humble and thankful may encapsulate

how I feel about having won Malta’s Bestin-Business

Food & Bevereage of the Year

2017. It truly is a humbling experience to see

all one’s hard work be recognised by such a

reputable entity. I thank you once more, and I

look forward to next year to let you know how

it feels to have won two! MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

20


SPECIAL FEATURE:

MALTA BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Malta Business Review

ANALYSE, STRATEGIZE,

EXECUTE & REPEAT

By M. Brincat

Joshua O'Cock is one of

the Directors of Growth

Gurus, chosen as judges

Best-in-Business Marketing

Company of the Year

Award. Here, MBR

interviews Joshua about

what makes a successful

communications team.

Growth Gurus recieving the award.

MBR: First, let’s start with an overview. So,

if my dates and my research are accurate,

in 2015, you started Growth Gurus and I’m

just curious, what was the tipping point for

you? What was the main reason for going

in this direction, starting your own company

and getting on the path?

JOC: I always loved everything about

business. I studied business management at

the University of Manchester, who hired me

based on the recommendations of my thesis,

which showcased how to use social media

platforms to reach their business objectives.

A few years later I become the CMO of a

mobile gaming company called Steampunk

Wizards. Our marketing was recognised on

a global level, and this led myself and my

partners to starting Growth Gurus.

MBR: So you mentioned that in the

beginning, you started in academia. How

did that experience help you in business?

JOC: Education is the key to the digital

industry. Last year we launched Growth

Academy, a programme through which

we trained fifteen people with no prior

digital marketing experience. Each of these

participants became valuable team members

who we either hired ourselves, or helped

place in career paths with some of Malta’s

leading businesses.

MBR: If an organization was really trying to

jumpstart their Social Media results, is there

a growth strategy or tactic that you have if a

company was saying “how do I make a rapid

change over the next 90 days?” What would

you do?

JOC: To be successful you must always focus

on your audience. Create amazing content

that provides value. If you don’t know who

your target audience are, finding that out is

where you need to start. Don’t try sell stuff,

focus on making people's’ lives better.

Awesome video content and targeted

Facebook advertising is the best way to reach

people quickly and in a cost-effective yet

impactful way.

MBR: I wanted to ask you a few more

questions about your personal business

habits. What marketing technologies do

you recommend companies adopt?

JOC: Google Analytics is necessary tool. But

that’s the not even bare minimum. We have

invested heavily into automation technology,

VR, and our advanced digital toolkit.

Over the last two and a half years, we have

really fine-tuned our stack of tools for internal

communications, project management,

customer relations, user behaviour analysis,

and some secret tools that I can’t give away

for free.

The tools that a company should use really

depends on each individual company and

the people using them. Through our Growth

Consultancy operations we help businesses

set up technology stacks that work for them.

MBR: What are some of your business and

personal habits that contribute to your

success? A number of people that I’ve

interviewed say that the morning routine

is very important…meditation, taking

breaks during the day, writing at 5:00 in the

morning is what contributes to their success.

Do you have anything that is unique to you

or certain habits that you think are helping

you be so productive and successful?

JOC: Definitely not doing anything important

at five in the morning, not for me at least!

With our ongoing expansion including two

new international teams and clients’ bases,

we work when it makes sense and when it

suits us and our clients no matter what part

of the world we are in. The US market wakes

up at around 2pm Malta time and works into

our evening.

We don’t believe in enforcing any strict

routines. We have flexible hours and

unlimited leave at Growth Gurus which allows

our team to focus on themselves health and

happiness. Our secret is simple. Love what

you do and why you are doing it.

MBR: Given your experience, what are

the different business objectives that you

can achieve in the industry using Digital

Marketing?

JOC: Digital Marketing is about pushing

a business to reach its goals. It’s not an

overstatement to say that through digital

marketing done right, we can help most

businesses reach their objectives. You must

first understand where a company stands in

relation to its objectives and what it wants

to achieve, then through our analysis and

expertise we can develop a strategy to

reach any objective. We Analyse, Strategize,

Execute, Repeat to increase revenues, brand

awareness, profit margins, leads generated,

customer retention and more.

In parallel to any of these goals we always

strive to position the companies we work

with as leaders in their industries. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

21


Malta Business Review

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

REPORT BY THE AUDITOR

GENERAL ON THE PUBLIC

ACCOUNTS 2016

Courtesy: DOI - Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill

Auditor General Charles Deguara presented the

Annual Audit Report on the Public Accounts for

2016 to Speaker Anġlu Farrugia. It comprises 22

reports on the operations of various Ministries,

Departments and Government entities, including

an analysis of the Financial Report 2016. Separate

audit opinions on the financial and compliance

audits were published. Some of the main

observations are reported hereunder.

Following a detailed analysis of the Financial

Report, the National Audit Office (NAO)

noted that:

• Letters of Comfort and Bank

Guarantees, being potential dues

by Government, reached almost

€1.5 billion;

• substantial excess of expenditure

over budgeted figures was once

again reported;

• outstanding advances issued in

favour of third parties, totalling

approximately €49.4 million, will

continue to be repaid out of public

funds;

• following the enactment of the

Government Borrowing and

Public Debt Management Act in

July 2017, a number of measures

will be implemented thereby

introducing a risk management

framework; and

• the Government’s strategy

to prepare for the full

implementation within Central

Government of accrual accounting

necessitated, amongst others,

the introduction of a Corporate

Financial Management System,

which is estimated to cost €11.6

million, out of which €10.87 million

are eligible for European funds.

Though disbursements from public, funds

on Church Schools almost doubled over

a 10-year period, from €32 million to €63

million; it was not possible for the NAO to

verify whether such expenditure was duly

authorised and properly accounted for due to

lack of audit trail.

Following a physical inspection carried out in a

number of Gozitan schools, it was noted that

there was lack of control over inventory items.

An audit on the collection of annual circulation

licence fees by Transport Malta, and the

procedures for the collection of dues in

relation to contravention tickets implemented

by the Local Enforcement System Agency,

revealed a number of control weaknesses in

relation to the latter, concerning the chasing of

debts. The NAO is concerned that temporary

lifting of contravention tickets is done by the

external supplier, and that the agency is not

in a position to extract the report on such

instances itself.

The NAO is satisfied that procedures in

relation to the tendering process of selected

projects carried out by the Grand Harbour

Regeneration Corporation were in place and

in their majority adhered to.

Significant delays were noted in the transfer

of funds emanating from fees collected on

behalf of the Government by the Malta

Communications Authority, apart from a lack

of independent verifications.

Although the Central Procurement and

Supplies Unit within the Ministry for Energy

and Health adopts cost efficient measures in

relation to medicines and surgical materials

expenditure, the actual consumption

depends entirely on requests generated from

different entities, which are not ultimately

held accountable for a pre-established

budgetary provision.

No major changes were made to the terms

and conditions of the contract for the

management of the carpark at Mater Dei

Hospital which was effective from 1 August

2007. The main shortcomings emanating

from the service concession contract split

were not addressed and consequently the

Government continued to lose substantial

amounts of revenue.

While the Government is paying significant

amounts of money to film production

companies by way of cash rebates with very

good results, in so far as film production in

Malta is concerned, verifications carried out

at the Malta Film Commission concluded that

effective controls are not in place to ensure

that income attributable to Government in

the form of tax payable is actually paid in full.

The main concern identified from an audit at

the Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd. related to the

complete reliance on an intergovernmental

organisation, namely the Eurocontrol, for

the estimation and collection of income

associated to the provision of air navigation

services.

From verifications carried out during an audit

of expenditure at the Detention Service within

the Ministry for Home Affairs and National

Security, it transpired that internal controls

in the payroll process were lacking, indicating

that there was minimal monitoring to ensure

effective management of human resources.

Although there was a net surplus position at

the end of 2016, the Malta Police General

Fund was still in an unstable financial situation.

A review of the 2016 Arrears of Revenue

Return submitted by Ministries/Departments

revealed that 59% of the reported gross

arrears of approximately €3 billion were

deemed to be statute-barred. A further €177

million were under contestation. Over a year,

the unpaid net balance, as at 31 January

2017, increased by 29%. MBR

This report, in its entirety, may be accessed

through the NAO website www.nao.gov.mt,

as well as on the NAO Facebook Page www.

facebook.com/NAOMalta.

Courtesy: THE NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

22


Malta Business Review

EU FEATURE: CLEAN ENERGY FINANANCING

HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON CLEAN ENERGY FINANCING:

Delivering the energy transition for jobs, growth and investment

MBR Editor Martin Vella was invited as special rapporteur to take part in a high-level conference in Brussels on

7th November on how to finance clean energy as well as create jobs and boost economic growth.

Significant investment is needed in the energy

sector to help the EU achieve its ambitious

climate change targets, which were agreed as

part of the Paris Agreement. The Clean Energy

for All Europeans package aims to set the

legal framework to make this transformation

possible. To look at the issues involved, the

European Parliament hosted a high-level

conference on financing clean energy for all

Europeans in Brussels on 7th November from

9.30 to 18.30 CET. It was organised by the

Parliament and the European Commission.

Registration starts at 8.30 CET.

Bringing together political leaders, policy

makers, the investor community, energy

market participants and other stakeholders,

the conference will review and debate the

Clean Energy Package and focus on specific

areas of investment in the energy transition:

• The current and future role of EU

financial support for the energy

transition

• Setting the scene: making the clean

energy transition happen

• Supporting the shift towards clean and

efficient energy at the local level

• Investing in energy projects –

interconnectors

• Investing in renewables to connect

Europe

The energy sector is key to the European

economy, but it also represents two thirds

of greenhouse gas emissions, so will play a

central role in the implementation of the

Paris Agreement. To achieve the EU's goals

of reducing its impact on the environment,

significant additional investment will be

needed. It is estimated that in order to reach

the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets,

about €379 billion of investment will be

needed every year between 2020 and 2030,

mostly in energy efficiency, renewable energy

sources, and infrastructure.

Mr Vella put forward some interesting questions

and intervened to speak stating, “ Beyond all

the rhetoric, due diligence and independent

environment impact assessments should be

thoroughly made before the EP approves any

local or regional projects. The Ep must ensure

that responsible development for a clean

energy should be managed in a much more

measured, controlled and transparent manner,

and strict provisions to supervise EU financed

projects should be set in place, including

control of the quality of air we breathe, water

and implementation of smart green energy or

alternative renewable energy resources.” Mr

Vella asked, “how is the EP taking into account

the market in member state support schemes

and what is the EP doing to ensure targets in

fossil fuel, oil, coal and gas are duly met?” The

MBR Editor enquired the panel also on the

viability and electricity grid integration balance

and Progressive Co2 Financing, stating that

more transparent commitment to control such

projects should be enforced.

Mr Jerzy Buzek, MEP, Chair ITRE Committee

addressed these issues, stating that, “EU

energy system is undergoing a profound and

rapid transformation, faced with the challenges

of decarbonisation, decentralisation and

digitalisation. As always in times of change,

there are challenges and huge opportunities to

seize. This transition is already under way, and,

as the data shows, it is here to stay:

• Currently, 30% of electricity in the EU is

coming from renewable energies. This

share will rise up to 50% by 2030.

• At global level, the increase in

generation capacity from renewable

energy sources in 2015 (53.6%) was for

the first time higher than the increase

from conventional energy sources

including coal, gas, oil and nuclear

• In 2015, worldwide investment in clean

energy hit a record high with more than

300 billion EUR.

• A record number of 8.1 million people

are now employed in the renewable

energy sector at global level; The

landmark Paris agreement gave a

crystal clear signal that the transition

towards a sustainable energy system

is not only Europe's ambition, but a

goal shared by the global community.

This also means that clean energy

technologies are a matter of global

competition – and that Europe needs to

ensure it remains at the forefront

• The energy sector is a key factor for the

competitiveness of Europe's economy.

With the energy transition we can

improve the quality of life of our citizens;

we can boost our economic recovery.

Europrean Parliament Assembly

SPEECH BY THE HON PRESIDENT

OF THE EP, ANTONIO TAJANI

The findings of the latest Eurobarometer survey

confirm that unemployment, immigration and

combating terrorism are the main concerns of

Europe’s citizens. In many parts of Europe, one

young person in two cannot find work.

We must unite as Europeans to overcome

these challenges. They call for a more political

Europe which makes genuine efforts to bring

the institutions closer to their citizens. Only by

offering prospects to the younger generation

and by restoring growth can we defeat the

populists and show up their political promises

for the fool’s gold that they are. If employment

is the priority, we must focus on supporting

the real economy, industry, agriculture and

services, from which the vast majority of new

jobs come.

As a result of the resolution the European

Parliament adopted last July, industrial

competitiveness is once again taking pride of

place: from the internal market to the digital

market, from the energy market to all the

programmes which combine competitiveness

and environmental sustainability. Our

experience here in Europe shows that it is

not only desirable but essential to reconcile

environmental and industrial considerations.

Without a strong industrial base, no genuine

responses can be found to the challenges

of climate change, air and water quality,

waste management and population growth.

Only by means of substantial investment in

research and development can cutting-edge

technologies and solutions be developed to

help us tackle these challenges.

Investing in these technologies will also

create jobs and increase our competitiveness.

Measures to combat global warming, and our

new energy policy, are excellent examples

of the success of the European strategy. I am

grateful to Commissioner Miguel Arias-Cañete

and to Committee Chair Jerzy Buzek for their

work in preparing this high-level conference

on energy, with its focus on the financing of

energy efficiency. The European Parliament

has always been at the forefront of this battle.

Its most recent contribution was the resolution

of December 2015 calling for ever more

ambitious measures in the fields of climate

and energy. This House has been an ardent

advocate of a genuine single energy market,

with no distortions, but with fair prices and

proper consumer protection, just as it has

called for greater investment in and ambitious

targets for renewables and energy efficiency.

24


EU FEATURE: CLEAN ENERGY FINANANCING

Malta Business Review

MBR Editor Martin Vella during Brussels conference

Europrean Parliament Assembly

Thanks to these policies, Europe is the global

leader in the areas of energy saving, clean

energy, efficient resource use and cutting

emissions, and it has been able to create

hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The figures speak for themselves. Since

2007, the sector has grown by 70%, creating

employment for 1.2 million people and

generating an annual turnover of EUR 138

billion. Some 17% of the energy that we

produce in the European Union now comes

from renewable sources. We are changing a

key economic paradigm: growth no longer

means higher energy consumption. Between

2005 and 2015, the European economy grew

by 10%, while energy consumption fell by

11%. We are seeing a radical transformation

of the methods we use to manufacture goods

and generate wealth. This is a real digital

and energy revolution, which is profoundly

altering the economy, the world of work and

our lifestyles. It is a process that the European

Union must continue to steer, stepping up its

role as a political, economic and technological

leader and grasping the new opportunities

created. The reluctance on the part of other

global players – starting with the Trump

Administration – to take decisive steps to tackle

what today is the greatest threat to our planet

should give us a further incentive to continue

on our chosen path. We have demonstrated

that we intend to do so by displaying unity and

determination in signing the Paris Agreement

and by continuing to move forward shoulder to

shoulder to implement it, including at COP 23,

which opened yesterday in Bonn.

I am convinced that the foot-dragging by the

US Administration will not prevent cooperation

– including technological and industrial

cooperation – between ourselves and many

cities and states in the USA. For that reason, I

should particularly like to thank the Governor

of California, Jerry Brown, for joining us today.

I see this as symbolic of a global alliance

which looks beyond short-term choices and

mistakes. Like Europe, California is a role

model. Emissions have been reduced by 36%

since 1990, and more than 500 000 jobs have

been created in the renewables sector. That

state alone is the source of 15% of all the clean

energy produced in the United States. You only

have to read the news wherever you are in

the world to appreciate the seriousness of the

situation: devastating hurricanes, huge fires,

even in autumn, drought and desertification,

the spread of epidemics, increasingly frequent

floods and rising sea levels.

All this not only affects thousands of people

and is a human tragedy for those who

lose everything they have: the economic

damage is also colossal. These disasters cost

many dozens of times more than the most

ambitious measures needed to slow down

global warming. And this is to say nothing

of the concern felt by our societies and the

tensions being generated in Europe by the

rising numbers of migrants from Africa, a

good many of whom have been compelled

to move because of the loss of thousands of

hectares of farmland and water shortages.

Every euro invested in reducing emissions

yields a substantial return, both as a driver

of the economy and by mitigating potential

environmental disasters. For that reason we

should encourage greater public and private

investment, of the order of hundreds of billions

of euros per year, in energy efficiency and

clean energy sources. It has been estimated

that between 2021 and 2030 some EUR 177

billion per annum in additional investment

will be needed to complete the transition

to a low-emission economy. We need to

provide industries and operators with a stable

regulatory framework which guarantees legal

certainty for investments which yield results

only in the long term.

We must therefore adopt as soon as possible

the ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ package,

whose measures, once fully implemented, will

create 900 000 new jobs in the energy sector.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments

(EFSI) has financed energy projects costing

some EUR 10 billion. Thanks to the new

agreement on EFSI 2 which has just been

reached between Parliament, the Council and

the Commission, the amount of funding will

be doubled. We must also make more and

better use of the EU’s regional funds. In the

period 2014-2020, more than EUR 21 billion

has been set aside for investment in the energy

efficiency of buildings and for investment by

businesses, in particular SMEs, in renewables.

This is not enough. As from the next budget, we

must increase this funding, which is particularly

effective in attracting new investment and

creating jobs. It is enough to realise, for

example, that refurbishing our buildings, which

account for 40% of energy consumption, could

mobilise hundreds of billions in investment.

This investment would pay for itself within

a few years simply by reducing energy bills,

galvanising the building industry and creating

new jobs. Joint efforts are needed, with EU

budget funds being spent in synergy with loans

from the European Investment Bank, savings

and loan banks and other national sources of

funding, so as to maximise private investment.

If we want to create a genuine European

market, we cannot allow our energy systems

to remain isolated.

Parliament has called for electricity

interconnections to be increased to 10% in all

Member States by 2020. In order to achieve

this, we must make funding available quickly

for projects of common interest in the area of

electricity infrastructure, with that funding also

to be extended beyond 2020.

CONCLUSIONS

The challenge presented by climate change

and the energy revolution also represents

an opportunity for growth and employment,

which Europe should seize with both hands.

In order to consolidate our leadership in

innovative technologies, we must continue to

work together on several fronts: on the one

hand, by giving operators clear targets and a

framework of predictable rules; on the other

hand, by exploiting all available synergies among

public resources so as to maximise private

investment. The European Risk Management

Platform for the funding of energy efficiency

projects is a good model, which we should

continue to pursue. The information on more

than 7 000 projects provides a major stimulus

to investment in Europe. At the same time, we

must complete the negotiations on the ETS

package and the Circular Economy package,

in order to create a clear legal framework for

investors. The energy transition calls for the

closest possible international cooperation.

European businesses are ready to do their bit

in the fight against climate change. But they

ask to be allowed to compete on equal terms

on the world market. Punitive solutions that go

beyond what is technically and economically

feasible for European industry would be

counterproductive. Similarly, there is a risk that

asymmetrical rules on emissions or energy

efficiency may cause industrial production to

be relocated from the most virtuous countries

to those where environmental regulation is

laxer. There is a danger that this will undermine

the fight against global warming. European

policy-makers have a duty to give the people

of Europe the right answers to questions

concerning environmental sustainability and

employment. For that purpose, an innovative

and responsible industry is needed, which will

continue to invest in Europe. MBR

Credit: EP Valletta, Malta; Carlo Corazza,

Spokesperson of the President, EP.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

25


Malta Business Review

BITCOIN

2017 Virtual

currencies

in Malta

The brave new

world of Bitcoin

by Joseph Borg, Ramona Azzopardi, Kelly Fenech and Erika Micallef

The content of the article was first published

in Lexology on October 16, 2017

Market trends Given the convenience of

established currency and payment systems,

what is driving the ever-growing interest in

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies?

One of the main reasons why bitcoin and

other virtual currencies have amassed such

popularity, and continue to do so, is blockchain

– the ingenious and innovative technology

behind them. Thanks to its distributed ledger

technology, blockchain has been touted as

the future of banking. There are a number of

reasons why blockchain is gaining preference

over traditional banking methods:

• Blockchain transactions are faster and

have little or no fees compared with

customary credit card transactions.

• All bitcoin transactions are permanent

records, which are publicly accessible.

• No intermediaries are involved in the

transactions.

Economic crises have also played their role

in decreasing trust in the existing financial

system.

Regulation

Has your jurisdiction taken steps to regulate

virtual currencies? What is their current

status?

At present, virtual currencies are not

regulated in Malta. However, the government

is considering utilising blockchain technology

and virtual currencies. On August 7 2017 it

launched a public consultation document

with the aim of restructuring the Malta

Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to pave

the way for the further digitalisation of and

innovation in the financial sector.

The junior minister for financial services,

digital economy and innovation has expressed

his hope that once this process has been

finalised, the MFSA will be better prepared

to regulate cryptocurrencies (a type of

virtual currency) and the innovative financial

products which are increasingly entering the

market, including financial products which

are built using blockchain technology (eg,

virtual currencies).

The government plans to make Malta a

pioneer in embracing blockchain technology

and attracting blockchain companies. In April

2017 the prime minister announced that

Malta will become one of the first countries to

embrace blockchain. He went on to say that:

“I understand that regulators are wary of this

technology but the fact is that it’s coming. We

must be on the frontline in embracing this

crucial innovation, and we cannot just wait

for others to take action and copy them. We

must be the ones that others copy.”

The prime minister has also been quoted

as saying that Europe should become the

“bitcoin continent”.

Different EU member state authorities have

thus far taken different approaches to the

regulation of virtual currencies. Is this due

to the different legal frameworks of the

member states or (mainly) by institutional

practices of the respective authorities?

The differing approaches of EU member states

is due to the differences in both the legal

framework of each state and the institutional

practices of the respective authorities.

From a legal framework perspective, virtual

currencies, unlike financial instruments, are

not greatly harmonised in the European

Union or highly regulated in the majority of EU

member states. This is due to member states’

different interpretations of and approaches

to virtual currencies. Spain and Italy are clear

examples of this aforementioned difference.

In Italy, virtual currencies are not considered

legal tender. In January 2015 the Bank of Italy

issued:

• a warning on the use of virtual

currencies; and

• a communication in Supervisory

Bulletin 1/2015 endorsing the European

Banking Authority’s Opinion on

‘Virtual Currencies’, which discourages

banks and other supervised financial

intermediaries from buying, holding or

selling virtual currencies.

Conversely, Spain has recognised the potential

of virtual currencies to expand its economy

and has implemented a legal framework to

accommodate virtual currencies.

Malta has yet to take a position, but updates

on its position are expected by early 2018.

How likely is it that the regulation of virtual

currencies will be harmonized at EU level?

Could a consistent regulatory approach be

reached through institutional guidelines for

the competent authorities in the member

states?

26


BITCOIN

Malta Business Review

It is unlikely that this will happen in the near

future. However, a few proposals may be put

forward in the coming months, possibly by

some members of the European Parliament.

The timeframes for such proposals to become

law could be years.

In the meantime, Malta will see harmonised

areas of law embracing and providing for

cryptocurrencies. Initially, this may happen in

the context of anti-money laundering.

The European Parliament and the Council of

the European Union have proposed amending

the Fourth EU Anti-money Laundering

Directive (2015/849/EU) to tackle terrorist

financing risks linked to virtual currencies. To

prevent the abuse of virtual currencies for

money laundering and terrorist financing,

virtual currency exchange platforms (VCPs)

and custodian wallet providers (CWPs) will

be brought within the scope of the proposed

amendments – otherwise known as the

Fifth EU Anti-money Laundering Directive

(2016/0208/EU). Under the proposed

amendments, VCPs and CWPs would have

to apply customer due diligence controls.

It has been proposed that the definition of

‘obliged entities’ under the Fifth Anti-money

Laundering Directive be extended to:

• providers engaged primarily and

professionally in exchange services

between virtual and fiat currencies; and

• wallet providers offering custodial

services of credentials necessary to

access virtual currencies.

The aforementioned proposed amendments

to the Fourth EU Anti-money Laundering

Directive are still being revised for any further

counter-proposal or approval by the European

Parliament and the European Council and it

could take months for an agreement to be

reached. However, the proposals regarding

virtual currencies are not the sticking points

between EU member states and, therefore,

it is anticipated that they will shortly be

transposed into national law by the different

members states.

Taxation

How are transactions using virtual

currencies as the medium of exchange taxed

in your jurisdiction?

There is no specific tax legislation regulating

virtual currencies as a medium of exchange.

However, Maltese tax legislation recognises

payments in kind as a medium of exchange

and treats the latter in the same manner

as transactions via traditional currencies.

Accordingly, in the absence of specific

legislation, transactions using virtual

currencies as a medium of exchange should

– for tax purposes – be treated in the same

manner as transactions made via traditional

currencies or payments in kind.

In line with the above, the Value Added

Tax Department follows the European

Court of Justice judgment in Hedqvist (C-

264/14), which provides that transactions to

exchange traditional currencies for units of

virtual currency and vice versa constitute an

exempt supply of services under the provision

concerning transactions relating to currency

and bank notes used as legal tender.

Inflation

If virtual currencies were to become a

mainstream payment system, how might

this affect the ability to control inflation in

your jurisdiction?

Inflation for EU member states is controlled by

the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) monetary

policy to a certain extent, which is one of the

tools used to manipulate inflation. However,

the ECB can apply monetary policies only

to the legal tender of the Euro. Therefore,

if virtual currencies became a mainstream

payment system, without an EU Institution

having the authority to supervise and control

such virtual currencies properly, the ECB

would become a lot less effective in being

able to steer the European Union to meet its

inflation targets.

Fraud and money-laundering

What are the potential risks of virtual

currencies in terms of fraud? How would

these be addressed in your jurisdiction?

Have any specific instances emerged in

which virtual currencies have been used

for money-laundering or other fraudulent

purposes?

Virtual Currency Schemes (VCS) present

several drawbacks and disadvantages for

users, such as:

• a lack of transparency, clarity and

continuity;

• a high dependency on information

technology and networks; and

• an anonymity of the parties involved.

In addition, users face payment system-like

risks owing to their direct participation in a

VCS and risks associated with certain intrinsic

characteristics of a VCS, including:

• the counterparty risk associated with

the anonymity of the payee; and

• the risk of investment fraud associated

with, among other things, the lack of

transparency.

At present, there are no safeguards in place to

protect users against these risks.

These risks would be addressed by primarily

transposing the Fifth EU Anti-money

Laundering Directive into Maltese Law. As

a result, VCPs and CWPs would be licensed,

regulated and obliged to apply customer due

diligence controls when exchanging virtual

currencies for real currencies, ending the

anonymity associated with such exchanges.

The government’s public consultation on

reforming the MFSA and regulating innovative

financial products is set to be complete by

the end of 2017 and changes in the law to

implement the results of this consultation

process are expected in 2018. This will

provide a clearer picture of how the potential

risks of virtual currencies in terms of fraud will

be addressed.

To date, no specific instances have emerged

in Malta in which virtual currencies have

been used for money-laundering or other

fraudulent purposes. MBR

Creditline: Joseph Borg, Ramona Azzopardi, Kelly

Fenech and Erika Micallef

www.maltabusinessreview.net

27


Malta Business Review

LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD

GRIMALDI GROUP

LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD

Grimaldi Group - Leadership Excellence Award

Dott. Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the Grimaldi Group

The Neapolitan logistics and shipping

company receives the prestigious recognition

from the magazine, Panorama.

On 1st November 2017, the Grimaldi

Group was presented with the ‘Leadership

Excellence Award’ by the Italian magazine,

Panorama at the illustrious Harvard Club in

New York.

The award ceremony took place during a

gala dinner held at the event ‘This is Italy,

parts unknown’, held in the framework

of the ‘Panorama of Italy’ tour. The event

lasted three days and aimed to introduce the

Italian excellence to the American audience,

focusing on areas were the Made in Italy

performance is outstanding, such as fashion,

art, culture and food.

The Grimaldi Group was rewarded along

with other Italian brands, entrepreneurs,

intellectuals and representatives in the world

of music, fashion and gastronomy. The Naplesbased

Group was defined by Panorama, as an

example of Italian distinction worldwide and

an expression of excellence overseas.

I am very flattered that this

award goes to the Grimaldi

Group, because it rewards our

commitment to provide even

more extensive and efficient

transport services to all import

& export companies operating

on the American continent

“It is a great honour for us to be counted

among the excellence of Made in Italy,’ said

Dott. Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director

of the Grimaldi Group. “I am very flattered

that this award goes to the Grimaldi Group,

because it rewards our commitment to

provide even more extensive and efficient

transport services to all import & export

companies operating on the American

continent,” he concluded.

With 70 years of experience, the Grimaldi

Group is a dedicated supplier of the integrated

logistics services based on maritime transport

tot he world’s major vehicle manufacturers.

The Group operates various maritime

services for the rolling freight and containers

in Europe, the Near East, North and West

Africa, North and South America.

The Grimaldi Group is a leader in short

sea services, particularly in the so-called

motorways of the sea. With regards to the

transport of passengers, the Group offers

regular services in the Mediterranean and the

Baltic Sea through the Grimaldi Lines, Minoan

Lines and Finnlines brands. MBR

The Grimaldi Group, Naples is represented in

Malta by Sullivan Maritime Limited. Should

you wish to require any further information,

please visit www.sullivanmaritime.com or call

+356 2299 5110.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

28


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Malta Business Review

EDUCATION

The Global Search for Education:

A Conversation with Sir Michael Barber

By David Wine & CMRubinWorld

According to a recent report by PwC, within

15 years, artificial intelligence will take over

38% of U.S. jobs. This trend is expected to

continue. What will employment look like?

Which jobs will disappear and what does all

of this mean for education?

According to Sir Michael Barber, former

advisor to Tony Blair and former Chief

Education advisor to Pearson, “it’s not just

what jobs will exist and what won’t. It’s about

what parts of current roles will be automated

and what won’t.” He notes that we will still

need doctors and lawyers but that “machines

will often be more accurate” in terms of

diagnosis and determination.

In terms of changes for global education,

Barber notes that “the combination of

great teachers and sophisticated AI could

be transformative,” but warns that change

leaders will “miss the point” if they believe

educators will have to “choose between

teachers and AI.” He believes that “fewer,

more sophisticated teachers will combine

with machines that relieve them of drudgery

and provide a powerful evidence base for

their teaching.“ He notes that students will

need “high standards in the basics, a good

knowledge of history, social science, literature

and science,” and that “everyone will need an

ethical perspective and a personal sense of

ability to contribute.”

Sir Michael Barber, former advisor to Tony Blair and former Chief Education advisor to Pearson.

“It’s really important that

students don’t think of

education solely as preparation

for the next stage of their life.”

Sir Michael Barber has been at the forefront

of global thinking in education for the past

twenty years. He served as Chief Education

Advisor to Pearson. He is the Founder and

Chairman of Delivery Associates. In the

past, Barber has served as the head of the

global education practice at McKinsey,

advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair, and as

a global expert on education reform and

implementation of large-scale system change.

Additionally, he has been a consultant to

governments around the world.

30


EDUCATION

Malta Business Review

In The Global Search for Education interview

that follows, Barber discusses the future of

education and the labor market amidst the

rise of information technology and the age

of innovation. He ponders the possibilities

brought on by Artificial Intelligence and how

it will transform the way we teach and what

we teach.

The Global Search for Education welcomes Sir

Michael Barber.

“Students will also need the ability to think

in different ways – individually, deductively,

creatively, fast, slow, reflective.” — Sir

Michael Barber

Michael, what do past changes in the

economy tell us about the jobs of the

future?

Major economic transformations – as with

industrialization – transform the nature

of employment. That is happening now

– the only difference is that this time the

transformation is faster. This means huge

opportunities for those with a rounded

education and major threats to those without

that.

What variables are you looking at to

determine what the future of employment

will look like?

It’s not just what jobs will exist and what

won’t. It’s about what parts of current roles

will be automated and what won’t. We’ll still

need doctors, for example, but machines will

often be more accurate in diagnosis. Ditto

lawyers.

How will the future of employment affect

how we educate young people?

Everyone will need: High standards in the

basics, a good knowledge of history , social

science, literature and science. Students will

also need the ability to think in different ways

(individually, deductively, creatively, fast, slow,

reflective). In addition, everyone will need an

ethical perspective and a personal sense of

ability to contribute.

Character – resilience, leadership, relationship

skills, empathy – all this matters as much if

not more than ever.” — Sir Michael Barber

In order to bring about major change, the

way we assess students probably needs to

change significantly. How can we do this?

Some things such as literacy and numeracy can

be assessed straightforwardly. Others need

more sophisticated options – the technology

that underpins beautiful computer games

could do sophisticated assessment – more

than the player, more than one right answer,

more than one route to the answers, for

example.

Are their specific subjects worth holding

onto even if they are outdated in the labor

market?

Of course! Education is not just about the

labor market. History, Music, Drama, Sport,

Literature should be enjoyed and loved

for their own intrinsic worth – as well as

for opportunities to lead and shine and to

become knowledgeable.

Character has become much more

important to employers around the world?

Does character education matter more?

And is that now the role of schools?

Character – resilience, leadership, relationship

skills, empathy – all this matters as much if not

more than ever. This is why schools need to

offer a range of options beyond the academic

and to be, among other things, communities.

“The combination of great teachers and

sophisticated AI could be transformative.

We will miss the point if we think we have

to choose between teachers and AI.” — Sir

Michael Barber

What role do you think Artificial Intelligence

will have in the future for learning?

The combination of great teachers and

sophisticated AI could be transformative.

We will miss the point if we think we have to

choose between teachers and AI. We need

both – fewer, more sophisticated teachers

will combine with machines that relieve them

of drudgery and provide a powerful evidence

base for their teaching.

What do you see as the future of vocational

learning? Will a liberal arts education be

considered crucial or irrelevant?

Liberal arts are crucial as argued above. They

are critical to becoming human. Beyond that

I think the academic-vocational debate is

unhelpful. In all spheres, we can distinguish

between theory and application – both are

necessary.

Ten years from now – what will a traditional

classroom look like? What will have

changed? What will be the same?

It’s really important that students don’t think

of education solely as preparation for the

next stage of their life. They should – as they

put it at School 21 in London – aspire to “do

beautiful work” all day every day. Classrooms

and buildings need to be flexible. MBR

Credit: David Wine; CMRubinWorld

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

INDUSTRIAL INTERNET

Decoding the

Industrial Internet

By Deborah Sherry

Today, we are in the midst

of the Fourth Industrial

Revolution, a time when

technology innovation

is driving significant

advancements in the

automation of production

and the ability to connect

machines, devices and

even industrial and city

infrastructure.

learning, robotics, IoT and edge computing

among others. While Industry 4.0 focuses

mainly on how these technologies can be

used to optimise operations across factories

and their supply chains, the Industrial Internet

stretches well beyond manufacturing. It

encompasses everything that is connected

through digital technology – from sensors

and devices, through to machines, networks,

analytics and people. In other words, the

Industrial Internet encompasses not only how

products are made, but also how things of

any sort operate.

GE was one of the first industrial businesses to

embrace the Industrial Internet by embarking

on its own digital transformation journey

a few years ago. As part of this journey

we connected machine data to powerful

analytics to help both GE and its customers

make informed decisions that improve the

way they sell, manufacture, design, service

and operate. The results are impressive!

Inside GE, last year we drove $730 million

in productivity gains by implementing our

Industrial Internet technology and we expect

to reach $1 billion in productivity gains

annually by 2020.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution presents

tremendous opportunities for increasing

productivity by leveraging the Industrial

Internet to power companies and drive

economic growth. Conservative estimates

suggest the Industrial Internet market is

about £173 billion globally, compared to the

consumer Internet, which is valued at £131

billion. Some industry experts estimate that

by 2020 the Industrial Internet will deliver

more than $1.9 trillion in productivity gains

globally.

However, there is a lot of confusion about

what defines the Industrial Internet, and how

it is different from other widely used terms

such as Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial

Revolution.

Put very simply, the Industrial Internet is what

powers the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It

is the digital technology which enables the

connection of machines, data and processes

and makes possible the creation of smart

technologies, smart manufacturing and

connected city infrastructure.

Industry 4.0 on the other hand is a term used

to define the digitisation of manufacturing,

triggered by the growing adoption of

emerging technologies such as machine

For example, analysing the data generated

from connected devices and sensors within

an airplane engine or wind turbine can help

identify potential performance issues before

they have occurred. This can help reduce

system downtime and improve efficiency.

Taking a step further, the Industrial Internet

combined with data analytics, can enable

machines to ‘talk’ to city infrastructure

and other devices outside their immediate

network. Imagine self-aware trains which

can notify the nearest station that there are

issues with the train ahead of time, so that

staff can send the emergency services and

alert passengers waiting at the next stop that

there will be a delay. This predictive approach

can be applied to multiple areas, including

gas extraction, elevator maintenance, supply

chain management and many others.

In the above scenarios the Industrial Internet

builds on Industry 4.0 as it enables the

connection between machines, data and

humans well beyond factories and industrial

sites. It has the potential to connect everything

to power the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This will lead us not only to greater industrial

productivity, but also to greater commercial

creativity by driving digital transformation.

But our journey doesn’t stop here. We are

committed to helping our customers and

partners achieve similar, and even bigger

productivity gains, and we are investing a lot

of resource in supporting them on their digital

transformation journeys. While undertaking

your company’s own digital transformation

might seem daunting, we have laid out the

basic blueprint for how to get started. You can

find out how to take the first steps towards

digital transformation here.

Digital Transformation Blueprint

The Dawn of the Digital Industrial

As an industrial company going through its

own digital transformation, our customers

ask us about our transformation strategy,

and how we can help them develop their

digital approach. To meet this need, GE Digital

created the Digital Transformation Blueprint

to help you develop the strategy that will put

you in charge of your digital transformation

journey. MBR

Credits: Industry Voice, GE; POLITICO SPRL

32


DEUTSCHE BANK AWARD

Malta Business Review

FIMBank receives

Deutsche Bank Award

FIMBank has been awarded the prestigious

Deutsche Bank Excellence Award, in

recognition of the exceptional quality of

its payments. The 2016 Straight Through

Payment Award from Deutsche Bank

takes into consideration the achievement

of measured processing rates, which are

considered the most important indicator for

quality in the field of payment transactions.

FIMBank has won this award for twelve

successive years.

Commenting on this achievement, Howard

Gaunt, FIMBank’s Group Chief Operating

Officer, stated that “This prestigious award

by one of the most prominent international

banks demonstrates FIMBank’s commitment

to operational excellence and unparalleled

customer service. Winning the Deutsche

Bank STP Excellence Award recognises

our advanced technological infrastructure

including the capacity to satisfy regulatory

needs while delivering an enhanced banking

experience. We remain committed to further

investment in the FIMBank Direct digital

banking platform, as we continue to grow our

payments volumes.”

Loranne Pace, Head of Banking Operations

commented that “Our Payments team is

trained to ensure that payments processing

is cost-effective and timely, and through

optimised processes we have been achieving

this recognition for such excellence. We are

very proud of our Payments team, as winning

this award for twelve consecutive years is

evidence of the team’s consistent success in

maintaining the highest standards”. MBR

For more information about FIMBank plc, visit

www.fimbank.com.

For further information please contact:

Jason Zammit, Head of Marketing &

Administration, FIMBank plc

Efficient. Flexible. Holistic.

Medavia is the true one-stop-shop in aviation.

• Part 145 MRO

• Part 21J DO

• Part M CAMO

• Aircraft Operations

• Aircraft Charter Brokerage

• Ground Handling

Mediterranean Aviation Co. Ltd.

Safi Aviation Park, Carmelo

Caruana Road, Safi SFI 1721 -

Malta

+356 2249 0000

www.medavia.com

www.maltabusinessreview.net

33


Malta Business Review

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Trusted Professional

By M.Vella

Geraldine Noel, Managing

Partner at Acumum and

inspirational woman leader

speaks with the Malta Business

Review. Acumum is business

focussed on providing a range

of legal, tax and fiduciary

inter-related services, with an

associated Barristers Chambers,

located in Malta providing cross

- border, multi-jurisdictional legal

services. Geraldine explained

the vison, strategy and services

Acumum can provide to the

growing number of businesses

and international investors who

are doing business either with or

in the country.

MBR: Would you tell us about the culture

and background of ACUMUM?

GN: Acumum was set up to provide worldclass

services to individuals and corporates.

As Acumum is managed by myself, an English

barrister – registered in Malta, we provide an

international perspective to our clients’ global

34


CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Services

our operations are lean, in that we are

cost efficient as an organisation, that our

policies and protocols, such as security and

compliance are adhered to.

MBR: What led you to become involved

with ACUMUM and why?

GN: I had worked at Fimbank Plc as VP, Anti

– Money Laundering, before obtaining the

position of Head of Legal at GFI Software.

Upon leaving this position, I wanted to join

an internationally focused firm that would

utilise my legal skills obtained in the various

countries that I had worked in – USA, UK,

Cayman and Switzerland. Having had such

a substantial experience over my 27 year

career, I thought that the best way to achieve

my goals and bring a slightly new offering,

would be to set up a firm myself.

MBR: What is it about your work that has

made your job so special?

GN: I enjoy the managerial aspects of my

role, as much as I do in my position of legal

practitioner.

not 3 of the aspects. Acumum Accounting's

team of qualified accountants and auditors

can provide you with the necessary technical

support to ensure that your company meets

all necessary requirements for company

accounting and financial reporting.

MBR: What does it take to be successful in

an Island such as Malta, where competition

is strong and continuous?

GN: Being clear and focused on what your

objectives are, not being swayed by the

latest fad, but establishing real, long lasting

relationships with clients. Not being afraid,

but actually embracing competition as a way

to develop interest in Malta.

MBR: In general, what is the innovation

strategy for ACUMUM?

GN: Innovation has to be balanced by expertise

and sound client service. For instance, whilst

we adopt and utilise technology, we do not

do so for faddish reasons. Any innovation has

to occur for sound reasons and always with a

view to cost control.

Geraldine Noel, Managing Partner at Acumum.

affairs. Internally, we wanted to have a firm

that was based on mutual respect and which

employees enjoyed coming to work to.

MBR: Can you briefly describe your role and

responsibilities at ACUMUM?

GN: My role is dualistic in nature – not only

do I work directly on client matters ensuring

that our client matters are dealt with

promptly and relevantly with appropriate

commercially focused advice, but I oversee

the operations of Acumum; ensuring that

MBR: When customers walk into ACUMUM,

are there certain elements that stand out

and is there a specific niche market?

GN: Our cross – border capabilities,

particularly with our associated barristers

chambers, means that we can advise on a

number of different jurisdictional laws. As

such, our clientele are mostly international

individuals or corporates, who appreciate

our expertise in cross border transactions.

Acumum is an award winning boutique set

of legal, tax, fiduciary and accounting firms,

located in the tax and fiscal efficient European

jurisdiction of Malta. Believing in long-term

relationships, we provide holistic, sustainable

and practical solutions to clients, whilst being

committed to a superb level of client service.

Acumum’s senior management of lawyers,

accountants and tax advisers, provide expert,

trusted & cost efficient, bespoke services

to an international clientele: individuals,

family offices, corporations, Governments

and other service providers. Acumum’s

clients are assured of prompt, efficient and

knowledgeable legal, tax, fiduciary and

corporate services. Our clients deal with the

same professional consistently, in order for us

to provide the best client support and build a

successful working relationship.

MBR: How much of a focus on Legal, Tax and

Fiduciary to further develop your business

are you presently concentrating?

GN: We provide holistic services to clients,

meaning that we provide a 360 degree view

of a matter, which necessarily entails 2, if

MBR: What is your ultimate vision of the

firm?

GN: To be best in class for business and client,

which includes both knowledge and client

service.

MBR: As a key leader in this space, is there

anything you are working on that you are

particularly proud or excited about?

GN: We are currently consolidating our client

base – a firm basis is necessary for future

growth – referrals by our clients to others is a

factor that makes us proud. MBR

About Geraldine Noel

Barrister – Registered in Malta; M.A (Oxford),

Pg Dip, LLM (Fordham)

Acumum’s services and operations are

overseen by its Managing Partner, Geraldine

Noel, a UK barrister, registered in Malta.

Geraldine a native of England and resident

of Malta, has substantial international

experience, having worked in the US,

Switzerland and the Cayman Islands over

a 20-year career, providing legal, tax and

corporate services to multinational financial,

insurance and technology corporations.

Additionally, Geraldine won a Citywealth

Power Women Award for the third

consecutive year and is Secretary of the

Malta branch of the Royal Commonwealth

Society - the Commonwealth's oldest civil and

social affairs charity.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

35


Malta Business Review

THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION

ON THE ROAD TO 2030 OUR PLANET MADE A PLAN

“The SDGs are a shared vision of humanity

– they are the missing (vision) piece of our

globalisation puzzle!” — Thomas Gass

In September 2015, 193 countries signed

up to support the UN’s 17 sustainable

development goals for our planet and the

people that live on it. The all-encompassing

plan included promises to end poverty, feed

everyone, create stability and peace, provide

quality education and protect the future of

our world. Every man, woman and child on

the planet were invited to play their part to

turn 17 goals into action and the promises

into reality.

Goal 4 promised to achieve inclusive and

equitable quality education for all. “OECD

countries have generally been successful in

guaranteeing adequate infrastructure and

near-universal access to basic education,” says

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education

and Skills at the OECD. But he notes that

participation in education is not enough “to

ensure the knowledge, competence, skills

and attitudes that are necessary to increase

individuals’ well-being and the prosperity of

modern societies.” He adds that the OECD’s

programs have a key role to play “in the

achievement of – and measuring progress

towards – SDG 4 and its targets, as well as

other education-related SDG targets.”

“Just because poverty or pollution or climate

change happen in another country far away,

that does not mean that we are not part

of the cause of these problems and their

necessary solution.” — Thomas Gass

Courtesty: UN Sustainable Development Goals

Courtesty: UN Sustainable Development Goals

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Since September 2015, education leaders

and other influencers around the world have

encouraged schools to promote all the goals.

We’ve talked to teachers that acknowledge

there’s nothing like real world challenges and

case studies which allow students to apply

the knowledge skills and dispositions they will

need to succeed in an interconnected world.

How are we all doing so far? What have

leaders learned from the implementation

journey, and as a new school year begins, how

can we build on those lessons to improve our

efforts to achieve our planet’s plan moving

forward?

Thomas Gass was appointed by the UN

Secretary-General as Assistant Secretary-

General for Policy Coordination and Inter-

Agency Affairs in UN DESA and he took office

on 3 September 2013. The Global Search for

Education welcomes Thomas Gass.

“Educators have an essential role in making

sure the SDGs become a real social contract

with the people.” — Thomas Gass

Thomas, please share one or two of

the most important lessons you have

personally learned spearheading the SDG’s

implementation process thus far?

It’s simple: The SDG’s are not a run-off-the-mill

development strategy for big international

organisations to fix the problems in the

South… The SDGs are a shared vision of

humanity – they are the missing (vision) piece

of our globalisation puzzle! This means that

they can only be implemented if everyone

is involved: Governments of course, but also

municipalities, private companies, schools

and universities, local organisations and

individuals – everyone. Now, that can only

happen if the people know about them… So

mobilization and advocacy are crucial. The

SDGs must become a new social contract

between leaders and the people.

Leaders agreed that we must change the

way we deal with the weakest among us,

i.e. that we take the greatest care of those

who are weak. What more would you ask

of the leaders of rich and poor countries in

terms of being good role models for this

important part of the vision?

The promise to leave no one behind is the

most difficult commitment of this new

social contract. It requires that we all seek

By C. M. Rubin and Thomas Gass

to understand who the most vulnerable

people are and what risks they face, and

then systematically empower these people

and build their resilience. Political as well

as economic leaders need to understand

that sustainability has been redefined: If a

significant economic or social group is left

behind, our development is not sustainable.

By the same token, we are fooling ourselves

if we think that any single country or private

company can be “sustainable” by itself.

The SDGs demand that we are honest with

ourselves about our ecological and social

footprint! Just because poverty or pollution

or climate change happen in another country

far away, that does not mean that we are not

part of the cause of these problems and their

necessary solution.

“Know your #SDGs/#GlobalGoals and hold

adults and leaders accountable for them,

push back if they try to make you believe

that your country, language, tribe or family

is greater or more deserving than the

others, and look for opportunities to make a

difference yourselves.” — Thomas Gass

What more would you ask of educators in

the work that lies ahead?

Educators have an essential role in making

sure the SDGs become a real social contract

with the people. I have the highest esteem

for those committed educators who are

bringing the SDGs into the classrooms, and

educating younger generations to become

global citizens. I firmly believe that this can be

done as part of any teaching subject or class.

I encourage all educators to join movements

and co-create resources such as teachsdgs.

org, GCEDclearinghouse.org, etc., and to

encourage OECD/PISA to align their Global

Competency criteria to the SDGs by 2018.

And finally, perhaps most important – what

is your message to youth for the school year

ahead on their part in the planet’s plan?

Here is my message: This world is your world

to share and enjoy. As Mahatma Gandhi said:

“The world has enough for everyone’s need,

but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Know

your #SDGs/#GlobalGoals and hold adults

and leaders accountable for them, push

back if they try to make you believe that your

country, language, tribe or family is greater

or more deserving than the others, and

look for opportunities to make a difference

yourselves. MBR

Courtesy: C. M. Rubin and Thomas Gass

36


BANKING

Malta Business Review

FIMBANK ANNOUNCES NEW INTEREST RATES FOR EASISAVE ACCOUNTS

FIMBank plc has announced new interest

rates for accounts linked to its online

savings portal Easisave.com. Online

Savings Accounts will now carry a 0.5%

p.a. interest rate, while its Three-Month

Fixed Term Deposits will earn depositors

1.0% p.a. The new interest rates will be

applicable until the 31st December 2017.

Commenting on the new interest rates,

Chris Trapani, Head of Cash Management at

FIMBank plc, said that the new rates “are a

way for the Bank to thank its loyal customers

for their contribution in turning Easisave.com

into the resilient and popular brand it is today.

The user-friendly and secure features of www.

easisave.com make it a preferred option for

depositors wishing to manage their funds

online.” Mr Trapani added that FIMBank has

also taken the opportunity to give a facelift

to the Easisave.com portal, “rendering it even

easier and more convenient to use.” MBR

For further information, please visit www.

easisave.com or call the Easisave Helpdesk on

21322102.

For further information please contact:

Jason Zammit, Head of Marketing &

Administration, FIMBank plc

www.maltabusinessreview.net

37


Malta Business Review

HIGHER EDUCATION

Committed to Providing the

Best Education Learning Experience

OUR MISSION

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

education.

The eie Educational Group aims to develop the

appropriate competencies and knowledge

needed in planning, evaluation, research and

development tasks in education and related

fields in the midst of societal changes, both

on local and global levels. This network gives

eie the key to be competitive and to share

the collective experience and continuous

professional development with their cilients.

In a fast moving world, challenges are

demanding and change is constant.

Tomorrow’s future depends on today’s

knowledge. MBR

For more information about eie’s degree programmes,

English language courses or other business related

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

phone on +35621332804/5

• Continually engaging in the pursuit of

excellence.

• Continually investing in its own

people.

• 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

Internships

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-

001);

Business courses, thematic seminars for business excecutives

offered through eie Mangement Centre;

English courses at Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate,

Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Business English and

Advanced levels are offered through Unilang International

School of Languages, Valletta (Licensed by the EFL Monitoring

Board – License Number 249/MB16)

Provision of quality accommodation around Malta ideal for

students offered through eie Residences

Organisation of Work placement and Internships for

international students offered through eie internships.

38


eie educational group

Malta Business Review

Commitment to

EXCELLENCE

The eie

Educational

Group

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

Centre

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

www.eieEducationalGroup.com

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


SIMON

ESTATES

THE MALTA INTERNATIONAL

BOATS AND YACHTING AWARDS 2017

Radisson Blu Resort & SPA, Malta Golden Sands

10 th November 2017


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Ing.Elio Desira, Director of Oceanus

Marine Ltd., receiving the award.

PRIDE,

PROFESSIONALISM,

ATTITUDE AND ETHICS

Ing.Elio Desira, Director of Oceanus

Marine Ltd., receiving the award.

Winner of the 2017 the Best Yachting Achievement of the Year Award and

Best Marine & Industrial Consultancy Company of the Year Award was Ing.

Elio Desira, Director, Oceanus Marine Ltd. His winning nominee submissions

impressed the judges and serves up as a role model for the way forward in

the Boats and Yachting Industry. We caught up with Elio post event to find out

more about his award winning ambitions, and what's coming next…

By Martin Vella

MBR: What has been the secret behind

Oceanus Marine Ltd.’s success?

ED: Oceanus Marine Ltd. has ever since the

start believed on the following perspectives;

Good Marketing based on factual services

that can be rendered; Perseverance, ambition

and calculated risks; Execute requests

promptly, diligently and in an effective

manner; Commitment to deliver & honour

agreements. Besides, our mantra has always

been Pride, Professionalism, Attitude and

Ethics. We never stop innovating and keep

creating business models. And the last and

most important is to treat clients genuinely

and with respect.

MBR: Leading a boats and yachting surveying

company, does your experience and skills,

with those of your team transfer, or do

you have to take different entrepreneurial

views?

ED: We work as a team. I believe that one

should lead and not give orders.

When we inspect, survey or give advice or

consultation, we do our utmost so that the

owner or managers understanding what we

are actually doing and for what we are doing

it. We make sure that the information we

relay to our clients is being understood. We

take pride in our way of reporting to clients. In

fact, we only believe in delivering professional

reports.

MBR: How do you define the Oceanus

Marine Ltd brand message and how critical

is that to be consistent?

ED: Oceanus Marine Ltd., is a Maritime

Industry Surveying & Consultancy Company

which is committed to render an outstanding,

diligent and prompt service to the Yachting

and Shipping Industry.

Personally, I think It is critical to be consistent.

Most of my team had worked with the

Merchant navy and thus it is in our blood to

work in a disciplined and professional manner.

My father who also served in the maritime

Industry for many years, always told me –

“whatever you do, do it right, or otherwise do

not do it at all!”

MBR: Looking at the success and impact you

had during the Malta International Boats

& Yachting Awards 2017, do you ever take

time to reflect and step back and celebrate?

ED: We did reflect, and the fact that we were

awarded, gives us more drive to continue

and improve and also expand. Step back,

not thinking of it yet! To reduce the time at

work and enjoy life, yes. Someone has once

told me – “You will never step back unless a

clone for Elio is found”. Oceanus Marine Ltd

has a name in the Industry, and one day the

company will be at the very top. Celebrate –

we did and we are still celebrating!

MBR: How does winning two prestigious

awards such as the Best Yachting

Achievement of the Year Award and Best

Marine & Industrial Consultancy Company

of the Year Award feel?

ED: More Responsibility actually – we have

to make sure that what we have managed

to achieve always stands out, as has always

been, embedded in our day to day service.

It is also a huge satisfaction and reward for

all the years of hard work. Meaning that the

company’s investment has been recognised

and has proved to be successful. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

42


SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Malta Business Review

Vison &

Innovation

By M. G. Zammit

MBR interviews Perry Newton,

Managing Director of Azure Ultra,

a brand that's blazing an awardwinning

trail through the luxury

yacht charter business with its

expertly tailored perfection.

Perry Newton, Managing Director of Azure Ultra.

MBR: Firstly, can you briefly explain what

your entry in the Malta International Boats

& Yachting Awards 2017 was about?

PN: Since inception in 2015, we have greatly

enhanced Azure Ultra’s brand equity and

reach. This is what we wanted to showcase.

How we have managed to retain our

desirability and advantage. How we have

managed to upscale our operation, while

maintaining our innovation and vision, and

ultimately standing apart from all competition

in the Mediterranean.

MBR: Well, you sure showcased that in your

entry and congratulations on winning the

Best Customer Service of the Year Award

and Best Maltese Based Charter Company

of the Year Award. How did it feel when you

found out you had won?

PN: Absolutely fantastic. It was a massive

feeling to win two huge awards. For any

business, customer service is the one award

you can’t do without. It’s one of the most

convincing ways of standing out from the

competition. It also encourages customer

loyalty and creates a robust platform for

healthy new business growth.

The Best Maltese Based Charter Company of

the Year award was the cherry on top. This

award recognised Azure Ultra’s exceptional

performance in the yachting and maritime

industry in Malta. Plus, it lays the foundations

for our plans to expand beyond the

Mediterranean.

MBR: It’s a great achievement considering

you’ve only been operating since 2015. How

did you first hear about Malta International

Boats & Yachting Awards and how did you

get involved in creating your entry?

PN: Your brand is synonymous with raising the

international profile of Malta’s luxury yachting

industry, so it’s not surprising I heard of your

organisation through word of mouth, as a

recommendation from a business associate.

I got involved with Azure Ultra’s entry by

meeting with the team, over lunch on a

Sunseeker in Birgu as we often do. We

chatted about what we think makes us

winners. Ultimately, the brand differential

that shaped our entry submissions was our

team’s readiness to go that extra mile and the

flawless customer service (attested by our

100% record of 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor)

combined with our obsession with delivering

incomparable luxury.

MBR: Your brand equity is certainly growing

exponentially. What did you hope to

achieve when you decided to enter the

awards, what was your vision?

PN: We wanted to win. We wanted to

show the world that Azure Ultra is a major,

innovative brand with a super-motivated

team delivering unparalleled customer

service. Azure Ultra provides clients with

the most exciting ‘beyond ordinary’ luxury

yacht charter experiences on the market. We

wanted to shout about that.

MBR: You were heard loud and clear,

well done to you and your team. From a

leadership point of view, how has winning

the awards impacted on your strategic

vision? And what’s the feedback been like?

PN: From a business leadership perspective,

winning the awards is testimony to our

‘staff first’ philosophy. When staff love what

they’re doing and are proud of their brand,

customers respond to it and come back for

more. Just look at Azure Ultra’s TripAdvisor

reviews – every single one five-star and even

a seven! Feedback from the awards has been

great too. The best is that the team tell me

they want to double their gold haul next year!

MBR: What are you hoping to do next?

PN: Lots of exciting things! Short term, 2018

will see the release of our partner network

initiative with Tradewinds, the Caribbean’s

largest and most successful luxury yachting

charter and fractional business. This will open

up an exchange of new client experiences

between the Mediterranean and the

Caribbean. For both sea and land stays, it will

increase revenue through usage of our many

joint luxury hotel properties as well as the

yachts.

Longer term, over the next three years, we

plan on opening new satellite offices and

route possibilities in Italy, Greece, Spain and

Dubai. Keep watching this space! MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

43


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Delivering Results

By Martin Vella

By M Brincat

MBR: You have just opened your new offices

on the Ta 'Xbiex Sea front- how important is

this and what does it mean to you?

AC: This is the third time we moved offices

in the last 25 years. This year we moved to

Ta' Xbiex Sea front, an office we feel is more

centrally and strategically situated. Apart from

being just across from the Yacht Club and

visitor’s pontoons, it is central and within easy

reach of all the yacht marinas in Marsamxetto

Harbour, as well as the main yacht yard facility

on Manoel Island. This enables us to offer a

service to both the local and foreign yachts in

the marinas and also to those wintering on

the hard at the yacht yards.

An exclusive interview with

Ing. Anthony Camilleri,

Managing Director,

A.C.Marine Co. Ltd., winners

of two prestigious awards

during Malta’s International

Boat & Yachting Awards

2017/18.

MBR: Congratulations on winning two

remarkable awards during Malta’s

International Boats & Yachting Awards

2017! What are your thoughts upon

winning?

AC: First of all, I would like to thank the

organizers for this initiative. I was very

pleased and also proud to win these two

awards namely: Best Brand Presence of the

Year Award with Bavaria Yachts and Boats

&Yachting Excellence Award. It is also very

positive when 25 years of hard work is given

recognition to me and my team.

Anthony Camilleri, Managing Director of A.C.Marine Co.Ltd. receiving the award.

MBR: How significant is winning two

outstanding awards such as Best Brand

Presence in Malta of the Year Award and the

Boats & Yachting Excellence Award?

AC: The two awards that we won are very

significant as they are part of our mission

statement. Over the last 25 years we strived

to make Bavaria Yachts the best-known brand

on the Island. The number of Bavaria Sailing

Yachts in Malta is testimony to this. As a family

run business, we feel that our reputation

and our knowledge of the yachts make the

transaction of buying a yacht a one-stop shop

for the clients. We assist our clients with the

transportation, commissioning, delivery and

maintenance of their yachts and this is what

clients appreciate. We do our utmost to keep

them happy.

MBR: Can you tell us what was the event

like and the feeling of winning during these

awards (elaborate on the atmosphere and

organization please)?

AC: The Event was very well organized with

a good mix of nominee profiles as well as

entertainment during a lavish gala dinner

which we tremendously enjoyed with our

staff and fellow competitors in the field. I

must add that the venue was also very

conducive to an event of this caliber.

MBR: Where do you think the direction of

Yachting is going in Malta?

AC: I have seen a lot of changes from the early

eighties to today in the yachting sector. Malta's

position in the middle of the Mediterranean

Sea lends itself as a yachting hub both for local

and visiting yachtsmen. Many marinas have

been built in the past quarter of a century

and over the years as boats became more

affordable we helped to fill these marina berths

with Bavaria Yachts. Unfortunately, today we

are faced with two conflicting situations; on

one hand, permanent berths are getting scares

as marinas are full, on the other hand, this has

caused the demand to be greater than the

supply and marina prices have now hiked up to

five-fold in the last 10 years.

Marina Berths and dry-docking prices today,

are making boat ownership unsustainable

both for the locals and visiting yachts alike.

Some might still argue that we are cheaper

than some marinas in the south of France,

Palma and Sardinia but we must not forget

that there are other places, like for example

Greece and Turkey where prices are still

much more competitive. We have had

foreign clients leave the island and move

to other countries for wintering for this

reason in recent years. Malta’s has a natural

advantage being in the middle of the Med

and always attracted the yachting business

because we Maltese offer an excellent service

to the industry, we provide natural marinas

and last but not least, most Maltese are bi

or tri lingual. All in all, this makes the visitors

more welcome and easier to service their

yachts here. We must now look forward and

be careful to stay competitive if we want to

survive as otherwise we may slowly be killing

the goose that laid the golden egg. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

44


SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Malta Business Review

WORKING TOGETHER TO MEET THE CHANGING NEEDS

By Martin Vella

Kurt Camilleri, Managing Director of O&S Shipping Ltd.

The pioneering Kurt Camilleri, Managing Director of O&S Shipping Ltd was one of the

first in the country to introduce a professional approach in overseas yacht transport,

support services and sea assistance in Malta. Kurt has witnessed many changes in the

industry over the years relating to logistics and assistance at sea. O&S Shipping Ltd

has adjusted to these changes by placing huge investments in personnel, compliance

and by selecting the best principals and technology around. Kurt Camilleri hopes the

company can stay fresh for many years to come.

MBR: Will you talk about the vision around

what you wanted to build with MBR

Publications Ltd?

KC: We want to show to the world what we

do because we are passionate about it and I

think that MBR Publications are right channel

to do so. Our business operates in one of the

most high-risk industries in Malta and we take

the safety of our people and the community

we share the roads with very seriously, and

MBR Publications are one way of showcasing

this to the public and our clients.

MBR: Will you touch on the entrepreneurial

spirit it took to build a business in the oversaturated

local market and how did you

develop new concepts?

KC: Doing your best is never stop trying and

keeping that in mind, we are always on the

lookout for market necessities, coming up

with our way of providing and supplying

to these needs. We use the best principals

and partners around to ensure a high level

of service, making a difficult task look easy.

Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the

wheel but just fine tune it. We have fined

tuned the yacht transport services to the

extent that an owner can buy a boat or

request to move a yacht from anywhere in

the world to Malta without the needle to

hassle about transporting it home. On the

other hand we also create and invent. We are

the first company to introduce professional

approach towards sea assistance in Malta.

Emergensea is a concept which we started a

couple of years ago and is aimed at offering

logistics and sea assistance to local mariners.

The sea assistance is available 24/7 and

can be requested by both members and

non-members. Certain memberships also

cover assistance to owners in territories

like Italy(including Sicily), Croatia and

Montenegro. Yacht-Pool insurance also chose

us to be their exclusive sea assist partner for

the territory of malta.

MBR: Can you describe the feeling the

moment your Company’s name was

announced as the winners of Malta’s Best

Shipping Agency during the B&Y Awards?

KC: Everything went like in slow motion,

looked at my wife and saw her nodding yes,

then I realised that we won this award. It was

an unforgettable and also an exhilarating

experience.

MBR: What feedback can you give us

regarding the Malta International Boats &

Yachting Awards 2017?

KC: The event was excellent, beautiful setting

and location, food was great and atmosphere

was superb. However, the concept was

even better. In my opinion the awards are a

formal way to acknowledge the dedication

and commitment of several people and

companies towards the local boats and

yachting industry.

MBR: What do you think are the most

important factors that have contributed to

your Company’s success so far?

KC: Courage, determination, long hours of

work… but also great support from family

members, work mates and all people

involved in my team to make things happen.

Regardless of how business and regulatory

conditions will change us in the future,

continuing success depends on the company

remaining a reputable organisation. Our

success is attributed to our longstanding

commitment to continually improve our

business practices and provide a superior

level of customer service. We know that to

be successful we must work together to meet

the changing needs of our customers. A big

thanks to everyone who believes in us and

what we are doing. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

45


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Passion & Responsibility

By George Carol

Mark Gaglione, Managing

Director, is a 2nd generation

retailer and award-winning

director of Medcomms Ltd.

Together with his enterprising

brother Kevin, Mark knows

how to lead with a winning

frame of mind. Medcomms

Limited was established in

the island of Malta in 1965.

Since then the company

has been synonymous

with marine electrical and

electronic engineering.

MBR: What was your 30 second pitch to

describe you during the Malta International

Boats & Yachting Awards 2017?

MG: We focused our 30 second pitch on our

experience in the field, as well as the strategic

growth factored around a marvellous

team, our reliable suppliers and the finest

equipment – the right ingredients to offer the

best possible experience to our clients. We

closed off with the words ‘Beat Yesterday’ - a

tagline which we have adopted from one of

our suppliers.

MBR: How did you decide to participate

the Malta International Boats & Yachting

Awards 2017 and what feedback can you

give us about the event?

MG: This was actually quite an easy decision

to take! We felt that we definitely had to

support such a wonderful initiative. It was

simply a lovely and very well organised

evening.

MBR: How does it feel to win not one but

two prestigious awards during the Malta

International Boats & Yachting Awards 2017,

being Best Equipment & Marine Product of

the Year Award and the Chairman’s Value

Award?

MG: Winning these two awards is a great

satisfaction not only to our team, but also

to the people who led Medcomms Limited

throughout all these years. We have dedicated

these awards to our father who headed the

team with so much passion - a passion that

was passed on to us, his children. It is thus our

responsibility to continue to achieve the same

results and to continue to offer the most

favourable experiences to our clients.

MBR: What were some key lessons-learned

in getting from the idea to where you are

now?

MG: We believe it is essential that we

continuously keep abreast of the market but

at the same time have a good relationship

with our clients, listening to their requests

and most importantly understanding their

needs. This was an important factor that led

to the success of our company.

Mark Gaglione, Managing Director of Medcomms Ltd. receiving the award.

MBR: What do you think are the most

important factors that contributed to your

overall success?

MG: As we have already mentioned, our

overall accomplishment is due to an amazing

and hardworking team and also reliable and

trustworthy suppliers. Moreover, taking

good care of all our clients is of paramount

importance to us. Our customer service has

to match their expectations and this is what

we will continue striving to maintain and

ameliorate. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

46


SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Malta Business Review

Diversity, Protection & Safety

By Margaret Brincat

Capt. Jesmond Mifsud, Chief Pilot, Malta Maritime Pilots, talks

about the vision around what he wanted to build with the Malta

Maritime Pilots, maintaining it acts as a beacon and also as a

platform for efficient marine vessel pilot services and consultancies

relevant to pilotage, navigation and sea-faring. Recently, MMP were

declared the winners of the Best Maritime Pilot of the Year Award

during the Malta International Boats & Yachting Awards 2017.

The setting up of Malta Maritime Pilots

resulted from the need to organise pilotage

on a professional basis with the overriding

aim to make certain that ships arriving or

leaving our ports do so in a safe and efficient

manner. Pilots thus ensure the safety of

navigation in and around the ports of Malta,

with the important outcome of protecting

the environment and consequently rendering

an essential service in the public interest.

This is carried out within the framework

of European legislation and international

maritime conventions that ensures financial

transparency while at the same time

maintaining the highest standards.

This would not have been possible without

the concomitant investment not only in

equipment but more important, in human

resources. The current cohort that constitutes

the membership of MMP is the greatest

concentration of master mariners in any

local maritime organisation. The majority of

pilots have long years of sea service where

the experience gained on various ship types

and trades has served the co- operative

well. Prospective pilots are enrolled after it

is ascertained that they are in possession

of the appropriate qualifications and from

then on our organisation undertakes that

training is on-going process. Training is the

cornerstone of our commitment ensuring

quality, efficiency, safety and investment

in the professional development of the coop’s

members, its employees and all those

involved in the local maritime sector. In 2010,

a milestone was reached with the opening of

the Mediterranean Maritime Research and

Training Centre, (MMRTC), which houses

two of the most advanced full-mission bridge

simulators. These are used for pilots’ shiphandling

training as well as undertaking risk

assessments related to large vessels that call

at our ports.

The success of Malta Maritime Pilots is due

to a variety of factors, not least the fact that

we are a co-operative of 16 members who

have united voluntarily to meet our common

economic and social needs and aspirations

through a jointly owned and democratically

controlled enterprise. The structure of a coop

ensures that each pilot has a responsibility

to his colleagues for the common good

and prosperity of the company. Diversity

of views is also a guarantee that the best

way forward is followed. Lastly, but surely

not least, the induction of aspirant pilots

into our organisation not only injects new

blood, but more important, the new ideas

and innovation necessary to resolve future

challenges. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

Capt. Jesmond Mifsud, Chief Pilot, Malta Maritime Pilots

Capt. Jesmond Mifsud, Chief Pilot, Malta Maritime Pilots receiving the award.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

A World Class

Welcoming Experience

By Martin Vella

There are a whole host of reasons

why wintering in the Msida & Ta’

Xbiex Marina, operated by Creek

Developments Plc, should be considered

by every discerning yacht owner. From

uniquely sheltered berthing with easy

access to the open sea, allowing owners

to merge a winter maintenance program

with off-season yachting or training, to

the lively community of wintering yachts,

and the central location in the midst

of a well-developed marine services

area, the Msida & Ta’ Xbiex Marina

offers excellent service in exceptionally

comfortable surroundings. Commercial

Manager Sarah Gauci Carlton tells us

exactly why this award-winning Marina

offers a complete berthing experience.

The principal lesson has been

to challenge the conventional

wisdom and always aim to

do better for the customer

"

Creek Developments Plc.

"

MBR: What does Creek Developments Plc

stand for and represent?

SGC: Creek Developments Plc espouses the

values of integrity, security and excellence

to provide world-class berthing in an

exceptionally sheltered, safe and comfortable

environment.

MBR: How did you decide to participate in

the Malta International Boats and Yachting

Awards 2017 and what feedback can you

give about the event?

SGC: Creek Developments Plc was delighted

to be nominated for the Malta International

Boats and Yachting Awards 2017. As the

operators of Malta’s largest Marina, the

Company has been continuously improving

the facilities and level of service offered, to the

point where the Msida & Ta’ Xbiex Marina is

not just popular locally, but is competitive and

able to attract yachts from top international

locations. On this basis, it was natural that

the Company would wish to participate. One

might suggest that future editions of the

award would show short promotional films of

the competitors during the award ceremony,

to introduce participants in the less wellknown

categories and maximise the industry

networking opportunities of the event

MBR: How does it feel to win not one but

two prestigious awards during the Malta

International Boats and Yachting Awards

2017, being Best Pontoon and Berthing

of the Year Awards and Best Private and

Commercial Yachting of the Year Award?

SGC: It is very satisfying when the

achievements and the effort and the hard

work put in over the years are recognised

and appreciated. One of Creek’s key success

factors is the attention given to pre-storm

preparation and year-round proactive

maintenance, hence everything just works as

it should, without attracting undue attention.

Nevertheless, the smooth functioning is no

accident: it belies a tremendous amount of

work by our staff and they thoroughly deserve

the accolade.

MBR: What were some key lessons-learned

in getting from the idea to where you are

now?

SGC: The principal lesson has been to

challenge the conventional wisdom and

always aim to do better for the customer.

For example, when the Marina renovation

took place, Creek opted to install accessible

pontoons rather than the established

gangways. These have benefited not just

individuals with mobility problems, but also

parents with pushchairs, and even people just

bringing heavy loads to their boats. Another

significant and unique innovation was the

introduction of networked utility pedestals,

allowing boat owners the facility of remote

monitoring of utility consumption, as well as

being able to top up credit online. There are

always improvements that can be made, but

the key is to identify changes that will be of

real benefit to users.

MBR: What do you think are the most

important factors that contributed to your

overall success?

SGC: Creek has a number of important assets:

The location of the Msida & Ta’ Xbiex Marina

is unique in the level of year-round shelter

offered. However, location alone is not

enough. During Creek’s 7 years of operation,

the Company has invested heavily in the

Marina facilities and infrastructure, to ensure

that these are top-notch. Matching the quality

of the location and facilities are the staff. With

low turnover, high diversity and a wonderful

team spirit, the knowledgeable, enthusiastic

and highly experienced staff are Creek’s best

ambassadors. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

48


SPECIAL FEATURE: BOATS & YACHTING AWARDS WINNERS

Malta Business Review

A CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE

By George Carol

Cedric Mifsud, Founding Partner, One

law firm dominates this year’s rankings

in Malta. Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates

have this year won Malta’s Best Marine

Legal Service of the Year Award during

the recent Malta International Boats &

Yachting Awards, having made change

an imperative, which is unusual for many

businesses but particularly so for local law

firms. The firm’s capacity for innovation is

helped by being a first-generation law firm.

Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates receiving the award.

MBR: Why do you think it is important to

have built a platform of recognition for the

outstanding organisations and individuals

working towards improving the health of

our boats and yachting industry?

CM: The yachting sector is one of the main

pillars of our maritime industry in Malta.

With increasing competition from other

jurisdictions, it is important to put the spotlight

on yachting industry in order to demonstrate

the level of excellence that can be achieved

by Maltese service providers. Therefore

establishing a platform of recognition helps

to portray better what the jurisdiction has to

offer in terms of opportunities and services.

MBR: Can you describe the feeling the

moment your Company’s name was

announced as the winners of the Best

Marine Legal Service of the Year Award

during the Malta International Boats &

Yachting Awards 2017?

CM: Great satisfaction. We have built our

maritime department from scratch and

we entered the industry when there were

already a number of well established law

firms providing services in a saturated market.

We have managed to establish ourselves

by being analytical of the needs of very

demanding customers and always ensuring

that water tight advice is continuously put

forward. Although being hugely satisfied we

do not have time to rest. We will continue

to handle our busy client portfolio and shall

remain examining what new developments

are taking place in the yachting market.

MBR: Why is the work of B&Y award

winners promising, motivating and worthy

of celebration?

CM: B&Y award winners are at the forefront

of the industry and are flag bearers of the

jurisdiction. Recognition of individuals

and entities that help the industry move

forward, provides the necessary fuel for these

companies to achieve new goals. If industry

players receive worth recognition that will

continue to strive to make Malta a jurisdiction

of excellence. As Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates,

we are determined to keep the Malta flag

flying high as a flag of confidence were state

of the art services are provided and which

services compete very well other reputable

jurisdictions such as London and Paris.

MBR: What do you think are the most

important factors that have contributed to

Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates unbelievable

success so far and what does it mean to

your business?

CM: Humility and self-analysis. As stated we

entered the market at a late stage and we

aware that we were competing with the

giants. Nevertheless, we observed that what

lacking locally and catered for those needs.

One example is the recently introduced crew

management service we provide through our

branch, Malta Maritime Payroll Services. We

realised that clients had difficulties to be in

line with EU legislation for the registration for

crew members for social security purposes.

As a consequence we created a one-stopshop

for all crewing needs for super yachts.

Being complacent and not being aware of

what improvements you can make to your

organisation will eventually lead to stagnation.

Being critical of yourself in order to see how to

improve avoid the potential of stagnation.

MBR: What events do you participate in

throughout the year and what impact

does that have on the work and business

development you do?

CM: We are regulars of the Monaco Boat

Show which is usually held in September. We

also attend other events worldwide which

are not necessarily maritime related however

would be related to financial services or

immigration, which could be considered to be

completely to yachting. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

49


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE

Time

Just like with other body parts, our mouth

requires maintenance and at times

treatment. Lack of maintenance may lead

to breakdown, in this case dental caries,

gum disease or worse. A bi-annual visit

involving a check-up and scaling may help

reduce dental treatment. Nowadays clinics

send out reminders and even call you

to make appointments. Online booking

makes it even easier. Time however is

something that only patients can supply

dentists with.

Comfort first!

By Jean Paul Demajo

Many patients toil with the idea of having their teeth

fixed. Some go ahead with it and others don’t. The

main reasons why patients choose not to undergo

the treatment are the following.

Dental Phobia

This is the most common reason for

not visiting the dentist. A history of a

childhood or even adulthood experience

with a dentist that didn’t go too well may

put someone off from seeking dental help

for life. Tooth deterioration proceeds and

things get worse. Years go by and one day

the situation gets too dire and the visit is

a must. The phobia can only be overcome

with a dentist that understands your fear

and one that gives you the necessary time

and effort to help you overcome your fear.

For those that need some additional help,

sedation works wonders!

Extra-Oral Pre-Op

Intra-Oral Pre-Op

Lack of Education

If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. Right? Wrong!

Nowadays with so much awareness we

know better. We must start by taking

our children to the dentist from a young

age and get them into the habit of taking

care of their teeth. Don’t allow the first

appointment of your child to be one when

he or she is in pain. This makes the whole

experience a much more enduring one.

Extra-Oral Post

A Case Scenario

Intra-Oral Post

A middle-aged lady seeks to improve her dentition and overall

smile. She wishes to replace a few missing teeth and also have her

remaining teeth look better. Redoing her old crowns and bridges as

well as replacing her missing teeth made her feel more comfortable

both smiling and eating.

Expense

Dentistry can be an expensive affair. Fillings

and cleaning will surely not break the bank

but when it comes to tooth replacement

or alignment with braces, the expenses

can reach four or five figures. Luckily some

dentists offer payment plans and leeway

for payments. Lengthy treatment plans

spanning 6-9months allow patients to feel

more comfortable knowing the payment is

not done all at once.

The above reasons may lead patients

to have a very uncomfortable

dentition. Lack of comfort on eating

and drinking may lead to a lower

quality of life. With patient willingness

and dedication on both sides of the

dentist-patient relationship this

scenario can be managed very well.

Ask your dentist! MBR

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Is a dental and Implant Surgeon,

Trained in London working in

private practice in Malta

50


Malta Business Review

EU: POLITICS

NEW RULES ON FUNDING

EUROPEAN POLITICAL PARTIES

By Viktor Almqvist

• European political parties and

foundations must be more

transparent

• Only national parties, not individuals,

can create a European party eligible

for funding

• European parties to be de-registered

if they provide false information

Constitutional Affairs MEPs improve

transparency and proper use of public funds

in a revamp of the rules for funding European

political parties.

The Constitutional Affairs Committee agreed

to a reform of the current regulation.

MEPs strengthened the link between

European and national political parties, by

requiring national parties to display the logo

and political manifesto of their affiliated

European party on their websites. This is to be

done by a majority of member parties at least

12 months before the funding applications

are submitted.

To ensure a closer link between the amount

of money made available to a European

party and actual voter representation, MEPs

propose reducing the share of funding that

is currently allocated to all European parties

equally from 15 to 10 %.

The remaining 90 percent is to be distributed

in proportion to each party’s share of elected

MEPs.

Finally, individuals can no longer create a

European party - only parties can do so. This

is to avoid a national party deploying its

individual members to help set up different

European parties and thus maximising

access to public funds. Individuals can still be

members of a European party, but they will

not be taken into account when assessing the

eligibility of a party to be registered.

Protecting EU’s financial interests

Should a party and its affiliated foundation

fail to live up to the necessary sponsoring

requirements, or if it provided false

information when registering at European

level, the independent Authority for European

parties must de-register it, MEPs say.

The financial department of the European

Parliament should also be able to recover

amounts unduly paid, and the European

Public Prosecutors Office, yet to start working,

is called on to investigate alleged abuse of EU

funding relating to political parties.

"By lowering the threshold

for distribution of funds, we

have enhanced the democratic

representation of political

parties and foundations,

through financing which is truly

proportionate to their presence

in the Parliament. "

Easier to access EU funds

Many European political parties and

foundations are currently struggling with the

existing “co-financing” requirement of 15%,

the amount of money they need to provide

from other sources to be eligible to receive EU

funds. To remedy this, MEPs suggest lowering

it to 10 percent for European parties and 5

percent for affiliated foundations.

This would allow a bigger share of public

funding earmarked for these parties and

foundations to be used, for example for

election campaigns, and also limit the

questionable practice of contributions in kind,

which has been a common tool for balancing

the shortfall of standard party membership

contributions and donations.

The rules were approved by 19 votes to 2,

with 2 abstentions.

Quotes

“Our report closes loopholes which until

now allowed a European Political Party to be

created only for financial reasons. Funding

will now be linked to actual voting results at

the European level, making European political

parties more European”, said rapporteur

Rainer Wieland (EPP, DE).

“We have managed in this report to adapt the

current regulation to the latest developments

and needs of European politics. By lowering

the threshold for distribution of funds, we have

enhanced the democratic representation

of political parties and foundations, through

financing which is truly proportionate to

their presence in the Parliament. While doing

so, we safeguarded the prerequisites for a

diverse and democratic political landscape,

respecting the values of the EU and its

financial interests”, said rapporteur Mercedes

Bresso (S&D, IT).

Next steps

The Constitutional Affairs Committee also

gave the green light to its negotiators to enter

into negotiations with EU Ministers to reach a

final agreement on the new rules. The whole

Parliament will have to confirm this decision

before talks can start. MBR

Courtesy: Viktor ALMQVIST, PO, EP.

52


EU LEGISLATION

Malta Business Review

ENDING UNJUSTIFIED GEO-BLOCKING:

EP/COUNCIL NEGOTIATORS STRIKE A DEAL

BY ISABEL TEIXEIRA NADKARNI

Rules to ensure that buyers of goods or

services from another EU country are treated

like local customers were provisionally agreed

by Parliament and Council negotiators on

Monday night.

The new EU rules define specific situations in

which geo-blocking will not be allowed. This

means that online sellers will not be able to

discriminate against consumers elsewhere

in the EU with regard to general terms and

conditions, including prices, on the basis of

their nationality, place of residence or even

their temporary location.

Róża Thun (EPP, PL), Parliament’s Internal

Market and Consumer Protection Committee

rapporteur, said: “I am happy that after one

and a half years of hard work we agreed on a

good deal, which opens the European market

for consumers and traders. If this provisional

agreement is confirmed by the Council

and the Parliament, next Christmas 2018

consumers can buy products in all Member

States without being blocked or re-routed”.

Next steps

The provisional agreement still needs to

be confirmed by the EU member states’

permanent representatives (COREPER) and

by Parliament’s Internal Market Committee.

The draft regulation will then be put to a vote

by the full Parliament in an upcoming plenary

session and formally approved by the EU

Council of Ministers. MBR

Courtesy: Isabel Teixeira NADKARNI, PO, EP

Single Market

MALTA TAKES ON GREENHOUSE GAS

EMISSION REDUCTION COMMITMENTS

This week the Government of Malta signed

the instrument of ratification of the Doha

Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the

United Nations Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Minister for

Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo

Abela signed on behalf of Malta on 22nd

November 2017.

By endorsing the instrument of ratification,

Malta has committed to accept its obligation

to fulfil targets to limit or reduce greenhouse

gas emissions within a set period. The Doha

Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol aims

to reduce these emissions by at least 18%

below 1990 levels in the commitment period

between 2013 and 2020.

Minister Abela stated that “by signing this

instrument, Malta is contributing to the

collective effort by joining other countries

at a United Nations level in a bid to limit the

emissions of greenhouse gases caused by

anthropogenic activity which are contributing

to climate change.”

Malta’s efforts to combat the negative

effects of climate change include organising

and hosting the Executive Session on

Climate Change for Commonwealth Heads

of Government on the eve of the 21st

Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the

UNFCCC, which led to the adoption by

consensus of the Paris Agreement on 12th

December 2015. MBR

Courtesy: THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN

AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION/DOI

www.maltabusinessreview.net

53


Malta Business Review

SIGMA 2017

Sigma 2017: BtoBet

changes Technology’s concept on the expo floor

International choreographer and

dancers interpret the essence of digital

transformation, showing how rapidly the

technology changes every aspect of life,

business partnership and iGaming included.

The multinational company, BtoBet has

brought a unique tech-show to Malta:

for the first time in the gambling industry,

the technology has become action and

transmitted live through Art, Music and

Dance.

On 23 and 24 November, at the MFCC,

every hour, Gianluca Blandi - an eclectic

choreographer and dancer, promoting

international dance festivals in New York

and Europe - together with a group of skilled

and flexuous dancers hailing from Las

Vegas, Mexico, Malta and Italy, becme the

protagonists of a spectacular metaphorical

show.

In fact, in an unprecedented dancing

performance, the international dancers

demosntrated how the igaming industry and

the dancing spheres have a common ground

when it comes to trust and flexibility, to

cement a relationship and to establish a longterm

partnership.

Commenting on the disruptive performance

organised by BtoBet, sponsoring SiGMA 2017,

the CMO Sabrina Soldá, highlighted:

“The five dancers are extraordinary

interpreters of the importance of a trusted

technological partner to follow on the

iGaming floor in order to let operations

dance to the rhythm of the highest tech beat.

In a B2B environment, where everything

is technical and ruled by numbers and

algorithms, being disruptive marks a big

difference in the technology’s outcomes:

digital transformation is progressing and is

going to change every aspect of the business

and of life. I firmly believe the creative thinking

and a fast adaptability are the only ways to

succeed in a time of significant changes.”

MBR

About BtoBet

BtoBet is a pioneer in new technologies for

iGaming operators and the betting industry

by using technological intelligence as its

main base for its products. It offers unique,

customisable, secure and flexible cloud

based systems delivering unprecedented

capabilities to drive sportsbook and iGaming

business. BtoBet has offices in Macedonia,

Italy and Malta. The Technical team of

the company is in Skopje and has an evergrowing

team of developers. BtoBet’s

dynamic Sportsbook team operates from

Rome, whilst Malta hosts the commercial

and marketing centre.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

54


EXCLUSIVE STORY

Malta Business Review

AN EVOLUTION INTO SOMETHING BIGGER

By John Paul Abela

Justin Haber.

When you look at the short but

potential-packed career of Justin

Haber, one gets the impression

Justin is a young man in a hurry. The

emerging business entrepreneur

is carving himself a place not just

as Malta’s top goalkeeper with

distinguished honours from the

MFA and foreign countries, neither

for creating a unique football

academy, nor for creating some of

Malta’s nicest aquariums but for

another first; having Malta’s only

fish farm on land. Although Justin

has never written a business

plan he describes himself as an

organised, conscientious and

determined person, and credits his

instinct as much as anything for

his success.

Having started multiple types of businesses,

Justin finds it challenging to balance the

complexities of crossing over into various

industries. Undoubtedly considered by the

footballing world as “the greatest goalkeeper”,

Justin has launched Malta’s first professional

football academy, which he describes as an

incredible opportunity for keen young players

to immerse themselves in the real world of

football under guidance of Sunderland AFC.

Over the last three years, the Academy has

sent over 17 boys to Sunderland AFC. Justin

skims over his next ambition of setting a fulltime

football academy which allows players to

focus and live the daily life of a professional

football player, while pursuing their education.

Transitioning quickly into the business

conversation, Justin speaks about his other

passion for the watery word of aquariums.

The opening of Just Water brand has seen

the manufacture and installation of high

quality aquariums specialising in the creation

of large scale bespoke design for a variety

of purposes. “Our unbeatable bespoke

aquariums are second-to-none. Since the birth

of our prestigious business we have continued

to strive for the ultimate best when it comes

to providing flawless aquarium designs, built

to the specific needs of our consumer. Our

dedicated team of experts and designers

can create the perfect aquarium to help

enhance the beauty of any particular public

room or space. Our custom-built aquarium

installations use only the finest in materials

for a durable and reliable finish,” he asserts.

“I treat life like a book, in which you have

chapters which start and end,” says Justin

when speaking about the latest project

which will see Malta’s unique sea land fish

farm in Xemxija. The farm according Justin

is the first holding facility for crostec and

lobsters, and will act as sea bass, sea bream

and tuna hatchery. Referring to the aims and

objectives of constructing the land-based

aqua culture farm, Mr Haber reiterated

that it is an experimental demonstration

farm and once completed it will function

as a unique model demonstrative facility

for all aquaculture enthusiasts, along with

being a hands on learning opportunity to

MCAST students pursuing their studies in

this field. The availability of services of local

aquaculture technicians and their expertise

and experience in providing all the innovative

fibre glass solutions are the contributory

key factors in making Malta a location

for innovative technology in land-based

aquaculture for Malta.

Having started multiple types

of businesses, Justin finds it

challenging to balance the

complexities of crossing over

into various industries

So what does the future hold for Justin Haber?

Justin is definitely one of the most capable and

energetic entrepreneurs; the success of his

various ventures speak for themselves. He is

also one of the examples how a young man

can accomplish it all. If one looks for a perfect

example of turning passion into success in

business, Justin Haber is the perfect match. MBR

Courtesy: John Paul Abela

www.maltabusinessreview.net

55


Malta Business Review

BUYING ONLINE

BUYING ONLINE: PARLIAMENT BEEFS UP

PROTECTION AGAINST FRAUDSTERS

37% of online shops and booking

websites for travel, entertainment,

clothing, electronic goods and consumer

credit services were found to be in

breach of EU consumer laws in 2014

• national authorities will get more

powers to halt online scams and fraud

• coordinated actions to tackle crossborder

infringements in the EU

EU-wide rules to better protect consumers

against scams and detect and stop rogue

traders more swiftly were approved by MEPs

on Tuesday.

National enforcement authorities will have

more powers to detect and halt online

breaches of consumer protection laws and

be able to coordinate their actions better

across the EU, under the revised Consumer

Protection Cooperation (CPC) regulation.

The new rules aim to close legal loopholes,

which are exacerbated because consumer

protection systems differ from one EU country

to the next. Investigation and enforcement

powers must include, among others:

• requesting information from domain

registrars and banks to identify rogue

traders,

• purchasing goods or services as test

purchases, including under a cover

identity (“mystery shopping”),

• ordering the explicit display of a

warning to consumers, or ordering a

hosting service provider to remove,

disable or restrict access to an online

interface (e.g. website or app) if there

are no other effective means to stop an

illegal practice,

• imposing penalties, such as fines or

periodic penalty payments,

• seeking to obtain commitments from

the trader to offer adequate remedies to

the affected consumers, and informing

them of how to seek compensation.

Tackling widespread breaches

The EU Commission will coordinate actions

in cases where an infringement does or is

likely to do harm to the collective interests

of consumers in at least two-thirds of the

member states, accounting, together, for at

least two-thirds of the EU population.

One of the Parliament’s crucial demands

during the negotiations with the Council was

to involve consumer organisations more.

They will play a proactive role by flagging

suspected infringements, since they might

know about them earlier than the authorities

(“external alerts”).

Quote

Olga Sehnalová (S&D, CZ), rapporteur,

said: “The new rules will strengthen and

improve cooperation between all consumer

protection actors, so that they can more

easily monitor compliance and address crossborder

infringements. National authorities,

the Commission and consumer organisations,

all acting together, will create an effective

mechanism to combat rogue traders both

online and offline and enforce consumers’

rights in the Single Market”.

Next steps

The legislative text, approved by Parliament

by 591 votes to 80, with 15 abstentions, still

needs to be formally adopted by the Council

of the EU. The regulation will apply 24 months

after the date of its entry into force. MBR

Quick Facts

Example of past practices that should be

tackled better under the new EU rules:

• A cross-border promotion of short

duration by an airline which later on

cancelled the discounted tickets

• A long-term subscription hidden behind

an offer to try to win a phone for 1 €

• An online trader not delivering the

design furniture it claims to sell - and

who relocated 4 times over 3 years

• Complaints on car rental prices made to

European Consumer Centres showing

that consumers are discriminated

against based on their country of origin

Courtesy: European Parliament, Directorate-

General for Communication, DIO, European

Parliament Information Office in Malta

56


BITCOIN ANALYSIS

Malta Business Review

‘BUYER BEWARE’ AS BITCOIN INVESTORS SEE A

$2,000 FALL IN 24 HOURS, OBSERVES GLOBALDATA

4 December 2017- Bitcoin Investors had

no time to count their profits as the

cryptocurrency - worth a new record high

of $11,395 on Wednesday 29th November

2017 - lost $2,000 in just 24 hours plunging

to $9,000 on Thursday 30th November 2017,

before a slight improvement by the days

end. Thursday’s Bitcoin price placed the

cryptocurrency’s market cap at a staggering

* $189 trillion.

According to GlobalData, the non-regulated

cryptocurrency which has few traders, is a

very volatile investment in the short term

for whom the phrase ‘buyer beware’ could

well have been invented. Indeed the Bank

of England recently warned that Bitcoin

investors "should do their homework".

However those that bought Bitcoin in 2012 at

$10 USD and held will testify to its long term

return potential.

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency which

was originally created for people to buy

and sell goods online as an alternative to

traditional payment methods, like cards, and

dealing with banks. Transactions are made

independently of any central banking system

and recorded in a public distributed ledger

known as a blockchain. Although originally set

up as an alternative currency it is now mostly

traded as an investment.

Many Bitcoin investors are speculative by

nature with little or no trading experience.

Typically they are drawn into the market by

the ease of trading - which simply requires an

internet connection – an interest in new kinds

of investment and a belief that they can make

a quick profit.

Kit Carson, Head of Banking and Fintech

at GlobalData commented, ‘‘With only 21

million bitcoins able to be ‘mined’ you

have a classic situation here where limited

supply generates market excitement, high

demand and prices go up. But like any

market, Bitcoin trades are based on investor

confidence and I think what we’ve seen here

is the armchair investor becoming nervous

about something they have little knowledge

of and bailing out before the bubble bursts.’’

Also affected was the price of bitcoin,

which continued to decline. Overall, it hit

its lowest value ...

Bitcoin has the first mover advantage, however

it’s not clear what its value is linked to and

there are plenty of other cryptocurrencies out

there for investors to choose including NEO,

Litecoin, Monero, Dash and Zcash.

Carson continued, ‘‘With something like the

Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) an investor knows

what they are buying and can be confident

that it is controlled, in this case by the Hong

Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) which

sets interest rates. Value is based on a clearly

understood and transparent entity, the

performance of the Hong Kong economy.

However, nobody knows what the levers are

for Bitcoin or whether it is a currency to be

traded or an asset to be held onto.’’

Bitcoin pricing is very arbitrary with few

mechanisms for setting price and all operated

by independent and unregulated exchanges

with many commentators pointing to the

real prospect of prices being manipulated

through collusion between exchanges and

fraudulent practices.

Carson adds, ‘‘With the US Securities and

Exchange Commission (SEC) choosing not

to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund

(ETF) application in 2017 all eyes are now on

other regulators to see how they will manage

cryptocurrency’s going forward.’’ MBR

* source: based on the total ever supply

of bitcoins, not what have already been

“mined” and available to buy. As of 3 Dec,

16,718,138 have been mined and are in

circulation, giving a market cap of $150.5

trillion (at $9,000 a bitcoin).

Analysts available for comment. Please

contact the GlobalData Press Office

All rights reserved - Copyright 2017

EDITOR’S

Note

Comments provided by Daoud Fakhri, Principal

Analyst for Retail Banking at GlobalData

ABOUT GLOBALDATA

4,000 of the world’s largest companies,

including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60%

of Fortune 100 companies, make more

timely and better business decisions

thanks to GlobalData’s unique data,

expert analysis and innovative solutions,

all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission

is to help our clients decode the future

to be more successful and innovative

across a range of industries, including

the healthcare, consumer, retail,

financial, technology and professional

services sectors.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION

CHURCHES OF MALTA

PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE

BY ANTOINE BONELLO

Our Island is a Gem with a history that spans thousands of years. We are

surrounded by beautiful churches with many of them constructed during the

stay of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. They are a treasure

build by our fathers as a sign of devotion to our lord Jesus Christ. Many were

built at the height of the baroque period and are lavishly decorated and

enriched with priceless paintings by many famous artists of the time such as

Mattia Preti, Caravaggio and Giuseppe Cali. It is impossible not to stare at the

ceiling upon entering these places of worship.

Every time I’m in a church I always ask

myself the same question, what type of

waterproofing system is protecting these time

capsules and is there any water infiltrations

slowly damaging these masterpieces.

Churches roofs are made of shreds of pottery

better known in Maltese as (Deffun). Before

the advent of concrete and iron beams, roofs

were made with stone slabs rested directly on

wooden beams and covered by a thickness

of stone rubble. The surface encrustation to

level off the roof and prevent water seepage

was usually carried out by women using a

solid wood tool known as (Marzebba). They

use to chant songs to keep with the rhythm

while they beat the sealer consisting of a

mixture of fine dust, pottery fragments and

other materials moistened into a cement. The

result is a reddish seamless surface that can

last for centuries.

This solution is very effective however it is

vulnerable if the roof is subjected to any

movements or when tampered with for some

reason as cracks and holes can easy form.

As time goes by in many occasions we see

that the first signs of repairs are carried out

with cement and this was bad as these two

stubborn materials do not go hand in hand and

the result is usually more cracks, detaching of

cement and wider openings are re-formed. In

these last 60 years someone had the bright

idea to cover these type of roofs with the

black bitumen carpet membrane. The results

were catastrophic. The bitumen melted

with the intensive sunrays and penetrated

inside the upper crust (deffun) dissolving it

completely while the excessive heat created

by this bitumen material roasted the wooden

beams beneath leading to structural damage

and the need to change the roofs. Luckily

most of our churches were not subject to this

act of atrocity by some self-thought know it all

alleged experts.

Nowadays thanks to research and properly

trained roofers we can safely protect this

inheritance which our fathers left us to enjoy

and to make sure that it is safely preserved to

our children and successive generations.

The method of works is quite elaborate and

must be carried out in stages.

• Sanding of the surface area to remove

moss and other micro organisms

• Sealing of openings and cracks with an

elastic UV resistant Polymer

• Implementation of a triangular fillet at

corners with a UV resistant elastomer

• Application of a 2 component water

based consolidator to strengthen the

duffun

• Application of a water based primer

with biocide to eliminate all spores

and increases the adhesion with the

membrane

• Application of a UV resistant elastic

resin membrane that is also resistant

to stagnation and with a thermal

protection of not less than 90%

• Implementation of Fibre glass net

Application of 4 coats a UV resistant elastic

resin membrane that is also resistant to

stagnation and with a thermal protection of

not less than 90%.

The total consumption must be of 2kg per

square metre

Besides churches and other historic buildings

these type of roofs can still be found in old

village cores and traditional farm houses. The

large amount of rubble they contain inside

make it very difficult to detect any water

entry. The fact that you do not see the water

drooling down your walls that does not mean

you are not experiencing water intake. The

trapped moist can stay there for years and

can deteriorate the wooden beams. Funny

enough, with these types of roofs one can

easily observe and get a clear indication of

water intake in the dry summer months as the

moss and microorganisms can only survive

if there is enough water trapped inside to

sustain it.

A good advice if you opt to have your

waterproofing needs carried out by third

parties, always make sure they are members

of the Malta Professional Waterproofing and

UV resistant Resin Membrane coating

58


BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

sealing of cracks and openings

with an elastic Polymer

Il- Ballata implementing a typical maltes roof with shreds of pottery known as (Deffun)

Resin Flooring Association. Always demand to

see the Association’s INSTALLERS CARD. This will

save you a lot hassle as improper roof protection

by unaccountable or unethical persons can give

way to a serious of unwanted damages. Over

80% of building damages originates from water

intake. The result is an endless court case if you

are lucky enough to trace the guys who carried

out your works. All this will eventually take years

and prove fruitless. MBR

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

thanks to the Resin and Membrane Centre

and NAICI International Academy. For further

information with regards the Malta Professional

Waterproofing and Resin Flooring Association

visit our website on www.maltawaterproofing.

com or call on 27477647.

Thermal waterproofing coating

Sanding of the surface area to fee it from

moss and micro organisims

www.maltabusinessreview.net

59


Malta Business Review

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Preventing authoritarian regimes

from spying on their own citizens

By Bálint LINDER

• Export of cyber-surveillance tools

needs to be authorised

• Protection of civilians and human right

defenders

• Handbook for exporters, level playing

field for member states

EU export controls will be extended on goods

and technologies designed for civilian use but

possibly used for human rights violations,

Trade Committee MEPs voted on Thursday.

The EU is currently updating its rules on the

export control of dual-use items to keep

up with new technologies and to prevent

authoritarian regimes from spying on their

own citizens with the help of European

products.

Goods and technologies designed for use in

peaceful, civilian circumstances, but that can

also be used for weapons of mass destruction

or terrorist attacks, are already under an EU

export control regime. The new rules would

enhance ‘human security’, by adding certain

cyber-surveillance tools to the list of items

that need the approval of national authorities

before being exported. These include devices

for intercepting mobile phones, hacking

computers, circumventing passwords or

identifying internet users, as such dual-use

items are widely used to suppress civilians,

political opposition and activists around the

world.

Trade Committee MEPs want to strengthen

the protection of human rights and create a

“future-proof” system that can rapidly deal

with new technologies.

Their key suggestions include:

• strengthening the protection of the

right to privacy, data and, freedom of

assembly, by adding clear-cut criteria

and definitions to the regulation,

• exporters of products not listed in the

regulation but which could be used for

human-rights violations, have to make

sure that their goods won’t fall into

the wrong hands, by following OECDbased

‘due-diligence’ guidelines.

• the Commission must publish a

handbook before the entry into force

of the new rules, so that EU businesses

know what they can and cannot do,

• new risks and technologies have to be

swiftly included in the regulation, and

• creating a level playing field among

member states, by, for example,

introducing similar penalties for

non-compliance, along with greater

transparency of national authorities’

export control decisions.

MEPs also voted to delete encryption

technologies from the list of cyber-surveillance

products, as they consider these vital for the

self-defence of human rights defenders.

The new rules were backed by 34 votes to 1,

with 2 abstentions.

Quote

Parliament’s rapporteur Klaus Buchner

(Greens/EFA, DE) said: “With today's vote we

extend effective control to cyber-surveillance

technology. We close loopholes that

otherwise result in innocent people across the

world being imprisoned, tortured and killed.

We make the protection of human rights a

central aspect of dual-use export control.

We add strong, new transparency measures

and include civil society participation, whilst

continuing to create value-based European

trade policy.”

Next steps

The full House will have to confirm the

Parliament’s negotiating mandate during

the December plenary session in Strasbourg.

Parliament can begin talks with ministers as

soon as EU member states have agreed their

own negotiating position.

"We make the protection of

human rights a central aspect

of dual-use export control. We

add strong, new transparency

measures and include civil

society participation, whilst

continuing to create valuebased

European trade policy.”

Quick facts

Goods and technologies that can be used

in peaceful civilian circumstances can also

be used for building weapons of mass

destruction, terrorist attacks or facilitating

human rights violations. These include a

broad range of products from chemicals,

toxins, electronic equipment, lasers,

navigation technology to nuclear power

technology, robotics and software. The

current system dates back to 2009, and

exports are inspected and authorised by

national authorities. During the “Arab Spring”,

there was evidence that European technology

was used by authoritarian regimes to oppress

activists. The Parliament, the Council and the

Commission issued a joint statement in 2014

to review the export control system, and the

EP has also adopted resolutions calling for

targeted changes. MBR

Courtesy: Bálint LINDER, PO; EP Trade

60


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Malta Business Review

BREXIT

MAKING THE

MOST OF BREXIT

Welcome to the third chapter Global Policy

Lab: Engineering Growth. Donning the white

coats this time around are Charlie Cooper,

POLITICO’s Brexit correspondent, and Mark

Scott, our chief technology correspondent.

Over the next five weeks we want to carry

out a conversation with you, our readers,

and your peers in the policymaking world

to identify and explore the most promising

avenues for the British economy after it cuts

ties with the European Union. We shall look at

global trade, financial services, manufacturing

and the digital economy — as well as any

other ideas you come up with.

But first let’s start with your predictions for

Brexit. Recently, we asked our readers to

respond to a survey. We shall be releasing

results over the next five weeks but here’s

the skinny: Few of you think Brexit will be

good for the U.K. economy. Some 75 percent

of you think Brexit will be “largely negative.”

Another 16 percent think it will be “negative

with significant positives.” Just nine percent

of you think Brexit will be “largely positive” or

“positive with significant negatives.”

We also asked what economic strategies

the U.K. should pursue. Common responses

included innovation in the tech sector and

deregulation in pursuit of free-trade deals

with non-EU countries. There were also a

large number of people (nearly one in five of

those who responded) who rather cheekily

said that Britain’s best Brexit economic

strategy would be to reverse Brexit, or have

a second referendum. As they say across the

Channel, touché.

In November, we have also kicked off a

conversation with a gathering of experts from

government, academia and industry. We will

report the results of this policy brainstorm

in next month’s newsfeed, but if you want

a sneak preview, join us for a Facebook Live

session immediately after the brainstorm at

11:30 a.m., London time.

For those wanting to join the discussion by

email, we have compiled a brainstorm white

paper with some of the questions we shall

tackle. Send us your suggestions, thoughts

and ideas at globalpolicylab@politico.eu. We

would particularly like to hear from those

of you who think Brexit will be positive. As

always, we shall feel free to use your name

unless you say otherwise. MBR

Courtesy: The Politico Global Policy Lab

BREXIT BRITAIN,

TECH TIGER?

Very generously, Chancellor Philip Hammond

kickstarted the Britain-after-Brexit

conversation for us today with his budget

statement.

He began by confirming the government has

set aside an additional £3 billion to prepare

for Brexit, in part as contingency funding for a

no-deal outcome to negotiations. POLITICO’s

chief U.K. political correspondent Tom

McTague has provided us with a handy guide

to Brexit pressures on the budget.

Frequently criticized for focusing on the risks

of Brexit, Hammond reached for the positives,

portraying leaving the EU as an opportunity

for Britain to get ahead of the curve in the

fields of artificial intelligence, automation

and big data. He announced a £500m

investment in the tech industry, singling out

CITY’S CAUTIOUS

SIGH OF RELIEF

Whisper it, but City bosses have been feeling

ever so slightly more optimistic recently.

A tech revolution would be splendid, but

everyone knows the health of the British

economy depends on the health of its

financial and related services sector.

Brexit Secretary David Davis’s speech to UBS

on Tuesday, November 14 was seen as a

watershed moment. He referred directly to

the International Regulatory Strategy Group’s

recommendations for a post-Brexit free-trade

agreement between the U.K. and Europe.

His words were interpreted as showing the

government’s intent to get a bespoke deal on

financial services, cleaving as close as possible

to European-style regulations with mutual

recognition of each other’s systems. City firms

had worried the government would seek a

more distant relationship governed by existing

rules that the EU applies to non-EU countries

— known as third-party equivalence regimes.

Technical stuff, but music to City leaders’ ears.

Banking bosses had previously heard similar

noises from other departments, one industry

insider told GPL, but Davis’ speech was

interpreted as a sign of agreement across

artificial intelligence, 5G and fiber broadband

technologies.

Hammond has said he believes Brexit will give

the U.K. the chance to “explore regulatory

innovations” to allow tech industries to

flourish. His argument is that the behemoth

across the Channel takes a long time to react

when a new technology comes along. A

nimble post-Brexit U.K. could be quicker on

its feet, becoming the natural home for startups.

However, no amount of positivity could hide

the headline announcement in his budget

statement: real gloom in the growth forecast.

U.K. GDP growth over the next five years has

been downgraded since the last forecast in

March. The independent Office for Budget

Responsibility now projects the economy will

grow more slowly — by 1.4 percent in 2018,

1.3 percent in 2019, 1.3 percent in 2020, 1.5

percent in 2021 and 1.6 percent in 2022. MBR

Courtesy: The Politico Global Policy Lab

the whole Cabinet — something that has

been rare lately. “If it’s indicative of a position

that’s coalescing within government, that’s

great news,” the insider said. Whether there

is appetite for such an accord on the EU side

is another matter. Last week, the EU’s Brexit

negotiator, Michel Barnier, reemphasized that

Brexit will mean the end of City firms’ automatic

authorization to do business throughout the

EU — known as passporting rights. MBR

Courtesy: The Politico Global Policy Lab

62


Malta Business Review

LEGAL AFFAIRS / INFORMATION SOCIETY

MORE ONLINE TV AND RADIO ACROSS BORDERS

by Lina Lietzen

• Broadcasters can make their news and

current affairs programmes more easily

available online for audiences in other

EU countries

• Copyright clearance made easier

for operators who offer packages of

channels

Legal Affairs Committee MEPs approved new

rules that aim to give consumers a wider

choice in online TV and radio news and

current affairs programmes across borders in

the EU.

Demand for online TV and radio is growing

among EU internet users, especially among

younger audiences. The new rules aim to

make it easier for broadcasters to make their

news and current affairs content available

online in other EU countries, thus offering

consumers a wider choice of programmes

than at present.

"Conservative forces put the

interests of Big Players over the

interests of millions of European

citizens in an irrational,

unbalanced way. "

Changes in copyright clearance

The proposed regulation promotes the

provision of more online TV and radio by

addressing difficulties related to the clearance

of copyright.

What’s new

broadcasters would only have to clear the

rights in their own country to make available

their online news and current affairs content

for audiences in other EU countries too; these

programmes may include content protected

by copyright which currently cannot be

cleared in a short time-frame for each and

every country ,

broadcasters could make news and

current affairs programmes available

online in other countries at the same

time as their broadcast or as catch-up

services, and

operators who offer packages of channels

could more easily clear the rights to

programmes from other member

states through collective management

organisations representing right holders.

However, it will be possible for broadcasters

to geo-block their online content if the

right-holder and broadcaster so agree in

their contracts. MEPs highlighted that this

is necessary in order to support current

licensing models for the audio-visual sector

and to promote cultural diversity.

Quote

Rapporteur Tiemo Wölken (S&D, DE) said:

“The chance to create a European audience

was missed. Conservative forces put the

interests of Big Players over the interests of

millions of European citizens in an irrational,

unbalanced way. Under the pretext of cultural

diversity European Broadcasters are refrained

from adapting to the digital age.”

Next steps

The mandate to start negotiations with the

Council was approved by 15 votes to eight,

with one abstention. The negotiations among

the co-legislators can start once the plenary

gives its green light. MBR

Courtesy: Iina LIETZEN, EP Press Service, Press

Officer for Legal Affairs Committee

64


GOTHENBURG SOCIAL SUMMIT

Malta Business Review

Minister Dalli calls for equitable and inclusive learning opportunities

following the Gothenburg Social Summit

At the General Affairs Council of the

European Union on Article 50, Minister for

European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli

reiterated Malta’s call to respect the heads of

governments’ agreed sequencing of the Brexit

negotiations and welcomed the European

Commission’s internal preparations on the

future and the transitional arrangements.

Minister Dalli emphasised that any future

arrangement with the UK should be less than

full membership.

The EU’s Chief Negotiator on Brexit, Michel

Barnier, informed member states that no

sufficient progress has been achieved so far

by the UK on Article 50 of the Treaties of the

European Union. Article 50 was triggered

by the United Kingdom earlier this year,

following a referendum in which the British

people voted to leave the European Union.

Progress is a requirement stipulated by the

European Council for negotiations to move

forward to the second phase, and unless

this is achieved by the end of November, it

would seriously compromise the possibility to

achieve sufficient progress by the European

Council in December. There are a number

of divergences, such as on the financial

settlement of the UK, Ireland, and the role of

the Court of Justice of the European Union,

issues that are considered a priority by

member states.

Minister for European Affairs and Equality

stressed the importance of the role that the

EU Court of Justice will play following the

UK’s withdrawal and on the need for it to be

addressed. Minister Dalli also made a specific

emphasis on future trade agreement/s with

the UK and on the need that any future

agreements should be as comprehensive as

possible for the benefit of all concerned.

The General Affairs Council on Article 50

voted on the relocation of two European

agencies from London following the

withdrawal of the UK in 2019. The European

Medicines Agency will relocate to Amsterdam

while the European Banking Authority will

relocate to Paris. Malta’s application to host

the European Medicines Agency has been

withdrawn following extensive discussions

with the European Medicines Agency and

other national Governments.

Prior to the General Affairs Council on Article

50, Minister Dalli participated in the General

Affairs Council which is tasked with the

preparation of the forthcoming European

Council in December. The December Heads

of Government meeting is expected to focus

on defence, and on the social, culture and

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna.

education sectors, particularly following the

Gothenburg Social Summit. Minister Dalli

called for equitable and inclusive learning

opportunities, diversity, language learning,

and investment in culture, including a strategic

approach to international cultural relations.

On migration, Minister Dalli underlined the

importance of continuing implementing the

measures outlined in the Implementation

Plan following the Malta Declaration. The

collective efforts on this issue are bearing

fruit, but there certainly is no place for

complacency. Progress on reforming the

Common European Asylum System remains

crucial and it is critical to have a futureproof

and effective policy that balances

responsibility with solidarity. MBR

Courtesy: THE MINISTRY FOR EUROPEAN

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65


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

PRESS RELEASE BY THE

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

The President’s Trust signs a memorandum

of understanding with Life Charity

A year ago, the President’s Trust started

collaborating with Life Charity in the UK. Life

Charity is a non-governmental organisation

that has been managing a network of

supported accommodation for young

homeless pregnant women and mothers

across the United Kingdom for more than

forty years.

This cooperation started because The

President’s Trust was developing a similar

project in Malta. In fact, what today is called

as Y-Assist is an initiative of The President’s

Trust which offers supported accommodation

to young mothers between the ages of 18 and

24 who are either expecting a child or has a

child under the age of 5 years. As at today, the

President’s Trust is already accommodating

three young mothers in its first house which

opened this summer. This initiative is being

run in partnership with the St. Jean Antide

Foundation, Malta, which has a wealth of

experience working with vulnerable families.

Through the memorandum of understanding

being signed today, Life Charity is

consolidating its pledge of supporting The

President’s Trust on this project, especially in

the development of policies and procedures

and the development of the technical

programmes offered to the young mothers.

Such programmes include life skills training in

a range of subjects including but not limited

to financial literacy and fostering positive

relationships.

Through its expertise of over 40 years in

the provision of supported accommodation

across the United Kingdom, Life Charity is

serving as a springboard for the development

of The President’s Trust initiative in Malta

and will eventually be able to evaluate the

progress of its project.

The President’s Trust looks forward to have

Life Charity train personnel working on this

initiative and to be able to have exchange of

ideas and best practices. MBR

Source: OP/DOI

Courtesy: DOI - Charles Zammit

Courtesy: DOI - Clifton Fenech

Courtesy: DOI - Clifton Fenech

Minister for Finance

Edward Scicluna says that

Malta will survive the

current severe test on its

financial institutions

“Malta’s financial sector is at the moment

passing through a severe stress test both

locally and internationally but investors from

outside believe in us and we will continue

to be one of the competitive choices in the

Mediterranean.”

This was stated by Minister Edward Scicluna

during a seminar entitled ‘The Regulatory

Changes Ahead’, organised by the Institute of

Financial Services.

Minister Scicluna referred to the e-gaming

sector, compliance and regulatory issues,

Malta’s tax regime and business transparency

as topics which are attracting a lot of attention

in the media. He said that we need to take up

these issues and address them separately.

The Minister For Finance emphasised

the need for our financial institutions to

become more efficient. When touching

on transparency he mentioned various

considerations and changes that are likely to

come into force. One of them is the register of

companies being accessible to a wide-set of

users. When speaking about data protection,

the Minister said that what was sacred a few

years ago is no longer sacred today, as we

have turned to a Facebook culture where

confidentiality is now on the defence.

Regarding anti-money laundering, the

Minister reminded practitioners of their

responsibilities in carrying out due diligence

on their clients.

Minister Scicluna said that international

professional advisors are being engaged

to prepare the country for the MoneyVal

audit. Here he reiterated the importance

of addressing the communication gaps

between the various organisations. MBR

Source: Ministry of Finance

‘The upskilling and development

of our workers a main priority for

this Government

– Minister Cardona

Business 1st held its first training programme

specifically designed for businesses, in

particular SMEs, in an effort to equip

enterprises with skills that will boost their

potential to succeed.

The training programme will be one of the

many services offered by the revamped

Business 1st, which is a government initiative

to create a one-stop-shop for businesses.

With the addition of this training programme,

businesses will now be provided with better

support for their operations.

During today’s launch Minister for the

Economy, Investment and Small Businesses

Chris Cardona noted how the economy’s

current success is down to our extremely

adept and flexible work force alongside

innovative and bold entrepreneurs. The

country’s economic progress is strongly

tied in the continued investment of human

capital. The Minister called for more flexibility

and synergy between the state, private

and education sector to guarantee that the

current skills gap is addressed, whilst also

equipping our workforce with skills which the

economy will require in the future.

The training programme, as offered by

Business 1st, included a number of topics

which have become increasingly relevant in

today’s business world. These included data

protection and data security, cyber security,

blockchain technology and online marketing

amongst others.

Minister Cardona thanked GRTU’s

collaboration on this initiative and encouraged

all local enterprises to participate in future

courses Business 1st intends on holding. MBR

Source: THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY,

INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES/DOI

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro

Preca receives the Women Political Leader

Award 2017 during the WPL Global

Summit 2017 MBR

At Reykjavik, Iceland (OPR2911201701-04)

Courtesy: OPR

66

Courtesy: OPR


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