MBR_ISSUE 38_LowRes

bdarmanin

COVER STORY

MARKET LEADING RISK

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Interview with Thomas Keegan,

Chairman of SHIELD International and

Paul Cottrell, Managing Partner p.06

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

GOOD COMPANIES ARE MADE

UP OF GOOD PEOPLE

Interview with Christian Magro, CEO

Magro Brothers p.12

CRM

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

STARTS HERE

Peter Sammut Briffa, Senior Consultant

at KPMG Crimsonwing Malta,

introduces Microsoft Dynamics 365 p.20

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

INNOVATING, CREATING

& GROWING BUSINESSES

MBR speaks with Dr. Adrian Attard Trevisan,

Umana Medical Technologies p.30

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 38 | 2018

Newspaper Post


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Malta Business Review

CONTENTS

Issue 38

6

6

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

30 INNOVATING, CREATING & GROWING

BUSINESSES

MBR speaks with Dr. Adrian Attard Trevisan, Umana

Medical Technologies

iGAMING

34 BTOBET AND SPINOMENAL NEW PARTNERS

IN IGAMING

Spinomenal has interesting set of games and is

enthusiastic about integrating their content onto

BtoBet’s platform

COVER STORY

06 MARKET LEADING RISK MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Interview with Thomas Keegan, Chairman of SHIELD

International and Paul Cottrell, Managing Partner

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

12 GOOD COMPANIES ARE MADE UP OF

GOOD PEOPLE

As Christian Magro takes over the helm at Magro Brothers,

MBR interviews the new CEO of one of Malta’s largest food

manufacturing companies

ERC FEATURE STORIES

14 LOOKING FOR ONE THING: FINDING ANOTHER

Prof. Yael Hanein and researcher Ohid Yaqub duscuss ERC

R&D investments, including funding of curiosity-driven

scientific projects

15 WHAT’S UNDER THE SEA

Dr Aaron Micallef talks about MARCAN, the project he

leads which studies the impacts of groundwater on

canyon formation in Malta and New Zealand, helping us

understanding the forces that shape the Earth’s landscapes

LIFESTYLE

18 HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Sir Richard Branson’s fantastic piece about happiness and

mental health problems that alter their outlook on life

CRM

20 YOUR TRANSFORMATION STARTS HERE

Peter Sammut Briffa, Senior Consultant at KPMG Crimsonwing

Malta, introduces us to Microsoft Dynamics 365

EDUCATION

26 THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION:

KNOWLEDGE IN THE AGE OF AI

In Part 2 of this absorbing and highly educational article, CM

Rubin interviews Charles Fadel, author of Four Dimensional

Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

12

20

FEATURE STORIES, INTERVIEWS &

REPORTS

37 GOOD ENOUGH IS FINE FOR GETTING

STARTED BUT IT’S NOT A WORTHY GOAL

John Paul Abela interviews Graziella Galdes, owner

of Gilda

42 PAYM€QUALLY TOWARDS EQUAL PAY FOR

WOMEN AND MEN

Renee Laiviera, Commission for the Promotion of

Equality (NCPE) examines the Gender Pay Gap issue

and recent achievements

46 POLITICO GLOBAL POLICY LAB: BREXIT

A unique double page feature about BREXIT and the

future of the British Economy

48 ASSET MANAGERS WANT THEIR ORDER

MANAGEMENT AND PORTFOLIO

MANAGEMENT TO BE ONE

Celent has released a new report titled “Asset Managers

Want Their Order Management and Portfolio

Management to be One.

49 ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING CONFERENCE

The Malta Institute of Accountants will be organising

a conference about the recently enacted ‘Anti-

Money Laundering Directive’.

50 LAUNCH OF THE MULTIPLE HIGHER

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

An insight into the new Masters in Entrepreneurship

(MHEI-ME) on-line programme recently launched

led by Advenio eAcademy with the participation of

another five European HEIs

18

37

4


MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

EDITORIAL

Malta Business Review

It seems that 2017 has flown past by so fast, that we have completed

buried it. Was it a good one? I do not know. Many significant occurrences

have left their mark, maybe even scars. Yet it appears that everything

happened at such speed that I am not able to really comprehend all the

consequences of everything which happens all around us at increasing

speeds.

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

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

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

J. P. Abela; Kellen Black; Sir Richard Branson

(VIRGIN); Dr Aaron Micallef; Antoine Bonello;

Mark Anthony Camilleri; George Carol; Charlie

Cooper; Jean Paul Demajo; Yael Hanein; Anna

Karlsson; Marcela Kunva; Renee Laiviera;

Michele Pace; F. John Reh; Mark Scott; David

Wine/Charles Fadel, C. M. RUBIN; Ohid Yaqub.

SPECIAL THANKS

CELENT; DOI; European Parliament Information

Office in Malta; European Parliament, Directorate-

General for Communication; European Research

Council; Ministry for Education & Employment;

Jobsplus; KPMG Crimsonwing Malta; MISCO; OPR;

POLITICO SPRL; SHIELD Consultants Ltd; Taylor

& Francis Group; The Malta Independent on

Sunday; The Parliamentary Secretariat For

Financial Services, Digital Economy And

Innovation; Politico Global Policy Lab; Price

WaterhouseCoopers; WAR CHEST;

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"I am not someone who is ashamed of my past.

I'm actually really proud. I know I made a lot of

mistakes, but they, in turn, were my life lessons."

Drew Barrymore

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

For the first time – after almost 45 years – I had this feeling of anxiety

or "angst" about our future. Looking at all the dramatic changes in

society, technology, politics and nature which are all affecting our daily

lives, a certain feeling of helplessness arises which leaves me very

uncomfortable. The election of Trump was the culmination of many fears

and created a deep, horrible feeling of helplessness like at the time of

the assassination of JFK. Not that the election of Hillary would have been that much better – it is that feeling

of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. It is that uncomfortable sensation of not knowing how to

contribute in a meaningful way to make this world a better one. The most shaking, rocking event in 2017 was

in October, when our fellow International award winning investigative journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana

Galizia was brutally assassinated in a callous devastating car bomb. We still do not know who commissioned

this murder, even though the criminals behind the murder have been caught, thanks to foreign investigators.

No resolutions to be made this year, except that I wish to help those in need more than I did before, act as a

catalyst for peace and yes, start exercising more and wobbling the iron in the gym. It really feels great when you

don't constantly run out of breath anymore! Having had surgery, such event convinced me that finally it would

be a good idea after all to keep in shape and train regularly. Incidentally, I start this year going into another

unwanted surgery due to torn muscles and tendons on my right arm caused by a freak incident. In November

a new gym opened just across the street, so it is very comfortable and excuses are hard to construct. As a result

I hope to be in pretty good shape again – so good that I am considering taking up canoeing and swimming

vigorously this year.

So, taking the murder of prodigious journalist as an episode on its own, the conclusion should be that on the

bottom line it was a turbulent year in terms of politics and good in terms of business. Socioeconomic changes

are happening at an ever increasing pace which makes it hard to keep up. One week after Trumps inauguration

Werner E Jung wrote in one of his inspiring contributions in the Malta Business Review entitled "Who is afraid of

the Twitter Man?". The opening paragraph read: "While there is a lonely man in the White house disseminating

his wisdom via Twitter to the hostile world around him, (bad, very bad media) there are more and more people

in the US taking to the streets in protest and journalists scrutinizing and criticizing him. One can only hope that

these opposition movements and the protests will go on and that especially the younger generations keep

pushing ahead. It is time for civil disobedience and for damage control. Hopefully complacency will not gain

the upper hand over time, meaning that we will all soon be getting used to this type of madness. The sixties

have shown that "democracy is in the streets" – it is now time for a revival, so it appears." Some time ago I

reached the conclusion that Trump is a (mixed) blessing for this world after all. He exemplifies the hypocrisy,

scrupulousness and shamelessness of the political and financial "elite" of this world. And he is taking everything

to a new height, where even the dumbest in this world are beginning to wake up. It seems it really needed a

turkey like him to open the eyes. As a result more and more so called influential people are being unmasked.

Luckily this is happening in the US where there is a long democratic history and the necessary checks and

balances. I am certain he would love to be an Emperor like Napoleon. Things are going in the right direction, I

believe – slower, of course, than we would like it to happen.

In Europe we see a change of guards in politics and younger people are taking over the helm. After all they

are the ones who should mould their future and perhaps, these events were the triggers for me come around

full circle from the '82 student I used to be. So it feels, at least; I am sure there are some different nuances to

this by now, shaped by experience. Those values and morals (most of them) we had then, appear to be asked

for in our modern times more than ever. And it appears that justice seems to be spiralling downward, with

journalists being deprived of their freedom of expression, which is imbued as a sacrosanct right in Article 10

of the European Courts of Human Rights, more than ever before. The Courts have to be very careful when

deciding judgements and must not take hard evidence and proof at face value and discard it as non-existent.

That is why we are here to flag injustices, protest against hypocrisy, fight corruption, and protect and safeguard

those inviolable rights at any cost.

Just in time during the holidays I caught a pretty good cold, which however did not prevent me from celebrating

and having a good time in London. So, the best I can wish for you is good health and keep on chugging in the

pursuit of happiness and fairness.

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

Market Leading

Risk Management Software

By Martin Vella

Exclusive interview with Thomas

Keegan, Chairman of Shield

International and Paul Cottrell,

Managing Partner for SHIELD

MBR: Before we discuss the SHIELD project

in more detail, please tell us a little about

yourselves, so the readers get to know you a

little better.

TK: My career has been varied, from

Telecommunications to the Nuclear Industry.

The golden thread throughout my career

has been resilience, making organizations,

governments or nations more able to

withstand shock, adapt and evolve in a

changing environment. That has included

working at board level for some of the worlds

largest companies right through to supporting

government in building their national resilience

and security capabilities. I am currently

Chairman of Shield International, and the Chief

Operating Officer of DBD International.

PC: I began my career as a journalist, working

in print and broadcast media, particularly

Thomas Keegan. Chairman of Shield International

investigative journalism. I transitioned in to the

business world, leading a highly successful sales

team, before moving on to one of the worlds

leading global risk consultancies. During my

time there, I worked with many of the leading

Fortune 500 companies across the Middle East

and North Africa, assisting them to become

more resilient and manage risk.

MBR:Can you tell us more about the SHIELD

project? What is it that you are setting out to

do and to achieve in the Middle East?

TK: Shield international is our way of bringing

many lessons from how to, and not to, provide

consulting services in safety, security and

resilience to clients globally. We have setup

in the Middle East as it is a hotbed for the

industry, but our ambition is to establish an

advisory business that helps clients manage risk

effectively to create competitive advantage.

PC: We all know the world can be a dangerous

place which presents a plethora of business

challenges. SHIELD is looking to help our clients

navigate these uncertain waters successfully.

We are passionate in assisting our clients and

believe that it is our job to ensure our clients

succeed even in the most challenging of business

environments, whilst giving our clients business

advantages over their competitors. The Middle

East is the perfect location for SHIELD to have an

international hub with the ambition to bring the

SHIELD methodology to clients internationally

and lead the way in risk advisory.

MBR: The market for security, health and

safety and business continuity is mature and

serviced by organisations of considerable

international expertise and experiences.

How will SHIELD be different and what is its

unique value proposition in the markets you

intend to service?

TK: I would argue that the safety, security and

resilience marketplaces, whilst mature, are

not really delivering value. Shield International

wants to compete to provide clients better

value. We want to harness technology,

through our STORM platform, and some

of the worlds most accomplished, forward

thinking consultants to look at clients problems

differently and solve them effectively. Our

mission is to solve the worlds most complex

safety, security and resilience problems by

thinking differently.

PC: Whilst mature, the marketplaces are

not delivering true value. We at SHIELD

passionately believe that we offer something

different to the standard approach many of

our competitors take. We truly have a worldclass

team of consultants who take a different

approach. We put the clients needs first and

do not come at all problems with a one size fits

all approach. In our STORM platform, we have,

what we believe to be, the market leading risk

management software and by leveraging this,

our consultants and other technology we offer

a value proposition like no other.

MBR: Dubai, and the UAE generally, is

a very different environment to Malta.

What attracted you to join up with SHIELD

and embark on the project of growing

the Company in the Middle East and

internationally?

TK: I have worked in all corners of the world, the

list is endless. What has become clear to me is

that whilst different geographies have diverse

cultures they all have similar basic needs. This is

no different in the world of safety, security and

resilience where clients are looking for a firm

who deliver value whilst making the experience

enjoyable. What struck me in meeting SHIELD

was their attitude towards delivering value

with a smile; it was always a win-win deal for

them and clients. This attitude, coupled with

some groundbreaking technologies in our

sector, and really smart consultants struck a

chord with me that resulted in the partnership.

6


COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Paul Cottrell, Managing Partner of SHIELD

PC: I have walked in to many offices around

the world where the atmosphere has been

soulless, flat and people are going through

the motions and simply working 9 to 5.

Upon meeting SHIELD team, I was taken by

the vibrancy of the office, the camaraderie

between colleagues and the passion to deliver

the best for its clients. It was clear that for all

within SHIELD this was a vocation. As I learnt

more about the company ethos, goals and the

market leading risk management platform, I

was truly excited to form the partnership.

MBR: Finally, do you see possible

opportunities between the UAE and Malta

which could be leveraged by both countries,

for mutual benefit?

TK: The UAE and Malta already have a number

of emerging trade and investment links which

I think are really exciting for both nations. I

believe, that Malta’s geo-strategic location

and it’s rich history makes it an extremely

attractive partner to many international

organisations and nations. I believe through

Shield International we will be able to

showcase the strengths the Maltese possess

and, hopefully, attract both foreign direct

investment into Malta and encourage more

Maltese enterprises to showcase their wares

to the world.

PC: I see many synergies between the two and

some business links are already emerging. It is

a really exciting time for SHIELD International

with its hub based in the UAE and we hope

to be able to demonstrate, what a hotbed

of enterprise Malta truly is and thus in turn

harness interest from foreign investment into

Malta. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

Thomas Keegan is a highly respected leader

globally in the fields of Security, Risk

Management and Crisis Response who is

regularly quoted in the media on those topics.

Throughout his career Thomas has worked with

a number of governments and household name

organisations to advise them at the most senior

levels on building resilience - an ability to adapt

and evolve to manage risk and seize competitive

advantage. Thomas has held a number of senior

roles in industry having been the Regional Head

for Resilience and Security for PWC across

the Middle East and a Partner responsible for

Resilience and Cyber Security for Control Risks.

Thomas currently serves as the Chief Operating

Officer for DBD International, a global Nuclear

Energy and Defence advisory firm in addition

to being the Chairman of Shield International, a

Safety, Security and Resilience advisory firm.

Paul Cottrell brings a wealth of experience

in assisting clients in Risk Management and

Resilience within the Middle East and North

Africa markets. Having commenced his career as

a journalist and being a part of some of the largest

news agencies in the world, and running some

large PR campaigns, Paul moved in to the business

world where he led a highly successful sales team

for the UK’s largest academic book retailer. Paul

brought his passion for exceptional customer

relationship management and project delivery

excellence to the Middle East where he worked

for Control Risks, during which time Paul led the

online solutions business in the Middle East and

North Africa, whilst also managing several key

accounts across the company portfolio. Paul is

currently the Managing Partner for SHIELD.

Paul Cottrell, Managing Partner of SHIELD

www.maltabusinessreview.net

7


Malta Business Review

TALKING POINT

IS MALTA A TAX HAVEN?

Tax evasion and tax havens have become a subject

of much discussion on a global level. International

revelations such as the Panama Papers and the Paradise

Papers have only served to put the spotlight on the tax

regime of a number of countries. The same revelations

have also served to cast attention on the topic of efficient

tax structures and the way such structures are operated.

Some of the information contained in these revelations

can be said to be interesting and worthy of further

investigations whilst other elements are quite simply

sensationalism at its worst, twisting facts and perhaps

giving space to untruths.

What a lot of misinformation making the

rounds on the internet one question worth

examining is the one on whether Malta can

be classified as a tax haven. Malta’s tax laws

originally date back to 1948 when Malta was

a British colony. Since joining the EU in 2004

Malta has built its tax legislation on models in

the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg

and even Germany.

In an interesting article on The Times Francis

J Vassallo writes that, “Tax havens are

jurisdictions where companies are not subject

to tax and where the information about the

ownership of those companies is usually

kept secret, either through bearer shares or

because the information is not disclosed in

the jurisdiction’s public registry”.

Indeed Maltese companies are registered

with the Registry of Companies which in turn

is a register available for public viewing online.

Thus it would be factually incorrect to state

that Malta is a tax haven since any individual

intent on creating structures meant to hide

ownership would choose other jurisdictions

which cater for such an intent.

Malta has over 70 double taxation treaties,

including with some of the most important

OECD member states, including the US.

Malta also adheres to the Common Reporting

Standard established by the OECD.

Salient features of Malta’s tax regime such

as the Participation Exemption where

introduced into Maltese law following a

full consultation with the EU and after the

approval of the Council of Finance Ministers.

The Exemption System on the other hand is

practically identical to that found in Holland,

Spain and Luxembourg.

The EU PANA Committee published Report

2017/2013(INI), which presents the

Committee’s findings on the investigation

into Malta's tax scheme and political sphere.

Some of the results illustrate an opposite

view to the “Maltese tax haven” opinion

held by many scholars and politicians. The

Committee found that the Maltese tax system

is “very attractive and in line with current

international and EU standards as regards

harmful tax competition.” However, as the

Finance Minister has admitted, the attractive

scheme can be prone to abuse. In addition,

Malta has transposed EU rules and respects

OECD standards in terms of transparency, the

fight against tax fraud and money laundering.

On the other hand, the institutions in charge

of implementing and enforcing rules as

regards tax fraud and money laundering are

highly politicized. The tax compliance unit

mentioned a lack of resources to comply with

the spontaneous exchange of information

required by the EU Directive on Administrative

Cooperation. Meanwhile, Malta failed to

respond to the questionnaire sent by the

Committee, which asked for opinions from

Finance and Justice Ministers in 25 EU

states. This leads the country to be regarded

as "particularly uncooperative". Malta also

disagreed with Commission proposals on

specific tax issues (e.g. public CBCR, CCCTB).

Malta's economic success has been

overshadowed by corruption scandals that go

to the core of the Labour government elected

in 2013. The government has been under

siege since the Panama Papers revealed

details of secret companies in Panama. Those

revelations have cast doubt on its ability

to push through anti-money laundering

legislation. The so-called Individual Investor

Programme scheme, which enabled Malta

to raise millions by selling its passports to

rich foreigners, is at the centre of an inquiry,

after Mr Busuttil claimed he had evidence to

prove the prime minister's chief of staff was

receiving kickbacks off the scheme.

Malta is thus not only not a tax haven but

indeed it is a European Union member

which has managed to adopt a tax-efficient

framework whilst at the same time respecting

all the obligations which a modern European

democracy should respect.

On the other hand in a black list issued in

December 2017 the Council of Finance

Ministers of the European Union classified

American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados,

Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,

Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau,

Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and

Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates

within a tax haven blacklist. MBR

Credit: Warchest

EDITOR’S

Note

War Chest is comprised of War Chest Fiduciary

Services Limited, licensed by the MFSA to act

as Administrator of Private Foundations and War

Chest Corporate Services Limited, licensed by

the MFSA to provide Corporate Services.

8


Malta Business Review

SPOTLIGHT

BBC INTERVIEW TEARS INTO PM CALLING

HIM ‘ARTFUL DODGER OF EUROPE’,

‘PASSPORT-SELLER-IN-CHIEF’

BY HELENA GRECH

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

fielded difficult questions from BBC

Newsnight’s James Sweeney where

he was described as the “Artful

Dodger of Europe” and the “passportseller-in-chief”.

A feature was carried on the BBC programme

about the brutal assassination of journalist

Daphne Caruana Galizia. Her life was tragically

and deliberately snuffed out on 16 October in

a car bomb just metres away from her Bidnija

residence.

So far, three men stand charged with the

crime however the open secret on many

people’s lips is who had them carry out the

deed when considering that Caruana Galizia

had not written about them.

Muscat was grilled about the sale of passports,

a controversial scheme introduced by his

government whereby individuals can pay

for a property, reside in Malta for a year and

pay a lump sum of €650,000 in exchange for

a Maltese passport and Maltese citizenship.

In view of Malta’s status as an EU member

state this effectively buys a customer free

movement across the 27 nation bloc. In the

interview, Muscat refuted the assertion that

wealth and wealth alone can buy a person

Maltese citizenship.

He was also grilled about his relationship with

the Azeri ruling family, in view of allegations

made by Caruana Galizia, that are still to be

thrashed out in court, that Muscat’s wife is the

UBO of a Panama company named Egrant.

She also alleged that the Azeri dictator’s

daughter, Leyla Aliyeva, had transferred €1

million to Egrant via a bank account Mrs

Muscat held at Pilatus Bank, Ta’ Xbiex. All

involved have denied wrongdoing while a

magisterial inquiry is under way.

In an interview with Sweeney Muscat said

the assassination affected him “badly”. He

said that Caruana Galizia was one of his most

“vociferous” critic, meaning that her brutal

murder cast a dark shadow on the Muscat

administration. “This does not look good on

me, I am very realistic about this”, he said.

He went on to say that besides her family, “if

anybody has suffered from her death it’s us

[the government]”.

Asked about what he was doing a week after

the assassination, the Muscat said he could

not remember with a sleight of sarcasm, upon

which Sweeney reminded the Prime Minister

that he was away “selling” passports. Muscat

took umbrage at this line of questioning,

saying that “we do not sell. We, as other

European countries, have a system which is

transparent and open, allowing people to

invest in our country and gain citizenship”.

Asked who is buying the passports, he said that

wealthy people do but that it is not just about

wealth. The presenter did not appear to be

too convinced. Sweeney also asked about the

Muscat’s relationship with Azerbaijan’s ruling

family, the Aliyevs. Muscat claimed to have met

Azeri dictator Ilham Aliyev on a few occations

in Baku and when attending EU Eastern

partnership summits. He also said that “Mrs

Aliyeva” came to Malta to meet Mrs Muscat

once, “nothing more”. “I do not think you can

hide a million dollars, or a hundred dollars.

Definitely not in a bank or anywhere else”.

Asked if Malta has a problem with money

laundering, Muscat said he does not feel

comfortable to say yes or no, but that the

country has a problem with it in the same

way that “Luxembourg, the city of London

or the Netherlands”. Muscat went on to say

that he has been put in a very uncomfortable

situation for needing to criticise someone

who has been brutally murdered (Daphne

Caruana Galizia). “I hope we are not in a

situation where we are in any democracy,

situations are such where when somebody

writes something on social media it’s taken

as fact.”

Sweeney stressed that she (Daphne Caruana

Galizia) had evidence to what she said, adding

that Muscat may not agree with that evidence,

but it did exist. He was referring to accounts

relayed to the slain journalist by a Russian

whistle-blower who worked at Pilatus Bank but

left over a dispute. Muscat promptly disagreed,

saying there is no “proof” or a shred of “truth”

to the allegations. “If there is a whiff of any

evidence I would resign on the spot”.

Muscat said that he does not know if Caruana

Galizia knew that the allegations were untrue,

whether she was part of the creating the

story or it was fed to her, and repeatedly said

that there is no shred of truth to the claims.

Sweeney said that many people have

described him as the “Artful dodger of

Europe”, to which Muscat refuted. MBR

Credit: BBC; The Malta Independent

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

10


Malta Business Review

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Good Companies

are made up of Good People

by Martin Vella

To thrive in today’s consumer-goods industry, companies must excel on a number of

fronts. For instance, they need to be innovators and stay ahead of trends. They have

to learn how to harness the power of digital channels and they must ensure that their

business practices are socially and environmentally responsible. As newly appointed

CEO of Magro Brothers, one of the Malta’s largest food manufacturing companies,

Christian Magro will be facing these issues daily and is proud of what his company has

achieved in these areas.

Mr Christian Magro - New CEO for Magro Brothers

MBR: Congratulations on your new CEO post

with Magro Brothers. Is there anything about

the job that has surprised you since taking

over the helm?

CM: Thank you…..It’s been less than a month

that I have been officially appointed as CEO of

the Family Business but the first thing that has

struck me immediately on appointment was

the total backing and support from my brother

(Nicholas) and sister (Joanna) to lead our group

in the coming future. Coupled with this, is the

trust that my father and uncle have put in me

throughout the years and most importantly

now during this critical phase of our family

business succession

MBR: What does the ‘Magro Brothers’ brand

mean to you and how would you like to see

it develop?

CM: Being brought up in a family business

environment with rooted origins in Gozo, this

has shaped me to look at opportunities in a

different dimension. Opportunities in Gozo

are more limited than in Malta and in most

markets around the globe and thus one has

to be very creative to ensure that the ventures

being pursued will be one day fruitful and

worth the resource investment.

Magro Brothers to me is more than a very

important brand; it’s a lifestyle that we as a

family proudly honour and live up to.

For more than 100 years, my predecessors

have faced obstacles and turned these into

opportunities to ensure that the family

traditions of honesty, integrity and being a

caring employer are nurtured. These values

are the core pillars of the brand which will allow

me to mould into different projects. I see the

Magro Brothers Brand venture not only in the

core activities of our group mainly related with

innovative and consistent food supplies, but

in other services and offerings where we as a

company can bring value to the end consumer.

MBR: What role does agriculture play in the

overall economic development of Gozo and

Malta?

CM: Agriculture, in today’s world is more than

just a hobby, it’s a profession and a science in

itself. The belief that we as a nation are too small

to compete with neighbouring larger countries

is a fair assessment, yet one needs to look at the

market and find niches or opportunities, which

allow us to compete on a level playing field with

larger producers.

Malta and Gozo are very small in size,

with uneconomical land parcels which are

continuously being sub divided from one

generation to the other. Coupled to this, the

constant need to develop new properties

to sustain the market requirements of our

booming economy, puts further pressures on

our agriculture sector.

Agriculture, needs to be given the chance to be

treated professionally and invest resources in it to

ensure that policies and regulations do safeguard

the future of this important economic activity.

" Agriculture, in today’s world

is more than just a hobby, it’s a

profession and a science in itself."

Apart from the classical growing of fruit,

vegetables and rearing of animals, there are

various other opportunities which could be of

interest and increase the present contribution

of agriculture for the country`s overall economic

development. I list the below as examples:

• New concepts which are very ambitious for

large countries, like offering fresh produce

from ‘farm to plate’, IGP markings, and

Reduction of transport fossil emissions, are

much easier to be nurtured locally due to

our small size and natural protection from

being islands. Obviously, these new tools

require more investment in avant-guard

scientific/natural methods of cultivation

and rearing, yet they do bring added value

to the more demanding healthy consumer

both locally and on an international level.

• Another area where surely one needs to

focus more, is in the development of new

innovative ways to increase productivity/

yields. Currently countries like Israel are

at the forefront in the scientific world for

developing new ways how to increase

productivity in agriculture with limited

resources available. We have been blessed

with limited land and limited water

resources and therefore a good opportunity

for large research companies to exploit

these factors and invest in this sector.

12


INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

MBR: Can you tell our readers about your

strategy and objectives going forward?

CM: Surely;I'm still new in this post but can bank

on the experience I gained over the years and

also on the support of my family and team and

the mentoring of role models like my father.

Going forward for the next five years I aim

working hard in bringing new opportunities to

our group and expanding our horizons.

To allow me to do this, I need to have the

support of my team in ensuring that we fulfil

our customer requirements with our current

products and ensure that we keep adding

innovation and convenience to sustain the

pace and remain at the forefront of our core

market.

MBR: What are your company’s unique

selling points and how has the market

responded to your products?

CM: If I had to list down the top five company

unique selling points, I would put forward the

following:

• Focused on market requirements

• Passionate on Quality

• Professional and innovative in our

approach

• Dedicated and committed

• Convenience Driven

I believe that the above five USPs have been

of great importance to allow us to grow our

product portfolio and managing to put our

brands in nearly every household locally and in

thousands other households abroad.

We as a company keep core the market

requirements and invest a lot in R&D exercises

not only to research new innovative products or

packaging but also in constantly developing our

current traditional recipes to keep them abreast

with the continuously changing customer

requirements. Looking at the transitions,

developments, changes in packaging and

offerings that our traditional Three Hills Brand

Kunserva has gone through over the decades

surely is a valid example of the above.

MBR: Innovation is clearly a priority for you,

not just with regard to sustainability. How

do you intend to innovate in other areas as

well, right?

CM: Certainly, I shall not be revealing any

secrets! Nothing comes easy, dedication and

hard work come second nature to ensure that

we add innovation to new projects we venture

into. I believe that through proper leadership

and a good team spirit we can achieve what

others might not consider achievable.

This belief comes from my origins and

upbringing in Gozo. I have seen the island

develop over the years at a fast pace, yet I

believe that the development has been well

managed and allowed the island to retain its

natural beauty and relaxed, open way of life.

Obviously, understanding market

requirements and customer expectations

are the main features which will guide my

decisions in new areas and would allow my

team to bring forward new approaches to

the required solutions. We can bank on our

strengths and will couple these with foreign

expertise where required to ensure that we

succeed in the projects we set ourselves to

achieve.

" I believe that Companies are

made up of People and that

Good Companies are made up

of Good People"

MBR: What about expanding geographically?

Do you plan to expand your consumer

business into other countries?

CM: As a company, we have over the years been

dealing with foreign customers and suppliers

since our origins as producers back in 1934,

when my grandfather and his two brothers

started supplying the merchant navy with local

Kunserva. These relations have been given

further importance within our manufacturing

services since Malta’s accession to the European

Union and have targeted neighbouring European

Countries and managed to supply world known

customers / brands with our products.

Xewkija Premises

Obviously, this strategy is core for our operations

in Gozo and will try to expand these opportunities

not just to EU countries but also neighbouring

African countries which have developed to

being considerable markets one shouldn’t

underestimate.

In relation to new business ventures, I hope to

partner up with professional people and would

seriously consider having foreign partners to

venture on the local market which at the moment

brings a lot of business opportunities.

MBR: Your structure gives you some

advantages, but I’m sure there are also

drawbacks. What do you see as the toughest

challenge for Magro Brothers? What are the

ambitions of the company going forward?

CM: I believe that Companies are made up of

People and that Good Companies are made up

of Good People.

I think the toughest challenge we face is

ensuring that our company manages to retain

and increase our team members to continue

providing excellent services and offerings. The

above ambitious strategies are only possible if

I manage to have the full support of my family,

team and partners. Ensuring a good portfolio

of professional people within a Gozitan reality

is quite a challenge to state the least.

As a company, we are proud to foster a culture

of continuous improvement within our group

and an ambitious dream of mine which will

surely aim at achieving in the years ahead

would be to develop a technical standard on

how to ensure achieving set goals – namely

‘The Magro Way’ MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

Magro Brothers of Gozo have appointed Christian Magro

as the new CEO for their business operations. Christian is

the eldest of the 4th generation of the Magro family. He was

born on the 22nd June 1979 and completed his studies in

2002 with a degree in B.Com (Hons) for Public & Private

Sector Management. Christian was always keen on the

family business and during his childhood he spent most of

his free time and holidays at the factory. On completion of

his studies, he joined the company and slowly worked his

way up. In December 2011 Christian joined the Board of

Directors and 2 years later was appointed General Manager

of Magro Brothers (Foods) Ltd. Christian is married to

Charmaine and they have two children Mikela and Marta.

Christian has a younger brother and sister; Nicholas and

Joanna, who are both involved in the family business. John

Magro is to remain chairman of the board of directors and his

brother Michael is to remain a director.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

ERC STORY

LOOKING FOR ONE THING: FINDING ANOTHER

PROFILES

Prof. Yael Hanein neuron stimulation for sight restoration

Researcher: Prof. Yael Hanein

Researcher: Dr Ohid Yaqub

Did you know that the Persian fairy tale “The

Three Princes of Serendip” provided the

inspiration for the first noted use of the word

“serendipity” in the English language? In this

story, the heroes are always making happy and

surprising discoveries. In science, this concept

of a pleasant surprise covers the mismatch

between what the researchers expected to find

and what they actually discovered, as introduced

in previous ERC Stories we have published in

past. It has given us innovations such as the

microwave, Teflon, X-rays, penicillin, the World

Wide Web and much more. What started off

with a fairy tale, ended up as a byword for an

influential idea in research policy-making and

even headlining a recent ERC-funded project.

In the past decades, serendipity has played an

important role in debates about the feasibility

and desirability of targeting R&D investments.

The founders of the ERC thought an EU body

that would fund curiosity-driven scientific

projects and give researchers complete freedom

to explore, would also help bring about new

and unpredictable scientific and technological

discoveries, which ultimately could also trigger

innovation and economic growth.

Overall, the idea that research can lead to valuable

but unexpected outcomes has been around for a

while. But how often do serendipitous discoveries

actually happen? What is the nature and

significance of such discoveries? Is serendipity

pure luck or is a fair bit of wisdom also involved?

Or is it merely the ability to be open to – and

make the most out of - luck? Can we facilitate and

manage serendipity? How often does targeted

research actually hit the target? What does it all

mean for R&D policy-making?

Ohid Yaqub

“Researchers and policy-makers have been

asking these questions for decades but, other

than some famous examples, we don’t really

have strong evidence to draw on to support

policy-making” says Dr Ohid Yaqub from the

University of Sussex. The project he is leading

- Serendipity in Research and Innovation - was

awarded an ERC Starting Grant this summer.

Dr Yaqub says we can observe and measure

things previous scholars could not. “The

methods, tools and techniques for data analysis

and theoretical understanding of research

policy have improved. So, now we have a new

framework to analyse the data, and we have

access to large databases on grants, publications

and patents.” He and his team will look at a

sample of grants, publications that come out

of these grants and patents that cite these

publications. Preliminary findings show that

the happy discrepancies between researchers’

proposals and their reported findings occur

quite often.

It is becoming a key political question how

we fund research in the best, most efficient

way to maximise impact. There are choices

to be made about the emphasis and balance

between different modes of research funding.

“It’s good that there are some funders under

which serendipitous events would have been

overlooked or inhibited, because sometimes

it’s important not to lose focus on an end

goal”, Dr Yaqub says. “But it’s also good that

there are funders like the ERC that do allow

uncertainty and unexpected discoveries to

happen and indeed encourage more open

thinking. Clearly, it’s vitally important to have

diversity when it comes to research funders

that allow researchers to be able to contribute

to society in different and flexible ways.” said Dr

Yaqub. Whilst he will be looking into some of the

questions surrounding serendipity, a few ERC

grantees have already experienced such happy

mismatches for themselves.

Take for example Achilleas Frangakis from Goethe

University Frankfurt. In his Starting Grant project,

he used cryo-electron tomography, a state-ofthe-art

imagining technique, to visualise the

architecture of cell adhesion. Though essential,

this process in which proteins present on the cell’s

surface anchor to extracellular proteins allowing

the cell to sense the external environment and

respond to it, was poorly understood.

Prof. Frangakis was trying to describe how cells

interact with the outside world, but instead he

learnt a lot about how they interact with each

other. In particular, during the process of wound

healing, neighbouring cells lock together to seal

a wound, a bit like a zipper would. “It turned out

that we had rediscovered a mechanism already

known to happen during mitosis, another

cellular process, but as a completely new

concept for tissue sealing and healing” stated

the scientist, who has opened new paths into

the study of wound reparation.

Prof. Yael Hanein

Prof. Yael Hanein from Tel Aviv University also

had a bit of a “eureka” moment. Her work was

investigating nanotechnology tools in the field of

neuron stimulation for sight restoration. Using

sophisticated and accurate carbon nanotubes,

her Starting Grant project created a high-acuity

artificial retina.

Through a spin-off of her project, she has

developed an extremely thin electrode that

can be worn as a tattoo and record muscle

movement. The electrode, originally made as a

research tool, has a variety of potential medical

applications, from mapping facial expressions

and recording emotions, to restoring

damaged nerves and muscles, and studying

neurodegenerative diseases.

Further work is going into understanding

whether the tool could provide a diagnostic

tool for Parkinson’s disease, an instrument to

optimise artificial limbs or even a test for certain

psychological disorders.

This article was first published in ERC newsletter,

autumn 2017 issue. Read also Dr Jose Labastida’s

editorial. "The ERC is creating fertile ground for

serendipity to occur", he writes. MBR

Credit: European Research Council

14


ERC STORY

Malta Business Review

WHAT’S UNDER THE SEA?

BY AARON MICALLEF

PROJECT DETAILS

Credit: © Aaron Micallef, MARCAN project 2017; © Jurgen Spiteri

Ever since observing a map of

a marine landslide as a young

geology student, Dr Aaron Micallef

was hooked on the beauty of

the sea floor. Now, he works on

understanding the forces that

shape the Earth’s landscapes, both

above ground and below the sea

level. His MARCAN project studies

the impacts of groundwater on

canyon formation in Malta and New

Zealand. This investigation may

reveal where we will be getting our

drinking water in the future.

In the last 2.5 million years, sea water levels

have mostly been lower than what they

are today. This allowed large quantities of

rainwater to infiltrate into the exposed sea

floor, developing groundwater reservoirs.

After sea water level rose, these reservoirs

became trapped under the sea.

Dr Micallef claims that offshore groundwater

plays a part in the formation of large

geological features, like submarine canyons.

These structures are the most dramatic

and widespread in the world. They

serve as channels for the flow of marine

currents, accumulating nutrients that attract

biodiversity, as well as waste. He specifically

focuses on describing and modelling the

effect that the flow and seepage of offshore

groundwater water has on the seafloor.

This year, in the course of a long ship expedition

in New Zealand, the scientist and his team

worked on retrieving samples to obtain an idea

of the composition of the seafloor, as well as

electromagnetic information on where these

freshwater reservoirs are actually found. The

new data will shed light on these geological

processes, as well as on whether the reservoirs

have the potential to provide drinking water,

especially in areas that are already under much

water stress.

“Without the ERC funding I would simply not

be doing this job,” states Dr Micallef, who is

based at the University of Malta. “I would have

had to leave, or I would mostly be teaching,

since there is little local funding for projects

like mine and for non-applied research.” His

Starting Grant project started in January this

year, with the expedition to New Zealand in

April 2017. He is preparing a second expedition

around Malta in early 2018. MBR

Credit: European Research Council

Researcher: Dr Aaron Micallef

Title:

ThermoTex

MARCAN

Topographically-driven meteoric

groundwater – An important

geomorphic agent

Host Institution:

UNIVERSITA TA’ MALTA, Malta

www.um.edu.mt

ERC call details:

ERC-2015-STG, 2015

Max ERC Funding:

€ 1 757 432

Digital elevation model of the study

area in the northwest of Malta.

© Jurgen Spiteri

The first expedition involved a 4-week long oceanographic cruise in New Zealand.

© Aaron Micallef, MARCAN project 2017

www.maltabusinessreview.net

15


Malta Business Review

MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP

Understanding the

Role and Scope of the

Senior Manager

by F.John reh

SENIOR MANAGER DEFINITION:

The title of senior manager is often found

in large organizations with multiple layers

of management. A senior manager has

responsibilities and authority broader in scope

than a front-line manager and typically reports

into a director or general manager level role.

COMMON RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE

SENIOR MANAGER:

The senior manager, like all managers, is

responsible for planning and directing the

work of a group of individuals, monitoring

their work, and taking corrective action when

necessary.

Senior managers may guide workers directly

or they may direct several supervisors who

manage the workers. The senior manager

often supervises the largest or most important

group(s) in a company. Core responsibilities of

the senior manager include:

• Providing guidance to direct reports,

typically comprised of first-line managers

and supervisors.

• Ensuring clarity around priorities and

goals for the entire functional area.

• Approving requests for investment to a

certain level of authority.

• Managing overall financial budgeting for

his/her function.

• Approving hiring and firing requests

within his/her group.

• Guiding the talent identification and

development processes for a group or

function.

• Working across functions with peers in

other groups to ensure collaboration for

shared goals.

• Interacting with senior management for

reporting.

• Working with senior management and

other peers for strategy development

and execution planning.

• Communicating financial and goal

results and key performance indicators

to direct reports.

• Facilitating goal-level creation for

the broader function and works with

managers to ensure the goals cascade to

all workers.

COMMON TITLES FOR SENIOR

MANAGERS:

The title tends to follow the function. Examples

include:

• Senior Accounting Manager

• Senior Marketing Manager

• Senior Engineering Manager

• Senior Customer Support Manager

WHY THE SENIOR MANAGER LEVEL?

It is common for larger firms to evaluate

their positions by scope, responsibility, size,

budgetary authority and to assign a level to

these positions. The senior manager level

or designation represents a step-up from

manager and offers the opportunity for an

individual to take on new responsibilities

and grow their contributions in a gradual

manager. This added and higher level also

helps organizations recruit experienced

professionals and slot them in a role that fits

with their capabilities and compensation.

TOO MANY LAYERS OF MANAGEMENT?

As organizations grow and become

increasingly stratified with additional layers

of management, complexity and inefficiency

increases. Consider a department that

includes supervisors, managers responsible

for supervisors and senior managers

responsible for managers who watch

supervisors. The myriad of layers in the

structure slows decision-making, increases

political and communication complexity and

can breed dysfunction.

Many organizations cycle through a process

of layering followed by flattening through

restructuring, only to slowly add layers over

time once again.

The flatter organization (fewer layers) in

theory simplifies decision-making and

empowers a broader group of workers to

assume responsibility for their actions.

THE CASE FOR SENIOR MANAGER ROLE:

There are a number of circumstances when

the role of senior manager makes good

business sense.

When the team is growing quickly and

chaotically, the senior manager can serve

as the "adult" in the group, interfacing with

other functions for needed resources and

providing mature guidance to managers and

workers during a period of change.

When there is a clear distinction between

the role of manager and senior manager, this

position represents a tangible target or stepup

as part of a manager's career development

plan and activities.

When the span of control for a group's

managers is too broad, the senior manager

can both support managers and take on

responsibility for discrete work teams.

DEVELOPING AS A SENIOR MANAGER:

The role is an expansion of the typical

manager's role in terms of breadth of

responsibilities and overall accountability.

Any manager interested in advancing to this

level must focus on personal professional

development for:

• leadership, including talent development

and coaching.

• strategy, including understanding how

the firm makes money and developing

insights into the external market forces,

competitors and customers.

• finance, including budgeting, capital

budgeting and overall expense

accounting.

• negotiation, to be used in securing

resources and gaining help from other

functions or executives.

• communication, both written and verbal,

with an emphasis on presentation skills.

• team development

CHALLENGES OF THE SENIOR MANAGER:

Regardless of the term, "senior" in the title,

the senior manager is still in middle-level

management. These important middle-level

roles are responsible for the people doing

the work of the business, but often lack the

authority to add resources or make significant

changes needed to improve efficiency as well

as the quality of the work environment. In

spite of the challenges, the role is an excellent

training ground for advancing to general

manager at some point in the future. MBR

Credit: F. John Reh

16


Malta Business Review

LIFESTYLE

Happiness

is the key to success

I’m often asked: What is the key

to success? My answer is always

simple: happiness. Happiness should

be everyone’s goal, but I understand

that it can seem out of reach, with

many, for instance, affected by

mental health problems that alter

their outlook on life.

By Sir Richard Branson

A few years ago I wrote the following letter

for Mind’s book: Dear Stranger, Letters on the

subject of happiness.

I re-read it recently and was struck by how

much the words still ring true, so I thought I

would republish the letter in the hope that my

words can help others find the true happiness

they deserve in 2018.

Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me but I hear you are going

through a tough time, and I would like to

help you. I want to be open and honest with

you, and let you know that happiness isn’t

something just afforded to a special few. It can

be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.

It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I

certainly have been throughout my life. I’ve

confronted my biggest fears time and time

again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures,

seen loved ones pass away, failed in business,

minced my words in front of tough audiences,

and had my heart broken.

I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary

life, and that most people would assume my

business success, and the wealth that comes

with it, have brought me happiness. But they

haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful,

wealthy and connected because I am happy.

So many people get caught up in doing what

they think will make them happy but, in my

opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is

not about doing, it’s about being. In order to

be happy, you need to think consciously about

it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to

write a to-be list too.

Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to

be when you grow up?’ The world expects

grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a

doctor, the prime minister.’

They’re told: go to school, go to college, get

a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy.

But that’s all about doing, not being – and

while doing will bring you moments of joy,

it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting

happiness.

Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your

friends and family. Be there for someone, and

let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be

for a minute.

If you allow yourself to be in the moment,

and appreciate the moment, happiness will

follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built

a business empire, joined conversations

about the future of our planet, attended

many memorable parties and met many

unforgettable people. And while these things

have brought me great joy, it’s the moments

that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that

have given me true happiness. Why? Because

allowing yourself just to be, puts things into

perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.

For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across

Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new

grandchildren’s tiny hands. It’s looking up

at the stars and dreaming of seeing them

up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s

dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a

stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple

of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the

first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of

summer.

Credit: Virgin.com – Richard Tea Smile

There’s a reason we’re called human beings

and not human doings. As human beings

we have the ability to think, move and

communicate in a heightened way. We can

cooperate, understand, reconcile and love,

that’s what sets us apart from most other

species.

Don’t waste your human talents by stressing

about nominal things, or that which you

cannot change. If you take the time simply

to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your

stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be

happier.

But don’t just seek happiness when you’re

down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it

should be a habit. Take the focus off doing,

and start being every day. Be loving, be

grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your

own thoughts.

Allow yourself to be in the moment, and

appreciate the moment. Take the focus off

everything you think you need to do, and start

being I promise you, happiness will follow. MBR

Happy regards,

Richard Branson

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

18


GAMING & MOBILE ADDICTION

Malta Business Review

Gaming and mobile

addiction disorder

set to be recognized by World

Health Organization By Kellen Black

'Persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour'

despite negative consequences would be a

disorder, a World Health Organization policy

draft says.

The World Health Organization is looking to

add gaming, internet and mobile addiction

disorder to its International Classification

of Diseases. The addition comes in the

recent draft of ICT-11, which is scheduled

to be released in 2018. It does not specify

prevention or treatment options. "Gaming

and internet addiction disorder is

characterized by a pattern of persistent or

recurrent gaming behaviour ('digital gaming'

or 'video gaming')," the WHO said.

The activity, whether online or offline, is

marked by "impaired control over gaming

or online addiction (e.g., onset, frequency,

intensity, duration, termination, context)."

For someone to be classified as having the

disorder, they must also continue to game

despite negative consequences, it adds. A

WHO spokesperson pointed to the prevalence

of gaming. 'In a number of countries, the

problem has become a significant public

health concern.' — Tarik Jasarevic, WHO

"Use of the internet, computers, smartphones

and other electronic devices has dramatically

increased over recent decades," Tarik

Jasarevic, told CBC News. "While the increase

is associated with clear benefits to users, for

example in real-time information exchange,

health and mental problems as a result of

excessive use have also been documented.

In a number of countries, the problem has

become a significant public health concern."

Jasarevic said, "There is increasing and welldocumented

evidence of clinical relevance of

these conditions and increasing demand for

treatment in different parts of the world."

Video game and mobile browsing addiction

will be classified as an official mental health

condition next year. The World Health

Organization (WHO) will recognize "gaming

disorder" as a mental health condition in its

next revision of the International Classification

of Diseases (ICD), coming in 2018. A beta draft

of the WHO's 11th ICD includes a gaming

disorder entry, which is described as an

addiction to video games and other similar

internet sites, both online and offline.

"There is increasing and

well-documented evidence

of clinical relevance of these

conditions and increasing

demand for treatment in

different parts of the world."

Gaming disorder as described by the WHO

is "characterized by a pattern of persistent

or recurrent gaming behavior," including

not feeling like you have control over how

much you play, putting gaming over other

life priorities, and continuing to play games

despite negative consequences. "The

behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to

result in significant impairment in personal,

family, social, educational, occupational or

other important areas of functioning," the

entry reads. What it boils down to is basically

video game and video addiction — playing

games and internet browsing for unhealthy

amounts of time and not feeling like you can

stop. And when ICD-11 is published in 2018,

it can be a more easily diagnosable condition.

These symptoms generally need to persist for

about a year for someone to be diagnosed

with gaming disorder, but in extreme cases

it can be diagnosed in a shorter amount

of time, according to the WHO. In the past,

video game addiction has led to some pretty

extreme outcomes, including one death

in 2005 when a man played StarCraft for

more than two days straight with barely

any breaks. More recently in 2010, a couple

that was occupied playing a game neglected

to feed their 3-month-old baby, who died

of malnutrition. The WHO entry does not

include any information about prevention or

treatment of gaming disorder, unfortunately.

This isn't the first time video game or internet

addiction has come up in an official capacity.

In 2013, The American Psychiatric Association

(APA) considered "internet gaming disorder"

as an entry in its Diagnostic and Statistical

Manual of Mental Disorders, and listed it in its

Conditions for Further Study section.

The APA describes internet gaming disorder

as similar to gambling addiction, in which

affected individuals don't have control over

their impulses to continue participating in

said activity. This specifically has to do with

online gaming though, whereas the WHO's

gaming disorder includes offline gaming. A

beta draft of the organisation's forthcoming

11th International Classification of Diseases

(ICD) includes "gaming disorder" in its list of

mental health conditions. It states:

"Gaming disorder is characterized by a

pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming

behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘videogaming’),

which may be online (i.e., over

the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1)

impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset,

frequency, intensity, duration, termination,

context); 2) increasing priority given to

gaming to the extent that gaming takes

precedence over other life interests and

daily activities; and 3) continuation or

escalation of gaming despite the occurrence

of negative consequences." MBR

Credit: CBC News; Mashable – Kellen Black

Credit: AFP/ Getty Images

www.maltabusinessreview.net

19


Malta Business Review

CRM

Your transformation

starts here

“To accelerate your digital transformation, you need a new type of business application.

One that breaks down the silos between CRM and ERP, that’s powered by data and

intelligence, and helps capture new business opportunities. That’s Microsoft Dynamics

365,” tells us Peter Sammut Briffa, Senior Consultant at KPMG Crimsonwing Malta. In

this interview Peter explains how Microsoft Dynamics 365 empower sellers with insights

to personalize relationships, predict customer needs, and increase sales.

MBR: Microsoft’s focus on digital

transformation significantly affected their

product line-up. How can an application

like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales create

business value?

PSB: By having all information concerning

potential and actual sales stored in one place,

salespeople will find it easier to identify the

opportunities they should follow up. It allows

for the enforcement of business processes

which help streamline the sales process,

ensuring that all the critical steps are followed,

and that all relevant data is collected and

analysed. This will eventually shorten sales

cycles, enable the sales team to spend more

time selling, and consequently improve close

rates.

MBR: What kind of insights can an

organisation achieve?

PSB: Through this CRM application,

management can track all the leads and

opportunities that their salespeople are

following, as well as the sales actually made.

This can help plan future productivity. It is

also possible to introduce a number of key

performance indicators. Increased sales is

the obvious one, but other important ones

include: are we contacting more potential

customers? Do we get repeat orders from

existing customers? What percentage of

opportunities are we converting into sales?

"Dynamics 365 is designed to

be as intuitive as possible."

MBR: Microsoft is now hosting the solution

on Microsoft Azure. What are the benefits

deriving from the cloud?

PSB: There are two main advantages:

maintenance and availability. There are no setup

costs and maintenance of the environment

is all in Microsoft’s hands, including security,

backups, data restores, and the availability of the

application round the clock. Furthermore, it is

possible to connect to Azure from anywhere via

internet, so CRM is available outside the office,

outside the country, even using mobile devices.

MBR: Given that this is a Microsoft product,

how easy is it for new users to adapt to

Microsoft Dynamics 365?

PSB: Dynamics 365 is designed to be as

intuitive as possible. All the terms can be

changed to suit the company’s culture; a case

may be called a “support ticket” or a “customer

issue” – changing the label is a matter of simple

configuration. Dynamics 365 also interacts

seamlessly with and uses similar interfaces

as the popular Office 365 suite of programs

such as Word, Excel and Outlook. Sending an

email from CRM is similar to sending one from

Outlook.

MBR: How are client relationships impacted?

PSB: The plethora of data that can be stored

within Microsoft Dynamics 365 means the

user has the perfect tool to improve their

interactions with customers and maintain

the health of these relationships. It is possible

to keep a record of all past interactions with

customers, as well as those planned for the

future. Members within the organisation across

various departments can view these interactions

and be fully updated whenever they need to

contact the customer themselves. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

Peter has over 30 years of experience in the IT

industry covering banking, e-commerce, retail,

wholesale, logistics, laundry services, internal

systems and audit. He occupied a number

of roles from developer to systems analyst,

business analyst, project manager, programme

manager and support manager. Currently he is a

Senior Consultant on Microsoft Dynamics 365

Customer Engagement.

20


Malta Business Review

www.maltabusinessreview.net

21


Malta Business Review

ECONOMY 2017 REVIEW

ECONOMY

ECONOMY 2017

€88m

The government reported a surplus

in its finances which is expected to

amount to around €88m (equivalent

to 0.8% of GDP). For 2018, the

surplus is expected to be 0.5% of

GDP

€10.8bn

GDP for 2017 is expected to be

€10.8bn. Furthermore, next year,

GDP is expected to increase by 7.6%

in nominal terms (5.6% in real terms)

4.1%

In August 2017, the number

of people registering for work

amounted to less than 2,500. The

rate of unemployment is estimated

at 4.1% of the labour supply

1.9m

Inbound tourists in 2016

amounted to over 1.9m visitors

representing an increase of

10.2% over the previous year

1.1%

The 12-month moving average rate of

inflation in August 2017 stood at 1.1%

which is the same as that registered

in August 2016. For 2018, the rate of

inflation is expected to be 1.5%

€1.75

The weekly cost of living increase for 2018

is €1.75 per week. Pensioners will receive

an increase of €2 per week

€3.7bn

Estimated tax revenue for 2017 is

expected to be €3.7bn and is expected to

rise to €4.4bn by 2020

€5.9bn

Government debt as at the end of 2017 is

expected to amount to 54.9% of GDP (i.e

€5.9bn) and is expected to decrease to

44.6% of GDP by 2020

€2.1bn

The visible trade gap reached €2.1bn for the period January to July 2017 due to

exports decreasing at a higher rate than the decrease in imports over the same

1,414

The total number of Collective Investment Schemes between January

and August 2017 increased by 83 bringing the total licensed number of

Collective Investment Schemes to 1,414

1. Business confidence

As far as the economy is concerned, 2018

promises to be a good year that is expected

to continue in the current growth streak.

Basing one’s projections on EY Malta’s Malta

Attractiveness Survey, Malta is bound to

remain an attractive country for investment,

although this attractiveness in certain aspects

is diminishing. The economy is also expected

to grow, as more businesses are seeking

to capitalise on numerous opportunities in

a variety of sectors. In a recent Chamberconducted

survey assessing headline business

indicators for 2018, businesses said that sales,

exports, employment and investment appear

to be on an upward trajectory as businesses are

optimistic about their future.

Another recently conducted survey by the Malta

Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Indusstry

carried out among its members concluded

that businesses were ready to create around

3,000 jobs in the next three years. This positive

sentiment augurs well for business in Malta, yet

2018 will certainly hold its own challenges which

will require serious and thorough solutions.

2. Malta’s HR challenge and its ability to

retain staff

Malta has one of the lowest unemployment

rates in Europe, but it’s facing an employment

crisis of a different sort – finding enough people

to fulfil the roles that need to be filled. In 2016,

Malta registered a net increase of 10,500 jobs

over the previous year, a trend that shows no

signs of abating, and employers are growing

increasingly desperate to find people to fill

crucial positions, leading to fierce competition,

poaching of valued employees and price

gouging, especially from foreign firms. Clyde

Caruana, Chairman of Malta’s state employment

agency JobsPlus, has stated that despite the fact

that more than 20,000 foreign workers have

come to the island over the past few years, even

more are needed simply to keep the economy

running. There is also the question of whether

22

Malta is attractive enough for foreign workers to

settle down permanently.

3. Malta’s transparency and good corporate

governance issues

The economy has reached new heights and

the strong economic output can be felt across

industries as well as within society at large. It’s

an indisputable fact however, that no matter

how well the economy has been doing, issues

of transparency, whether real or perceived,

require urgent addressing. Though the appetite

for investment appears to remain healthy as our

businesses continue to register optimistic traits,

the country must also consider the sustainability

of Malta's reputation as a legitimate business

hub in the long term. In the present economic

climate, the country must endeavour to dissipate

any uncertainty. In order for these expectations

to truly materialise, it is critical for the country to

realise that good corporate governance is not an

option.

4. Malta’s ability to keep up with regulatory

changes

Malta’s nimbleness and agility when it came

to emerging sectors such as iGaming and

financial services, transformed the economy

in the early to mid-2000s, from one that was

far too heavily reliant on tourism to the one

we have today, where sophisticated tertiary

services form the backbone of the economy.

However, Malta’s ability to keep up with global

regulatory changes seems to be losing some

of its momentum in nearly all fields except for

iGaming. While iGaming is crucial to Malta’s

economy, generating more than 12 per cent of

its annual economy, other sectors that require

just as much focus cannot be neglected.

5. Malta’s tourism product

Malta is currently breaking record after record

when it comes to tourism figures, and there’s

no doubt that the marketing and promotional

aspect is being handled with great skill, but

unless stricter safeguards are placed upon

Malta’s touristic offering, our sustainability

might be at stake on a long-term basis. The

proliferation of generic, unsightly buildings and

the general overurbanisation of the country

risk destroying Malta’s unique heritage, while

the littered and overcrowded beaches will

stop being so appealing unless swift action

is taken. Furthermore, the HR problem that

currently exists across all industries is particularly

pronounced when it comes to sectors directly

related to tourism, such as hotel and catering

work – it’s harder than ever to find people who

want to do an excellent job in such a tough

industry.

6. Whether Malta will manage to update its

ageing and outdated infrastructure

Malta’s population has risen by about 25,000 in

the space of 10 years, boosted by expats who

now live and work on the island. It’s evident

that the current capacity of the present road

network is just not enough to handle the

huge flows of traffic, particularly to central

areas of the island where hubs of industry and

commerce are located. According to EY Malta’s

Malta Attractiveness Survey, more than a third

of respondents (36 per cent) believe that the

current transport and logistics infrastructure

is not attractive from an FDI standpoint, and

63 per cent supported investment in major

infrastructure and urban projects. And with 43

new vehicles being added to Malta’s roads every

single day, the situation is bound to get worse.

The 2018 Budget focused heavily on ways to

fix Malta’s infrastructure, with the €700 million,

seven-year road project, which was a central

tenet of the Labour Party’s electoral manifesto,

scheduled to begin in 2019. However, while it

was acknowledged that the traffic problem will

not be solved just through investment in better

roads, and that the congestion problem could be

attributed to a cultural dependence on private

cars, there was no mention of the introduction of

a rapid mass transport system. MBR

Credit: Price WaterhouseCoopers; Ernst & Young;Chamber

of Commerce, Enterprise &industry (stats)


INVESTING IN SKILLS

An allocation of €8 million has been made available for a new initiative to promote training activities held

till 30 th June 2020. Such activities will be financed (80% of eligible costs) from the European Social Fund

under the Operational Programme II (2014 - 2020).

For more details or further information kindly contact the

INVESTING in SKILLS Unit, EU Funded Schemes Division, Jobsplus, Hal Far BBG 3000

Tel: 2220 1300 • Email: iis.jobsplus@gov.mt • URL: www.jobsplus.gov.mt

Aid Scheme part-financed by the European Union

Operational Programme II – Cohesion Policy 2014 - 2020

Investing in human capital to create more opportunities and promote the well-being of society

Operational Programme II - European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020

“Investing in human capital to create more opportunities and promote the well-being of society”

Aid Scheme part-financed by the European Social Fund

Co-financing rate: 80% European Union; 20% National Funds


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE

Straight good-looking dentition!

By Dr Jean Paul Demajo

A dental brace (in maltese know

as “il-hadida”) is a device used in

orthodontics to align/straighten

teeth and help to position them

in sync with the patients bite.

This also works to improve dental

health. They are often used to

correct an underbite or overbite,

deep bites, cross bites, crooked

teeth, and various other flaws

of the teeth and jaw. Braces can

be either cosmetic improving the

look of your teeth or structural

helping to reposition your jaws.

For example dental braces,

together with other orthodontic

devices help widen the palate

or jaws and assist in shaping

the teeth and jaws. The correct

movement of teeth in the jaws

should also help to improve the

facial profile of the patient.

What types of braces are available?

In today’s world of orthodontics, there are

more kinds of braces than ever before.

1. Metal braces/Traditional braces

These braces consist of metal brackets and

wires that most people picture when they

hear the word "braces." Modern brackets are

however smaller and less noticeable than the

notorious "metal-mouth" braces that many

adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated

arch-wires use your body heat to help teeth

move more quickly and less painfully than in

the past.

Metal braces/Traditional braces

Advantages: Least expensive type; different

coloured bands give children a chance to

express themselves

Dis-advantages: Most visible type of braces

2. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar in size and shape

to metal braces, except that they have

tooth-coloured or clear brackets that blend

in to teeth. Some even use tooth-coloured

wires making them less noticeable than the

conventional metal wires.

Advantages: Less noticeable than metal

braces; move teeth much faster than clear

plastic aligners.

Dis-advantages: Ceramic braces are more

expensive than metal braces; Brackets can

stain easily if patients don’t care for them

well. Tooth coloured arch-wires often get

scratched exposing the underlying colour of

metal.

3. LINGUAL BRACES

Ceramic Braces

Lingual braces are the same as metal

traditional braces, except that these brackets

and arch-wires are fixed on the inside of the

upper and lower teeth.

regular adjustments take longer and are more

difficult than with traditional braces.

4. Clear aligners

Aligner or clear braces consist of a series of 18

to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear

plastic aligners. The aligners are removable

and are replaced every 2 weeks during which

teeth move into pre-planned positions.

Clear Aligners

Clear Aligners

Advantages: Almost invisible; the aligners

may temporarily be removed allowing

patients to eat and drink whatever they want.

Dis-advantages: Will not work for moderate

to complex dental problems; only available

for adults and teens, not children; more

expensive option; can be easily lost and costly

to replace; treatment may potentially take

longer than quoted. Some inter-dental tooth

stripping may be required to create space for

teeth to align in place.

Previously the idea of having braces was

associated with a stigma. Today it has almost

become fashionable to have braces done.

This is simply because everyone would like to

have their teeth straight and look their best.

Technologies also help to make orthodontic

treatment more appealing to children,

teensand a growing number of adults. MBR

Ask your dentist!

Advantages: Invisible from outside

Lingual Braces

Dis-advantages: Difficult to clean; considerably

more expensive; not appropriate for severe

cases; can be more uncomfortable at first;

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon

24


WOOD BURNING - GAS - ELECTRIC - FUEL OIL - PELLET


Malta Business Review

EDUCATION

THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDU

BY C. M. RUBIN

“New and more

innovative knowledge

maps are now needed

to help us navigate the

complexities of our

expanding landscape

of knowledge.”

-Charles Fadel

C. M. Rubin and Charles Fadel

Credit: CMRubinWorld

that facilitate the learning of knowledge.

All this technology dramatically increased

the amount of knowledge we could access

and the speed at which we could generate

answers to our questions.

“New and more innovative knowledge maps

are now needed to help us navigate the

complexities of our expanding landscape

of knowledge,” says Charles Fadel. Fadel is

the founder of the Center for Curriculum

Redesign, which has been producing

new knowledge maps that redesign

knowledge standards from the ground up.

“Understanding the interrelatedness of

knowledge areas will help to uncover a logical

and effective progression for learning that

achieves deep understanding.”

Joining us in The Global Search for Education

to talk about what students should learn in

the age of AI is Charles Fadel, author of Four-

Dimensional Education: The Competencies

Learners Need to Succeed.

change, I pull out my mobile. How much of

the data kids are being forced to memorize

in school is now a waste of time?

CF: The Greeks bemoaned the invention of

the alphabet because people did not have to

memorize the Iliad anymore. Anthropologists

tell us that memorization is far more trained in

populations that are illiterate or do not have

access to books. So needing to memorize

even less in an age of Search is a natural

evolution.

However, there are also valid reasons for why

some carefully curated content will always

be necessary. Firstly, Automaticity. It would

be implausible for anyone to constantly

look up words or simple multiplications – it

just takes too long and breaks the thought

process, very inefficiently. Secondly, Learning

Progressions. A number of disciplines need

a gradual progression towards expertise,

and again, one cannot constantly look things

up, this would be completely unworkable.

Finally, Competencies (Skills, Character, Meta-

Learning). Those cannot be developed in

thin air as they need a base of (modernized,

curated) knowledge to leverage.

Sometimes people will say “Google knows

everything” and it is striking, but the reality

is that for now, Google stores everything. Of

course, with AI, what is emerging now is the

ability to analyze a large number of specific

problems and make predictions, so eventually,

Google and similar companies will know a lot

more than humans can about themselves!

The Trivium and Quadrivium, medieval revival

of classical Greek education theories, defined

the seven liberal arts necessary as preparation

for entering higher education: grammar, logic,

rhetoric, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic,

and music. Even today, the education

disciplines identified since Greek times are

still reflected in many education systems.

Numerous disciplines and branches have

since emerged, ranging from history to

computer science…

Now comes the Information Age, bringing

with it Big Data, cloud computing, artificial

intelligence as well as visualization techniques

“We need to identify the Essential Content

and Core Concepts for each discipline – that’s

what the curation effort must achieve so as

to leave time and space for deepening the

disciplines’ understanding and developing

competencies.” — Charles Fadel

MBR: Charles, today students have the

ability to look up anything. Technology that

enables them to do this is also improving all

the time. If I want to solve a math problem,

I use my calculator, and if I want to write

a report on the global effects of climate

“What we need to test for is Transfer – the

ability to use something we have learned

in a completely different context. This has

always been the goal of an Education, but

now algorithms will allow us to focus on that

goal even more, by ‘flipping the curriculum’.”

— Charles Fadel

MBR: If Child A has memorized the data in

her head while Child B has to look up the

26


EDUCATION

Malta Business Review

CATION:

Knowledge in the Age of AI

answers, some might argue that Child A is

smarter than Child B. I would argue that

AI has leveled the playing field for Child A

and Child B, particularly if Child B is digitally

literate, creative and passionate about

learning. What are your thoughts?

CF: First, let’s not conflate memory with

intelligence, which games like Jeopardy

implicitly do. The fact that Child A memorized

data does not mean they are “smarter”

than Child B, even though memory implies a

modicum of intelligence. Second, even Child B

will need some level of content knowledge to

be creative, etc. Again, this is not developed in

thin air, per the conversation above.

So it is a false dichotomy to talk about

Knowledge or Competencies (Skills/

Character/Meta-learning), it has to be

Knowledge (modernized, curated) and

Competencies. We’d want children to both

Know and Do, with creativity and curiosity.

Lastly, we need to identify the Essential

Content and Core Concepts for each discipline

– that’s what the curation effort must achieve

so as to leave time and space for deepening

the disciplines’ understanding and developing

competencies.

“Educators have been tonedeaf

to the needs of employers

and society to educate broad

and deep individuals, not

merely ones that may go to

college. The anchoring of this

problem comes from university

entrance requirements.”

- Charles Fadel

MBR: Given the impact of AI today and

the advancements we expect by this time

next year, when should school districts

introduce open laptop examinations

to allow students equal access to

information and place emphasis on their

thinking skills?

CF: The question has more to do with

Search algorithms than with AI, but

regardless, real-life is open-book, and so

should exams be alike. And yes, this will

force students to actually understand their

materials, provided the tests do more than

multiple-choice trivialities, which by the

way we find even at college levels for the

sake of ease of grading.

What we need to test for is Transfer – the

ability to use something we have learned

in a completely different context. This has

always been the goal of an Education, but

now algorithms (search, AI) will allow us to

focus on that goal even more, by “flipping

the curriculum”.

MBR: Today, if a learner wants to do a deep

dive into any specific subject, AI search

allows her to do this outside of classroom

time. What do you say to a history teacher

who argues there’s no need to revise subject

content in his classroom?

CF: For all disciplines, not just History, we

must strike the careful balance between “justin-time,

in context” vs “just-in-case”. Context

matters to anchor the learning: in other words,

real-world projects give immediate relevance

for the learning, which helps it to be absorbed.

And yet projects can also be time-inefficient,

so a healthy balance of didactic methods like

lectures are still necessary. McKinsey has

recently shown that today that ratio is about

25% projects, which should grow a bit more

over time as education systems embed them

better, with better teacher training.

Second, it should be perfectly fine for

any student to do deep dives as they see

fit, but again in balance: there are other

competencies needed to becoming a more

complete individual, and if one is ahead of

the curve in a specific topic, it is of course very

tempting to follow one’s passion. And at the

same time, it is important to make sure that

other competencies get developed too. So,

balance and a discriminating mind matter.

MBR: Employers consider ethics, leadership,

resilience, curiosity, mindfulness and

courage as being of “very high” importance

to preparing students for the workplace.

How does your curriculum satisfy

employers’ demands today and in the years

ahead?

CF: These Character qualities are essential

for employers and life needs alike, and

they have converged away from the false

dichotomy of “employability or psycho-social

needs.” A modern curriculum ensures that

these qualities are developed deliberately,

systematically, comprehensively, and

demonstrably. This is achieved by matrixing

them with the Knowledge dimension,

meaning teaching Resilience via Mathematics,

Mindfulness via History, etc. Employers have a

mixed view and success as to how to assess

these qualities, so it is a bit unfair that they

would demand specificity they do not have.

And it is also unfitting of school systems to

lose relevance.

Credit: CMRubinWorld

MBR: There is a significant gap between

employers’ view of the preparation levels

of students and the views of students and

educators. The problem likely exists partly

because of incorrect assumptions on both

sides, but there are also valid deficiencies.

What specific inadequacies are behind this

gap? What system or process can be devised

to resolve this issue?

CF: On one side, employers are expecting too

much and shirking their responsibility to bring

up the level of their employees, expecting

them to graduate 100% “ready to work”

and having to spend nothing more than jobspecific

training at best. On the other side,

educators have been tone-deaf to the needs

of employers and society to educate broad

and deep individuals, not merely ones that

may go to college.

The anchoring of this problem

comes from university entrance

requirements (in the US, AP

classes, etc.) and their associated

assessments (SAT/ACT scores).

They have for decades back-biased

what is taught in schools, in a very

self-serving manner – narrowly

as a test of whether a student will

succeed at university. It is time to

deconstruct the requirements to

broaden/deepen them to serve

multiple stakeholders. MBR

Creditline: David Wine, CMRubinWorld

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

27


Malta Business Review

HUMAN RESOURCE

MOTIVATIONS TO CHANGE JOBS

One of every two individuals has referred a friend to their organisation at least once. Out of those individuals

who have never referred a friend to their organisation, 52% rated their job satisfaction a 6 or lower, whereas

out of the individuals who have referred a friend to their organisation, only 28% gave a rating of 6 or lower

regarding their job satisfaction.

JobsinMalta.com is an integrated job

board for all types of situations vacant.

Job vacancies in Malta from recruitment

agencies and employers direct. Whether

you're looking for a career move or a temp

job in Malta, sign up today for our daily or

weekly Job Alerts and keep yourself updated

through our social media channels.

A low cost recruitment solution for employers

and recruitment personnel to create, preview

and publish jobs in Malta through multiple

local job boards, social networks and even

your own website. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

28


MALTA

YOUR KEY TO

EUROPE & AFRICA

Unlock your potential &

discover a world of opportunity

Corporate ServiCeS - aCCounting - taxation

www.ejz.com.mt

No. 217, Suite 4, Level 1, 21st September Avenue, Naxxar NXR 1013 Malta

Tel: +356 2149 1127 | Fax: +356 2540 1093 | Mob: +356 9949 0796


Malta Business Review

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

INNOVATING, CREATING

By Martin Vella

Dr. Adrian Attard Trevisan, Umana Medical Technologies

believes that as pioneers in building medical devices

innovators know that the best way to have their ideas come

to fruition is to understand the underlying principles. More

often than not, it’s the medical device engineers who drive

the innovation, and that’s how it should be.

Dr Adrian Attard Trevisan

Seven years ago Dr Adrian Attard Trevisan

started the AAT research which is a group of

companies of medical devices, which grew

and changed over the years . Eventually, it

became called ‘Neurotech International’ and

became a public company on the Australian

Stock Exchange (ASX). Dr Trevisan moved out

of management, remaining a Scientific Advisor

and becoming a Non Executive Director on the

Board. Moving on, Dr Trevisan, established

another group of companies in the medical

devices field, merging forces with a technology

that was being developed by two professors in

Italy, wherein they developed a system in which

with a tattoo sensor they can control any vital

sign of a human being , without being invasive.

Today, this venture is known as UMANA

Medical Technologies, where Dr Trevisan and his

colleagues are trying to replace the traditional

“holter device” used in hospitals , with this novel

technology . With this product, physicians are

able to monitor heart activity, blood pressure

and all vital signs, and in the future Dr Trevisan

also hopes to expand into other areas. Having

signed confidentiality agreement with one

of the top four big names in medical and

pharmacology worldwide, UMANA Medical

Technologies are extending what they are doing

to other areas, such as developing a system

with these tattoos to analyse the sweat of the

patient in order to see if that drug is working on

the patient or not. Growing rapidly in that field,

Adrian is always interested in starting medical

devices companies. Dr Trevisan’s companies

are are all subject to very stringent medical

certifications, and in Malta, such regulators

are not available. These certifications require

qualified people from abroad to come to Malta

and build on for the future. Dr Trevisan believes

a lot that Malta can become a hub on the map

for medical devices. UMANA are now building

their very own facilities, with clean zones,

production areas and R&D. Outstanding results

in quality of care and the patient experience

have created a growing demand for its services.

MBR: It’s all about research and

development, and we lack behind here

in Malta, however, if you have foreign

investors that’s another thing, no?

AAT: I think that looking at Malta as an

isolated place is quite limiting. Research

and Development should really be looked

at in a more collaborative and international

way. I don’t think that investment is the only

limitation in malta. I believe that the biggest

lack is more an infrastructural one. Especially

when working in the medical devices space ,

regulatory restrictions are large , and having to

all the time fly in regulators from abroad , is an

expensive burden that would be avoided if we

had an approved notified body (regulator) for

medical devices, in Malta.

MBR: Way back when you started did a

thought cross your mind that you are going

to build companies?

AAT: What triggers me is I don’t believe in

building companies. I believe I build projects

and products that help people. I try to

surround myself with as many clever people

as possible , to help me convert an idea into

a product, then we validate it. For example

presently with UMANA, we are starting a

2000 patient clinical trial with Mater Dei in

Malta , with the professional supervision of

the Cardiology Department and University

of Malta . I am also very lucky , that the team

that helps me is passionate about the projects

we enter. When you dedicate yourself to start

a project , at times you get into a dilemma of

“why”. Why are you doing it? And I thinkthat is

very important for me. I love seeing problems

and I love developing solutions for those

problems. At times unfortunately insome

companies, people just develop the product

and then try to find a problem to solve it

with after production. I am not part of that

school of thought. I love actually evaluating

the problem. As an example, my mother

has a heart problem (very typical of her age

bracket) and we are all the time anxious

about her wellbeing, so what we are doing

here is a way of monitoring patients like my

mother or other people because the heart

problems are one of the largest conditions

and we actually build a system in which we

monitor these patients in a very, very efficient

way.

MBR: So tell us about this year and why is it

important for you especially with the launch

of Umana T1?

AAT: The Umana T1 was started in terms of its

research by a professor and his team , about

eight years ago . They managed to develop

an idea that got publish on some of the most

influential medical and scientific journals ,

however unfortunately they needed to look

at improving and making this idea into a

real product , and its why I could try to help

them. This so far has worked out as a brilliant

collaboration , and our growing team and

results , are starting to speak for themselves.

I think this year will see the product finally

being released in a number of markets. We are

presently at the very last steps of getting what

we call the CE medical certification, which

is basically the certification required to start

selling this product on the European market,

and we are already starting to work on our our

first batch medical trial in Malta with Mater Dei

Hospital . We have also just moved into our

own production and research facility , and I am

sure that this will help us move to the next step

in the company’s mission of helping patients

around the world.

What triggers me is I don’t

believe I build companies; I

believe I build projects

MBR: What’s this product?

AAT: As I was sayng before , the product is our

“why”. The Umana T1 system is a platform that

is aimed at monitoring a patient ( we started

with our cardiac patients , but in future we

will move to other conditions). The aim of our

patented product is to monitor a patient , to the

highest grade ( clinical) , yet without the need to

put on him a number of cables and wires .The

patient can live a normal life whilst recording

very valuable data, and at the moment we are

30


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

& GROWING BUSINESSES

actually propagating rapidly. Our first generation

of the product can record in real time , heart

activity, atrial fibrillation and blood pressure

from our tattoo but we are also working with

a very large pharma brand to extend these

capabilities even further. The opportunities for

this product are quite endless.

MBR: Where do you see growth

opportunities?

AAT: Well, definitely I think in this type of market

we cannot think just local. We are hoping to

leave our mark locally but you have to have

actually look at quite a global type of investment.

At the moment we are going to be launching

our product in a number of countries. We are

planning to start off with European Countries

once we have the Medical CE Certification and

basically our growth and our partnerships. We

are working with a number of universities. We

are working the Technical University of Graz in

Austria, the university in Milan and Fraunhofer

Institute in Germany and have assembled an

international Advisory Board with professors

coming from Kings college , Imperial College and

Yale University. Therefore, we are structuring

a group of very well-known partners around

the world in order to work together and its

beneficialto both the product development ,

but also to collect feedback from the medical

professionals that use our services.

MBR: Who are the people that truly lead your

solutions, for you to help them?

AAT: Our product offering has two main

audiences. We have Hospitals ( this also includes

telehealth providers and Care centers ) who as

we go along are always in need of more and

more solutions to be able to monitor patients

and also deliver a treatment that these patients

may benefit also away from hospital (telehealth).

Then we have the private market, where it’s the

patient himself who actually requires to have a

solution of monitoring for a long term period.

For example, when you have elderly people,

people living on their own, they are all the time

apprehensive that something might happen to

them, so we offer also a solution that is called

‘The Umana T1 Hub’, where they can form

part of a community and at the same time be

monitored by a medical professional.

We are structuring a group

of very well-known partners

around the world in order to

work together and it helps us

both in the R&D of technology

MBR: How important is innovation to the core

company culture and where is this innovation

taking place?

AAT: Innovation is the key. It’s not just a “buzz

word” like other companies use it. It has to be

the keyword to and for whatever company I

get involved in. That is the unique selling point

of any growing start-up. Innovation is not just

developing a new product, but its crucial for

all the team to really adopt it in the company

culture.Everyone is very flexible here and that is

the call for innovation. I believe that innovation is

going to be the key for any technology company,

especially in the medical industry. The medical

industry is just a little bit harder for change

than other industries and maybe that’s why

even in Malta we don’t have enough medical

technology startups , because the barrier to entry

Umana T1 Heart Monitor

is very substantial and often is less appealing. To

actually start off, when you are doing a medical

device you are very much scrutinized by the

European Community to get the CE Medical

Certification. There are a number of Obligations

( that are usually a killer for startups) , including

a quality management system which is like the

standard ISO 9000 , but is way more stringent ,

called ISO 13485. There are a lot of bureaucracy

that inadvertently hinderinnovation because it

takes longer time. It’s not that you actually come

up with a technologyand you can put it on the

market the next day. You have todo a validation

of it, get international auditors to come to Malta

to say ‘yes, you can start selling to the market’,

but still I believe that innovation is at the core, if

we want to reach our goal. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

Dr Adrian Attard Trevisan is a neurophysiologist

with a wide experience in the field of human

physiology and medical devices. He was

founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief

Scientific Officer of AAT Research, a group

of companies involved in the development of

certified medical devices. The company has

since rebranded itself as Neurotech International,

becoming a publicly listed company on the

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), of which

Adrian is still a Non-Executive Director. He

has worked on international research projects in

England and France and has given presentations

at international conferences and congress, as

well as holding visiting lecturing posts at the

University of Malta and the Università degli

Studi di Milano. He has benefited from research

grants and formed part of research projects under

a number of EU and local funding programmes.

Dr Attard Trevisan is also a research fellow of the

Bedfordshire Center for Mental Health Research

in association with the University of Cambridge.

He is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

of Umana Medical Technologies, a developer

and manufacturer of patented temporary

tattoo sensors that enable patients and medical

professionals to monitor vital signs of patients,

without the usual restrictions of cables and wires

that effect quality of life.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

iGAMING

THE 4 BIGGEST AML D4 RISKS

FOR iGAMING COMPANIES

Last June’s introduction of EU Directive 2015/849,

better known as the 4th Anti-money Laundering

directive (AML D4), brought about a sea change in the

way iGaming companies treat risk – and it's vital that

compliance professionals bring themselves up to speed.

Failure to adequately comply with AML

regulations could result in regulatory

penalties, bad press, and a massive loss of

consumer trust. Whilst all the items on the

AML D4 list are important, here’s a list of the

4 biggest risk factors that compliance teams

have to manage.

1. PEPS AS OWNERS, BENEFICIAL OWNERS, OR

PEOPLE OF SIGNIFICANT CONTROL

One of the AML D4 risk guidelines warns that when compliance

professionals are contemplating their involvement with a company,

they should be on the lookout for any possible associations that

the proposed client or business partner might have with politically

exposed persons (PEPs). Finding out if the company itself, its

owners, directors, or persons of significant control (PSCs) are PEPs

is crucial.

2. CASH-RICH INDUSTRIES

Under the AML D4 guidelines, companies should avoid becoming

involved with businesses that have links to sectors that involve

significant amounts of cash and/or their beneficial owners. It’s

important to understand that cash is hard to trace and is therefore

favoured by money launderers. Cash transactions are one of the

simplest methods to transform ill-gotten gains into money that

appears above-board.

3. BUSINESS INTERESTS OR DEALINGS IN CERTAIN

HIGH-RISK SECTORS

The AML D4 guidelines stratify corruption risk levels according to

certain economic sectors. As far as the assessment and avoidance

of risk is concerned, under the AML D4 guidelines, not all industries

are equal. iGaming companies are advised to ensure that they

have solid due diligence procedures in place to ensure they are

aware of the sectors in which any potential partners or customers

operate.

4. ADVERSE MEDIA REPORTS FROM CREDIBLE

NEWS OUTLETS

The AML D4 guidelines suggest keeping an eye out for negative

stories about potential business partners or customers in news

items which include allegations of criminality or terrorism, whether

proven or not. Likewise, if any company or its beneficial owner, or

anyone significantly associated with the company is reported to

have been subject to an asset freeze due to criminal proceedings or

allegations of terrorism or terrorist financing, should set alarm bells

ringing for compliance professionals

AML D4 TRANSACTION MONITORING

Learn how AXON enables you to automate and optimise your regulatory and compliance

functions by tracking and reporting on critical data in real-time. This provides a major

benefit in time saving, versus a manual process where you are limited to performing

individual checks on each data source. MBR

Website: https://www.computimesoftware.com/axon-gaming/

Email us: info@computimesoftware.com or call us +356 2149 0700.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

32


Don’t get caught with your pants down!

Let AXON drive your AML D4 compliance

Real-time alerts based

on fraudulent activity

Create rules to monitor

complex pattern identifiers

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monitoring

Facilitate KYC

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www.computimesoftware.com/axon-gaming +356 2149 0700 info@computimesoftware.com


Malta Business Review

iGAMING

MBR

BTOBET AND

SPINOMENAL

NEW PARTNERS

IN iGAMING


We constantly strive to reach

the perfect balance of amazing

graphics, fun game flow and

easy access for worldwide

clients. Since its foundation,

Spinomenal has created more

than 85 original cross-platform

games and we are just getting

warmed up!


Spinomenal cross platform games supplier,

providing the most innovative and high-end

games to some of the world’s largest casino

gaming operators, has signed a partnership

with the advanced technological iGaming

and Sportsbook platform BtoBet.

Commenting on the partnership, Spinomenal’s

CEO Lior Shvartz, stated:

“We constantly strive to reach the perfect

balance of amazing graphics, fun game flow

and easy access for worldwide clients. Since

its foundation, Spinomenal has created

more than 85 original cross-platform games

and we are just getting warmed up! We

are very excited about the integration with

BtoBet and are always happy to work with

such a responsive and professional team of

experts who are able to make the process

easy and fast”.

Kostandina Zafirovska, BtoBet’s CEO highlighted:

“Spinomenal has interesting set of games

and we’re enthusiastic about integrating

their content onto BtoBet’s platform, ready

for any regulated market. I firmly believe

the combination of Spinomenal’s games

proposal and BtoBet’s platform will definitely

provide operators with the possibility to

elaborate unique offers, tailored for every

single market, offering more than 3,000

exciting games. Additionally, with our

sophisticated Recommendation engine,

operators can suggest to players their

preferred games, at the ideal time and on

their preferred device.”

About BtoBet

BtoBet is a multinational company and is

part of a group with 20 years of experience

in software development in IT, finance,

telecommunication, e-commerce and

banking, strongly committed to technology

and widely investing in technology research

and development. The experience gained in

these advanced environments, allows BtoBet

to be visionary in the iGaming and Sports

betting industry with a deep understanding

of the requirements of the market, catching

changing trends and anticipating bookmakers’

and operators’ needs. BtoBet is a true partner

in technology, offering a standalone platform

and services for the iGaming and Sports

Betting industry. It counts on a very talented,

continuously trained development team and

day to day management support to clients.

BtoBet allows licensees to be unique in the

market, by giving them the opportunity to

completely personalise their offers for Sports

betting and iGaming business, online mobile

and retail. BtoBet has technical branches with

large ever-growing teams of developers in

Skopje, Ohrid, Bitola, Belgrade, Nish, Tirana,

and Rome. Malta hosts the commercial and

marketing centre. Visit our site on: www.

btobet.com

About Spinomenal

Spinomenal was founded in late 2014 by

Lior Shvartz and Omer Henia. From the first

day of its existence, the company had a very

clear vision: to be the lead content provider.

Starting from scratch, Spinomenal quickly

grew and developed new and original cross

platform games with high-end graphic and

sounds, but more importantly, brilliant new

features. The ideas just kept pouring out along

with a constant process of self-improvement.

Today, the company is on top of its game and

is always striving to reach higher, get better

and rise to the next challenge. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

34


Your Corporate Travel

Partner all over the world

FCM Travel Solutions is one of the world’s largest

leading corporate travel management providers

offering complete end-to-end travel management

services. FCM’s network now covers more than 90

countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa,

Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Our objective is simple: to provide you with better travel ideas for

greater savings. Our worldwide reach combined with our experienced

travel specialists will ensure a very high level of personalised service

and considerable savings in the long run. FCM Travel Solutions has

a unique business model focused on high productivity, key account

management and round the clock emergency service.

We do understand the complexity of business travel and have

invested in the latest online booking tools thus ensuring more

effective management of travel expenditure. This will ensure a full

consolidation of travel management for business units, with preidentified

control mechanisms set in place enabling better control

over travel budgets.

FCM HEAD OFFICE

Ewropa Business Centre, Dun Karm Street,

Birkirkara Bypass, Birkirkara BKR 9034

FCM MOSTA

152, Constitution Street,

Mosta MST 9055

FCM VALLETTA

108, St. John Street,

Valletta VLT 1169

FCM GOZO

7, Independence Square,

Victoria VCT 1022

www.fcm.com.mt | www.mt.fcm.travel

info@mt.fcm.travel | +356 23456789


Malta Business Review

FAMILY BUSINESS

Multi-generational entrepreneurs

By Marcela Kunva

Mirabaud family business was founded

in 1819. Today, two of the four managing

partners represent the sixth and seventh

generations of the banking family. Nicolas

Mirabaud, member of the executive

committee of Mirabaud & Cie SA, says:

“The main difficulty with succession is to

ensure the continuity of activity throughout

different generations. You need to be able to

build on the know-how you have acquired,

but at the same time also need to prepare

for the future through innovation.”

Jonathan Giles, who is a managing director

at Rathbone Investment Management

International, agrees and adds: “I find it is

commonplace that there is a lack of clear

and agreed family guidelines on how the

operating company ties in with the wider

family objectives such as philanthropy, next

generation succession and whether the rest

of the family want to be involved in running

the company. I usually recommend, to

families we advise, that they create a family

constitution, which sets out succession issues

and the scope of the family office to support

the business.”

Giles goes on to say that this kind of

constitution needs to address governance

weaknesses. “There needs to be collective

agreement in such a document, which sets

out clearly the authority given to family

members and it is vital to align their passion,

experience and skills with the agreed family

objectives and values. The constitution needs

to be written clearly so the limits of their

authority are established and supervisory

controls are put in place.

According to Khaled Said, who is a founding

partner at private investment office, Capital

Generation Partners, the greatest difficulty is

hiring the right talent to work alongside the

family “For families to have access to the best

investment opportunities across geographies,

sectors and asset classes they will need to hire

quite a large team of specialists, or decide

to outsource to a provider who can focus

on what they need and then manage that

relationship closely,” says Said.

“I find it is commonplace

that there is a lack of clear

and agreed family guidelines

on how the operating

company ties in with the

wider family objectives"

But there are also advantages in running a

family business which, generally will have

fewer external shareholders which means

decision making can be more thoughtful.

Alexander S. Hoare, partner and former CEO

of C. Hoare & Co, says: “None of our partners

have any interest in quarterly earnings,

market share, executive share options and

such drivers at other companies. We share a

long term perspective which makes it easier

to take longer timeline decisions. An example

might be seen in the legacy systems which

successive management teams of clearing

banks have not invested in.”

Like all businesses, a family business will face

risks and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Said

says: “Human risk, investment risk, lack of

rigour or lack of process can really hamper

any family business.” Giles agrees and adds

that with the growth in social media, that

training and guidance from outside specialists

on reputation protection is a worthwhile

investment. “Analysing the digital footprint

of family members to see what exposures

have been created is an important first step.

This creates a digital audit and a remediation

plan to protect the family from, for example,

a cyber-attack or negative headlines.

Educating the family on social media posts so

they understand their vulnerabilities is also

important.” While aware of all the external

risks, Mirabaud also points out that succession

can mean simply losing the entrepreneurial

spirit that ignited the business originally

which he cites as a major risk. Giles adds a

point about family offices and their costs. “On

top of running a business, if there is a sole

family office to manage their investments

then there are large cost implications which

can range from c£2-£4m annually. This means

you need c£300m in ‘balance sheet’ value to

justify such its existence.

Alexander S. Hoare concludes: “There are

many macroeconomic and geopolitical

things that could happen, but our job is to

manage our way through these. Assuming

we prosper during property crashes, through

Brexit, through a Labour government, and

keep out cyber criminals, then what could go

wrong? Answer: a family business can be too

successful, spoil their upcoming generation

and then make bad decisions. In point of fact it

happened to the sixth generation at the bank,

and the seventh generation subsequently

took us off course, simply because they were

spoiled and entitled.” MBR

Credit: Citywealth; Jones Publishing Ltd.

36


FASHION & LIFESTYLE

Malta Business Review

Good enough is fine for getting started

BUT IT’S NOT A WORTHY GOAL

BY JOHN PAUL ABELA

NU

John Paul Abela interviews Graziella Galdes, owner of Gilda.

What some people see as a risk, she sees as an opportunity. What one could consider to be a disadvantage, she

turns into an asset. We had the chance to have a one-to-one chat with Graziella Galdes who apart from being a

single mother of three wonderful kids, also operates Gilda, a leading brand synonymous with the best selection of

designer and luxury fashion wear. Graziella opens up about her overall performance of juggling family life along with

her business. If there was one mantra I’d associate with her, it would be “where there is a will, there is a way”.

MBR: How did you get your start in the

fashion industry?

GG: Kids wear signalled my first step in the

fashion business in 1995. Ever since that

outlet I’ve been passionate about fashion and

developed my own style in ladies fashion-I

knew that I wanted to be a business owner

and work for myself, and the thought of

opening a ladies fashion outlet just clicked

and made perfect sense.

MBR: Take us through a day in your life as a

mumpreneur…

GG: I believe that women can successfully

combine family, career and time for

themselves. I have shown my children that it

is okay to work and be a mother at the same

time. There’s no typical day for me, which is

part of what I love about working in fashion.

Travelling is part and parcel of keeping abreast

with the fashion industry however keeping in

direct contact with my customers is my top

priority.

MBR: What type of customers do you cater

for?

GG: Gilda is a one-of-a-kind shopping

experience, uniquely designed and

merchandised with the latest fashion apparel,

shoes, bags and hats. Gilda is where Malta’s

trendiest go when they need a unique outfit

to wear to an event. With outlets in Zebbug,

Kappara and Valletta, Gilda offers lots of

exclusive pieces.

MBR: What are some of your goals for the

future of Gilda?

GG: It is an exciting time for me - 2018 will see

my daughter Valentina joining me during my

business journey. Committed to provide the

best in style and quality Gilda has opened

it’s latest outlet in Valletta. This addition to

the brand marks an important milestone and

joins the ranks of the stylish and exclusive

boutique that had opened in Zebbug and

Kappara years before.

It is never enough for Graziella…over the

coming months a new outlet will be launched

in a prime location. Along with clothing, the

project will see the launch of a luxury footwear

line – shoes boasting an elegant aesthetic,

rooted in classic shapes and designs, but all

with subtly unique details.

“Although Gilda’s past has been a celebration

Graziella Galdes, owner of Gilda

of success and the present is very bright,

the journey never stops. The future entails

continuous hard work. You're only as good

as your last performance. The past is part of

history but you have to build on last week or

last night's performance to ensure the future

remains strong,” commented Graziella. MBR

Credit: John Paul Abela

www.maltabusinessreview.net

37


Malta Business Review

HR & MANAGEMENT

MANAGING STRESS AND CHANGE AT WORK

Susan M. Heathfield

Are you experiencing stress at work?

Want to learn more about what

causes stress and the impact of stress

on people at work? First, you should

start by exploring where and how your

workplace stress is coming from.

Once you understand the origin of

your workplace stress, use these five

suggestions to help you manage it.

Effective stress management is not

easy and requires time and practice.

But developing stress management

skills is important for your overall

health and well-being.

1. Control Time Allocation and Goals

Set realistic goals and time frames for

yourself. Remember the Alice in Wonderland

Syndrome from the book Alice’s Adventures

in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alice is

walking in a woods. She comes to a fork in the

road. Not knowing which way to go, she asks

the Cheshire Cat:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought

to go from here?

"That depends a good deal on where you

want to get to,” said the cat.

"I don’t much care where, said Alice.

"Then it doesn’t matter, said the cat.

"—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added

as an explanation.

"Oh, you're sure to do that, said the Cat, if you

only walk long enough."

Do you feel this way some days? Setting

realistic goals for your day and year helps you

feel directed and in control. Goals give you a

yardstick against which you can measure every

time commitment. And, walking long enough is

a stress producer, not a stress management tool.

Scheduling more than you can handle is a

great stressor. Not only are you stressed

trying to handle your commitments, you are

stressed just thinking about them. If you are

experiencing overload with some activities,

learn to say, “no.” Eliminate any activities

which you don’t have to do. Carefully consider

any time-based commitment you make.

Use an electronic planner to schedule each

goal and activity you commit to accomplishing,

not just your appointments. If that report will

take two hours to write, schedule the two

hours just as you would a meeting. If reading

and responding to email take an hour per day,

schedule the hour.

2. Reconsider All Meetings

Why hold meetings in the first place?

An effective meeting serves an essential

purpose — it is an opportunity to share

information and/or to solve a critical

problem. Meetings should only happen when

interaction is required. Meetings can work

to your advantage, or they can weaken your

effectiveness at work. If much of your time

is spent attending ineffective, time-wasting

meetings, you are limiting your ability to

accomplish important objectives at work.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a study that

estimated American managers could save 80

percent of the time they currently waste in

meetings if they did two things: start and end

meetings on time and follow an agenda.

3. You Can’t Be All Things to All People –

Control Your Time

Something has to give. Make time for the

most important commitments and take

some time to figure out what these are. Time

management is a systematic approach to the

time of your life applied consistently.

The basis of time management is the ability to

control events. A study was done some years

ago that revealed symphony conductors live

the longest of any professionals. Looking into

this longevity, researchers concluded that in

no other occupation do people have such

complete control over existing events.

In his book, Time Power, Dr. Charles Hobbes

suggests that there are five categories of

events:

• Events you think you cannot control,

and you can’t.

• Events you think you cannot control,

but you can.

• Events you think you can control, but

you can’t.

• Events you think you can control, but

you don’t.

• Events you think you can control, and

you can.

There are two major issues about control.

• Each of us is really in control and

in charge of more events than we

generally like to acknowledge.

• Some things are uncontrollable. Trying

to control uncontrollables is a key cause

of stress and unhappiness.

With the competing demands that exist for

your time, you probably feel as if much of

your day is not in your control. Feeling not in

control is the enemy of time management.

Feeling not in control is one of the major

causes of stress in our daily lives, too.

4. Make Time Decisions Based on Analysis

Take a look at how you currently divide your

time. Do you get the little, unimportant things

completed first because they are easy and

their completion makes you feel good? Or, do

you focus your efforts on the things that will

really make a difference for your organization

and your life? Events and activities fall into

one of four categories. You need to spend the

majority of your time on items that fall into

the last two categories.

Not Urgent and Not Important

Urgent but Not Important

Not Urgent but Important

Urgent and Important

5. Manage Procrastination

If you are like most people, you procrastinate

for three reasons.

• You don’t know how to do the task,

• You don’t like to do the task, or

• You feel indecisive about how to

approach the task.

Deal with procrastination by breaking

the large project into as many small,

manageable, instant tasks as possible. Make

a written list of every task. List the small

tasks on your daily, prioritized To Do List.

Reward yourself upon completion. If you do

procrastinate, you’ll find that the task gets

bigger and bigger and more insurmountable

in your own mind. Just start.

These stress managing tips will help you

change your actions and outlook. Best

wishes as you implement these ideas to live

a great life. MBR

Credit: Susan M.Heathfield

38


Malta Business Review

WORKPLACE

WHAT MAKES A GREAT WORKPLACE?

44% OF INDIVIDUALS EITHER CHANGE JOBS AS THEY ARE OFFERED A BETTER SALARY AND BENEFITS PACKAGE, OR BECAUSE THEY ARE

DISSATISFIED WITH THE COMPANY'S MANAGEMENT AND CULTURE FIT. WHICH FACTORS HELP MAKE A GREAT WORKPLACE? MBR

Credit: JobsinMalta

40


EDITOR’S CHOICE

Malta Business Review

PARMIGIANI FLEURIER LAUNCH THE

NEW KALPA AT SIHH

The Shape of Excellence

Kalpa Chronor

To showcase the new generation of

Kalpa watches, Parmigiani Fleurier is

making an impression with the Kalpa

Chronor, which features the world’s

first solid-gold, self-winding, integrated

chronograph movement.

This tonneau watch is water-resistant to 30

metres and made of hand-polished 18 ct

rose gold. It measures 48.2 x 40.4 mm and

houses an exceptional mechanism that has

been developed and manufactured entirely

in-house. The COSC-certified calibre PF365

is the result of six years’ development, and

oscillates at the high frequency of 36,000

vibrations per hour (5 Hz) to achieve a reading

accuracy of one tenth of a second. With a

power reserve of around 65 hours, this Haute

Horlogerie movement includes a column

wheel and vertical clutch as well as offering

precision gauges and user comfort, and is

set apart by its luxury composition using 18

ct gold. This malleable material is particularly

complex to work with, which further

reinforces the rare quality and expertise that

have gone into its design, the skeleton work

on its bridges, and its decoration. It also

Editor's Choice

features a variable-inertia balance, held in

place by a cross-through bridge, for improved

stability and shock resistance. In terms of the

dial, the calibre PF365 provides hour, minute,

small second and chronograph functions

with a tachymeter and date window. At the

back, a wide tonneau opening with a sapphire

crystal at the top reveals this new shaped

movement, wound by an oscillating weight

in 22 ct gold that features a barley grain

guilloché motif. The 18 ct gold bipartite dial

in black is elegantly finished with an opaline

centre, hand-worked braid-effect guilloché

detail on the flange, and snailed counters. The

counters have been enlarged and positioned

slightly above the centre point, offering easier

readability, while the rounded date window

with its gold outline at 12 o’clock reveals

below it a disc with white numerals and a gold

powder finish for the ‘1’. The luminescent

Delta hands point to hand-applied 18 ct

rose gold faceted indices, which also have a

luminescent coating and match the folding

buckle on the Hermès black alligator strap.

It is an exceptional timepiece, produced as a

series of 50 numbered pieces. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

GENDER PAY GAP

PAYM€QUALLY -

TOWARDS EQUAL

PAY FOR WOMEN

AND MEN

By Renee Laiviera

Commissioner - NCPE

An investigation carried out by the National

Commission for the Promotion of Equality

(NCPE) in 2015 found the occurrence of gender

discrimination in the wage of a female employee.

In this case, the complainant alleged that she

was receiving a lower wage than the male

employees who were in a similar or same rank

and responsibilities. It was noted that while all

of the managers’ wages differ in amount, the gap

between the male managers’ wages is smaller

than the one between the average male manager

wage and the complainant’s wage. Following

the opinion issued in relation to this complaint,

NCPE was informed that negotiations between

the employer and the complainant resulted in a

substantial increase in salary when compared to

that of her male counterparts.

42


GENDER PAY GAP

Malta Business Review

Cases on gender discrimination in pay that

are similar to this mainly affect women, and

contribute to widen the gender pay gap. As

this is a concern for most of the EU member

states, the European Commission established

the European Equal Pay Day that is usually

earmarked for the first week in November

to raise awareness on this issue. Many of the

EU member states have followed suit and

so has NCPE. In fact, through a short media

campaign - PayM€qually - NCPE is raising

further awareness on the gender pay gap on

the national level.

Research shows that equal pay for work of

equal value for women and men should not

only be safeguarded, because it is enshrined

in the Constitution of Malta, but also because

it makes good business sense. Safeguarding

equality in employment, including in pay,

contributes to attract the best employees

for a job; to make effective use of talents and

skills; to avoid complaints on discrimination

and unfair work practices; to create a positive

work environment and gain the confidence of

employees.

The question arises – how can equal pay for

women and men be guaranteed? Having

an Equality Policy that safeguards equal pay

signifies that an organisation is committed

to promote equality and diversity in concrete

terms and eliminates unlawful discrimination.

Such policies ensure equal terms and

conditions offered to women and men in

the same grade and in the same type of

employment or doing work of equal value.

An equality policy benefits staff and potential

employees and helps achieve dignity at work,

contributing to providing the best possible

services to clients.

Having a robust, consistent, gender-sensitive

method for assessing and comparing the

value of different jobs is considered vital to

achieving equal pay. Such job evaluation

schemes have proved to provide a basis for a

grading and pay structure based on objective

criteria, supporting credible definitions of

work of equal value and detecting indirect

pay discrimination on grounds of sex. The aim

is to evaluate the job, not the jobholder, and

to provide a way of assessing the demands

of a job that is free from gender bias and as

objective as possible.

Payroll transparency facilitates the

implementation of equal pay for women

and men by enabling employees, employers

and social partners to take appropriate

action when and if necessary. Employees

can make sense of their earnings and

those of their colleagues putting at rest

suspicions of discrimination, favouritism and

general unfairness. Studies carried out in

organisations show that sharing peers’ and

superiors’ salary information is a motivator. In

fact, when employees can clearly see where

they stand within the company in relation to

their colleagues, they are more likely to ask

themselves why they are in that position and

do what they can to raise their prospects.

In Malta there are already 78 enterprises, with

around 21,000 employees, that have shown

their commitment towards gender equality,

including in pay, which commitment has been

recognised and awarded by NCPE. In fact, the

NCPE Equality Mark certifies organisations

that foster gender equality at the workplace

according to set criteria, including equality

in recruitment and working conditions

such as equal pay for work of equal value.

NCPE provides the necessary assistance to

organisations to strengthen their policies and

practices in this regard.

Reporting discrimination in pay is essential to

ensure that the gender pay gap is addressed.

In this context, NCPE is empowered to

investigate complaints of alleged gender

discrimination in employment, including in

pay. Therefore, anyone who deems that they

are being discriminated against in this regard,

is encouraged to lodge a complaint with NCPE

for further investigation and action.

Through the media campaign PayM€qually, in

line with the European Equal Pay Day marked

this year on 3rd November, NCPE is putting

its message across by participating in TV and

radio programmes and publishing articles in

order to increase awareness that a pay gap

between women and men still exists and that

there are ways how this can be addressed.

Join us on NCPE’s facebook page for regular

posts with infographics, video-clips and

quotes of renowned personalities. MBR

NCPE can be contacted on 2590 3850,

equality@gov.mt or on Facebook.

Credit: NCPE

Equal pay for work of equal value and gender equality

in employment as safeguarded by legislation

Article 14 of the Constitution of Malta:

“... the State shall in particular aim at ensuring that women workers enjoy

equal rights and the same wages for the same work as men.”

Employment and Industrial Relations Act:

“Employees in the same class of employment are entitled to the same

rate of remuneration for work of equal value”

Equality for Men and Women Act:

“It shall be unlawful for employers to discriminate, directly or indirectly,

against a person in the arrangements made to determine or in

determining who should be offered employment or in the terms and

conditions on which the employment is offered or in the determination of

who should be dismissed from employment.”

www.maltabusinessreview.net

43


Malta Business Review

WORLD FOOD CRISIS

Swedish multi awarded pioneer company Plantagon

invites everyone to join them in fighting the world food

crisis. Say Hi to (the definition of) Inclusive Capitalism.

By Anna Karlsson

The Swedish pioneer in urban agriculture and food tech, Plantagon International,

is launching an international recruiting campaign to recruit like-minded allies

throughout the world to help achieve the common goal of solving the world food

crisis. While doing so, Plantagon aims at changing the current business paradigm

by creating a more responsible and inclusive economy through democratizing

and sharing of its power and profits. Plantagon’s governance model, called the

Companization*, has attained global interest and recognition for its innovative

hybrid model containing both a for-profit and a non-profit organization.

The Swedish pioneer in urban agriculture

and food tech, Plantagon International,

is launching an international recruiting

campaign to recruit like-minded allies

throughout the world to help achieve the

common goal of solving the world food crisis.

While doing so, Plantagon aims at changing

the current business paradigm by creating

a more responsible and inclusive economy

through democratizing and sharing of its

power and profits. Plantagon’s governance

model, called the Companization*, has

attained global interest and recognition for

its innovative hybrid model containing both a

for-profit and a non-profit organization.

The problem Plantagon has set out to solve

is the world food crisis. Recent estimates

suggest that by 2050 up to 80% of the world’s

population will reside in cities[1]. By then,

the world’s population is projected to almost

reach 10 billion[2]. If current farming practices

and consumption patterns continue, the

Earth’s arable land will soon not be sufficient

to produce enough food for the growing

population. To address this, Plantagon has

developed solutions for large-scale food

production in cities; most prominently,

vertical space-efficient greenhouses or

‘plantscrapers’ for the urban environment

that will deliver locally grown organic food

directly to the consumer.

To achieve the platscrapers, Plantagon’s

hybrid model needs to charge up with help of

the power of the many. Plantagon needs likeminded

people all over the world who share

the belief that a value change is needed for

survival and that the current focus on shortterm

profit has to stop. That cause beats

profit.

People from all over the world who wants

to join this work are invited to become allies

of Plantagon International and a part of the

Companization. Through their “allyship” in

the non-profit association they will play a

crucial part in Plantagon International’s first

landmark project, The World Food Building,

a 60-meter vertical greenhouse and office

building in Linköping, Sweden. The project

is the first of its kind and will produce 500

metric tons of food annually, saving 1000

metric tons of CO2 emissions and 50 million

liters of water compared to regular farming.

In addition to that, at least 50% of the energy

consumption of the production will be reused

in the building.

“We are reaching out to people everywhere

that feel that commercial organisations

should also be the driving force of change.

People are sick and tired of businesses being

shortsighted and just-for-profit driven. We

believe it’s time for this to change, the time

for ‘business as usual’ is over. With potentially

100 000 allies all over the world supporting

Plantagon we will show that the power of

the crowd gets the job done,” says Hans

Hassle, Plantagon’s Co-founder and Secretary-

General.

For more information about Plantagon’s

governance model and how to join Plantagon

as an ally, please go to www.plantagon.org/

membership/.

LANDMARK PROJECT: THE WORLD

FOOD BUILDING

Creating a solid base of allies within the

Companization will support Plantagon’s up

scaling of business internationally and help

to accelerate Plantagon’s landmark project,

a 60-meter vertical farm named The World

Food Building in Linköping, Sweden. The

building’s interior will be shared between a

16-storey office space and a food production

line built on Plantagon’s patented technology;

producing food in a closed, clean and climate

controlled environment. The World Food

Building will serve as an international model

plant to present the methods, symbiotic

systems and technologies developed by

Plantagon and its partners to enable large

cities around the world to help produce their

own food through vertical industrial urban

farming.

The building will produce 500 metric tonnes

of food annually, saving 1000 metric tonnes of

CO2 emissions and 50 million litres of water.

At least 50% of the energy consumption for

the food production will be recovered as floor

heat in the office building through smart

energy systems and heat storage.

To cap off the symbiosis between flora and

fauna, the CO2 emitted by the office workers

will be transferred into the greenhouse, and

vice versa.

The building was recently awarded The

International Architecture Awards 2016

by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of

Architecture and Design and The European

Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban

Studies. Plantagon has also been recognized

by Red Herring as being one the 100 most

innovative companies in the world.

THE COMPANIZATION

Plantagon’s governance model is built on

an advanced CSR-approach that shapes

what the company stands for and how it

can act. The objective is to democratise

the share holding company by taking away

anonymous ownership that only focuses on

maximising profit. This model is recognised as

Companization, a hybrid between a for-profit

company and an association open for all.

Plantation calls this “a value change needed

for survival”. By using this model, Plantagon

is giving away both money and power to the

Allies and members, since the Association

owns 10% and has the power to appoint half

of the board in the share holding company.

Credit: Manifest Stockholm

About Plantagon

Plantagon International is a worldleading

pioneer within the field food

security and CSR – combining urban

agriculture, innovative technical solutions

and architecture – to meet the demand

for efficient food production within cities;

adding a more democratic and inclusive

governance model. Plantagon has been

recognized by Red Herring as being one

the 100 most innovative companies in

the world. MBR

44


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Malta Business Review

POLITICO GLOBAL POLICY LAB

Brexit & the future

of Britain’s economy

By Mark Scott and Charlie Cooper

During this five-week project into how the

U.K. can retool its economy after Brexit,

one message reemerged again and again.

Many Britons who voted to leave the EU

feel disconnected from the country’s recent

economic growth — a phenomenon that

has led to some of the highest rates of social

inequality anywhere in the Western world.

With feedback from the panelists of our

“brainstorming” workshop, as well as from

readers like yourselves, we delved into this

topic in our final article for this Global Policy

Chapter. In particular, we assessed whether

Brexit can be used as a vehicle to improve

social equality across the U.K.

We also put together a graphic on how many

parts of the country — in fact, some of the

most disadvantaged regions — voted most

avidly for Brexit even though they may have

the most to lose from leaving the EU. See

the maps that show how Brexit and social

inequality, at least for the moment, go hand

in hand.

As we finish the third chapter of POLITICO’s

Global Policy Lab, these are three paths,

based on feedback from this collaborative

project, for revamping Britain’s economy (and

some of the trade-offs that will go along with

them):

Singapore-on-the-Thames

Britain’s has one of the most advanced

financial services industries anywhere. It

generates billions of pounds of tax revenue

each year and connects the U.K. to all four

corners of the world. The country could

double down on those advantages, paring

back regulation in some areas and promoting

itself as the go-to place for international

financial services for growing global powers

like China.

The downside? Without so-called passporting

rights to the EU, some in the City may find

it hard to offer their services to the rest of

Europe, still one of the largest buyers of

Britain’s financial expertise.

Return to manufacturing

The U.K. may not be the manufacturing

powerhouse it once was, but when it comes

to specialized areas like the aerospace and

automotive sectors, Britain still punches

significantly above its weight. Combine that

with a pound falling against other currencies,

and you have a golden opportunity for exports

— with the added benefit of rebalancing a

domestic economy that has become overly

dependent on services.

One significant challenge, though, is access

to talent, particularly from the EU if the U.K.

continues down the path toward a so-called

hard Brexit. For local manufacturing to keep

pace globally, a steady stream of highly

qualified talent will be required, either trained

locally or imported from elsewhere.

Digital Britain

The U.K. government is already promoting

its Europe-leading tech sector, with

investments announced to boost digital

training and expand research into artificial

intelligence and robotics. These sectors will

only grow in prominence as all industries

embrace digital advances demanded by 21st

century consumers. And since much of this

technological race is global (the United States

and China are arguably larger markets than

Europe), Britain’s departure from the EU will

pose few obstacles to this digital push.

Again, much will depend on keeping the local

workforce trained in the latest skills if the U.K.

is to take advantage of its current status as

first among equals in Europe’s tech industry.

That will take money. Lots and lots of money

to educate the next generation of British

workers that will come of age after Brexit.

Underlying this discussion is one clear fact.

Brexit — no matter if you voted Leave or

Remain — will fundamentally alter the

U.K.’s economy. And that offers a once-in-ageneration

chance to reframe Britain’s future

after arguably the most important political

decision for Britain in the last 70 years. MBR

Credit: The Politico Global Policy Lab

Digital skills,

skills, skills

The digital sector is one in which Britain

undoubtedly leads the way in Europe.

Whether in terms of venture capital

invested or startups valued at more than a

billion pounds, rivals like France, Germany

and Sweden are green with envy.

As Britain looks to a future beyond Brexit, it’s

clear the country’s digital sector can’t stand

still. That means both attracting foreign talent

(both from the EU and farther afield), as well

as training up locals in the technical skills

required for a 21st-century economy.

The situation in the U.K. is a mixed bag. The

country has almost 1 million developers

working across both tech and non-tech

sectors, according to data compiled by Stack

Overflow, an industry career website. That

gives Britain one of the deepest benches of

tech talent anywhere in the world and makes

France and its 460,000 developers look paltry

in comparison.

But its position as a tech leader is by no

means secure.

More than 40 percent of job vacancies linked

to so-called STEM (science, technology,

engineering and mathematics) professions

remain hard to fill, according to research by

the U.K. government. And in London — by a

long measure, the country’s tech capital —

80 percent of local tech companies say skill

shortages are their biggest barrier to growth,

according to a survey by London First, a trade

body.

To ensure the success of the next generation

of local digital companies in the wake of Brexit,

it’s crucial that policymakers invest more in

digital training and push forward with a visa

program for highly-trained migrants (one

already exists for non-EU workers) to ensure

the steady flow of tech workers doesn’t dry

up overnight. MBR

Credit The Politico Global Policy Lab

46


POLITICO GLOBAL POLICY LAB

Malta Business Review

The pro-Brexit view

As part of this chapter of POLITICO’s

Global Policy Lab, we have laid out what

Brexit means for the future of different

parts of the U.K. economy. That has

included delving deep into different

sectors like trade, financial services,

manufacturing and tech.

As part of our final newsletter, we wanted

to outline — from the point of view of pro-

Brexit economists, business people and

policymakers — what the future may look like

as the U.K. moves swiftly toward the EU door.

Gerard Lyons chief economic adviser to Policy Exchange

Few have been more bullish on Brexit than

Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital

Economics, a research consultancy. Since last

year’s referendum, Bootle has stressed that

the massive expansion of Britain’s trade with

non-EU countries has far outmatched (at least

in yearly growth rates) the country’s links with

Europe.

Such fast-growing global connections, as well

as the U.K.’s ability to nimbly sign trade deals

with these countries, should give Britain an

advantage over the more sluggish EU. “This

is the Great Escape,” Bootle told a London

audience earlier this year. “We’re going to do

extremely well.”

Gerard Lyons, chief economic adviser to Policy

Exchange, a U.K. think tank, also has been a

vocal advocate for a so-called hard Brexit.

In his view, the U.K. government has been

right to declare it will leave both the single

market and customs union after Brexit. Now,

he advocates that the U.K. should offer two

options to the EU: Either carry on under the

existing tariff-free arrangement or fall back on

WTO rules.

And if it’s the latter, politely tell the EU that if

imposes WTO tariffs on Britain, then the U.K.

will do the same to Europe. Call it the Teddy

Roosevelt school of Brexit: speak softly (about

a trade deal), but carry a big stick. MBR

Credit: The Politico Global Policy Lab

BREXIT: MEPS

CONCERNED OVER

UK GOVERNMENT

PRIORITIES

• Hardest part of Brexit negotiations yet

to come

• UK government should not take Brexit

transition deal for granted

• MEPs welcome steps towards more EU

defence cooperation

MEPs acknowledge that progress has been

made in Brexit negotiations, but stress that

the hardest part of the talks is yet to come

In a debate with European Council President

Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-

Claude Juncker on the 14-15 December EU

summit conclusions, MEPs cautioned the UK

government not to take a Brexit transition

deal for granted, and highlighted the need to

formalise the withdrawal agreement as fast as

possible.

They also called on the UK government to lay

out clearly its vision for the country’s desired

future relationship with the EU, avoiding

apparently celebrated priorities such as the

colour of passports, which it was always free

to choose. Some MEPs made it clear that no

status outside the EU ever be as good as full

EU membership.

Others stressed that the EU-UK negotiations

are bound to be tough, but emphasised

that this is because all parties involved

are trying to achieve the best solutions for

citizens. Parliament’s Brexit coordinator

Guy Verhofstadt underlined the need for

guarantees regarding residence application

procedures for EU citizens wishing to live in

the UK in the future, stressing that the new

residence status proposed by the UK should

not come into force until the end of the

transition period.

European Council President Donald Tusk

MEPs also welcomed the concrete steps

recently taken towards more defence

cooperation among EU countries, stressed the

need to reform the eurozone, and called for

more EU-wide measures to tackle migration

challenges and youth unemployment. MBR

Credit The Politico Global Policy Lab

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

BREXIT 360°

EU TOUGHENS ITS TRANSITIONS STANCE

The FT reports that revised EU directives

drawn up by EU member countries for the

bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier seek

to extend free movement rights and a special

status to all EU citizens arriving before the

final day of the transition. POLITICO also

verified the report.

UK PUSHES BACK ON FRENCH BORDER

DEMANDS

Theresa May’s spokesman pushed back at

reports that French President Emmanuel

Macron will demand the U.K. pay more and

take more asylum seekers in return for his

country’s help at the Calais border. “This is

an agreement [Le Touquet] which has served

both sides well since its inception,” he said,

Reuters reports. “I would point out the fact

that we have provided help already such

as through the provision of extra security

fencing.”

JOHNSON ADMITS MISTAKE IN £350M

BREXIT CLAIM, BUT NOT HOW YOU THINK

U.K. Foreign Secretary and Brexiteer Boris

Johnson doubled down on the Leave

campaign’s claim that Britain sends £350

million a week to the EU, which it should

spend on public services instead. “There was

an error on the side of the bus,” he told the

Guardian. “We grossly underestimated the

sum over which we would be able to take

back control.”

CHANGING ROLES

Anton Spisak is now senior policy adviser at

the Department for Exiting the EU, arriving

from the Institute for Government. MBR

Credit The Politico Global Policy Lab

www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

ASSET MANAGEMENT

Malta Institute of

Accountants Conference

To Tackle 4th Anti-Money

Laundering Directive

The Malta Institute of Accountants will be organising

a conference about the recently enacted ‘Anti-Money

Laundering Directive’.

The European Union’s 4th Anti-Money

Laundering Directive includes some

fundamental changes to the anti-money

laundering procedures, including changes to

customer due diligence, a central register for

beneficial owners, a focus on the risk based

procedure and other changes.

Money laundering and terrorist financing

can threaten international economic stability.

Combatting fraud, corruption and money

laundering must be a joint effort by all

relevant parties, including executives, the

accountancy profession, regulators, standard

setters and the financial sector.

The Malta Institute of Accountants believes

that these issues should be addressed

immediately, with the ultimate scope of

promoting financial integrity and growth for

the benefit of all.

The conference will be bringing together

leading experts to provide the latest information

on the current anti-money laundering and

counter terrorist financing developments and

requirements. These include Keynote speakers

include Dr Manfred Galdes (ARQ Group Malta),

Dr Ian Gauci (GTG Advocates), Dr Rakele Gauci

(BDO Malta) Dr Alex Mangion (FIAU), Dr

Anthony Cremona (Ganado Advocates) and

other experts in the field.

Sessions and a panel discussion will give

first-hand knowledge discussing topics such

as changes brought about by the 4th Anti-

Money Laundering Directive, the upcoming

Moneyval inspection, the Beneficial

Ownership Register, and the interaction of

GDPR and Blockchain on AML. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

48


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Malta Business Review

HIGHER EDUCATION

Launch of the Multiple Higher

Educational Institutions

Masters in Entrepreneurship (MHEI-ME) on-line programme.

Representatives of the HEI consortium at the press conference. From left to right:- Ms. Lilla Mária Aldorfainé Czabadai and Dr. Gyorgy Neszmelyi on

behalf of Szent István University, Mr. Stephen P. D’Alessandro on behalf of Advenio eAcademy, Prof. Olena Cherniavska on behalf of Poltava University of

Economics and Trade, Prof. Jenny Pange on behalf of University of Ioannina and Prof. Radovan Madlenak on behalf of University of Žilina.

Recently a consortium of six

European higher educational

institutions, addressed a

Media Conference held at the Hotel

Kennedy Nova in Gzira to launch

an innovative on-line programme

which is certified by the National

Commission for Further & Higher

Education in Malta, the NCFHE, and

is co-funded by Erasmus+.

This is an eighteen month on-line 90 ECTS

Credits Level 7 Masters programme led by

Advenio eAcademy with the participation

of another five European HEIs including the

University of Ioannina – Greece, Szent István

University – Hungary, University of Bari Aldo

Moro - Italy, University of Žilina - Slovakia,

and Poltava University of Economics & Trade

- Ukraine. Each of the representatives of

the HEIs spoke briefly on the motivation of

their Universities to join the project which

sought to identify and develop best practice

in on-line learning at post graduate level for

entrepreneurs.

In addressing the Media Conference,

Mr. Stephen D’Alessandro, director of

Advenio eAcademy the lead partner in

the consortium, spoke about the shared

objectives of the consortium to develop and

enhance best practices in on-line graduate

education. He explained that the MHEI-ME

was an innovative programme in many ways,

primarily because it:-

• is the fruit of collaboration over the

past three years between six European

Higher Educational Institutions;

• is an on-line course designed as a holistic

programme, delivered in English and

integrating six foundation subjects and

three specialist subjects, an internship

module and a business plan module;

• provides a combination of self-learning

and collaborative learning activities

designed to meet the needs of

international graduate entrepreneurs

who require post graduate education

which will give them a competitive

advantage in leading their SME

organisations;

• is an on-line course certified in Malta

by the NCFHE providing students with

a certainty on the validity of the ECTS

accreditation at Masters level;

Mr. D’Alessandro spoke about the

opportunities for continued development

The flags of all Partner Institutes that are

collaborating in this Erasmus+ project and the

Official Erasmus+ MHEI-ME Project Leaflets

which the partner HEIs envisage as this project

could prove to be the start of a major initiative

to provide cross border quality graduate

education to entrepreneurs. This would

highlight Malta’s role as an international

knowledge hub.

Mr. D’Alessandro thanked the GRTU Chamber

of SMEs and the Malta Employers’ Association

for their support and encouragement

reflected by their presence at the launch of

an activity which should be of direct benefit

to their members.

The MHEI-ME is an Erasmus+ co-funded project

reflecting the EU recognition of the initiative.

This co-funding also provides for granting of

scholarships to students on the first intake

commencing in April 2018. Applications for

Intake 1 are now open to entrepreneurs in

possession of a first degree and direct experience

in the SME sector can apply. For further details

contact admin@aea.academy MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

50


Malta Business Review

SOFTSKILLS

Leading Brand Dean Gera Chooses MISCO for Its Staff Development

“This was the first time that our company

engaged in something unrelated to hair and

we are proud that together with MISCO,

we set on a path towards a continuous

employee development programme for

all our people at Dean Gera. We have

undertaken this development course to

make sure that our team is equipped with

personal skills and competencies to help us

take the brand to the next level.”

This was stated by Dean Gera at the team’s

graduation event during which thirteen of

the company’s managers were presented

with their certificates after achieving their

MISCO Level 5 Award in Leadership and

Management qualification. The presentation

was held at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and

Spa in Attard and Dean Gera was one of the

certificate recipients as he, too, followed

the 42 hour programme and obtained the

qualification.

In his speech at the event, Dean Gera added,

“Following our completion of this course,

I am motivated to invest further in similar

training courses for staff at all levels and build

a stronger relationship with MISCO.”

Ritienne Xerri, Director of Training and

Development at MISCO, explained how the

Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management

is one of MISCO’s home-grown qualifications,

launched for the first time in April of last

year. “The Level 5 Award in Leadership and

Management is spread over two months and

appeals to aspiring and practising supervisors,

team leaders and managers,” she said.

“Following this programme, Dean Gera’s

managers are now in a position to assess their

own knowledge, skills and personal behaviour

and their effect on their own managerial

ability, can identify areas for personal

development and can plan and set priorities

for future development. They can also build

stronger relationships with people and review

effectiveness of their own performance to

meet their organisation’s values and goals.”

Ritienne Xerri added that “by having our very

own home-grown qualifications, we can offer

courses that focus on close collaboration

between trainer and participants, based on

individual customised practical attention

and leading to recognized qualifications.

There exists a very strong demand for

accredited courses that are more localized

and that take local issues and considerations

into consideration and with our own Level

5 Accreditation, we were in a position to

explore the very unique requirements of

an organisation like Dean Gera and offer it

a customised leadership programme that

meets its unique requirements through an

assisted and personalised approach.”

One of Dean Gera’s managers, Terri-Ann

Taliana, delivered a short but moving speech

thanking the company who through MISCO

chose to give its employees “the opportunity

to learn, grow and improve ourselves.”

“I was the fifth employee to join Dean Gera

seven years ago and today I consider myself

very lucky to be part of this amazing team

because every day I go back home full of

positive energy wanting to work harder and

be better in what I do. I remember the start

was a difficult one for us but Dean used to

MISCO - Dean Gera award presentation

be so positive and always encouraged us to

believe in his dream. Today, as I look around

me and realise I’m part of a beautiful and

growing family of 45 people, I can proudly

say how right he was. We all look at Dean as a

man with all the talent and skills a true leader

requires and we are grateful for giving us

the opportunity not just to do beautiful hair,

but to also grow personally and within the

company,” said Terri-Ann Taliana.

“I was the fifth employee to

join Dean Gera seven years

ago and today I consider

myself very lucky to be part

of this amazing team because

every day I go back home full

of positive energy wanting to

work harder and be better in

what I do."

The Dean Gera brand was launched in 2007

with one salon at the Radisson Blu Hotel. For

the next three years Dean focused on building

a strong reputation and client base. Successful

results led to the opening of two new salons

at the Corinthia St George’s Bay and the

Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa in Attard

resulting in the incorporation of the Dean

Gera company in 2010. Currently operating

through six salons, Dean Gera is considered

an industry leader and innovator. MBR

Credit: Corporate Identities

52


APPOINTMENT

Malta Business Review

Mark Anthony

Camilleri

nominated as a

member in the

Global Reporting

Initiative’s

Stakeholder

Council

Dr Mark Anthony

Camilleri shall be

representing Europe

and Asia’s CIS region.

University of Malta's resident academic,

Dr Mark Anthony Camilleri has recently

been appointed as a member in the Global

Reporting Initiative’s Stakeholder Council,

where he will be representing the European

civil society organisations.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is

an international, independent standards

organisation that helps businesses and

governments (worldwide) understand

and communicate their impact on critical

sustainability issues, including; climate

change, labour rights, governance and

social well-being. The GRI's reporting

framework has standardised and quantified

the environmental, social and governance

disclosures in the corporate reporting of large

undertakings.

The Stakeholder Council membership is

diverse, and is drawn from all United Nationsdefined

regions: Africa, Asia Pacific/Oceania,

Latin America/Caribbean, North America/

Europe/CIS and West Asia. Its members

represent core constituencies in GRI’s

network: Business, Civil Society Organisations,

Investment Institutions, Labour and

Mediating Institutions. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

Mark Anthony Camilleri Ph.D. (Edinburgh), is the

author of 'Travel Marketing, Tourism Economics

and the Airline Product: An Introduction to

Theory and Practice'. Springer, Milan, Italy. http://

www.springer.com/us/book/9783319498485;

Author of 'Corporate Sustainability, Social

Responsibility and Environmental Management:

An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case

Studies'. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. http://

www.springer.com/us/book/9783319468488;

Editor-in-Chief of 'CSR 2.0 and the New Era of

Corporate Citizenship'. IGI Global, Hershey, USA.

ISBN13: 9781522518426 DOI: 10.4018/978-1-

5225-1842-6 http://www.igi-global.com/book/csrnew-era-corporate-citizenship/166426

(Indexed in

SCOPUS); He is also resident Academic Lecturer

Department of Corporate Communication Faculty

of Media & Knowledge Sciences

University of Malta

NEW VAT RULES FOR

THE GAMING SECTOR

New VAT Guidelines became effective as of

1 January 2018. The Guidelines list gaming

services which are to be considered as ‘exempt

without credit’ supplies in terms of Item 9 of the

Fifth Schedule to the VAT Act. As from 1 January

2018, gaming services which are not included in

this list are considered as ‘taxable supplies’ and

no longer ‘exempt without credit’ supplies.

The list of ‘exempt without credit gaming services’

has been narrowed down to the following:

• “The provision of any facilities for the placing

of bets and wagers, including the services

of book-makers, betting exchanges and any

equivalent facilities. The placing of bets and

wagers refers to gambling on the outcome

of an event, which outcome is unknown at

the time of the placing of the bet or wager.

The term ‘event’ includes but is not limited

to: a sporting event, both real life or virtual;

a competition; a lottery; the performance of

an index; and a natural phenomenon. For

the purposes of this guideline, ‘placing of

bets and wagers’ shall exclude gambling on

the outcome of (a) casino-type table games

such as blackjack, poker and roulette: and

(b) any games of chance, the outcome of

which is determined by random generator.

• The granting of the right to participate in

lotto or lottery, including Grand Lottery,

Super 5, scratch cards, keno and any other

lottery-type games;

• The granting of the right to participate in a

bingo game;

• The provision to players of devices or

equivalent for the playing of casino-type

games of chance, the outcome of which

is determined by random generator,

including tables for the playing of roulette,

blackjack, baccarat, poker when played

against the house, and slot machines. The

terms “devices or equipment” refers to

games tables, machines and other similar

object. For the avoidance of doubt, “devices

or equipment” excludes “amusement

machines” as defined in Chapter 438 of

the Laws of Malta, and “remote gaming

equipment” as defined in S.L. 438.04; and

• Supplies which are strictly required, related

and essential to, and which form part of an

underlying gambling or betting transaction

falling within paragraphs (i) – (iv) above, as

shall from time to time be determined by

the MGA.”

This essentially means that gambling operators

which are currently registered under article 12 and

which as from 1 January 2018 offer services other

than services listed above, have an obligation to

change their VAT registration to an article 10 VAT

registration. Gambling companies with an article

10 VAT registration would have a right to claim

input VAT. Gambling companies providing both

services which in Malta are considered as taxable

and exempt (as per list above) would be able to

claim input VAT on the basis of partial attribution.

• In all other cases, the consideration shall

be total stakes/bets placed by the players

(including bets placed using bonus credits)

less the winnings and other amounts paid

out to the players in connection with the

bet (including bonus credit comprised

within the bets placed). The consideration

shall be deemed to be inclusive of VAT.

These guidelines together with the

announcement of VAT Grouping in the

Budget 2018 have an impact on how Malta

based gaming businesses are structured.

We, therefore, suggest that you contact us

at your convenience to review your current

structure and assess what changes if any

might be necessary or desirable. MBR

Credit: WH Partners Malta

For more information contact gaming or tax teams at:

gaming@whpartners.eu or tax@whpartners.eu.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

53


Malta Business Review

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION

IF YOU THINK IT’S EXPENSIVE TO HIRE A

PROFESSIONAL, WAIT UNTIL YOU HIRE AN AMATEUR

Over the years, I have heard this quote from time to time, but

I never thought too much about it until I became President

of the Malta Waterproofing and Resin Flooring Association.

By Antoine Bonello

This simple phrase applies also well to the

waterproofing business. If you have doubts it’s

simply because you have not yet experienced

disaster prone persons.

Many of us do not take notice of this simple

advice until it’s too late. Oddly enough, the

statement originates from a man named

Paul Neil ”Red” Adair, an American legendary

oil well firefighter who pioneered the highly

specialised profession of extinguishing and

capping oil well blowouts. He is known for

extinguishing the oil well fires set by Saddam

Hussein in Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1991.

He is an expert in his field and set his price

accordingly. He understood that his knowledge

and experience had a value that would actually

save someone a lot of money if they would

allow him to do the job right the first time.

For many people, choosing the right contractor

to do waterproofing works is a daunting task.

In fact, hiring a contractor for any project strikes

fear in the hearts of most people because they

have either had a bad experience personally, or

heard a horror story about a contractor from a

friend or acquaintance.

Every now and then we read on the newspaper

about individuals or companies “ripping off”

unsuspecting customers by not showing up

after the deposit is paid, or by doing bad works.

Many discovered that their roof still leaked

when it rained and to add to the frustration,

their phone calls and complains were either

ignored or refused to shoulder the blame. In

other cases these conmen switch to a new

mobile phone number and disappear when

threatened with legal procedures or when

someone finds out about their fake “guarantee

certificates” containing no company or

personal details.

The result if you are lucky enough to eventually

trace the guys is an endless court case that will

eventually take years and prove fruitless.

Everyone wants a good deal and to feel like they

kept themselves from being taken advantage

of, but quite often this approach can backfire

on you, if you are not careful. Most people don’t

value what they don’t understand, so they set

their own “internal” price and find someone

inexperienced to match it. Unfortunately, this

can be a very costly decision.

How to choose between different contractors?

Once you have decided that you will entrust

your waterproofing works to a roofer, you will

then have to decide which the ideal company

for the Job is. The following points will help you

to set out your priorities right

• Many times we base our conclusion

on price. In most cases cheap price tag

means only poor quality materials and

works. Do not fall for the cheap price

sham.

• More than often we encounter installer

who offer us a one solution fits all and

pretend to solve all your problems by

hiding them under a bitumen carpet

membrane that creates heat intake and

eventually opens from seams due to

concrete expansions. Do not implement

old type materials they are simply not up

to the job anymore.

• Traceability this is very important factor.

Always make sure that the person or

company you are dealing with has a

fixed showroom or office address, a

valid VAT number and registered with

the MSFA.

• Always make sure to be given in writing

the proposed modalities of works and

how the materials will be applied, their

consumption and product data sheets.

Products must be certified to withstand

UV rays, Traffic and have the right

elasticity.

• Last and not least verity that the person

you are dealing with is a Member of

the Malta Professional Waterproofing

and Resin Flooring Association and

Waterproofing with Thermal insuation membrane that

reduces 90% of heat intake

A good surface preparation is vital to any waterproofing system

54

Waterproofing of St George parish church with

breadable elastic UV resistant materials made from

selected resins and fibre glass


BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

Certified Installers Card

make sure that he is in possession a

valid Association’s Installers card. All

members of the MPWRFA are certified

by the association and work according

to the trade.

If you observe the above simple rules the list

of contenders is reduced drastically and the

chances of commissioning the right people

becomes more easily. Over 80% of building

damages originates from water intake.

Sometimes bad waterproofing applications

can create more damages than they can

prevent. Water problems are aggressive and

progressive; we know that a water problem

that is not taken care of quickly can lead to

bigger problems. Water damage remediation

can be a long and tiresome process, especially

when you start taking advices from unqualified

personnel who recommend you senseless

solutions just to sell you their product.

The months of January and February are

associated with rain, yet many installers do not

know that exist particular materials that can be

applied on damp or wet surfaces when doing

waterproofing interventions at this time of the

year. These materials are breathable and allow

water in the form of vapours to pass freely.

Application of non-breathable materials on

wet or damp surfaces can lead to a series of

other unwanted situations. The trapped water

penetrates inside the building leading to mould

and structural damage. Also with the advent of

spring combined with the rising temperatures

forces the trapped humidity to become vapour

that is resilient enough to detach all the carried

out waterproofing works. When the lack of

knowledge, cheap materials and poor labour has

failed you so many times, it is then when you start

realising that you need professional help and feel

a growing need to hire a qualified expert, to redo

the works from scratch even if this means paying

for the same works twice. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

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 at work. The Association also

provides its qualified members the Certified

Installers Card. This is done to reassure the

general public that this particular 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,

The Italian waterproofing Association

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.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

55


Malta Business Review

MEPS CALL ON EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO PROTECT INVESTIGATIVE

JOURNALISTS AND STAND FOR MEDIA FREEDOM

MEPs David Casa (EPP), Ana Gomes

(S&D), Monica Macovei (ECR), Maite

Pagazaurtundúa (ALDE) Stelios Kouloglou

(GUE) and Benedek Jávor (Greens) have

joined forces to push for EU legislation

that will address and end “SLAPPs” -

lawsuits intended to intimidate and

silence investigative journalists and

independent media by burdening them

with exorbitant legal expenses until they

abandon their opposition. According to

the MEPs, the practice is abusive, poses a

threat to media freedom and has no place

in the European Union.

SLAPP was used, for instance, against

investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

and is now being used against Maltese media

houses by firms associated with government

corruption and the Panama Papers scandal

that are threatening legal action in the United

States. David Casa, Ana Gomes, Monica

Macovei, Maite Pagazaurtundúa, Stelios

Kouloglou and Benedek Jávor stated:

“In Malta we have seen that firms like Pilatus

Bank and Henley & Partners that employ

these practices, using American litigation,

have succeeded in having stories altered or

deleted completely from online archives. And

investigative journalists are prevented from

reporting further on corrupt practices out of

fear of further legal action. But this is not just

a Maltese problem. In the UK, Appleby, the

firm associated with the Paradise Papers, is

using similar tactics against the Guardian and

the BBC.

The cross-border nature of investigative

journalism as well as the tendency to pursue

legal action in jurisdictions outside the EU

that only have a tenuous connection with the

parties justifies and requires an EU response”.

The MEPs are calling on EU Commissioner

Frans Timmermans to propose an EU Anti-

SLAPP Directive that will include:

• The ability for investigative journalists

and independent media to request that

vexatious lawsuits in the EU be expediently

dismissed and claim compensation;

• The establishment of punitive fines on

firms pursuing these practices when

recourse is made to jurisdictions outside

the EU;

• The setting up of a SLAPP fund to support

investigative journalists and independent

media that choose to resist malicious

attempts to silence them and to assist in

the recovery of funds due to them;

• The setting-up of an EU register that

names and shames firms that pursue

these abusive practices.

“We are committed to the protection of

investigative journalists and media freedom

across the EU and will pursue this issue until

Anti-SLAPP EU legislation is in place”, the

MEPs stated.

Thomas Gibson from the Committee to

Protect Journalists stated: “SLAPP is a

serious threat to journalism and media

freedom. These sums of money are in no way

proportionate. Independent journalists in

Malta already face enormous challenges and

restrictions. Critical journalism must not be

stifled. In addition to pushing for full justice

of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia,

the Commission needs to address the climate

in which investigative journalists work in the

country.”

Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship,

said: “Having a media that is free to investigate

corruption and abuse of power - and free to

publish the results of those investigations - is

fundamental to democracy. These vexatious

law suits - deliberately aimed at preventing

journalists from carrying out such work - must

be stopped.” MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

RECORD BREAKING €2 MILLION WON IN MALTCO U*BET HORSE RACING!

During the last few hours of 2017 one

lucky punter will be ending this year

and starting the New Year with a big

bang and more than 2/Two Million

euros in his pocket.

The winning ticket was played on the V75

jackpot organised by ATG, the ticket was

bought from a Maltco Lotteries point of

sale in St. Julian’s. Top winning ticket is of

€2,111,973, additionally three other winning

tickets above €8,500 each were also won.

First comments from the St. Julian’s agent

were that he was very happy for the luck of his

punter, he also said that U*BET Horseracing

betting has become more popular amongst

U*BET players leaving lots of satisfied winners.

U*BET offers betting on British, Irish, South

African as well as Swedish Horse Racing.

Specifically Swedish Horse Racing is offered

by ATG in the Swedish, Maltese market and

beyond. By forming part of this growing ATG

network, U*BET horse racing customers in

Malta participate in a pool worth millions

of Euro! When there are Jackpots, the pool

increases even more!

U*BET ATG Horse Racing has something for

everyone every single day of the week; from

horse racing experts to people who don’t

have the time or expertise to sort through

the information available, as well as everyone

else in between. When playing V BETS, the

player has to predict the winning horses in a

number of races, from four races in the V4

bet to seven races in the V75 bet. Moreover,

due to an innovative feature of the game

called Harry Boy playing V Bets is accessible

to everyone, even those who aren’t familiar

with horse racings.

Maltco Lotteries augurs the punter of this

record breaking Horse Racing winning over

€2Million and takes this opportunity to

wish all its players the best throughout the

coming year. MBR

For further information email info@maltco.net,

visit the Maltco website www.maltco.com or call

2388 3000.

ABOUT MALTCO

MALTCO Lotteries offers a comprehensive

portfolio of entertaining games of chance and

skill based on Responsible Gaming Principles

that makes a major contribution to the social

and economic development of the Maltese

Islands. The company is one of the major

contributors towards the Responsible Gaming

Fund administered by the Government of

Malta. MALTCO operates a comprehensive

training programme for agents and their

assistants in recognition of their channel

partnership. The company supports many

good causes and sponsors several local sports.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

56


100 MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE IN BUSINESS

Malta Business Review

100 Most Creative People in Business

F

ast Company, the leading

financial magazine in USA,

released the list of the 100 Most

Creative People in Business in China

2017. As the co-founder of iExec, Dr.

Haiwu He made it in this top 100 .

Dr. Haiwu He received his master's degree

and doctorate from the French National

University of Lille in 2002 and 2005, and

completed his postdoctoral research at

the Paris XI University in 2007. His research

focuses on peer-to-peer distributed systems,

cloud computing and big data, with more

than 30 journal and conference papers

published. In 2015, Haiwu came back to China

with several advanced technologies in cloud

computing. He hopes to become a pioneer

in the application and development of these

technology in the blockchain industry.

Fast Company launched its annual China's

creative people list in 2014, to honor an

influential and diverse group of leading

thinkers around the globe. Haiwu received his

award in December 2017 for his “commitment

to build a cloud platform with blockchain and

share the global idle computing power”.

iExec, which he cofounded, built a virtual global

decentralized cloud computing infrastructure

based on the Ethereum blockchain, enabling

global computing integration and providing

idle computing capacity to customers in

need. At the same time, the heat generated

by the computing facilities distributed in

strategic places can be put to a plethora of

different uses – such as heating buildings. The

technology will bring about a new revolution

in traditional computing.

The 2017 China list also includes NetEase's

founder Ding Lei, BYD's founder Wang

Chuanfu, Baidu's COO Lu Qi, and the

mathematician Qiu Chengtong. The 100

winners, no matter what industry they're in,

are all building game-changing products in

their field and showed advanced business

best practices. MBR

Credit: Agence Anonyme Paris A2

Report by the Auditor General on the Ministry for Finance:

An analysis on revenue collection

Auditor General Charles Deguara presented

the National Audit Office (NAO) report

entitled ‘Ministry for Finance: An Analysis

on Revenue Collection’ to the Speaker of the

House of Representatives.

The scope of this analysis, carried out by

the Financial and Compliance Section, was

to collate and assess the revenue collected

during 2016 with respect to the three main

revenue-generating departments within

the Ministry for Finance, namely the Inland

Revenue Department (IRD), including the

Capital Transfer Duty, the Value Added Tax

(VAT) Department. and the Department of

Customs (DOC). The NAO also enquired on

the level of enforcement procedures in place

in relation to the collection of revenue, as well

as the status of the integration between these

three departments, necessary to strengthen

and consolidate the Maltese fiscal structure.

This task was conducted through detailed

research, meetings and analysis, amd where

possible, of figures and information provided

through replies to various questionnaires.

The five-year analysis conducted by the NAO

indicated a €329.5 million increase in absolute

terms in income tax over this period, with the

highest spikes in capital gains tax for 2014

(25%), provisional tax in 2015 (21%) and duty

on documents and transfers in 2015 (29%). A

steady upward trend in VAT income was also

noted since 2012, with a total increase of €191

million. With regards to the DOC, a €124.1

million increase in income was reported with

particular increases in 2014 and 2016.

The most common enforcement tool used by

the IRD was remission of interest agreements

in relation to arrears of company tax and tax

due by individuals, which contributed to the

collection of circa €4 million by the end of May

2017. Similarly, the VAT Department entered

into remission agreements, generating €3

million. The DOC handled various criminal

and civil court cases, besides issuing letters

to prosecute, seizure notes, and out of court

settlements.

The NAO felt it pertinent to reproduce a

number of comments which were forwarded

in relation to the departments’ respective

staffing requirements, and recommends that

due attention be given to such requests.

This report also outlines the various measures

being implemented to support the adoption

of the merger of these revenue departments,

which will ultimately simplify the whole

tax system and provide a better service to

the businesses and public in general. These

measures consist, amongst other initiatives,

of a consolidated Commissioner for Revenue

website, a one-stop-shop, a joint enforcement

unit, a consolidated debt collection, and a call

centre. MBR

The results of this analysis are comprehensively

presented in the report in caption. 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.

Credit: The national audit office

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

Courtesy: DOI - Omar Camilleri

Courtesy: DOI - Omar Camilleri

New €15 million investment in

the pharmaceutical industry

CETIC Pharmaceutical Ltd has chosen Malta

as the location for expanding its operations in

Europe. Minister for the Economy, Investment

and Small Businesses Chris Cardona

announced that the total investment of this

project will amount to €15 million over a 3-year

period, and will create over 60 new jobs.

Minister Cardona stated that Malta’s economy

has maintained its positive momentum,

registering an impressive growth of 7.2%

when compared to the corresponding period

in the previous year. Malta has a strong record

of good quality and regulatory excellence

in the pharmaceutical industry. The sector

contributes to 5.2% of the total full-time

employment in the manufacturing sector

and has generated more than €200 million in

exports during the first months of 2017.

During the signing of a letter of intent between

Malta Enterprise and CETIC Pharmaceutical

Ltd it was agreed that the company will be set

up in Malta to manufacture pharmaceutical

products. The plant will also include packaging

facilities for these products.

Minister Cardona concluded by saying that this

project will add to foreign direct investment

in Malta, hailing from all over the world, and

once again confirms the positive outlook and

discerning optimism that investors have in

relation to Malta’s economy and future. MBR

Credit: The ministry for the economy, investment

and small businesses

Fiscal surplus reaches €85 million in

the first eleven months

The surplus in the consolidated fund balance

rose to €85 million in the first eleven months

of this year. According to the latest NSO

release, this represents an improvement of

€145 million, turning a deficit of €60 million in

the period January to November of last year

to a surplus this year.

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna

comments, “We have continued to register

consistent improvements in the consolidated

fund balance over an already successful year

while our fiscal performance remains better

than projections. Thus, I am confident that

we will attain a surplus in accrual terms for

Courtesy: DOI - Jason Borg

From left to right: Malta’s Ambassador to Israel, Cecilia Attard-Pirotta; Mrs

Melanie Abela, Minister’s spouse; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Promotion, Carmelo Abela; and Israeli Ambassador to Malta, Eyal Sela during the

wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem.

the second consecutive year”.

The consistent improvement in the

consolidated fund balance was the result of

an increase in revenue of €421 million or 12.8

per cent which outweighed the contained

increase in total expenditure of €277 million

or 8.3 per cent. The contained increase in

government expenditure came at no expense

to investment since capital expenditure still

increased during the same period.

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna is

pleased to note that all tax revenue categories

continued to record remarkable increases with

the highest increases recorded in revenue from

income tax and VAT. The increase in both the

direct and indirect tax revenues reflect the

strong growth in jobs, take-home pay, and

private consumption.

These developments continued to have a

positive impact on debt developments as gross

debt decreased by €123 million in November

of this year, over the same month last year. As

a result, the interest component of public debt

servicing costs declined to €197 million, down

from €206 million recorded last year. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Foreign Minister in talks with

Israeli Prime Minister in Tel Aviv

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion,

Carmelo Abela, exchanged views with Israeli

Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Benjamin Netanyahu, in Tel Aviv, Israel. The

agenda of the meeting included bilateral and

multilateral relations, as well as the state of

play with regard to peace and security in the

Mediterranean and in the Middle East. Minister

Abela was in Israel on an official visit.

“Malta is pleased with the development of

bilateral relations with Israel over the past years,”

Minister Abela told Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“Our bilateral relations are stronger than

ever, particularly at a cultural and commercial

level, and we look forward to building on this

momentum over the coming months to further

strengthen our ties. Our intention is to also

consolidate the political momentum towards an

ever-closer partnership. More broadly, this visit

is also opportune considering developments in

the region, in relation to which we view Israel

as an important regional ally and anticipate

constructive discussions in this regard.”

Minister Abela reaffirmed Malta’s commitment

to a two-State solution, pointing out that, in

this regard, Malta maintains that the future

status of Jerusalem must be mutually agreed

upon through meaningful peace negotiations

between Israel and Palestine.

In Israel, the Foreign Minister also held talks

with Michael Oren, Deputy Minister in the

Israeli Prime Minister’s Office; Tzipi Livni,

former Opposition Leader and former Foreign

Minister, and currently Head of the HaTnuah

political party; and Fernando Gentilini, the EU

Special Representative to the Middle East Peace

Process.

Furthermore, the Minister visited the Yad

Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of

the Holocaust, where he laid a wreath on behalf

of the Government and the people of Malta.

While in Jerusalem, he also had the occasion to

meet with members of the Maltese community

in the Holy Land. During his official visit to Israel,

the Minister was accompanied by Malta’s

Ambassador to Israel, Cecilia Attard-Pirotta. MBR

Credit: The ministry for foreign affairs and

trade promotion

Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Benjamin

Netanyahu, welcoming Minister Carmelo Abela in Tel Aviv, as Israel’s

Ambassador to Malta, Eyal Sela, looks on.

A Staggering 29% Drop in Exports

According to data on international trade

published today by the National Statistics Office,

import and export of goods have declined

sharply during the month of November 2017

and during the first eleven months of 2017.

In the period January to November 2017, imports

decreased by 8% while exports of goods (net of

fuel) dropped by a staggering 29% when compared

to the corresponding period in the previous year.

International trade statistics are one of the most

important indicators for the manufacturing

sector. Six out of the ten main production sectors

exported less in 2017 than they did in 2016. Two

sectors saw no change year-on-year while only

two sectors out of ten saw an increase in the

level of exports between 2016 and 2017.

The government, despite repeated calls from

the Opposition and from the Chamber of

Commerce and the Employers Association,

failed to take concrete action to strengthen

the competitiveness of Malta’s manufacturing

sector. Government is refusing to implement

a number of recommendations put forward,

including the proposals to lower energy tariffs

and lower the price of fuel.

Labour’s pledge to prioritise the manufacturing

sector fell on the wayside along with the

promise of good governance, transparency and

accountability.

MBR

Credit: PN Media Communications

58


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