MBR_ISSUE 40_Lowres

bdarmanin

COVER STORY

A CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE

Questions Fireside Chat by CEO of GiG,

Robin Reed to Co-founder of Apple,

Tech Wizard Steve Wozniak p.06

CORPORATE FOCUS

DRIVING VALUE CREATION &

INCLUSIVE GROWTH

Interview with Deborah Schembri, MD

of STM Malta Trust and Company

Management Ltd p.12

BEST OF CATEGORY SERIES

TRUSTLY LEADING THE

PAYMNETS INDUSTRY

Interview with Vasilije Lekovic, Head of

Gaming Accounts, Trustly p.22

ASK THE COACH

HOW TO FREE SOME

BRAIN TIME

Marion Gamel, former Google and

Eventbrite executive, answers question sent

by business leaders in a new column p.30

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 40 | 2018

Newspaper Post


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Malta Business Review

CONTENTS

Issue 40

BEST OF CATEGORY SERIES

22 TRUSTLY LEADING THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY

MBR interviews Vasilije Lekovic, Head of Gaming Accounts,

Trustly, who talks about the latest trends in payments

COVER STORY

06 A CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE

Questions Fireside Chat by CEO of GiG, Robin Reed to Cofounder

of Apple, Tech Wizard Steve Wozniak

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

10 BLOCKCHAIN’S APPLICATIONS REACH

FARTHER THAN YOU THINK

The supply chain, food distribution and energy will all

be affected

6

BANKING

28 FIMBANK ANNOUNCES USD7.7 MILLION

PROFIT FOR 2017

MBR follows FIMBank Group’s sustained run of profitability,

successful consolidation and operational strategy

ASK THE COACH

30 HOW TO FREE SOME BRAIN TIME

Marion Gamel, worked for Google and Eventbrite.

Marion has been coaching Entrepreneurs, Founders and

C-Executives around the world since 2015.

Every month, Marion shall answers questions sent by

business leaders based on the island. This is a chance to

have your question answered in Malta Business Review.

CORPORATE FOCUS

12 DRIVING VALUE CREATION & INCLUSIVE GROWTH

Interview with Deborah Schembri, Managing Director of

STM Malta Trust and Company Management Ltd

EDUCATION

14 THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION:

ARE YOU AS GOOD AS YOUR ROBOT?

The Global Search for Education invited Stuart Elliott and

Dirk Van Damme, to discuss the impact of technological

advances on work skills in the future

12

22

SEX FILES

18 LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX is a brand new radio talk show which

will hit our airwaves in April and will air every Thursday at 7pm

on XFM 100.2

ICT

20 WHY THE DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY IS BETTER

OFF WITH ACUMATICA CLOUD ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions act as a “single

source of truth” – eliminating data duplication, enhancing

data integrity, driving growth

34

30

SPECIAL FEATURES & INTERVIEWS

POLITICO BRUSSELS PLAYBOOK

Summit highs and lows - which road to Rome? - art

of the deal (or no deal)

40

40 THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION: YES

THEY’RE READY TO TEACH IN THE FOURTH

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION!

Renee Laiviera, Commission for the Promotion of

Equality (NCPE) examines the Gender Pay Gap issue

and recent achievements

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

46 BITCOIN MINING USES LESS THAN 1% OF

UK ELECTRICITY SUPPLY DUE TO ‘RIP OFF

BRITAIN’ PRICING

CRYPTOCURRENCY miners are not a major risk to

Britain’s electricity infrastructure, will it affect us?

50 EXPLORING THE PAST TO BUILD OUR FUTURE:

Minister Bonnici addresses conference and inaugurates

exhibition on the FRAGSUS project

4


MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

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

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Viktor Almquist; Antoine Bonello; George

Carol; Delphine Colard; Jean Paul Demajo;

Florain Eder; Marion Gamel; Jon Grafton;

Stephen Greer; Melanie Kelly; Rebecca Linke;

Gareth Lodge; Juan Mazzini; Martin Pillow; C.

M. RUBIN; Claire Coe Smith; Zoya Sheftalovich;

Eiichiro Yanagawa

SPECIAL THANKS

ALIVE Chasity Foundation; CELENT; DOI;

European Parliament Information Office in Malta;

European Parliament, Directorate- General for

Communication; European Research Council;

FIMBank; EQIUOM Malta; HSBC; MORGEN

EUROPA; OPR; POLITICO SPRL; Politico Global

Policy Lab; Taylor & Francis Group; The Ministry

for Justice, Culture and Local Government; The

National Museum of Archaeology; UNCTAD;

David Wine.

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every

opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity

in every difficulty "

Winston Churchill

Disclaimer

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

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

prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content

material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese

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

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

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

is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without

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

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

are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

EDITORIAL

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review

As the "boss" I have the luxury to determine

my own schedule – like when I sleep and when

I am awake. I sometimes spent a large part of

the night watching "Town Hall" on CNN. I one

edition students of the Parkland High School in

Florida, confronted politicians and a member of

the NRA about gun laws in the USA.

What was significant about this event, was

the vigor, determination, eloquence and

outspokenness of these students. They made it very clear that they are

the voters of the future, in one, two or three years and that they will not

vote for anybody who is financed by the NRA – like Marco Rubio et al.

I am convinced that this is not the "usual uproar" which will fade out in two

or three weeks. I believe we are seeing the advent of a new generation

of young people who are determined to fight for their future. It reminds

me about the '68 movement, which initiated a tremendous change in the

socio-political landscape. In Europe this was a "game-changing" episode.

In the USA it was less – the emphasis was more on "Sex Drugs & Rock'n

Roll". This time it will change the society in the US.

The 67/68 movement was strong on both sides of the Atlantic. Don’t

forget that the protest movement of that time by the ‘Peace’ movement

started in the summer of love brought about the end of conscription in

many countries and the eventual end of the Vietnam war. The civil rights

movement forced the end of segregation as it existed back then in many

states. Music had a lot to do with both movements. There are hundreds

of great protest songs. Listen to such bands as Crosby, Stills, Nash and

Young, Buffalo Springfield, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan,

Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Barry McGuire and many, many more. Of course,

drugs were a part of music, just like it had always been through most

musical genres since man can remember (if it wasn’t drugs, it would be

alcohol).

Even in Roman times musicians were known to imbibe heavily into wine

and more!

As I have mentioned before, maybe it took a character like Trump to

hyperbolize all the things that are going wrong, so that even the most

complacent couch potatoes are beginning to wake up. We all remember

how Bernie Sanders was able to excite and mobilize the young people

during the election campaign. OK, he is one of the "old Geezer"

generation. They are not going to run the show any more, but maybe we

should invest our remaining energy in supporting these youngsters – it

is their future!

Enjoy the read!

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

A Clear Sense of Purpose

By Robin Reed

Photo: GiG CEO Robin Reed and Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak

Questions Fireside Chat by CEO of GiG, Robin Reed to Co-founder of Apple, Tech Wizard Steve Wozniak

Background

During the fifth year company anniversary event “GiGsters Connect”, organised by Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), legendary

Silicon Valley tech wizard Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak was welcomed by a cheering crowd while whizzing into the InterContinental

Arena in Malta on a Segway. The audience included 650 GiG employees (“GiGsters”) from Malta, Norway, Spain and Denmark

as well as over 500 external guests who were given a free ticket by GiG: UoM, MCAST and Middlesex University students and

professors, members of the Maltese tech community and high profile guests. The gadget guru captivated the audience with

an inspiring and educational fireside chat with GiG CEO, Robin Reed, and also took questions from the audience. Sharing a

wealth of anecdotes ‘Woz’ had the audience glued to his every word: while working at the video game company Atari, he had

dreamt of a “computer in colour”. After "four days and nights without sleep", the image of a coloured computer screen had

popped into his head. It was "just a digital number" but that was all it took to change the industry.

Robin Reed: In the corridor you just told that

you were the first person to own a Segway.

Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Steve Wozniak: Actually 30 people got the

Segway before me because they bought it via

Amazon! I thought this was going to change

the world, and they trained me for two days

on every obstacle I can think of. At home I took

it up the hill next to my house, and I thought

oh my gosh, all my friends have to get one. The

Segway became a big part of my life. When I

want to go into town to watch a movie, we just

ride the Segway down the hill and ten minutes

later we drive right into the movie theatre.

Same goes for dining, shopping, everything

else in town. I invented the sports Segway Polo

and introduced it in Silicon Valley. Eventually, it

became a worldwide sport and a lot of teens in

Europe now get to play in the championship,

fighting for the ‘Woz Cup’. It’s a lot of fun. I met

my wife during one of the competitions, as she

was on another team, and we got married in

one of the events.

RR: Steve, let us go back to 1975. Terry Jacks,

“Season in the Sun” is topping the billboard.

In Palo Alto, California, two young and very

excited guys, Woz and Jobs, is on their way to

the Homestead Homebrew Computer Club

with something special you had built. Steve,

can you take us back to the foundation of

personal computing and tell us about your

ideas that would motivate you?

SW: From the very first day I attended the

Homebrew Computer Club, it was about

people that wanted computer for itself.

Stanford professors would talk about how

we would be able to communicate and type

message into one computer and within an

hour one hundred people could read it. This

was amazing stuff. It meant that in education

kids could get answers to their question right

away – and immediate reward or punishment

is so important in education. Education has

always meant so much to me. My skill was

creating computers from nothing. I wanted a

useful computer. Anything was like a revolution

and the little guy would have more power

than the big powerful companies. So, I told

my dad someday I'm going to have a 4K nova

computer, this was the minimum amount of

memory to have a programming language. The

Apple 1 wasn't really a design of a computer.

Eventually it was a terminal that I could sit in my

apartment and I can connect through a modem

to six other computers all over the country.

I could run programs on this computer, it so

amazing. It was like the forerunner of today's

Internet - it was the inspiration for today's

Internet and computers. In the summer of

1975 the prices the microprocessor was the

key the brains and became affordable. I built

the Apple 1 computer and brought it to the

Homebrew Computer Club, and to all these

Mathematics tells us there

can only be a certain number

of bitcoin and you can’t just

create more currency like

governments do.

people that wanted to start a revolution I

passed out my designs for free. Steve Jobs came

into town every two weeks, and I was showing

him my computer developments - the formula

for a personal computer that was useful and

affordable. Steve wanted to turn it into money

for both of us and insisting we should start a

company, but I was scared and didn’t want

to risk losing my job at Hewlett Packet. I first

6


COVER STORY

Malta Business Review

proposed the personal computer and how

People at use its programs and solve problems

to HP, and they turned me down for the first of

five times. The big computer companies didn't

see the value of the small little machines, they

didn't think it was going to be a big market.

So, I designed the Apple one computer out of

the garage. For the Apple II, I had this dream

to create a colour screen involving differential

calculus; it was a type engineering, and when

I finally built the computer it was the first time

ever that arcade games would be in colour. It

was huge step for gaming!

RR: Malta has strategically placed itself

as a leading jurisdiction on the adoption

of Distributed Ledger Technology and

Blockchain Technology. In fact, recently

the Maltese Government has launched

concrete plans for the establishment of the

Malta Digital Innovation Authority, together

with a legal framework aimed at regulating

DLT technology, as well, a bill for virtual

currencies. Many of our distinguished guests

from government, businesses, and education

are driving this forward are here today. You

are very fascinated by blockchain; can you

share your insights and view on blockchain

and how it can help promote the economy

and society?

SW: Malta is very smart taking this position.

When I first heard about bitcoin and

blockchain technology it took me some time

reading over it to understand why it was so

good. Mathematics tells us there can only be

a certain number of bitcoin and you can’t just

create more currency like governments do. I

appreciate that so much and had high hopes

when I bought some bitcoin in order to buy

things online, travel, paying in restaurants,

with no credit card and no cash. However, it’s

still hard and not fully accepted everywhere

as method of payment. I decided I don't

want to invest anymore, because I don't want

the unhappiness of having to track things all

the time, every day, and be on top of it - that

nervousness of the day-trader. I like to have an

easy life led by my formula for happiness.

Ethereum is a platform, like the Apple II

computer which was also a platform free

for other people to use and come up with

new hardware or software providing for

Photo: GiG Steve Wozniak Event

tons applications, we couldn't even imagine

ourselves. Ethereum is a platform to use block

chain to create various block chain ledgers for

all or parts. People coming up with ideas I never

would have thought of, one after another, and

they are all good. Some are getting financed

with hundreds of millions of dollars, but I feel

it's a little like the early Internet days where all

the Silicon Valley investors invested in every

company doing things on the Internet, and we

had a crash. Good ideas can take a long time to

get accepted by the public.

To all talents inspiration

is important, but having

motivation to want to do

something is much more

important than all the

knowledge in the world

RR: How do you analyze the state of

innovation around the world today? Do you

see competitors emerging to Silicon Valley, in

particular in Europe?

SW: I came up with happiness = S – F, happiness

equal smiles minus frowns. Smiles and frowns

represent real feelings you have every day

and so do a lot of joking for smiles. To avoid

frowning don't argue. If something bad seems

to happen, like your car gets scratched, it’s just a

few scratches. Life is about happiness. I read an

article about a guy that was making hundreds

of millions of dollars – however, I rather be the

guy who plays pranks in the street. I did not

start Apple to make money. I forgot to bring

this computer technology to the individual so

they can make them powerful solve their own

problems, making them more powerful than

the big huge corporations and events. I am

always for the little guys and then Apple got

hugely successful, garnering enormous wealth,

and I even felt guilty of it. I gave away tens of

millions of dollars of my own stock so that all

the other people in the company had a chance

to basically make a house out of Apple success.

I live my life like I give my money to very good

people doing things like museums in San

Jose – they even named a street named after

me. Even to people I don’t know, the other

day, I received a letter from a woman about

her son being all depressed, and I gave him a

computer. I taught for eight years of my life in

the public schools ten-year-olds to thirteenyear-olds.

I wanted to teach them how to use

the computer for all the subjects in school.

After an airplane crash I was involved in, I went

back to Berkeley to finish my degree under a

fake name.

RR: Steve, your life already is beyond what

most can comprehend. Many would argue

you are the engineer who brought the power

of computing to the people. You founded the

most valuable company on the planet. You

have survived an airplane crash and you have

received the national medal of technology

from the US President, Ronald Reagan. More

so you are known for philanthropy and your

ethics. You are a true inspiration to all. What

would you really like to see from the tech

industry and the people in it, the people here

today, going forward?

SW: To all talents inspiration is important, but

having motivation to want to do something is

much more important than all the knowledge

in the world that you can have. If you want to

do something badly, you are going to find the

steps you need to learn to get it done. If you are

desperate, be a builder, don't just write ideas

down on paper and go try to raise money to

hire the engineers. Have a working prototype

before you raise money, like what we did with

Apple. It will be easier to show how good that

what you have. You want to think that the

important thing is ‘I'm bringing something good

to the world’. If you are not thinking about that

you are going to get steered off your course for

all the wrong reasons. This technology is going

to change people’s lives in the following way.

You should think about your marketing, this is

very important. You should understand what

products are good and bad. This is where Steve

Jobs had a great talent, to help people think

what would be good for people. I always went

to sleep thinking about my biggest problems in

mathematics in school or in computer design

software hardware… thinking… thinking…

thinking… and wake up in the middle of the

night with solutions. Include the engineer in

your start up and don't forget the builders, who

really get the work done every time and come

up with more brilliant ideas every time. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

7


Malta Business Review

BLOCKCHAIN

BLOCKCHAIN’S APPLICATIONS

REACH FURTHER THAN YOU THINK

-

THE SUPPLY CHAIN, FOOD

DISTRIBUTION, AND ENERGY WILL

ALL BE AFFECTED.

-

By Rebecca Linke

Why is blockchain a "truth machine"?

The truth we are talking about is one we take

for granted: the consensus of facts.

This goes back to the idea that human beings

have built constructive civilizations because

we have the capacity to arrive at consensus.

And then, with that agreed notion, we can

enter into economic exchanges and build

things collectively.

This is an interesting way of thinking about

what's going on here, because the blockchain

is a machine that allows us to arrive at that

sort of truth. Previously, we had to rely on

centralised institutions to deliver us their

truth. We might audit Apple's quarterly results

every three months, but with this assumption

that their record is truth. And then we built

everything on top of that. But the blockchain

is a decentralized mechanism for arriving

at that, removing the capacity of these big

gatekeepers to set what that truth is.

Why is this decentralisation so

important?

Decentralization is valuable for resolving what

I call "the cost of trust." The world is burdened

with enormous costs because people can't

trust each other.

Skyscrapers are filled with accountants who

are constantly reconciling their ledger with

the ledger of the other company they're

working with. This results in multiple,

centralized ledgers that have to be reconciled

because people don't trust each other, and

that reconciliation process is incredibly timeconsuming

and costly.

Anything that talks about a common

shared record might be expensive from a

computational perspective, because you

need multiple computers within the same

ledger — but because it starts to attack this

heavy cost of trust you start to see how this

solution, expensive as it may be, could well

be worth it.

If we get to this point where the record of

transactions is universally recognized at any

given time to be absolutely accurate, and we

have real-time accurate data, you don't need

audits. You don't need quarterly reports. I

think this is potentially the most disruptive

technology we've encountered in a while.

We could effectively move

to what might be a digital

barter world, where assets

and relationships and

community values can

become tokenized

In the book you discuss that the World

Food Program is using blockchain to

track food distribution. How are they

doing that?

The challenges of keeping track of people

and their transactions have real-world

implications that we don't think of naturally.

More than 30,000 Syrian refugees live in the

Azraq refugee camp in the Jordanian dessert.

For these people, if there's some error in

the system — either because one of the

merchants hasn't updated their information

or their ID recorded payment for food that

wasn’t distributed — they can get shut out of

the system. And then they can't get food.

The World Food Program is running a pilot

program for 10,000 of these refugees using

blockchain to look at every single transaction.

It gives them assurances, so people who are

desperate are able to come back and — if

there ever was a challenge to them receiving

food — audit the record and say it's all there. I

paid or I didn't pay.

One of the main benefits is the sheer

efficiency of it. The World Food Program

has millions of clients around the world.

They're now able to have a single source

of data around that. They're able to stitch

together multiple sources of information

into one coherent thing and use that without

having to do these heavy, time-consuming

reconciliation processes.

What other applications are there for

blockchain?

Supply chains are a huge use because you

have the problem of mistrust. There's a series

of entities along a chain. They have a common

goal, but they have mistrust because every

buyer wants to buy low and every seller wants

to sell high.

The idea is that, if we created a common

set of records that shows the system’s

transactions, people could be more open

with the information they share. It could also

have a huge impact on efficiency. If everybody

along a supply chain is able to keep track of

information, they can plan how much they

need to buy of something without being

wasteful. And waste is as much of a contributor

Continued on page 10

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Malta Business Review

BLOCKCHAIN

Continued from page 8

to climate change as anything else. So we have

a real gain to be had in that way.

I'm also really excited about energy. I'm

working on a project with the Digital Currency

Initiative in Puerto Rico where we're looking

to use the blockchain as kind of an accounting

back-end for a distributed microgrid of people

who own their solar panels and are able to

trade directly with each other, rather than

having an intermediary. That matters because

without that intermediary — the public

utility that sets the price — they have the

capacity to bring the market forces of clear

price signals into a community that can make

better decisions about it. We're calling it an

energy democracy.

Where is blockchain technology

headed over the long term?

The notion of a token economy — we can

now basically create different systems of value

exchange that are another form of money.

Whereas a dollar/Euro is agnostic about what

it's being used for, a token can only be used

for certain things. We could effectively move

to what might be a digital barter world, where

assets and relationships and community

values can become tokenized. Those

community values are important because you

can imagine designing different economic

pools around each token.

You could attack the Tragedy of the Commons

(a problem where people try to use more

than their fair share of a common resource)

in certain settings because now we have rule

sets baked into the token. Just simply by using

it, because those rules are embedded into it,

we're all participating in a way that is in the

community's interest.

“We realised that there

was a deeper conversation

to be had just around

why decentralised

recordkeeping, which is

what the blockchain is

That's a pretty powerful idea — that

your medium of exchange can become a

governance model for the community that's

using it. It removes the need for a regulator,

and has to be built around your community.

These are all visions of the future. But it's

the core issue that everyone's fighting for:

How do I create a token that can make these

disparate, misaligned interests of people

come together around a common interest,

and how might that change the world? MBR

Creditline: MIT – Management Sloan School

10


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Malta Business Review

CORPORATE FOCUS

DRIVING VALUE CREATION

AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH

Deborah Schembri – Managing Director of STM Malta Trust and Company Management Ltd

By George Carol

STM Malta Trust and Company Management Ltd is registered as a Retirement Scheme

Administrator with the Malta Financial Services Authority and also authorised to act as trustee or

co-trustee to provide fiduciary services in terms of the Trusts and Trustees Act.

12


CORPORATE FOCUS

Malta Business Review

Being the Managing Director of a major

pensions providers locally, gives me the

opportunity that together with other

stakeholders we continue growing and

consolidating the international pensions

market but also working to develop the

local pensions market. The island provides

the ideal solution for high-net-worth

individuals looking for an investment vehicle,

international workers planning for retirement

and global corporations seeking pension

schemes for their staff. Also a number of fiscal

incentives aimed at local employers and their

employees have been introduced to take up

voluntary private pensions.

People have to be allowed to

fail and succeed, and learn

on their own terms.

As a managing director it falls on you to drive

the company’s vision forward. In time though,

you have to switch your attention to higherlevel

concerns and trust others to advance

your vision. Micromanagement is damaging.

People have to be allowed to fail and succeed,

and learn on their own terms.

When a company is in its early stages the

Managing Director role is always in flux

though, adapting itself to the needs of the

company. However, as the Company grows

one will hire specialised people to handle the

different functions and you will focus more on

the parts of your job that you really love and

can provide the most value.

It is not always easy to take a step back

from being at the centre of daily operations.

But accepting that the wider scope of the

company is autonomous to you is a key part

of successfully running a growing company.

Today, I spend my time thinking more about

bigger picture strategic concerns over the

day-to-day needs of the company. I think of

my job as being the one with the map, looking

at what is coming up ahead and determining

what turns we should be making.

Our calling card is our financial strength,

which is imperative in a business where what

we offer consumers is an intangible promise

to pay a death benefit or an income for life

at some point in the future. Our culture has

enabled us to build a balance sheet that is

second to none in our industry.

I think a lot of times making business decision

is like being a marathoner. In other words, you

know what and where the finish line is that

you really want to get to but, along the way,

it’s not always pure joy. There are really hard

moments. But if you keep your eye on the

prize, it is part of what drives you to get there.

We are judged by what we finish not by what

we start.

Organisations that do not take a companywide

approach to diverse workforce will have an

awfully difficult time retaining whatever

diversity they currently have.

Community engagement is not only the right

thing to do, but it can also provide an enduring

shared benefit for all involved. But acting with

good intentions is quite different from doing

the right thing in a way that truly benefits your

business and its shareholders, employees and

most importantly, society.

Our culture has enabled

us to build a balance sheet

that is second to none in

our industry.

It’s clear that young people coming into the

workforce today want a job with purpose –

and what creates better value for a customer

than to solve a problem for them? That’s

what we do in the financial services business.

We do good for others by solving their

problems. It has really resonated with me to

hear how many young people want to work

at a business where they feel they are doing

something good for others and can also be

engaged in improving their community.

Offering professional development training

programs allows employees to perform

better and prepares them for positions of

greater responsibility. But it can also help

employers attract top job candidates, retain

their best workers and identify future leaders.

Moreover, ongoing professional development

is very appealing to many employees today

who are looking to keep their skills relevant in

a rapidly changing world. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

BA(Hons) Accty., Dip. Tax., FIA, CPA,

APMI, MIM, MBA (Henley) Deborah has

twenty years experience in the financial

services, gaming and hospitality industries.

In her various C-level and board member

roles she had formulated new strategic

directions and implemented the necessary

changes. She has been instrumental in

setting up and growing various companies.

She is a Certified Public Accountant, holds

a Masters in Business Administration from

Henley Management College and she

holds an Advanced Diploma in Retirement

Provision pursued with the UK Pensions

Management Institute. She is the only

Maltese resident holding such a qualification

in pensions. She is a Fellow Member of

the Malta Institute of Accountants, and a

Member of the Malta Institute of Taxation,

Malta Institute of Management, Institute

of Financial Services Practitioners and

an Associate Member of the Pension

Management Institute UK. Deborah won

Malta’s Best Knowledge Entrepreneur of

the Year Award 2015. She has also been

nominated and then voted as one of the four

finalists for the Commonwealth Women

Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

EDUCATION

THE GLOBAL SEARCH

FOR EDUCATION

Are You as Good as Your Robot?

By C. M. Rubin

Technological advances are going

to change work skills in the future

and leave certain kinds of workers

unemployable. A new book,

Computers and the Future of Skill

Demand, uses a test based on the

OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

to compare computers with humans.

The test assesses three skills that

education systems like to focus on

which are used in today’s workplace,

namely literacy, numeracy and

problem solving. The Global Search

for Education invited Stuart Elliott,

the book’s author, and Dirk Van

Damme, OECD’s Head of the Skills

Beyond Schools Division, to discuss

the study.

MBR: According to Computers and the

Future of Skill Demand, robots seem to be

better at hard skills such as mathematics

and computing, while humans are much

better at soft skills, such as reasoning and

writing. Should education systems in the

future focus more on softer skills and give

up teaching hard skills altogether, or is there

some value in knowing skills that robots, at

the moment, seem to be better at?

Stuart and Dirk: For a skill like literacy, it’s

still useful to learn to read at a simple level

– similar to what computers can already do

– as a way to develop reading skills that are

beyond current computers. So one reason

to learn something a computer can do is to

develop a higher level of that skill. Other

skills are useful to learn to develop certain

ways of thinking. Computers are far better

at basic arithmetic and we now rarely solve

complicated math problems by hand. But it’s

helpful for everyone to learn basic arithmetic

as part of learning to reason with numbers,

even if we usually use calculators for most

arithmetic problems.

We should be working

harder to figure out how

soon large-scale employment

disruption will occur and

exactly what income policies

will be needed when the

time comes.

MBR: In your opinion, what are three key

skills each child must possess in order to

remain competent in an age of robotics?

Stuart and Dirk: The study looked at three

skills that are generally believed to be

important for everyone: literacy, numeracy

and problem solving. That’s why we call them

‘foundation skills’. These will still be key skills

over the next few decades. But the capabilities

of computers suggest we’ll be using these

skills in new ways, as we are already seeing.

We’ll be surrounded by computers that

provide information, direct our attention

and suggest choices. The real competence

needed by people will be the critical thinking

and reasoning to put all the pieces together.

MBR: What can parents, who have young

children, do to prepare their kids for a

robotic future we know so little about?

Stuart and Dirk: This question goes beyond

the current study. However, it might be

helpful for parents to focus on a set of

more fundamental skills that have been

important throughout human history: the

skills of developing passionate interests,

building strong individual relationships, and

participating actively in groups. These skills

will continue to be essential to creating a

meaningful life, no matter what happens with

robots and computers.

MBR: Do you foresee a future where

governments and intergovernmental

agencies mandate human-to-AI ratios in the

workplace to avoid massive unemployment,

especially in the transitioning phases

between human and robotic workers?

Stuart and Dirk: Such a mandate seems

completely unworkable and would simply

encourage companies to find ways to work

around the requirement. For one thing, it

would be impossible to count robotic workers

because most automation will be virtual and

invisibly distributed across many computers.

This is the case for the skills analysed in the

current study. Instead of trying to limit robots

Continued on page 16

14


Malta Business Review

EDUCATION

Continued from page 14

and computers, effective policy responses to

job loss will need to start first with education

and then move to income redistribution as

automation becomes more advanced.

MBR: We hear a lot about robots in

professional contexts but let’s talk about

this technology’s social implications. Can

robots become our friends? What role will

robots have in human societies, especially

outside of jobs?

Stuart and Dirk: This question goes beyond

the study and the current state of computer

technology. However, we know that people

have emotional reactions to objects like dolls

and to animals with more limited behaviour

than humans. There are also anecdotes

about people having emotional reactions

to simple computer conversational systems

like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. So there

is no question that people will develop

emotional reactions to robots as their

behaviour becomes increasingly complex and

responsive. At some point, it will be natural to

see our extended relationships with particular

robots as allowing a kind of friendship. This is a

theme that’s often been addressed in science

fiction, but the reality is a long way away.

MBR: Saudi Arabia recently gave citizenship

to a female robot named Sophia. How will

giving citizenship to robots change society’s

rules, such as human/ robot rights? Should

governments start drafting up legislations

that deal with robots?

Stuart and Dirk: At this stage of the technology,

giving citizenship to a robot is a publicity stunt

that trivializes the serious issues involved.

Someday there are likely to be robots that are

so self-reflective that they will describe their

reasoning and goals the same way humans do.

When that happens, we shall need to decide

whether to treat those robots legally as having

a kind of self-interest comparable to humans.

That decision involves difficult scientific and

moral issues that will be hard to work through,

but we are not there yet.

It might be helpful for

parents to focus on a set

of more fundamental

skills that have been

important throughout

human history: the skills

of developing passionate

interests, building strong

individual relationships,

and participating actively

in groups.

On a more practical side, however, it’s

already time for legislation to start to address

the responsibilities of autonomous robots

and computers, such as self-driving cars,

automated trading systems or computer

personal assistants. Increasingly, such systems

are making decisions that only humans have

made in the past. There will be many practical

areas where legislation related to actions by

robots and computers will be needed.

“Someday there are likely to be robots that are

so self-reflective that they will describe their

reasoning and goals the same way humans

do. When that happens, we shall need to

decide whether to treat those robots legally

as having a kind of self-interest comparable to

humans.” — Elliott/Van Damme

MBR: Are we equating robots to humans

too much?

Stuart and Dirk: We are nowhere close to

robots being equal to humans, so it’s still

science fiction to think about robot friendships

or citizenship. However, most work tasks do

not require full human capabilities, so we do

need to start to think about the possibility of

robots and computers substituting for many

human workers.

MBR: Can you foresee a world where robots,

AI, automation, algorithms, 3D printing, and

all these interrelated advances, cause such

an enormous disruption in employment for

human beings that our entire economic system

will need to be transformed? For instance, a

world that will require a basic incomes policy

and in which a very significant portion of the

population will not be employed?

Stuart and Dirk: Absolutely. The primary

question is whether such large-scale

employment disruption is only a few

decades away or whether it will not appear

for a century or more. If most skills are like

the three skills we analysed in the study,

then such disruption is probably only a few

decades away. But we simply don’t know if

that’s the case because we have not analysed

other types of skills.

Whenever the disruption comes, it will

require difficult changes to the structure

of the economy, involving something like a

universal basic income. It’s too soon for the

public to worry about this or for governments

to enact basic income policies. However, we

should be working harder to figure out how

soon large-scale employment disruption will

occur and exactly what income policies will be

needed when the time comes. MBR

Credit: Stuart Elliott, C. M. Rubin, Dirk Van Damme

MBR

16


BREXIT

Malta Business Review

BREXIT:

EP recommends association

agreement for future EU-UK relations

By Delphine Colard; Viktor Almquist

• Respecting the integrity of the

internal market, customs union

and four freedoms

• Securing equal and fair treatment

for EU citizens living in the UK and

British citizens living in the EU

• Preserving the rights of citizens

as set out in the Good Friday

Agreement (Irish border)

Plenary endorses a resolution laying out a

possible association framework for future

EU-UK relations after Brexit.

Taking into account red lines announced

by the UK government, an association

agreement between the EU and the UK

could provide an appropriate framework for

their future relationship, says the resolution

adopted by 544 votes in favour, 110 votes

against, with 51 abstentions. This relationship

could be based on four pillars:

• trade and economic relations (FTA),

• internal security,

• cooperation in foreign policy and

defence and

• thematic cooperation, for example on

cross-border research and innovation

projects.

MEPs insist that the framework should

include consistent governance, with a robust

dispute resolution mechanism.

The resolution, prepared by the EP Brexit

Steering Group, stresses the uniqueness of

the EU ecosystem with its binding common

rules, common institutions and common

supervisory, enforcement and adjudicatory

mechanisms. This means that even closelyaligned

non-EU countries with identical

legislation cannot enjoy similar rights,

benefits or market access to those of EU

member states.

Any framework for the future relationship

would also need to respect the integrity of

the internal market, customs union and four

freedoms, without allowing for a sector-bysector

approach (cherry-picking EU laws).

It should preserve the EU’s independent

decision-making and legal order, including the

role of the ECJ.

Withdrawal agreement and transitional

period

The resolution welcomes the Commission’s

28 February draft of the Withdrawal

agreement and expresses support for the

transitional arrangements proposed.

It also reiterates the importance of securing

equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living

in the UK and British citizens living in the EU.

The resolution welcomes the European

Commission’s draft protocol on Ireland and

Northern Ireland including its backstop

option outlined in the December Joint Report

that provides a concrete fallback solution

against any hardening of the border and

preserves the North-South cooperation.

MEPs also underline the importance of the

British government ensuring there will be no

diminution of the rights of citizens as set out

in the Good Friday Agreement.

Next steps

The resolution sets out Parliament’s

input ahead of 22-23 March summit

of EU heads of state or government,

which is expected to approve the

Council’s guidelines for negotiations

on the UK’s future relationship

with the EU. Any withdrawal

agreement and future association or

international agreement with the UK

will need to win the approval of the

European Parliament. MBR

Credit: EPO, Valletta; Europarl

www.maltabusinessreview.net

17


Malta Business Review

SEX FILES

Let's

talk

about

SEX

By Melanie Kelly

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX is a brand new radio

talk show which will hit our airwaves in April

and will air every Thursday at 7pm on XFM

100.2 . As the title itself suggests the weekly

conversation will be somewhat controversial

to say the least as it will deal with sex,

relationships and anything in between.

The idea for this risque’ talk show stemmed

from the seemingly lack of information about

this subject on the local media. Therefore

XFM 100.2, being the innovative and

experimental station , grabbed the bull by the

horns and decided to launch a talk show like

no other. Let’s talk about sex promises to be

informative yet sexy, surely attracting curious

listeners of all ages.

The missing link for XFM 100.2 was to find a

host willing to push boundaries and ask the

questions no one would dare to... and who

better than the vibrant Melanie Kelly with

her outgoing attitude and tongue in cheek

persona who does not shy away from the

topic being discussed?

Melanie Kelly was the obvious choice, a well

known TV presenter and producer, having 11

years experience on the local media scene

with her ‘say it as it is’ attitude!

So what exactly will happen during the show?

Every week Melanie will have sexperts and/

or guests in the studio who will share their

knowledge and shed light on hot issues

and topics such as BDSM, monogamy and

infidelity , love, orgasms and desire, amongst

others – all topics which most Maltese people

would consider as taboo.

As an added perk XFM will also be launching

this talk show on their facebook page LET’S

TALK ABOUT SEX on XFM 100.2 with Melanie

Kelly where filmed studio snippets of the talk

show will be uploaded for those who missed

the radio show to be able to follow!

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX on XFM 100.2 starts

on the 12th of April @ 7pm and will air

every Thursday. MBR

Contact: letstalkaboutsexonxfm@gmail.com

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

18


Let’s

talk

about

SEX


Malta Business Review

ICT

Why the distribution industry is

better off with Acumatica Cloud ERP

As a sole collection point for all an

organisation’s data from multiple sources,

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions

act as a “single source of truth” – eliminating

data duplication, enhancing data integrity,

and enabling users to drive growth, manage

costs, and be more productive.

Now, some readers might be thinking

“My internal processes are great. They’ve

worked for years.” That’s fine, but without

re-examining and improving those processes,

business owners can become very dependent

upon employees, and increasingly at risk of

serious mistakes happening when personnel

changes occur.

Empowering distribution companies

The distribution industry is a complicated

one, and the technology chosen to run

systems and processes can make or break a

company’s bottom line. If you can’t deliver

your orders on time and at the best price,

another distributor certainly will be more

than happy to do so.

Acumatica Cloud ERP can modernise and

scale many processes to meet customers’

demands. It helps manage the unpredictability

of the distribution market by empowering

distributors to streamline processes from

quote to cash, optimise the supply side of

distribution operations, and make better

financial decisions.

Quote to cash

Distributors who want to serve their

customers from “quote to cash” (and every

step in between) are turning to Cloud ERP

in growing numbers. Excellent customer

service processes require information such as

customer order history, shipping schedules,

product return protocols, archives for recall

processing, etc.

Knowing the customer makes them feel

valued, and to know them, businesses need

access to critical information at every stage of

the process. Acumatica Cloud ERP makes this

possible without needing to upgrade existing

IT systems.

Optimised supply chain

In today’s marketplace, it’s becoming more and

more necessary to connect the supply chain

from beginning to end. Inaccurate inventory

information hurts efficiency – therefore an

exact understanding of your stores, stock, and

orders throughout the supply chain is needed

for effective decision making.

True supply chain automation with Acumatica

Cloud ERP enables you to keep a detailed eye

on the entire supply chain – as well as taking

care of ordering and inventory tracking. This

provides full, consistent visibility of critical

information to all users, and eliminates

headaches for supply chain managers. It

also cuts down on unnecessary and often

inaccurate data entry, resulting in a faster and

more reliable supply chain process.

Make better financial decisions

Powerful BI and analytics tools collect eyewatering

amounts of raw data that can be

used to inform a business’s decisions and

direction, but the problem lies in how all this

data is transformed into something of value

– data is only as useful as the information it

delivers, otherwise it’s just noise.

Acumatica Cloud ERP monitors key metrics for

each functional business unit. Users can drill

down into summary and detailed information,

including access to supplemental information.

Executive management has immediate access

to performance measurement dashboards

for fast, accurate decision-making.

Start making the shift to Acumatica Cloud

ERP today. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

For more information visit

www.computimesoftware.com/acumatica-erp

or E: info@computimesoftware.com

T: +356 2149 0700.

Business Software

& Integration Solutions

20


A Modern ERP Solution for Distribution Management

Acumatica provides tools to help you manage sales ordering, pricing, shipping, sourcing, and billing –

enabling you to streamline your business processes so that all your information is in one secure location.

Adapt to thrive in the

distribution industry

Serve customers from

quote-to-cash

Optimise the supply side

of distribution operations

Better decision-making with

more accurate financial data

Business Software

& Integration Solutions

+356 2149 0700 www.computimesoftware.com/acumatica-erp

info@computimesoftware.com


Malta Business Review

BEST OF CATEGORY SERIES

Vasilije Lekovic, Head of Gaming Accounts, Trustly

TRUSTLY

Leading the

Payments Industry

MBR interviews Vasilije Lekovic, Head of Gaming Accounts,

Trustly, who talks about how Trustly is addressing the upcoming

PSD2 regulation coming into effect this year, the latest trends

in payments, global opportunities, and challenges payment

service providers face in a rapidly changing market. The

discussion offers valuable insight into the challenges of

international e-commerce, internet and recent market changes.

By George Carol

MBR: What are some of Trustly’s most

important projects and success stories

to date?

VL: Since it's founded in 2008, Trustly has been

disrupting the payments and online gambling

industries with its innovative product that

offers instant deposits and withdrawals

directly from the consumer's bank account

across 29 markets in Europe. In the highly

competitive online gambling environment

nowadays, it's very important that the users

can deposit and withdraw their money

instantly, securely and with a simplified user

experience and that is the reason why Trustly

has found its place in the cashiers of most of

the operators operating in Europe.

Apart from our core product, Trustly is

continuously offering other innovative

products and functionalities. One of those

is our Pay N Play product that allows online

gambling websites to offer a frictionless

experience to their users that allows them

to deposit and play right away, without going

through a lengthy and unpopular registration

process. This 'no-account' experience is

possible due to the innovative KYC feature of

Trustly that allows the operators to verify their

users in a simple and effective way.

Since being introduced to the online gambling

market, Pay N Play has become extremely

popular among merchant and consumers,

especially in the markets of Sweden and

Finland, with the operators such as Ninja

Casino and Snabbare leading the way.

MBR: With the PSD2 coming into effect this

year, how is Trustly achieving compliance

with the Directive? What are the greatest

specific challenges banks are facing?'

VL: Trustly has been closely involved in

the discussions with regards to the PSD2

implementation, as a regulated financial

institution under the Swedish FSA, as

well as the member of ECB-driven Euro

Retail Payment Board’s working group

on payment initiation services, co-chair

of European API Evaluation Group and a

member of the Payment System Market

Expert Group, which is an advisory body to

the European Commission. With over ten

years of experience in fin-tech/bank transfer

space and a network of 3000+ banks that

we offer to our merchants, Trustly has the

expertise that has been very useful in these

discussions. We believe that PSD2 will help

bring improvements and innovation into the

bank-related services and banks opening

their API's will definitely benefit us in order

to be able to offer an even better product

to our clients and the end consumers.

The greatest challenge that the banks will

be facing will be updating their technical

infrastructure and finding the best models

to open their APIs to the interested parties.

MBR: What does Trustly bring different

compared to other software vendors

counterparts, especially in the local

Fintech space?

VL: Trustly offers an instant, safe and secure

method for paying directly from your bank

account across Europe. Apart from that,

our product offers innovative features and

functionalities, such as our Lean KYC product

that helps our merchants verify their users

with the bank KYC data. Last but not least,

our Pay N Play and Direct Debit products offer

the additional edge to online providers and

help them solve their conversion issues and

offer a frictionless experience to their users.

We believe that our variety of products,

strong technology and innovation that we

offer, together with pan-European coverage

differentiate us from other companies in the

fin-tech space.

MBR: What are the clear benefits for

online merchants accepting local payment

methods and how will the way we pay for

what we buy over the internet change over

the next few years?

VL: Local payment methods usually have the

advantage of being widely used and accepted

by the users in specific local markets, which

can help the online merchants to penetrate

those markets in a more effective way.

However, in the recent years the behaviour of

the online consumers is changing and some

other parameters become more important

for them, such as speed, safety and simplicity

of their payment experience. We believe

that this trend will continue and therefore

the payment providers will have to continue

innovating in order to stay competitive. Trustly

welcomes this challenge because innovation

and technology are at our core.

MBR: What are the projects that you are

most looking forward to in 2018 and beyond?

VL: In 2018 we are looking forward to

successfully rolling out our Pay N Play product

in new markets across Europe, as well as

further improving our offering by adding new

banks, products and functionalities. Apart from

that, we are continuously striving for innovation

and our goal is to become a pan-European

leader in the payments industry. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

EDITOR’S

Note

While many of the payment providers still charge

tiered rate pricing, Trustly started their new

interchange pricing model IN 2008 by adding

just a small mark-up over interchange rates in

an effort to simplify the fee structure and be

more transparent. Awarded Rising Star status

by Deloitte as Sweden's second-fastest growing

technology company, Trustly is the only company

to our knowledge that offers exceptional rates

and services for both small and large merchants

alike and their customers don’t pay fees for data

compliance, statements or junk fees. MBR’s Best

of Category Reviews is pleased to give this online

and merchant account provider high marks and

we think you will too once you experience their

customers first attitude.

To learn more about Trustly: www. trustly.com

22


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE

WANTING A CHANGE!

By Dr Jean Paul Demajo

An elderly patient walks in for a long overdue check-up, sits on the dental chair and says:

“Dott I have no major problems in my mouth but I wish you to tell me how I may improve my teeth”

This is a very common scenario. Unfortunately

a lot of patients are still irregular attendees

and only visit the dentist when in pain or

when they wish to have a major overhaul.

The dentist asks a few questions on what

ideas they might have and how they wish to

walk out following the termination of their

treatment. Although a lot of these patients

wouldn’t be in pain they would be putting up

with a lot often forgetting the true comfort

of the dentition they once had. At times, on

examination one sees large cavities, broken

teeth and signs of inflammation but yet the

patient is still comfortable. Occasionally

there are no cavities, no inflammation but

yet patients aren’t quite comfortable with

their mouth.

Before Treatment

Below is a list of ailments that often go

unnoticed without causing pain but may still

lead to discomfort and poor quality of life:

1. Food packing

2. Bleeding gums

3. Mobile teeth

4. Halitosis

5. Inability to eat evenly on both sides

6. Inability to eat chewy or hard food

7. Maligned or crooked/crammed teeth

8. Short tooth stubs

9. Colour mismatch

10. Asymmetrical smile

Most of these ailments can easily be treated

while others might require need more

complex procedures to solve. There is no

good reason as to why one must put up with

any level of discomfort. Teeth are a major

front for communication, socialization and

general well-being. Teeth stand right behind

our mouth and together produce a horrible

or lovely smile. The latter has a large influence

on our confidence and quality of life.

Ask your dentist how they may help you!

After Treatment

A CASE STUDY

A gentleman in his mid-60s wishes to improve his appearance. He does not suffer

from much bar some sensitivity due to exposed roots following recessed gums and

has otherwise a healthy albeit heavily restored dentition. He is unhappy with the colour

and the general appearance of his teeth. His upper teeth appeared too prominent

for his liking pointing out that he cannot

see his bottom teeth. Following a lengthy

consultation noting each of the patient’s

wishes, it was decided to veneer and crown

many of his upper heavily restored teeth.

The aim was to improve their appearance, line

them up better, improve the level of biting

and make the lower teeth more visible.

MBR

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon

24


GREEN PRODUCTS

FOR STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENING

KERAKOLL. Products and services

to build healthy homes that are

kind to the envirorment.

INNOVATIVE

ECO-FRIENDLY

ANTI-SEISMIC

MINIMAL WORKMANSHIP

J.M. Vassallo Vibro Steel Limited


Malta Business Review

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde

An iconic collection meets the world of modern travel

The Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is the ultimate

traveller's timepiece. With its two time zones, it allows

any two locations to be paired, and correct to the nearest

minute. It even allows those locations with a half-hour or

quarter-hour difference to be paired with full hour times

set from the Greenwich meridian. Featuring a knurled

bezel, the signature feature of the Toric family, the case of

this timepiece was the first creation designed by Michel

Parmigiani in 1996. This founding model is now bringing its

elegant and classic aesthetics to the world of modern travel.

A world first inspired by a restored piece

It was a restored piece that inspired Parmigiani

Fleurier to add the GMT complication to its

collection. Parmigiani Fleurier's restoration

workshops had been entrusted with a pocket

watch containing two movements inside one

case, each responsible for its own time zone.

This sparked a desire to create a timepiece that

incorporated the same accuracy of display in

the reduced space of a watch case too small

to house two separate movements. Michel

Parmigiani found an elegant solution to this

limitation by constructing a single calibre that

controls two time zones, each accurate to

the nearest minute. The Tonda Hémisphères

released by Parmigiani Fleurier in 2010 was a

world first. In 2017, the brand is extending this

exceptional movement to the Toric collection,

its founding model, to add a dimension of

travel to its elegant and timeless aesthetics.

Calibre PF317

The Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde has two

time zones, each accurate to the nearest

minute. A module is indexed to the main

movement in order to govern the second

time zone. By pulling out the small crown at

2 o'clock, the module is disengaged from the

movement, meaning that it can be adjusted

independently of the second time zone,

to the nearest minute. When the crown

is pressed back in, the movement and the

module re-engage and the second time zone

is re-indexed to the first so that they operate

simultaneously with the desired interval. The

main crown at 4 o'clock is used to wind the

movement and set the time of the two paired

time zones, such as the date. Each of the time

zones is associated with a window, which

provides the day/night indication so that the

26

New Toric Hemispheres Retrograde

New Toric Hemispheres Retrograde

time of day can be read in an instant for each

time zone.

The calibre PF 317 also features an instant

retrograde calendar, indicated by the third

central hand. As it moves towards the last

days of the month, the hand activates a spring

which drives it back to number 1 with great

force. This 240° movement is so fast that it

cannot be seen with the naked eye.

This self-winding movement has a double

series-mounted barrel for improved

isochronism and rate regularity, with a power

reserve of 50 hours.

Understated yet captivating aesthetics

The dial of the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is

designed so that the most important functions

stand out the most in a very specific hierarchy.

Firstly, the hands of the main time zone, plated

in 4N gold, are coated with Super-LumiNova®

to make them luminous and more prominent.

Meanwhile, the hands of the second time zone

are rhodium-plated to present a more discreet

shade. Finally, the date indication stands out

thanks to fine numerals that are large enough

to ensure good legibility. They are indicated

by a hand ending in a red crescent moon. The

rest of the dial is understated, discreet and

harmonious to avoid any distractions when

reading these key temporal indications.

The Toric Hémisphère Rétrograde is available

with a rose gold case paired with a grained

white dial. On the back of the piece, the

movement is entirely decorated with Côtes

de Genève and circular-grained to the highest

Haute Horlogerie standards. It incorporates an

22 ct rose gold guilloché oscillating weight to

add a prestigious touch befitting of a timepiece

dedicated to travel.

Parmigiani Fleurier

Taking its name from its founder, watchmaker

and restorer Michel Parmigiani, the fine

watchmaking brand was founded in 1996 in

Fleurier, in the Swiss valley of Val-de-Travers.

With its own watchmaking centre ensuring

its independence, the brand has both full

control over the production process and

unique creative freedom. For twenty years, the

Parmigiani Fleurier signature has resided within

timepieces that command the utmost respect,

in harmony with watchmaking traditions. They

are the labour of a lifetime – that of Michel

Parmigiani, the talented individuals who assist

him, and the special relationship between the

Manufacture and the masterpieces of the past,

enabling it to invent a bold future. MBR

Technical Details

REFERENCES PFC493-1002400-HA1442

Movement

PF317

Winding: Self-winding

Power reserve: 50 hours

Frequency: 4 Hz – 28,800 Vib/h

Dimensions: 15 ¾''' - Ø 35.6 mm

Thickness: 5.45 mm

Components: 316

Jewels: 28

Barrel(s): 2 series-coupled barrels

Decoration: "Côtes de Genève" decoration,

bevelled bridges

Functions

Hours, Minutes

Small seconds

Retrograde date

Day/night

Second time zone

Case

Shape: Round, in 3 sections

Dimensions: Ø 42.8 mm

Material: 22 ct rose gold

Finish: Polished

Water resistance: 30 m

Case-back: Sapphire

Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire

Crown: Ø 5.5 mm & Ø 6 mm

Engraving on case-back: Individual number

Dial

Material: White grained

Indices: Rose gold gilded

Hands: Javelin-shaped

Strap

Brand: Hermès

Material: Alligator

Colour: Black

Buckle

Type: Folding buckle

Credit: Edwards lowell


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Malta Business Review

BANKING

Announces

USD7.7 Million Profit for 2017

The FIMBank Group’s sustained run of

profitability is the outcome of a successful

consolidation and operational strategy,

coupled with a solid business performance.

The FIMBank Group’s Consolidated Audited

Financial Statements show that for the

year ended 31 December 2017, the Group

registered a profit of USD7.7 million,

compared to a restated profit of USD5.4

million in 2016. At 31 December 2017,

total Consolidated Assets stood at USD1.64

billion, a decrease of 6 per cent on the

USD1.74 billion reported at end 2016. The

drop in assets is attributed to a reduction

in business assets aimed at achieving

better capital requirements, partly offset

by increases in treasury balances as a

result of higher liquidity requirements. In

fact, Trading Assets decreased by USD127

million, whilst Loans and Advances to

Customers increased by USD 140 million.

At the end of the period under review, Total

Consolidated Liabilities stood at USD1.47

billion, down by 6 per cent from USD1.57

billion in 2016. Operating Income before

net impairment for 2017 stood at USD51.7

million, an increase of 12% over the USD46.1

million registered in 2016. During 2017, net

interest income rose by USD3.0 million as

a result of overall improved interest yields

and increased efficiency in cost of funds and

funding volumes. This rise was also mirrored

in an increase of USD3.7 million in net fee

income, to USD18.5 million, on improved fees

on documentary credits and forfaiting.

During 2017, the Group changed its

accountancy policy and started measuring

owned properties at their fair value. This

resulted in a fair value gain of USD3.4 million

in 2017. Meanwhile, net impairments for the

year improved, from a loss of USD2.2 million

in 2016, to a net recovery position of USD2.2

million in 2017, a result of significant recoveries

made by the Bank and its subsidiaries, which

also assisted with increases in coverage

FIMBank p.l.c., Mercury Tower, The Exchange

Financial & Business Centre, Elia Zammit

Street, St. Julian's STJ 3155, Malta Tel: +356

21322100 - Email: marketing@fimbank.com

on other impaired legacy credits. This is

considered another major milestone for

FIMBank, as legacy misadventures of prior

years have been dealt with firmly.

In the year under review, operating expenses

rose by USD3.7 million, to USD42.3 million,

largely as a result of an increase in mandatory

regulatory costs. Rising regulatory costs is a

growing phenomenon across the industry,

with further increases expected in the

coming years.

Commenting on FIMBank’s financial results

for 2017, the Group’s Chairman, Dr John C.

Grech, stated that these “are a clear indicator

of the sound strategic path adopted over the

past years, and highlight our commitment and

resolve in ensuring a strong and sustainable

growth trajectory for FIMBank.”

Discussing the outlook for the Group,

FIMBank Group CEO Murali Subramanian

said that “For 2018, we expect to continue

building on the business verticals we have

transformed and strengthened over the past

years. 2018 will be characterised by a capital

injection allowing the business to grow and

achieve improved economies.”

Mr Subramanian added that “The spirit of

entrepreneurship and pursuit of excellence

across businesses, products and markets will

remain at the heart of the Group’s strategy.

This will be achieved through superior

client service, best in class and tested risk

management, and governance stability,

as well as efficiency in funding and cost

structures. The scaling up of the business,

supported by an expert management team

and staff in key trade hubs across different

regions, will enable the Group to maintain a

flexible business model. Our results during

the past years demonstrate our ability to

adapt to changing circumstances whilst

driving sustained profitability and growing

shareholder value.” MBR

For further information about FIMBank plc

please visit www.fimbank.com

Credit: Fimbank

28


GAMING

Malta Business Review

BETSOFT GAMING

PARTNERS WITH

OCG INTERNATIONAL

BY BRIT BURKE

Betsoft Gaming, acclaimed creators of the

revolutionary Shift platform, have announced

that they have signed a partnership deal with

Maltese iGaming powerhouse operator OCG

International. The terms of the partnership

will allow OCG International to offer Betsoft’s

renowned Slots3 series of games, including

the new Classic Slots collection, to their many

successful brands.

“OCG International offers many brands to

their ever-growing base of iGaming players,”

said Anna Mackney, Account Manager

at Betsoft Gaming. “We are thrilled to be

partnering with them. The target market in

Germany is ripe for explosive growth, and we

foresee that OCG will be making headlines

and leaving their mark on our industry in a

very memorable way.”

“We are happy to strengthen our attractive

portfolio with the beautiful and exciting games

range from Betsoft,” said Michael Parlato

Trigona, director of OCG International. “This

new game range will help us to become even

more attractive to a wide range of players and

also will be a highly welcome addition to our

existing player base.” MBR

ABOUT BETSOFT GAMING:

Betsoft Gaming develops innovative casino games

for desktop and mobile. Its portfolio of more

than 190 RNG titles reaches players through

partnerships with many of the iGaming industry’s

leading operators. Under the SLOTS3TM banner,

Betsoft is elevating players’ expectations; these

cinematic, true-3D slots blend rapid, gratifying

gameplay with an audio-visual excellence more

typical of movies and videogames.

An early entrant to mobile gaming, Betsoft

launched the ToGoTM collection in 2012.

More recently, Betsoft revealed the ShiftTM

environment, which supports truly cross-platform

development at the same time as increasing

performance, drastically reducing file size and

streamlining integration.

Casino Manager, Betsoft’s comprehensive backoffice

platform, rolls reporting, management,

marketing, promotion, and administration into a

single compelling package.

Betsoft is headquartered and licensed to operate

in Malta, and holds an additional license in

Curacao. Contact sales@betsoft.com or visit

www.betsoft.com for general information and

enquiries. For press and marketing enquiries,

email press@betsoft.com

Credit: Betsoft Gaming

Is this your current work day?

What if you were given sport incentives?

Let’s add insurance and great performance bonuses.

How about free ice-cream too?

Have a look at our Featured Employers!

www.employmalta.com/featured-employers

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www.maltabusinessreview.net

29


Malta Business Review

ASK THE COACH

All leaders suffer from a

similar challenge: While

their business grows and

becomes more complex, they have

less time to think. As a result, they

miss signs and react when they

should pre-empt.

Here is a 3-step approach to free

two to four hours of your time every

week, which you will be able to

spend thinking, exposing yourself

to inspiring insight, or just relaxing

because great ideas rarely occur

when we’re running between

meetings or answering emails.

HOW TO

FREE SOME

BRAIN-TIME?

BY MARION GAMEL

30

Marion Gamel


ASK THE COACH

Malta Business Review

Step 1 - Identify your “time-suckers”

Imagine you want to lose weight. You seek

the help of a nutritionist. The first thing this

practitioner asks you to do is to keep a food

diary for a couple of weeks so you realise

what, when and how much you eat. I have

the same approach with time keeping. For

two weeks, use your calendar (Outlook,

GMail...) to track how you spend every single

minute at work. Your meetings will already be

in your calendars and similarly to your main

meals - in the nutritionist analogy - you are

likely to be aware of them. What you need to

track with great diligence is the rest: “Urgent”

emails, interruptions, corridor conversations,

time spent helping others, chasing reports or

looking for information… As soon as you see

patterns emerging, colour code the recurring

“time suckers” in your calendar. Do this

diligently over a couple of weeks. I promise

you an “Aha!” moment: Here they are, your

time-suckers. Let’s deal with them.

Step 2 - Declutter and de-prioritise

• People: Are they in the right role or

level of seniority? Are they competent

and empowered? Ask HR to help assess

capabilities, list required competencies

at each level and put in place training or

coaching if needed.

• Tasks: Create dashboards so you

stop spending time looking for data.

Automate responses and reminders.

Create templates, so what you receive

is in a format you’ve approved and what

you draft is repetitive and becomes

easier with time.

• Meetings: Is it possible to combine

some of them? Ask HR to run surveys on

meetings, so you identify the ones that

are less efficient and can be cancelled as

well as the ones you are only invited to

join out of habit or courtesy. Impose a

45-minutes meeting policy.

• Processes: If you spend time setting up

deadlines, chasing other people’s work,

approving the same type of thing week

on week… You probably need the help of

an Operation Manager to set processes

in place so (s)he can chase on your behalf

and “filter” before demands reach you.

• Delegate more: Before you open an

email, let alone answer it. Before you

get involved in a task, ask yourself “Am

I the ONLY person who can do this?”. In

short: Is “this” really, truly, something

that you should spend time on? Your

company probably grew fast. Not so

long ago you were wearing 10 hats.

Now you’re the only person at the top

who can do pretty much everything,

but it does not mean you should still do

everything! Think in terms of spend.

Your salary is probably amongst the

highest in the company. Is it a good ROI

if you do this task? Wouldn’t it be more

commercially astute to ask someone

else in your team (who costs less) to

do it?

• Instantly differentiate what is urgent

from what is important. In our culture

of impatience and “being busy”, the

two have dangerously blurred. Draw a

simple 4 square chart on a post-it note

and stick it to your screen.

What is not important, delegate immediately,

with a clear delivery date if it’s urgent.

What is important and urgent, do today (set

things in motions on the spot to ensure it

does not slip). Turn what is important but

not urgent into a recurring reminder in your

calendar for the next week or month, which

you cancel once it’s done.

• My last advice to declutter your load is

to be aware of what you like - that you

probably invest time in, even though

it could be delegated - versus what

you dislike - which you are likely to be

more stringent about. The best way to

differentiate the two is to watch out for

physical signs. If you get excited when you

receive an email, it’s something you like.

Immediately run it through the urgent/

important test and act accordingly.

Step 3 - Free your brain

You’re starting to see some welcome breaks

in your schedule, which you can use to feed

and free your brain. You now need to ring

fence this new freedom and ensure bad

habits don’t creep back in.

1. Block thinking time: Create meetings

“with yourself”. To make sure your

thinking time becomes a sacred habit,

make it regular and recurrent. You’re

much more likely to respect your

me-time if you block 2 hours every

Thursday morning than if you block ½

hour whenever you can throughout the

week at random times. Your team will

get accustomed to your me-time, they’ll

respect it and work around it.

2. Create the best possible environment

for your brain: First, identify what your

environment was the last time you had

an epiphany. What was it that created

food for thoughts? Were you reading a

fascinating article? Listening to a speaker

at a conference? Having a conversation

with a fellow leader or employee? Where

you even at work?! Were you listening

to music? Running along the seafront?

In front of a great piece of art? Be

aware of the perfect environment that

frees and feeds your brains. Re-create

it during the time you’ve blocked. If you

can’t step out of the office, draft a list

of thought-inducing questions that you

benefit from thinking about every week:

How to boost efficiency? What are the

future challenges are we not prepared

for? What would Steve Job do? During

that thinking time, book a meeting room,

where others can’t find you, and switch

off notifications on your phone.

So here you have it, the efficient yet simple

3-step process to free time for your brain:

Identify time suckers. Get rid of them. Diligently

and regularly re-create the perfect environment

to induce thoughts and creativity. MBR

Credit: Marlon Gamel

EDITOR’S

Note

Marion Gamel is a C-level executive with over

20 years of experience. Having started her career

as an entrepreneur, Marion then worked for

Google and Eventbrite. Her last role was Chief

Marketing Officer of Betsson Group and Chief

Executive Officer of Betsson Services. Marion

has been coaching Entrepreneurs, Founders and

C-Executives around the world since 2015. Every

month, Marion answers questions sent by business

leaders based on the island. For a chance to have

your question answered in Malta Business Review,

of if you think you would benefit from business

coaching, you can contact Marion at:

marion.gamel@gmail.com

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

MBR Q&A

AZURE ULTRA

THE MAKING OF A SUPERBRAND

BY MARK PEARSON

Over the last few years, charter

specialist extraordinaire Azure Ultra has

reminded the luxury motor yachting

industry that you don’t have to be a big

global entity to become a superbrand.

MBR takes great pleasure in welcoming

back Azure Ultra MD Perry Newton, no

stranger to the Q&A spotlight.

MBR: So Perry, 2017 was a year in which

Azure Ultra cemented its reputation as

a genuine superbrand. What were the

highlights for you?

PN: Awards are always an accurate measure

of how your peers see you. To win two major

industry awards in 2017 – Best Customer

Service and Best Malta Based Charter

Company – takes some beating.

MBR: Congratulations, both great awards

to win, especially customer service. What

makes Azure Ultra’s service offering

different from the rest?

PN: Everything flows from our brand tagline,

beyond ordinary. No detail in the customer

journey is overlooked. Azure Ultra is all about

offering the connoisseur of luxury an exclusive,

custom-fitted charter experience from start to

finish. So we are always looking at innovative

ways to perfect our customer service,

even down to being the first yacht charter

organisation in Malta to introduce uniforms

complete with epaulettes and name slides.

MBR: Online reviews of Azure Ultra certainly

attest to that. A 100% record of five-star

reviews on TripAdvisor is quite remarkable,

plus your crew comes in for a lot of praise.

What’s the secret?

PN: The crew love what they do and are proud

to wear the uniform, which we purposely

had custom-made by a leading international

fashion designer. Engaged and committed

staff have a massively positive influence

on a client’s experience. What’s more, the

crew are all highly trained mariners with

multiple advanced qualifications and years of

experience in providing a safe and comfortable

environment for individuals and families at sea

and in harbour. This all culminates in military

precision – or an award-winning mindset if you

will – that flows from a highly functioning crew

with a healthy OCD for everything nautical,

from training guests in a host of water sports

to actively sharing their intimate knowledge of

the Mediterranean coast.

Engaged and committed

staff have a massively

positive influence on a

client’s experience

MBR: Blue skies and calm seas mean yacht

charter season is back. What plans do you

have for this year?

PN: Plenty! We’ve added a new Sunseeker

Camargue 50 to the fleet in addition to

new captains, stewards and stewardesses.

Our long-term objective is to remain

visionary, stand apart and upscale from any

Mediterranean competitor. By retaining our

desirability and advantage of having the best

reputation in our field, among customers and

industry, we will build on our success in 2018

and keep on improving into the future. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

32


GAMING

Malta Business Review

Maltco Lotteries and Institute of Digital Games

partner to support the next generation of game researchers and game designers in Malta

By Gertrude Borg Marks

Maltco Lotteries and the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta will be

presenting the outcomes of their two-year agreement made to increase the opportunities

of students in the field of digital games in a press conference to be held the 18th April at

18h30 at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.

The completed projects will be presented

by Prof. Georgios N. Yannakakis, Director of

the Institute of Digital Games – University

of Malta whilst the two upcoming projects

falling under the agreement will also be

announced. The projects were made possible

due to a Maltco research grant of € 20,000 to

promote research and innovation in digital

games which allows researchers at the IDG

to hire students or alumni to an undertake

a project in their area of expertise. Projects

are selected by the Director of the Institute

of Digital Games, in consultation with the

faculty, on the basis of proposals submitted

by researchers. Each semester the most

interesting proposals are implemented with

the support of the Maltco research grant.

The first project to be completed entitled

“Something Something Soup Something”

was designed by Dr Stefano Gualeni with

the support of two of the Institute’s Master

students: Isabelle Kniestedt and Johnathan

Harrington. The game was an innovative

sortie into the possibilities of a “game as

interactive thought experiment” addressing

the unreliability and relativity of language and

our methods of communication. The game is

meant to demonstrate through the gameplay

that despite our best efforts for precision

in communication we are still faced with

ultimately indefinite, shifting concepts. The

project was well-received by the video game

community even featuring on Kotaku.com,

one of the most prominent international

gaming websites.

The second selected project “The New Born

World” is a story-telling game developed

as tablet application. The game will be

one of the first examples of hybrid board

game application to be used in conjunction

with social game play and is designed by

Dr Antonios Liapis with the support of one

master’s student, Konstantinos Sfikas and

one alumnus, Rebecca Portelli. The game also

builds on the One Tablet Per Child initiative

started by the Maltese government as it is a

storytelling game encouraging both literacy

and semantic creativity. Dr Liapis intends to

further examine the experience of human

and computer co-creation, his particular area

of expertise, through the designed game.

During this coming press conference, another

two new projects, one related to machine

learning led by Prof. Yannakakis, and one

related to immersion and story by Prof.

Calleja, will also be announced.

Present for this event will be; Prof. Alfred

Vella, the Rector for the University of Malta,

Prof Georgios N. Yannakakis, Director Institute

of Digital Games - University of Malta, Mr.

Vasileios Kasiotakis, Chief Executive Officer

- Maltco Lotteries Limited, Dr Panagiotis

Koustenis, Games and Statistics Manager

- INTRALOT, and also the creators of the

two complete funded research Dr. Stefano

Gualeni and Dr Antonios Liapis. Personnel

from both the Institute of Digital Games and

from Maltco Lotteries will also attend. MBR

About the Institute of Digital Games

The Institute of Digital Games is the centre for research

and education in game design, game analysis, and

game technology at the University of Malta.

Our work is at the forefront of innovative games

research. We explore games and play, uncovering new

playful and generative possibilities in game design and

technology. We delve into everything games can teach

us about ourselves.

Our multidisciplinary academic team spans computer

science, literature, game design, philosophy, media

studies, and social sciences.

Since the foundation of the Institute in 2013, we

have been involved in a number of EU (FP7, H2020)

and National funded research projects totaling over

10m Euro of research funding. Collectively, we have

published over 160 journals articles, conference

papers, book chapters and books in these last 5 years.

About Maltco Lotteries

Maltco Lotteries, a modern and dynamic company

established in 2003, holds the latest Licence and

Concession to operate the National Lottery of Malta

awarded in 2012. Maltco Lotteries provides highquality,

innovative and entertaining games (including

lotteries, sports-betting, fast games and instant games)

under the auspices of the Malta Gaming Authority

(MGA). Players can enjoy a friendly, secure and fun

environment in the Maltco Points of Sale, participating

in their favourite games, assisted by the well-trained in

high client service Maltco Lotteries Agents.

Maltco Lotteries has invested in the state-of-theart

gaming technology and services of INTRALOT;

guaranteeing security, trustworthiness, transparency

and a superior gaming experience. Certified in

Responsible Gaming, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and Security

Control Standard (WLA SCS) by the European Lotteries

and the World Lottery Association, Maltco Lotteries

ensures the safest gaming environment through its

Agents’ retail network, the largest one in Malta and

Gozo, maintaining the leading position in the market.

Maltco Lotteries, has and exceptional track record

in Corporate Social Responsibility, with continuous

support to the Governmental Good Causes Fund and

numerous Maltese charitable causes alongside the

sponsoring of the local sports and athletes, sustaining

the Maltese Society, Culture and Well-being.

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is

a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active

in 52 regulated jurisdictions around the globe. With €1.1

billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately

5,100 employees (3,100 of which in subsidiaries and

2,000 in associates) in 2017, INTRALOT is an innovation

– driven corporation focusing its product development

on the customer experience. The company is uniquely

positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations

across geographies market-tested solutions and retail

operational expertise. Through the use of a dynamic and

omni-channel approach, INTRALOT offers an integrated

portfolio of best-in-class gaming systems and product

solutions & services addressing all gaming verticals

(Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT). Players can enjoy a

seamless and personalized experience through exciting

games and premium content across multiple delivery

channels, both retail and interactive. INTRALOT has

been awarded with the prestigious WLA Responsible

Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery

Association (WLA) for its global lottery operations.

For more info: Mr. Chris Sfatos, Group Corporate

Affairs Director, Phone: +30-210 6156000, Fax: +30-

210 6106800

email: sfatos@intralot.com website: www.intralot.com

Credit: MALTCO LOTTERIES Limited

www.maltabusinessreview.net

33


Malta Business Review

POLITICO BRUSSELS PLAYBOOK

SUMMIT HIGHS AND LOWS - WHICH ROAD

TO ROME? - ART OF THE DEAL (OR NO DEAL)

JUNCKER’S #SELMAYRGATE ULTIMATUM: “If he goes, I go,”

Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told center-right party

leaders in a closed meeting, referring to his beleaguered top

EU civil servant, Martin Selmayr. Maïa de la Baume and Jacopo

Barigazzi with the story.

SUMMIT DAY

Russian oligarch

Andrey Guryev

THE EU … ON TRUMP: In the end, EU leaders

at the Council summit in Brussels on Thursday

were fed up waiting for Donald Trump’s

administration to produce implementation

provisions, or any legal text at all, on the

Union’s desperately-awaited exemption from

steel tariffs. Instead, they had to go off a few

not-particularly-detailed lines from the U.S.

president, and they wrapped up their meeting

to get a few hours of sleep. Formal conclusions

on Trump and trade will land only today,

assuming that Washington legalese eventuates

at some point before the leaders head home.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel put it this

way on her way out: “It’s not yet possible to

say conclusively how exactly decisions [in the

White House] actually have been taken.” In

case increased “unjustified” tariffs were to kick

in against EU exporters despite Trump’s (more

so, his people’s) assurances, the EU would

respond with adequate counter-measures.

And while U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

was originally set to go home, to ensure the

union is able to answer Trump’s tariffs as a unit,

she will stick around.

All things considered, talking the U.S.

administration into exempting the EU from

steep tariffs that would have otherwise kicked

in today was a major coup for everyone

involved; chief among them, EU Trade

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Now comes

the hard part: Trump will want something in

return — the question is what.

**A message from Google: To enhance

Europe’s digital skills, we created the

Android developer scholarship program with

Bertelsmann and Udacity. We were honored

to receive an award from the European

Commission — and impressed with Central

and Eastern Europe, where 40 percent of our

trainees came from.

… ON RUSSIA, the other shadow over the

summit table, leaders took their time amidst

many, many interventions, according to

diplomats, to ponder appropriate language.

Key sentence: The European Council “agrees

with the United Kingdom government’s

assessment that it is highly likely that the

Russian Federation is responsible and that

there is no plausible alternative explanation”

for the Salisbury poisoning.

WHO REPRESENTS RUSSIA IN BRUSSELS? As

most EU leaders look to get tougher on Russia,

political debate has turned to extra sanctions

or expelling diplomats. But who represents

Russian interests in Brussels?

One issue that POLITICO has written about

is rules on the toxic metal cadmium. More

specifically the attempts by Russian oligarch

Andrey Guryev to corner the fertilizer market

in Europe by changing the rules on how much

cadmium is allowed in it (the fertilizer from

his own phosphate mines is said to be much

better suited to low cadmium rules than his

rivals’). Guriev and his company PhosAgro are

on a US Treasury blacklist, and the Guardian

reported that he owns a large number of

properties in London.

Key action taken: Leaders avoided sanctions

talk. Instead they’ve recalled the EU

ambassador to Moscow, Markus Ederer, for

consultations in Brussels. No doubt the Kremlin

is shaking in its Spetsnaz boots at the thought

of having no one to talk to for a month or so.

Jacopo Barigazzi and David Herszenhorn have

the report.

… AND ON TURKEY, the third country with an

unruly chief to be dealt with, leaders showed

about as much solidarity with Greece and

Cyprus as they did with the U.K., discussing the

key issues (Turkish appetites for potential gas

deposits off Cyprus; and two Greek soldiers

jailed in Turkey for straying into its territory)

ahead of an EU meeting with President Recep

Tayyip Erdoğan end March.

As it happens, the countries with the most

pressing issues with Ankara are the same

ones who have the least beef with Moscow

(add Hungary to the latter). Anyway, call the

outcome reciprocal niceness, compromise, or

true tit for tat.

GOOD MORNING, after a summit day that

dragged into the night, wrapping up at just

after 1 a.m. That may not have been too late

for some night owls who had plans to go for

a drink or two afterwards, but alas, Brussels’

bartenders don’t particularly care whether it’s

a prime minister or an ordinary Joe seeking

libations after work: On ferme à l’heure. MBR

QUOTABLE

‘I want Martin Selmayr to become the

most famous person in the whole of Europe

… [he] should not resign, stay, stay, stay;

I want him there as long as possible, give

him a pay increase.”

— Nigel Farage, Brexit champion. MBR

SUMMIT THURSDAY IN 5

MOMENTS

1. WIEDER DA. Angela Merkel took the

floor early on and, back in full swing after

her reelection for a fourth term as German

chancellor last week, inquired about and

commented on Chinese companies’ debt

levels and sour loans in that huge empire of

the East. She displayed a mastery of the data

her people had collected for her and which

she broke down for the group, according to

Playbook’s reasonably impressed fly on the

wall of the summit room.

2. She later shared a few bits of carefully

curated information that one of her envoys

brought back this week after exploring that great

country of the West. That had those in the room

thinking she is one of the few who can make

sense of what Donald Trump actually wants. She

is, in short, back, if she was ever gone.

3. BACK TO THE FUTURE: “In March, we are

always deciding to come back to an issue in

June. In June, we are deciding to come back

in October. And we are never coming back,”

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told

reporters, speaking of the preferred working

method of European Council meetings. MBR

34


POLITICO BRUSSELS PLAYBOOK

Malta Business Review

By FLORIAN EDER

with ZOYA SHEFTALOVICH

PRESENTED BY GOOGLE

4. CZECHOSLOVAKIA MAKING A COMEBACK?

It was new Slovak Prime Minister Peter

Pellegrini’s first summit, but he won’t get to

taste all its pleasures. Pellegrini left Thursday

evening with the impeccable excuse of facing

a vote of confidence in parliament today. So

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (who is,

by the way, Slovak by origin) will represent

his neighbor in the EU27 part of today’s

deliberations, as Hospodářské noviny’s Ondřej

Houska reports. It won’t last long: Slovakia is

a euro member, Czechia isn’t, so for the last,

euro-only part of the summit, Vienna will

make Bratislava’s voice heard.

5. NEVER COMING BACK: A lost tourist walked

up to me on Thursday, beneath a rainy

Brussels sky, to ask where, per favore, he

could see “the main EU headquarters.” Now

that’s a tricky question at any time. Then he

told me he only had half an hour spare to see

the EU for once — to make it tangible. I sent

him Parliament’s way. The only thing he could

have seen around the shining palace where

EU leaders were actually doing business is

barriers and lattice fences. MBR

Luis de Guindos | Raigo Pajula/AFP

via Getty Images

LUIS DE GUINDOS APPOINTED

ECB NO. 2

EU leaders Thursday agreed to hand the

European Central Bank’s vice presidency to

Spain’s Luis de Guindos. Leaders announced

the decision following a vote in the European

Council in Brussels on Thursday. De Guindos,

currently Spain’s economy minister, will take

over the role of vice president from June 1 after

incumbent Vítor Constâncio leaves the post. MBR

WHICH ROAD TO ROME?

Both chambers of the Italian parliament

take seats and will (attempt to) elect their

presidents today. A majority may or may

not emerge. If it does, don’t take that as a

sign there will be a government of the same

colors any time soon. Italy’s status is still “it’s

complicated.” Giada Zampano from Rome

updates us on recent proceedings.

Antonio Tajani, president of the European

Parliament, briefed leaders at the summit about

what his institution expects of them, sneaking in

his advice on what to expect from Italy’s (many

would say opaque) political situation: “The

message that has been sent out about Europe

has been that EU countries close their borders,

dig in their heels with the redistribution of a few

thousand refugees, and let all landings take place

on our shores. This narrative has conditioned

the results of the elections,” he said.

That’s to be read that way: Italy might well end

up having another election, and leaders better

get their act together and pass a compromise

on common asylum rules and the protection of

external borders, do a deal with Africa as they

did with Turkey two years ago, and show Italians

that yes, they care — or risk facing a very clear

result rather than uncertainty next time round

(and that doomsday scenario wouldn’t include

a Prime Minister Tajani).

Advice on what’s going to happen was

particularly welcomed by Merkel and French

President Emmanuel Macron, whom Tajani,

from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, met with

individually, according to his team. Juncker,

instead, opted for a private chat with Prime

Minister Paolo Gentiloni, from the other

losing party.

MEANWHILE, IN CATALONIA, THE THIRD

ATTEMPT TO APPOINT NEW LEADER FAILS.

**Join POLITICO’s Women Rule Summit on

June 21 in Brussels and hear from Canadian

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Catherine McKenna on Women in Energy and

Sustainability, and European Commissioner

for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos

Moedas on Women in Entrepreneurship and

Innovation, among other keynote speakers. MBR

DEAL WITH IT

THE REAL ART OF THE DEAL: There’s at least

one company that knows how to get its way

in Brussels. “More than two years after the

European Food Safety Authority signaled

concerns about a pesticide made by Syngenta,

the Swiss agrichemical giant has avoided an

EU ban on the product,” write POLITICO’s

Simon Marks and Giulia Paravicini in a mustread

about how Syngenta used its lobbying

in Brussels to drive a wedge between the

Commission and its own food safety agency.

“Emails, letters and technical papers released

by the European Commission in response to a

POLITICO request show the Commission twice

withdrew a proposal to remove Syngenta’s

pesticide, called diquat, from the market after

the company questioned the methodology

behind EFSA’s science.”

DEALING WITH NO DEAL: The next Brexit

battle in Westminster is over whether to

prepare for a “no deal” Brexit. After securing

agreement with the European Commission

earlier this week for a transition period as the

U.K. leaves the EU, senior government officials

say the battle is on between those who back a

“soft” Brexit, who want the U.K. government

to abandon preparations for a worst-case

scenario, versus hardcore Brexiteers who

want to ensure London looks like it means it

when it says no deal is better than a bad one.

POLITICO’s Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper

have the story.

DEALING WITH FACEBOOK: Elizabeth

Denham, the U.K.’s privacy regulator, is

leading the global investigation into whether

Cambridge Analytica — which used data

from Facebook to try to help Donald Trump

get elected — ran afoul of Britain’s data

protection standards. POLITICO’s Annabelle

Dickson and Mark Scott profile the woman in

the eye of the storm.

POLAND (SORT OF) BACKTRACKS: Poland’s

ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party on Thursday

presented a series of amendments to its

controversial judiciary bills and backtracked on

its Holocaust law.

FOLLOWING UP: The outer provinces we

mentioned in Thursday’s Playbook emailed to

write in that yes, they had paid for what they

ordered, and after thoroughly checking with

all parties involved we can confirm they did.

No offence meant, and none taken, the East

of Scotland European Consortium‘s Joanne

Scobie wrote to tell us. They’re on a “factfinding

mission” to explore how post-Brexit

Brussels will look for them, and it “really

opened our eyes.”

They looked post-Brexit: “It was especially

interesting to hear from counterparts in

Norway and Switzerland. It gives us hope

that we can continue to work with European

colleagues, but this of course depends on the

willingness of the U.K. government. When we

return to Scotland we will make the case of this

at both Holyrood and Westminster,” Scobie

said. “Overall, we picked up on a lot of goodwill

towards Scotland … This was a very positive

experience for us and so we return to Scotland

knowing that this does not mean the end of EU

collaboration for us.” MBR

Courtesy: POLITICO SPRL

www.maltabusinessreview.net

35


Malta Business Review

ICT

Global Tech Spending Forecast:

Banking Edition, 2018

By Stephen Greer, Gareth Lodge, Juan

Mazzini, and Eiichiro Yanagawa

KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

• What will banks across the globe spend on technology

in 2018?

• Which trends does Celent see in IT spending in banking?

• What regional differences exist in IT budgets and

spending plans?

ABSTRACT

IT spending globally will increase by

4.2% annually, mostly driven by new

investment spending.

Recently Celent's Banking analysts published

a report titled Global Tech Spending Forecast:

Banking Edition, 2018.

IT Spending is growing at a steady pace. How

are institutions spending their resources?

What trends are affecting spending? Celent

goes deep into the data to reveal how

institutions globally are allocating resources

towards IT.

This report analyzes the IT spending patterns

of banks in North America, Europe, Asia-

Pacific, and Latin America. It’s divided by

region. Each section analyzes the budget

allocations among retail, commercial, and

investment banks; new investment and

maintenance; internal spending, hardware,

external services, and external software.

Celent also applies its global top trends to

each region.

Advances in technology and global consumer

demand for digital customer experiences

are creating new investment incentives for

institutions globally. Margin pressures in core

areas of the business are pressuring banks to

increase spending on IT, shifting focus towards

finding new sources of value while increasing

efficiency across traditional cost centers. MBR

Credit: CELENT

36


FINANCE

Malta Business Review

During his opening speech, the FIMBank

Group Chairman Dr John C. Grech stated

that, “The 2017 financial results are a

clear indicator of the sound strategic path

adopted over the past years, and highlight

our commitment and resolve in ensuring

a strong and sustainable growth trajectory

for FIMBank.” The Bank’s Chief Executive

Officer, Murali Subramanian commented

that the year’s positive financial results

reflect a “significant progression due

to the efficiency enhancements and

portfolio quality which the Bank has been

implementing since 2015”.

Following the opening statements, the

Bank’s Chief Financial Officer Ronald Mizzi,

then provided an overview of FIMBank’s

financial performance.

In emphasising the importance which all

shareholders hold for the Group, Dr Grech

also referred to a similar meeting due

to be held with the Malta Association of

FIMBank meets

stockbrokers,

financial

intermediaries and

Malta Association of

Small Shareholders

FIMBank recently hosted a meeting

with licensed stockbrokers and

financial intermediaries to discuss the

Group’s 2017 financial results, as well

as developments which marked its

performance during the past months.

Small Shareholders. He went on to thank

all those present for their participation,

adding that such initiatives are important

to foster open lines of communication with

stockbrokers and financial intermediaries. The

presentation was followed by an informal

discussion during which attendees had the

opportunity to discuss specific aspects of the

performance registered. MBR

For further information about FIMBank plc

please visit www.fimbank.com

Credit: FIMBank

FIMBank

Announces

Rights Issue

FIMBank p.l.c. (the ‘Bank’) announces that it has been granted

approval by the Listing Authority for a Rights Issue prospectus

dated 23 March 2018. The rights issue offer is for 209,687,428

new ordinary shares in the Bank at an offer price of USD0.55 per

share on the basis of 2 new shares for every 3 existing shares held

as at the record date (being 22 March 2018).

The net proceeds of approximately USD114 million from the issue

will be used to strengthen the Bank’s capital base and support the

general growth of the FIMBank Group and also the repayment

of a principal sum of USD50 million with interest due under a

subordinated loan agreement.

The acceptance period opens on the 4th of April 2018 (08.30

am) and closes on the 18th of April 2018 (10.00 am). For a copy

of the Prospectus and further information about the FIMBank

Rights Issue please visit https://www.fimbank.com/en/rights_

issue_2018 MBR

Credit: FIMBank

www.maltabusinessreview.net

37


Malta Business Review

GARDENING

launch new interactive portal

By J.P Abela

Callus Garden Centre has launched

a new web portal, which can be

accessed at www.callusgardencentre.

com – a portal that is set to act as

an increasingly important customer

touchpoint.

Callus Garden Centre new web portal

enables customers to not only find

current information about our wide

range of plants and flowers but also

provides direct access to our services.

Designed by Whale, the site has been

built to help individual users browse

through our range of flowers, plants,

trees and services. Our various sections

of the website have been designed to

feature our array of services, including

landscaping, garden design and

maintenance along with water well

cleaning among others.

“We are proud to launch our new web

portal that was designed with the

objective of providing a convenient,

dynamic and interactive channel,”

said Jonathan Callus, Director at Callus

Garden Centre.

“When we first embarked on this

project, our goal was to create a space

where our clientele could browse. This

site is all about our customer first and

foremost,” explained Jonathan. MBR

Credit: Callus Garden Centre

38


TALKING POINT

Malta Business Review

Open letter: The Shame of

Valletta 2018, European

Capital of Culture

The following is the letter written by

prominent writers to the EU President six

months after the assassination of journalist

Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Dear President Juncker,

Dear Commissioner Timmermans,

Dear Mr Magnier, Director of Creative Europe,

CC/ Commissioner Karmenu Vella,

We write to you on the six-month anniversary

of the brutal assassination of our colleague,

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s foremost

investigative journalist, to express our

profound concern with developments in

Malta in the context of the investigation into

her assassination, and in particular regarding

the behaviour of the management of Valletta

2018, the European Capital of Culture.

The assassination of Daphne Caruana

Galizia was ordered in direct response to

her journalistic work in exposing rampant

government corruption at the heart of the

EU. Since her death, we have witnessed

with horror the repeated and aggressive

destruction of the memorial to Daphne

Caruana Galizia in Valletta, which was created

in response to this horrific event. The Maltese

authorities have not attempted to protect

this memorial. In particular, we are outraged

by the comments of Jason Micallef, Chairman

of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, and as such

the Capital of Culture’s official representative

in Malta. Since her assassination, Micallef

has repeatedly and publicly attacked and

ridiculed Daphne Caruana Galizia on social

media, ordered the removal of banners

calling for justice for her death and called

for her temporary memorial to be cleared.

This is far from appropriate behaviour for an

official designated to represent the European

Capital of Culture, and in fact serves to further

the interests of those trying to prevent an

effective and impartial investigation into

Caruana Galizia’s death.

Creative Europe’s mandate is the support

and promotion of culture and media in

the region. European culture includes the

freedom to criticise, satirise and investigate

those in power. The role of the Chairman of

the European Capital of Culture should be to

safeguard this right, not to threaten it. We

believe this behaviour completely demeans

the role and has profound implications for

the integrity of the programme as a whole.

There can be no tolerance for the ridiculing

of the assassination of a journalist in the

heart of the EU, especially from the very

authorities entrusted to promote the EU’s

media and culture. We therefore urge you

to immediately investigate these allegations

against Jason Micallef.

If found to be true, we urge you to call for

his resignation and for the appointment of

a qualified individual who demonstrates the

requisite integrity for this role.

Further to these specific concerns relating to

Valletta 2018, we wish to restate our broader

fears relating to the ongoing investigation by

the Maltese Authorities into the assassination

of Daphne Caruana Galizia, which we

believe does not meet the standards of

independence, impartiality and effectiveness

required under international human rights

law. The very same individuals Caruana Galizia

was investigating remain in charge of securing

justice in her case, despite a judicial challenge

in Malta’s constitutional court from her family,

who has now been completely shut out of

the assassination investigation. We therefore

welcome the initiative of the Parliamentary

Assembly of Council of Europe, which is taking

the extraordinary step of sending a special

rapporteur to scrutinise the investigation.

It is also of enormous concern to us that, even

after her assassination, senior government

officials, including the Prime Minister, Joseph

Muscat, are insisting on trying thirty-four

libel cases against her, which have now been

assumed by her family. In addition to these

cases, the Prime Minister is taking a further

libel case against Caruana Galizia’s son,

Matthew, himself a Pulitzer-Prize-winning

journalist. We have reason to believe that

these proceedings are in direct reprisal for

his mother’s work in investigating corruption

within the current Maltese government.

The Prime Minister is currently compelling

Matthew to return to Malta to stand trial,

despite independent security experts advising

Matthew to remain outside Malta due to

substantial threats to his life there.

Whistle-blower Maria Efimova was one

of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sources on

corruption within the disgraced Malta-based

Pilatus Bank. The Maltese authorities filed a

European Arrest Warrant for Efimova after

she was forced to flee to Greece with her

family. On 12 April, a Greek court refused

Malta’s request to extradite Efimova on the

grounds that the charges brought by the

Maltese authorities against her are “vague”.

We welcome this highly unusual decision,

one of the first of its kind within the EU.

Despite this, the Maltese authorities have

not dropped the charges against Efimova.

We believe the charges against Efimova to

be purely political and are deeply concerned

about both her safety and the independence

of the legal process she would face should she

return to Malta.

We urge you to take a stand in support of

calls for justice for Daphne CaruanaGalizia

and for the protection of journalists and

whistleblowers in Malta.

We look forward to your response outlining the

steps you will now take relating to our concerns.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Clement, President, PEN International

Margaret Atwood, PEN Writers Circle Member

Salman Rushdie, PEN Writers Circle Member

Yann Martel, PEN Writers Circle Member

Eva Bonnier, Albert Bonniers Förlag,

PEN Publishers Circle Member

Neil Gaiman

Aslı Erdoğan

Ian McEwan

Kamila Shamsie

Andrei Kurkov

Elif Shafak

Khadija Ismayilova

Paul Muldoon

Peter Greste MBR

Credit: Eu President

EDITOR’S

Note

Concerns have been raised by scores of international writers

about the impartiality, effectiveness and independence of the

investigations surrounding slain journalist Daphne Caruana

Galizia. PEN International has written an open letter to

top EU officials, namely European Commission president

Jean-Claude Juncker, Commissioner for Better Regulation,

Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter

of Fundamental Rights Frans Timmermans, Director of

Creative Europe Michel Magnier and Commissioner for

Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu

Vella. Mbr Publications Limited is also affiliated with PEN.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


Malta Business Review

EDUCATION

THE GLOBAL SEARCH FOR EDUCATION: YES THEY’RE READY

TO TEACH IN THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION!

What does the fourth

industrial revolution and

the extraordinary period

of societal change mean

for teachers and learning?

How can classrooms

equip learners with the

competencies, mindset and

agency to shape their own

lives and contribute to the

lives of their communities?

A ground-breaking new

book by Armand Doucet,

Elisa Guerra, Michael

Soskil, Jelmer Evers, Koen

Timmers and Nadia Lopez,

Teaching in the Fourth

Industrial Revolution:

Standing at the Precipice,

shares predictions and

strategies for an education

system that matches the

needs of the AI future.

Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

It’s a complex, volatile, ever-changing

world where we have already witnessed

fundamental shifts in the way we live. Given

this extraordinary period of societal change,

what will this mean for teaching? How should

teachers equip learners with the competencies

and mindset to approach learning as being lifelong?

How can education equip learners with

agency to shape their own lives and contribute

to the lives of their communities?

Six internationally recognised Global Teacher

Prize finalists have authored a new book

(Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution:

Standing at the Precipice; Routledge, March

2018) in which they share their vision and

strategies for an education system that

matches the needs of the future.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to

welcome co-authors Armand Doucet, Jelmer

Evers, Koen Timmers, Michael Soskil, Elisa

Guerra Cruz and Nadia Lopez.

“We need to embrace a new paradigm: the

networked teacher. We need to build our

classrooms, schools and educational systems

based on the principles of collaboration and

trust.” — Jelmer Evers

MBR: How can education lead us through

an unknown future to a place of peace and

prosperity?

Michael Soskil: Only by keeping education

rooted in human relationships and empathy

can we meet the great challenges on the

horizon. Our students are craving the

opportunity to make a difference and shape

the planet they will inherit from us. Our global

society faces dangers of inequity inside and

outside our schools. If we are to realize the

peaceful and prosperous vision of the future

we desire, a focus on equity through and

within our educational systems must be one

of our main driving forces. Ever widening

inequity will be one of the gravest threats to

the health of our future society.

MBR: How does a good teacher prepare

her students for the Fourth Industrial

Revolution?

Nadia Lopez: Teachers must be life-long

learners. Teaching is not just about preparing

students for a particular workforce, but to also

become agents of change that have a positive

influence within humanity. When we teach

girls that they can be entrepreneurs, architects,

computer scientists, and engineers, then we

begin to dismantle the stereotypes that limit

them from pursuing any and every career.

Education can build bridges across the globe

and we can learn from one another.

MBR: What are some of the key take-aways

from your research in Teaching in the Fourth

Industrial Revolutionwith other teachers?

Elisa Guerra Cruz: Children need the artistic

touch of human connection to reach their

unique potential. Even in environments

devoid of technology, excellent pedagogy is

still leading to astonishing student learning

outcomes. True educational success lies in a

system that meets the needs of the individual,

with or without the use of technology.

“Passion is what engages and empowers

students. Schools have timetables; learning

does not.”

— Armand Doucet

MBR: You write about the challenges of

the Fourth Industrial Revolution requiring

a shift to holistic education. What are the

steps we must take to accomplish that?

Michael Soskil: We need a shift in focus

from accountability measures based on

standardized test scores toward metrics

that take into account universal access to

quality teachers and learning environments,

robust curricula that include the arts, as

well as student engagement and well-being.

Passionate teachers having professional

discussions about what is best for kids leads

to a better education system. Each individual

40


EDUCATION

Malta Business Review

“Our global society faces dangers of inequity

inside and outside our schools. If we are to

realize the peaceful and prosperous vision of the

future we desire, a focus on equity through and

within our educational systems must be one of

our main driving forces.”

— Michael Soskil

By C. M. Rubin

student is a new independent and constantly

changing variable in an ever-changing context.

MBR: You talk about “flipping the system”

that is changing education from the ground

up. How do we do it?

Jelmer Evers: It will take professionalism

and also activism by teachers to help build

those new systems. We need to embrace a

new paradigm: the networked teacher. We

need to build our classrooms, schools and

educational systems based on the principles

of collaboration and trust. We need to be

aware as teachers how global forces influence

our classrooms. Students need to be invested

in what they learn.

MBR: You talk about the learner profile

(Teach ME) as a practical guide to allow

teachers to introduce a holistic approach to

learning. What are some of the key drivers?

Armand Doucet: Teachers need to evolve

from simply delivering traditional knowledge

towards designing lessons that develop

literacies, competencies and character.

Society needs to be as concerned with the

education of our teachers as we are with

the education of our students. As educators,

our responsibility is not solely to create the

next workforce; it is to help raise the next

generation of citizens

“As the world continues to become more

globalized and interconnected, the ability to

understand diverse perspectives and work

with those that have divergent worldviews

will become increasingly important.” — Koen

Timmers

MBR: True personalization involves more

than content being chosen for students by

algorithms. A few thoughts on how tech and

traditional learning will co-exist?

Armand Doucet: Without great pedagogy,

technology integration is worthless. Passion

is what engages and empowers students.

Schools have timetables; learning does not.

Koen Timmers: Technology is a pedagogical

catalyst. It can make good classroom practices

great, and it can make bad classroom practices

even worse.

MBR: What’s the key take away you want

other teachers to have from your book?

Koen Timmers: Education is a human right.

Everyone, everywhere has a need and the

right to quality Education. As the world

continues to become more globalized and

interconnected, the ability to understand

diverse perspectives and work with those

that have divergent worldviews will become

increasingly important.

Armand Doucet Jelmer Evers: Education

should be at the core of any proposed

solutions, and teachers must play an integral

part in shaping them. Teaching is not an exact

science, because, quite simply, humans are

involved. Rather than passively wait for history

to take its course, or to succumb before the

inevitable shifts that come ahead, we want

to inspire educators and the society in full

to make active decisions and take whatever

roads we need so as to guarantee that every

child in the world has the opportunity to

thrive. As we enter a new age of Renaissance

in education, it is key that in each educational

jurisdiction, we align our vision to what is truly

happening in the classroom. MBR

Creditline: David Wine;

Top Row L to R: Elisa Guerra Cruz,

Armand Doucet, Michael Soskil, Koen

Timmers Bottom Row L to R: Jelmer

Evers, Nadia Lopez, C.M. Rubin

EDITOR’S

Note

Armand Doucet is an award-winning educator,

social entrepreneur and business professional. He

received the Canadian Prime Minister’s Award

for Teaching Excellence in 2015. He is a Global

Teacher Prize finalist. Elisa Guerra was named

“Best Educator in Latin America” in 2015. She is

the Founder of Colegio Valle de Filadelfia which

has 9 campuses in 3 countries. Michael Soskil

was Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2017-

2018 and was a Global Teacher Prize finalist.

Jelmer Evers is the author of “Flip the System”

and “Het Alternatief” (The Alternative). He was

nominated for the Global Teacher Prize in 2015

and 2016. Nadia Lopez is the Founding Principal

of Mott Hall Bridges Academy. She is the author

of “Bridge to Brilliance” and a Global Teacher

Prize finalist. Koen Timmers is the founder of

Project Kakuma and an online school, zelfstudie.

com. He is a 2018 Global Teacher Prize finalist.

CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The

Global Search for Education, brings together

distinguished thought leaders in education and

innovation from around the world to explore

the key learning issues faced by most nations.

The series has become a highly visible platform

for global discourse on 21st century education,

offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which

are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin,

together with the world’s leading thinkers in

education. The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a

monthly series and an important platform through

which CMRubinWorld has propagated the voices

of the most indispensable people in our learning

institutions—teachers.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

ECONOMY: TAXATION

Overview: the European Parliament's work on taxation

Check out our infographic to compare taxation levels across the EU- Our infographic above

shows the income from direct and indirect taxes for each member state as well as total tax

revenue as a percentage of the gross domestic product. The latter is divided between taxes

on capital, consumption and labour. In addition our map shows how wealthy countries are.

The fight for fair taxation in the EU has been

high on Parliament's agenda long before

LuxLeaks and the Panama papers. Since the

start of the economic and financial crisis, MEPs

have been pushing for greater transparency

and an end to tax unfair practices. Read on for

our overview of Parliament initiatives.

The committees dealing with tax issues

The economic and monetary affairs committee

is the legislative committee in charge of

tax policies and continues to work on the

European Commission's legislative initiatives

in the area of taxation.

Parliament has also set up two temporary

special committees to look into tax rulings

and is in the process of launching an inquiry

committee to investigate the Panama papers.

Tax rulings are written statements issued

by a tax authority, setting out in advance

how a corporation's tax will be calculated

and which tax provisions will be used. Tax

rulings have sometimes been criticised

when multinationals used them to agree

discretionary or preferential tax treatment

with a country. Parliament has set up two

special committees to look into them.

Last November the first special committee

on tax rulings published its final report,

setting out ideas for fair and transparent

taxation across the EU. Its work is continued

until July 2016 by the second tax rulings

committee. Launched in December 2015,

it continues the work of the first special

committee to identify the necessary steps to

fight corporate tax avoidance.

Following the revelations in the Panama

papers, Parliament decided to set up an inquiry

committee. Its mandate will soon be confirmed

during a plenary session in Strasbourg.

Work so far

Recommendations to fight aggressive

corporate planning were adopted by MEPs in

December 2015. This report by the economic

committee spelled out the legal steps that

the EU and the member states should take. It

was based in part on the work of the first tax

rulings committee. Among others, Parliament

called for the European Commission to

produce a legislative proposal n country-bycountry

reporting of companies' profits, tax

and subsidies. As a result the Commission

announced its plans in April 2016. MEPs also

demanded an EU-wide definition of tax haven

and the Commission is currently working on

a proposal.

In May 2015 MEPs adopted tougher rules on

money laundering. The fourth anti-money

laundering directive will oblige member

states to keep central registers of information

on who owns companies and other legal

entities.EU countries have until 26 June

2017 to implement the new legislation. The

Panama papers underlined the importance of

these new rules.

Parliament was also consulted

on a proposal on the exchange of

information on tax rulings between

EU countries. The Council adopted

the directive last December.

Parliament called the Council's

deal a "missed opportunity" as

the new rules only apply to cross

border rulings but leave out tax

deals within member states. MEPs

also criticised the fact that the

Commission was only given limited

access to the information.

Parliament is being consulted

on corporate anti-tax avoidance

measures. This legislation is the

EU's response to the OECD's action

plan to tackle base erosion and

profit shifting. This refers to tax

planning strategies that exploit

loopholes in the international tax

system to artificially shift profits

to places where there is little or

no economic activity or taxation,

resulting in little or no overall

corporate tax being paid. The EU's

plans contain six key measures which all EU

countries should apply. One of the measures,

for example, is to prevent profits being shifted

to a country with lower or no taxes. MEPs are

due to vote on Parliament's position in June.

In addition Parliament is being asked to voice

its views on plans concerning tax authorities

exchanging tax reports by multinationals

that have global revenues of more than €750

million. According to the proposal, these large

multinationals have to file a country-by-country

tax report in the member state where the

parent company is legally based. This member

state must then share this information with

other member states where the company

operates. Parliament's economic committee

has called for the Commission to have full access

to this information. MEPs are due to vote on the

Parliament's position in May.

Parliament plays a key part in public

transparency rules for multinationals.

Multinationals with global revenues of

more than €750 million would have to make

information on where they make their profits

public and also where they pay their taxes

in the EU on a country-by-country basis.

MEPs asked for this in the report adopted in

December mentioned previously and as a

result the Commission published a report on

this in April. It is not known yet when MEPs

will vote on the plans in plenary.

Later this year the Commission is planning to

propose legislation on a common corporate

tax base. In addition it is expected to publish a

proposal on a common list of non-cooperative

tax jurisdictions, more commonly known as

tax havens. MBR

Creditline: EP/Economics

42


GOZO

Malta Business Review

Gozo wins the prize

of best to sustainable

destination in the

Mediterranean

The Minister for Gozo Justyne

Caruana welcomed international

honor for the island. Gozo won

the prize of best sustainable

destination in the Mediterranean.

This award was announced at

the renowned fair of tourism

ITB Berlin, Germany, and is

given by Green Destinations,

an international organization

promoting sustainable tourism.

A total of 100 have been identified

destination and with 32 finalists; 10 places

were eventually recognized by their region.

Gozo won the prize in the Mediterranean

region. Gozo was a finalist for this award

in 2017 after it was included in the list of

100 worldwide destination set to meet

sustainability criteria. Gozo as a destination

competed evaluate cultural initiatives and the

identity of its communities. In this way, the

island encourages initiatives in the villages to

Photo: MGOZ- Terry Camilleri

keep alive the identity of the place, in order

that the traveler has a unique experience of

the destination. While this is part of a strategy

to attract quality tourists, Gozo has an

opportunity to enjoy widespread sustainable

tourism benefits to island communities.

The kirterji of this award are set by the Global

Sustainable Tourism Council. The Council is

recognized by the UNWTO, the Tourism of the

United Nations Organization, and establish

international criteria for sustainable tourism

on both operational as well as policy making.

Justyne Caruana said that such a prize it, to

aġġidukat a professional and independent

jury, do honor not only our country but

also Gozitans themselves contributing to

this success. She stated that through these

Gozo name honors continue to rise on the

international scale and is recognized as a

destination that offers authentic experience

to travellers.

The Minister Caruana said how 2017 was

a record in the tourism sector where the

amount of foreign tourists who visited Gozo

amounted to 215 184, an increase of 13%

over the year 2016. She said that is optimistic

that Gozo this year also seeing an increase

on the amount of foreign tourists visiting the

island as indicated by unofficial figures. MBR

Creditline: Gozo Ministry

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www.maltabusinessreview.net

43


Malta Business Review

EU: BIG DATA

ESAS WEIGH

BENEFITS

AND RISKS OF

BIG DATA

The Joint Committee of the

European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)

published today its final report on Big Data

analysing its impact on consumers and

financial firms. Overall, the ESAs have found

that while the development of Big Data poses

some potential risks to financial services

consumers, the benefits of this innovation

currently outweigh these. Many of the

risks identified by the ESAs are mitigated by

existing legislation.

The report concludes that Big Data brings

many benefits for the financial industry and

consumers, such as more tailored products

and services, improved fraud analytics,

or enhanced efficiency of organisational

internal procedures. On the other hand,

financial services consumers should be

made particularly aware of some of the risks

posed by Big Data. The risks identified by

the ESAs include the potential for errors in

Big Data tools, which may lead to incorrect

decisions being taken by financial service

providers. Additionally, the increasing level

of segmentation of customers, enabled

by Big Data, may potentially influence the

access and availability of certain financial

services or products.

Weighing both the benefits and the risks

associated with this innovation, the ESAs have

concluded that any legislative intervention at

this point would be premature, considering

that the existing legislation should mitigate

many of the risks identified. The ESAs will

continue to monitor any developments in this

area in the coming years and invite financial

firms to develop and implement good

practices on the use of Big Data.

The objectives of the report was to

• map the Big Data phenomenon and

assess its potential benefits and risks;

• raise awareness among consumers

of their rights set in existing financial

legislation and in other relevant

areas; and

• raise awareness of financial

institutions of their obligations set

in existing financial legislation and

encourage the adaptation of good

practices on Big Data.

The report results from a consultation

conducted between December 2016 and

March 2017. MBR

Credit: ESMA, 103, rue de Grenelle CS 60747,

PARIS, Ile de France FRANCE France

EDITOR’S

Note

1. The ESAs have created a factsheet on Big

Data, aiming at informing consumers of financial

services about the impact of Big Data. The

factsheet provides consumers with the information

about the potential benefits and risks of the use of

Big Data techniques and aims to raise awareness

of the measures consumers can take if they

experience issues related to the use of Big Data.

2. The Joint Committee is a forum for cooperation

that was established on 1 January 2011, with the

goal of strengthening cooperation between the

European Banking Authority (EBA), European

Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions

Authority (EIOPA), collectively known as the

three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).

3. Through the Joint Committee, the three

ESAs cooperate regularly and closely to ensure

consistency in their practices. In particular, the

Joint Committee works in the areas of supervision

of financial conglomerates, accounting and

auditing, micro-prudential analyses of crosssectoral

developments, risks and vulnerabilities

for financial stability, retail investment products

and measures combating money laundering.

In addition, the Joint Committee also plays an

important role in the exchange of information with

the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB).

44


TECHNOLOGY

Malta Business Review

Microsoft confirms its committment to Malta as the country is embarking

on its next endeavour, in its continuous voyage to be a leader in technology.

Microsoft aims to empower every person and every organization on the planet to

achieve more. And in this is exactly what we are doing here, today, together, to

empower every citizen and every organisation in Malta to achieve more.

Ms Peggy Antonakou said this, when today

the Government of Malta and Microsoft

signed an important agreement focusing on

several technologies including blockchain,

artificial intelligence, internet of things aimed

at supporting the strategic themes of the

official announced National Digital Strategy in

all three pillars, namely the Digital Citizen, the

Digital Business and the Digital Government.

Ms Antonakou said that Malta, a small country

with a big digital vision, is putting again itself in

the lead. Embracing new technologies, investing

strategically in a competitive advantage and

translating this into economic growth and

prosperity for its economy and its citizens.

Because a big digital strategy means nothing

without a better life for the people.

We understand that governments cannot do

this alone. As a leading technology company,

we recognise our responsibility in line with

our mission, to work in partnership with

governments and communities to drive

economic and social prosperity and ensure

everyone has access to the digital dividents of

development and growth.

Our presence in Malta, for the past 15 years

was built on embracing and empowering

exactly that. We continuously supported

all aspects of Malta’s ICT eco-system, from

the private to the public sector, from the

education to the financial services. We were

proud to support start ups and education

thanks to, and not only, our very own

Innovation Centre, one of the only forty we

have around the globe, where we boast to

have hosted more than 150 start ups and

12000 students teachers and professionals.

Through this agreement Microsoft will

promote and accelerate in Malta the

worldwide program of Microsoft for Startups

through disruptive technologies. It's a 500m

worldwide investment and our intent is

to promote it heavily in cooperation with

Government. Main goal to increase further

the utilization of the existing investment in the

Microsoft Innovation Center for the benefits

of the local economy and society. Microsoft

will also further increase the readiness and

digital skills in the disruptive technologies

through Conferences and workshops. The

company will invest in pilot innovative projects

which will utilize disruptive technologies in

the Public and Private Sector of Malta. In this

investment as Microsoft we will contribute

with the top of our specialists.

Reflecting on where the relation between

the Government of Malta and Microsoft

is today, and Ms Antonakou referred to an

inspiring quote by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya

Nadella, who in his book Hit Refresh writes

Photo: DOI- Jeremy Wonnacott

that “our indsutry does not respect tradition.

What it respects is innovation.” She argued

that the embracement of innovation was

always at the centre of the agenda since the

meeting which kicked off the discussions for

this agreement in January, and just like it was

over the past fifteen years. When at the turn

of the millenium Malta started its journey to

become a regional centre of excellence, there

was innovation at the core. That innovation

earned the country the respect of many, but

back then we were among the first, if not the

first global company to commit ourselves.

Fifteen years later, Malta is once again leading

the way and we’re again here, in the same

room where the first agreement was signed

in 2003, ready to be by Malta’s side in its

continous quest for digital leadership, by

working together for a digital future. MBR

Creditline: Copororate Identities

www.maltabusinessreview.net

45


Malta Business Review

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Bitcoin mining uses less than

1% of UK electricity supply

due to ‘Rip Off Britain’ pricing

CRYPTOCURRENCY miners are not

a major risk to Britain’s electricity

infrastructure, says the National Grid.

Blog site Coinlist.me has confirmed that

despite fears, miners pose little threat to

the country’s supply chain.

And that high-tech capitalists making

millions from mining are doing so in

countries like Iceland because buying

energy in Britain costs too much. This

comes despite claims that the currency

miners are causing ‘blackouts.’

Britain’s electricity network is unlikely to

be brought to its knees despite claims of

policy makers and activists that mining is so

enormous it poses a threat. However, while

there is no question the mining of currencies

currently uses double the electricity

consumption of Scotland from a global

perspective; in reality the UK is facing next to

no issues with the phenomenon.

The revelation from National Grid comes

after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney

blasted consumption rates branding them

“enormous” and called on regulation of the

currencies which he described as ‘speculative

mania’. His comments were made ahead of

the G20 summit in Argentina where Mr Carney

and other leading economists are to discuss

regulation of the sector. He said: “The costs

of Bitcoin mining are enormous. Its current

annual electricity consumption is estimated by

some to be up to 52 terawatt hours, double the

electricity consumption of Scotland.”

A spokeswoman for the National Grid

revealed however that while the service

operator is monitoring the rise of the

phenomenon that “future growth” in the UK

is not expected to be significant despite fears.

The National Grid said: “At present, their

mining is not a major contributor to demand

in GB. “Any GB cryptocurrency demand would

likely appear as a small component within the

data centre element of our Industrial and

Commercial electricity demand modelling

(data centres themselves perhaps accounting

for only around maybe 1% of total GB demand

although data is limited).

“Whilst cryptocurrency mining is clearly

growing at a fast rate globally, the miners

are likely to be most attracted to countries

with the very lowest electricity prices and

so future growth in GB is not currently

expected to be significant. “However,

whilst we have no immediate concerns in

relation to GB electricity demand, it is an

area that we actively monitor as part of

our electricity demand modelling in our

Future Energy Scenarios.”

The news comes as the issue of mining is hot

on the agenda in France where a company

has invented a heater which pays for itself by

mining coins. The Quarnot QC-1 is advertised

as the world’s first crypto-heater, allowing

consumers to mine cryptocurrencies and

utilise the heat generated.

David Merry, CEO of Investoo Group, which

owns Coinlist.me and exchange Cryptogo.

com said: “Crypto mining is huge in Iceland

and in countries like China it is fast becoming

a tool to make money for those able to do so.

“Cost of electricity varies widely from country

to country and while the UK is not the most

significant in terms of cost in Europe, it’s

certainly up there. People in Denmark,

Germany and Belgium pay the most according

to Eurostat but they are also charged huge tax

levies. It certainly could be argued that our

electricity supplies are more at risk of being

affected by cybersecurity issues like hacking.

Around 65% of UK business is concerned by

cyber attacks on energy networks so mining

really pales in comparison." MBR

Credit Coinlist.me and CryptoGo

46


B2B EXPO

Malta Business Review

Ministry for the Economy

holding Malta’s first

Business to Business Expo

T

he Ministry for

the Economy,

Investment

and Small Businesses

will be holding a business

to business networking

conference, entitled B2B Expo

2018. In t he conference’s

launch Minister Cardona

highlighted how this will be

the first conference of its kind

in Malta and it will serve as

a platform to bring together

local businesses to expand

their network.

The SME sector plays a vital role in the local

economy, representing 98% of businesses

in our country. “SMEs success and growth,

is the success and growth of the nation.

We have placed small business growth as

a public priority. This government initiative

will serve as an ideal forum for business

owners to join entrepreneurs to develop their

business strategies and optimize their existing

resources,” said the Minister.

Spread over one action packed day, the B2B

Expo and Conference will bring together local

and international expert speakers who will

share insights and interact with the audience

addressing topics such as Change, Growth

and Innovation.

The Expo will also give all those who attend

access to over 100 business to business

exhibitors spanning across different industries,

Photo: DOI- Kevin Abela

Photo: DOI- Kevin Abela

and the chance to meet and network with over

1,000 delegates present throughout the day.

The B2B Conference & Expo will be held at

the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’

Qali on Friday 1st June 2018 and registrations

are open at www.b2bexpomalta.com. MBR

Courtesy: Ministry for the economy, investment

and small businesses

www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

GRADUATION CEREMONY

“I encourage you to go out into the world, by committing yourselves

to promote human dignity, as a cornerstone of your lives.”

Closing speech delivered by

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

during the Domain Group graduation ceremony

"It is my pleasure to contribute to this

celebration, with some brief closing remarks,

after you were presented with your hardearned

qualifications.

Let me also take this opportunity to commend

the faculty, at Domain Group, for their great

efforts, to provide quality educational services

to a growing number of students.

Dear students, this is a most joyful day for you

and your families, and I must congratulate

you all. Now that you have finished your

studies, you have a lot of responsibility on

your shoulders.

Graduation day is a moment in your lives that

marks the end of one chapter in your journey.

You must also consider graduation day, as the

beginning of a new and exciting chapter, in

your lives.

You are at a moment when the experiences,

skills, and qualities which you have developed

over the past years can be put to effective use,

to endeavour and achieve future and further

opportunities. I hope that you shall not only

think and plan your individual successes, but

also use this time of transformation to think

about the people and communities around

you, especially those groups who are living

in situations of social exclusion, vulnerability,

and precarity.

I would like, at this time, to pose a question,

for you to reflect upon:

How can you utilise this gift of learning, and

through your achievements, bring about a

positive transformation in other people’s lives?

I would like to pose another question to you

for further thought:

How can you engage within your respective

communities, to impact society to develop a

culture of positive peace and holistic wellbeing

of all?

The single most important choice that any

of us can make, both as individuals and as

a society, is to pursue opportunities for the

development of an inclusive society, whereby

everyone is included as one community.

Let me therefore urge you to be courageous,

and to be activists for equality and social

justice, within your homes, your future

professions, careers, and among your friends.

When you make the choice to be active

ethical champions for the wellbeing of others,

you shall feel empowered to confront the

prejudices and discriminatory attitudes that

often keep people isolated from one another.

Prejudice and discriminatory attitudes, and

inequalities, create social tensions, which hold

back progress and prosperity. By being ethical

professionals, by championing equality and

social justice, you will be making a practical

contribution towards the greater good of

our society, and also putting into practice

the democratic ideals which underpin our

commitment to universal human rights and

fundamental freedoms.

On concluding, let me encourage you, as you go

out into the world as new graduates, to always

remember that the pursuit of truth is the key

to all knowledge. And this key to knowledge is

accessed, in the most powerful way, when we

make the choice to act, as ethical champions

for equality and social justice.

I encourage you to go out into the world, by

committing yourselves to promote human

dignity, as a cornerstone of your lives. Let

this be the moment where you make a

choice to be a force for inclusion within your

communities, for the benefit of our society as

a whole. This should be the transformation

that all of us we must work to achieve, in

whatever ways, if we want to ensure that we

will live in peace, and achieve prosperity.

This is the commitment we must make,

throughout our lives, in the pursuit of

positive peace, of meaningful justice, inclusive

prosperity, and of holistic wellbeing.

Finally, I would like to reiterate my heartfelt

congratulations, on your achievements during

this graduation day, and augur you all my very

best wishes for the future." MBR

Courtesy/Photos - OPR

48


BANKING

Malta Business Review

APIs in Banking:

Four Approaches to Unlocking Business Value

By Patricia Hines

KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

• How have APIs evolved into building blocks for the bank of the future?

• How are banks driving business value with different API approaches?

• How should banks begin their API journey?

ABSTRACT

Banks must think beyond

regulatory minimums

when considering

Open Banking APIs.

Read more about how

forward-looking banks are

unlocking business value

with APIs for application

integration, banking as a

platform, innovation, and

client connectivity.

With regulatory initiatives well underway in

the Euro Zone and the UK, it is clear that

open banking APIs are inevitable. APIs are

critical technology enablers for several

use cases in banking including application

integration, banking as a platform,

innovation, and client connectivity.

Web services, microservices, and APIs enable

legacy modernization by wrapping legacy

systems with a decoupled integration layer,

bridging traditional batch-based processes

to real-time, digital cloud, mobile, and

social applications. APIs enable the modular

application stack underlying Banking as a

Platform and provide neobanks with stateof-the-art

digital banking capabilities. As

open banking grows, driven by regulatory

imperatives, shifting customer demands, and

the threat of fintech firms, APIs connect banks

and third party firms entering into collaborative

partnerships for innovation. To access banking

services, most customers manually log in

to a web-based or mobile platform, pulling

balance and transaction data on demand. APIs

are emerging as a new connectivity channel,

streamlining and securing on-demand,

programmatic access to financial data for

accounting packages, treasury management

systems, and ERP platforms.

We offer updated case studies from CBW

Bank, Fidor Bank, JB Financial Group, Citi, and

YES BANK detailing their API journey, including

technology architecture, monetization

approach, and latest results. For banks seeking

to begin their API journey, we recommend a

series of guideposts that they can follow to

unlock business value with APIs. MBR

Credit Patricia Hines

www.maltabusinessreview.net

49


Malta Business Review

FRAGSUS PROJECT

EXPLORING THE PAST

TO BUILD OUR FUTURE:

Minister Bonnici addresses conference and inaugurates exhibition on the FRAGSUS project

Photo: DOI- Jason Borg

Minister for Justice, Culture

and Local Government

Owen Bonnici addressed a

conference in relation to the

FRAGSUS (Fragility and

sustainability in restricted

island environments:

Adaptation, cultural change

and collapse in prehistory)

project. This five-year

research project carried

out by an international

interdisciplinary team

from Malta, Britain and

Ireland led to new exciting

discoveries about early Malta

and its inhabitants.

Photo: DOI- Jason Borg

“We are unearthing new answers and

discovering more about our history, about

our country and about our heritage. Our

history is an imperative source of information

and it is also the foundation which we build

our future upon,” said Minister Bonnici. He

highlighted the importance of collaboration

and described it as “a key element when it

comes to provide a holistic dynamic approach

as well as exposure. These collaborations,

both internationally and locally aid for our

heritage to be more accessible, they’re also

a great way of sharing our rich history and

culture. This Government’s strategy is to

ensure that culture is accessible to everyone,

as we believe in this vast ever- growing sector

which keeps on giving, especially when it

comes to employment.”

A few of the new discoveries mentioned

during the conference were that the first

inhabitants of Malta arrived around 5900BC,

about 700 years earlier than previously

thought and that our islands saw more than

one episode of Neolithic colonisation. The

new dietary studies conducted showed

declining levels of meat consumption as

conditions deteriorated, but inhabitants

resorted to cereals and other vegetables to

sustain themselves. It came as a surprise that

fish where hardly exploited.

Minister Bonnici also referred to the fact this

year is the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

There have already been several firsts related

to our treasured heritage this year, namely

the inclusion of four Great Siege Maps in the

UNESCO Memory of the World Register as

well as looking into the process of nominating

aspects of our national intangible heritage

for the world-renowned UNESCO list for

intangible heritage.

The conference also looked at archaeological

discoveries and particular sites, such as Skorba,

Santa Venera and Taċ-Ċawla to name a few.

Minister Bonnici will also inaugurate an

exhibition pertaining to the results of

this project at the National Museum of

Archaeology, which will be open to the public

free of charge until the 15th of June.

We are unearthing new

answers and discovering

more about our history,

about our country and

about our heritage.

The FRAGSUS project – an investment of

€2.5million – financed by the European

Research Council, brought together experts

from different European universities. The

research has effectively rewritten the first

chapter of Maltese history. Minister for Justice,

Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici

inaugurated an exhibition at the National

Museum of Archaeology, which is open to the

public for free. This exhibition showcases the

primary findings of this research and is open

until 15 June. MBR

The National Museum of Archaeology,

Valletta (MJCL1703201801-03)

Courtesy: The ministry for justice, culture and

local government

50


EU: TAX EVASION

Malta Business Review

Tax evasion

needs permanent inquiry

The fight for a fair

and transparent

tax system. MEPs

call on the EU to

take the lead in

the global fight

against tax evasion,

tax avoidance and

money laundering.

Find out more about

what Parliament is

doing to tackle

tax evasion…

MEPs have adopted recommendations by the

inquiry committee looking into the Panama

papers. Its report says that some EU countries

have not done enough to tackle tax evasion.

The inquiry committee was established

following to release of the Panama papers to

assess how transparent the EU and member

states were on taxation matters. MEPs

adopted the recommendations to properly

enforce legislation to tackle tax scheming on 13

December. Find out more in our press release.

One of the committee's conclusions is that

EU countries need to do more to crack down

on tax evasion, tax avoidance and money

laundering. Danish S&D member Jeppe

Kofod, one of the report authors, said: “Some

EU members state are very reluctant and very

slow to change the laws so that we can avoid

tax evasion and money laundering and this is

a big problem for the EU and it’s a big problem

for the majority of the countries that want to

have another agenda."

The committee also insists the EU should

take the lead in the global fight against

tax evasion, tax avoidance and money

laundering. In addition EU countries should

exchange more information on tax payers

and the ultimate owners of companies (as

they can often be registered under another

name), while tax authorities should be given

additional resources.

Permanent investigation

The Parliament has a history of investigating

revelations about dubious tax scemes, such

as Lux leaks, and will continue its fight for a

transparent tax system.

Czech ALDE member Petr Ježek, one of the

other authors of the report, said: “When we

have a look at all the leaks, they show that

the system, or the mechanism of how the tax

avoidance or tax evasion is done, it’s more

or less the same. So if any new leaks come,

they provide new names, companies and

individuals, but the technique is more or less

the same."

Tax scandals

The Paradise papers is the latest leak of

documents that show how millionaires

and international corporations hide their

wealth and try to avoid paying their taxes.

The 13.4 million leaked files from offshore

law firm Appleby were processed by the

International Consortium of Investigative

Journalists. Media outlets from all over the

world started publishing revelations at the

beginning of November.

Some EU members state are

very reluctant and very slow

to change the laws so that

we can avoid tax evasion

and money laundering and

this is a big problem for the

EU and it’s a big problem

for the majority of the

countries that want to have

another agenda.

Other recent tax scandals

In April 2016 leaked documents from Panama

law firm Mossack Fonseca provided an insight

into how politicians, businessmen, criminals

and public figures use offshore schemes to

hide their assets from public scrutiny. Large

sums of money are lost every year due to

tax evasion and avoidance. In the EU alone

this is estimated to be €1 trillion, according

to some estimates. Governments could use

this money to support health, education and

other social services but instead it is funnelled

to tax havens around the world. Across

Europe 1.5 million jobs could have been

supported with the money that was lost to

national authorities because of the tax losses

revealed in the Panama Papers.

Two years before that, in April 2014, the

LuxLeaks scandal showed Luxembourg offered

large corporations preferential taxt treatment.

Parliament is also considering setting up

another inquiry committee to look into

the Paradise papers as well as setting up a

permanent committe after the European

elections in 2019. MBR

Credit: europarltv

www.maltabusinessreview.net

51


Malta Business Review

TRUST LAWS

Jersey amends trust laws to stay ahead of the competition

Picture: Shutterstock

By Claire Coe Smith

Jersey is on the brink of approving another

set of amendments to its trust laws, as it

continues to innovate to stay ahead of rival

jurisdictions targeting work for private clients.

The latest amendments, set to come into

force in the next few months, include changes

that will allow trusts to restrict the provision of

information to beneficiaries for the first time,

and will allow courts to approve changes to

trusts on behalf of adult beneficiaries if they

cannot be reached for consent. The latter

is particularly useful for older trusts where

beneficiaries cannot be traced, or where

there are a large number of beneficiaries and

it is difficult to contact them.

Nancy Chien, partner at the law firm Bedell

Cristin, says: “Different clients will find

different changes important. These are

deviations from general principles, such as the

principle that trustees should be accountable

to beneficiaries, but they are deviations that

can be useful.”

Such measures are what helps Jersey continue

to attract work from wealthy global families.

In the past twelve months, advisers report far

more work coming in from the Middle East,

in particular.

James Campbell is a partner at the law firm

Ogier, and says: “What’s happening in the

Middle East, in terms of instability, has been

a real catalyst for wealthy individuals in

the region deciding that now is the time to

structure their assets. We have done work

with clients from Saudi Arabia in the last year,

and for Kuwaiti families.”

Especially attractive to such clients are Jersey

private trust companies, which allow family

members to sit on the boards of trusts and

have a say in management.

The island is also seeing more high net

worth families moving in, in part thank s to

the efforts of Locate Jersey, the body set up

in 2012 to encourage inward investment

and relocations. Kevin Lemasney, director of

High Value Residency at Locate Jersey, says

the jurisdiction is attracting just over twenty

new wealthy families as residents each year,

approximately sixteen of which will originate

from the UK.

He adds, “We are seeing a younger age

dynamic coming in. Over the last four years,

of those that have been approved, 74%

have yet to reach their sixtieth birthday,

which compares to the traditional high-value

residents who we were attracting in the past,

who had often already retired.”

More HNWIs are looking to have children

rather than grandchildren on the island, he

says, and are setting up businesses, including

hedge funds and cryptocurrency funds.

This younger generation is also interested

in philanthropy, and the new Jersey charity

register will open for business in May this year,

following the appointment of the first Jersey

Charity Commissioner, John Mills CBE, in July

2017. Campbell says: “This is all part of Jersey’s

drive to make itself a centre of philanthropy

in private wealth management, given that

philanthropy and impact investing have both

been on an upward trajectory globally.”

Siobhan Crick, a director in the private client

business at Sanne, says such initiatives

continue to build Jersey’s brand: “We

have certainly seen a growing number of

enquiries coming in from the US, and our US

intermediaries, who might historically have

naturally used the Caribbean, but are now

favouring Jersey.”

Sanne, who are Jersey-headquartered, have

recently added private client capabilities

to their New York office, and Crick says,

“Whether we are benefitting from that uptick

because we have been focusing our efforts

in the US, given our presence in New York

and expertise in new directors within the

business, or it represents a broader trend,

remains to be seen. However, that market

certainly represents a greenfield opportunity

for Jersey.”

Even so, consolidation continues to take

place among the island’s trust businesses,

with Ocorian, the Jersey-based trust firm

that rebranded from Bedell Trust in 2016,

acquiring rival private client and corporate

services business Capco Trust in January.

Capco’s nearly thirty employees will join

Ocorian, which is backed by Inflexion, a

London-based private equity firm.

Crick says: “The cost of doing business is ever

greater, particularly in terms of compliance.

This will mean further consolidation in the

market, with the PE-backed firms in particular

continuing to pursue their growth-throughacquisition

model.” MBR

Credit: Citywealth

52


YACHTING CONFERENCE

Malta Business Review

Equiom Malta flies the flag at

yachting and aviation conferences

Experts from Equiom’s yachting and aviation

team have attended the Opportunities in

Superyachts and Opportunities in Business

Jets events at the Intercontinental Hotel in St.

Julian’s in March.

Chis Cini, Legal Director at Equiom Malta and

Ayuk Ntuiabane, VAT Director from Equiom

Solutions Isle of Man has attended both

events and Mark Young, Senior Manager

of Yachting & Aviation at Equiom Malta has

attending Opportunities in Superyachts. Ayuk

took the stage at the first conference with a

presentation on the topic ‘Did the Paradise

Papers scandal signal a change in the way

business jets are registered and owned?’ On

day two, Chris hosted a roundtable discussion

about ‘A Brief Overview of Flag Registries’ and

Ayuk participated in a panel discussion on ‘The

impact of Brexit on the superyacht industry’.

Chris Cini commented: ‘Both conferences

provided an excellent line up of speakers and

topics. With potential large scale change on

the horizon, it was interesting to hear what

kind of impact on yachting and aviation is

predicted as a result of events like Brexit

and the Paradise Papers. This was certainly a

stimulating and informative discussion.’ MBR

About Equiom

Equiom is fast becoming the stand-out business

in the professional services sector, with offices

in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It provides

a range of innovative and effective business

partnering solutions.

Equiom’s experienced and highly qualified

teams support corporations and high-networth

individuals around the world with their

fiduciary and related support-service needs.

Equiom is an independent, managementowned

company focused on strategic thinking

and quick responses to clients’ requirements.

It is a thriving business, continually seeking to

develop its product range, in order to provide

both existing and potential clients with an

unrivalled range of options and opportunities.

Equiom (Malta) Limited is authorised to act as

a trustee and fiduciary services provider by the

Malta Financial Services Authority.

Creditline: Equiom

Chris Cini, Legal Director at Equiom Malta

www.maltabusinessreview.net

53


Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Spraying of Polyurea Waterproofing membrane resistant to acid

ACID RAIN CAN MELT

YOUR DREAM HOUSE AWAY

Since the beginning of the Industrial

Revolution soiling and degradation

of buildings in urban areas has been

noticeable. The cause of this has often been

attributed to the effects of air pollution.

The pollutants that form acid rain are

principally sulphur dioxide and nitrogen

oxides; both of these are released from

the combustion of fossil fuels like coal

and oil. Acid rain is precipitation that is

much more acidic than normal rainfall.

Other than having detrimental effects on

animal and plant life, acid rain can also

cause considerable damage to buildings,

including homes.

By Antoine Bonello

The chemicals that are found in acid rain can

cause damage to certain materials that are

used to build homes, mostly to limestone,

marble, carbon-steel, paint and some plastics.

Stone decay can take several forms, including

the removal of detail from carved stone, and

the build-up of black crusts in sheltered areas.

Limestone and marble are two of the main

building materials that are used here in Malta.

They are vulnerable to acid rain damage,

because they contain a mineral called calcite, a

substance that will dissolve when it comes into

contact with acid. Acid rain can also damage

certain types of sandstone that contain

carbonate cement, as well as concrete, metals,

wood, and paint. The deposition of acid on

building materials contributes significantly

to the weathering that is caused by natural

elements such as rain, sun and wind.

While most modern homes are made of

materials that are resistant to acid rain, there

may be certain parts or structures that are

vulnerable to the effects of acid deposition.

It is known that steel rods that are used to

reinforce concrete will become corroded at a

faster rate when they are exposed to acid rain,

and concrete can crack and flake as well. Brick

crumbling is another major problem that is

caused by acid rain as it can dissolve a type of

fabric that holds a brick’s silica grains together,

thus becoming more porous and weaker.

Limestone and marble are two

of the main building materials

that are used here in Malta.

They are vulnerable to acid

rain damage

Acid rain and ultraviolet rays from the sun can

work together to accelerate deterioration.

Our flat roofs here in Malta are constantly

subject to weather elements and if they are

not adequately protected serious damages

can happen to the roof. Besides the elements

our houses are also subject to structural

movements due to our intensive summer

heat. These effects of deterioration are

constant but slow and most of the time we

do not even realise that they are taking place

especially on our roofs.

The question that one might ask is how

can we protect our house roof better so to

avoid serious problems. The answer is in

the waterproofing system we choose for

our roof. Normal protective plastic paint,

acrylic and compounds, lack UV resistance

and over a short period of time paint will

crack, peel, and lose colour and water will

eventually seep through. Carpet membranes

are also very problematic, they increase heat

inside the buildings by as much as 80% and

start to deteriorate when subjected to high

temperatures. They tear from seams when

subjected to building movements and are not

recommend on roofs (toxic) where water is

collected and stored in wells.

The only materials that can withstand today’s

building exigencies are resin based. They are

designed to withstand structural movements

due to their elasticity and can be easily

reinforced with fibreglass net when required.

Another important feature of this product is

its resistance to acids and water stagnation.

There is also THERMAL version that besides

the already mentioned it is also able to

reduce heat intake inside buildings by 90%.

No more humid and heat inside the houses

and less air-conditioning usage, two solutions

in one product the perfect answer for our

flat roofs here in Malta. This strong thermal

waterproofing liquid resin membrane is

guaranteed to last for very long without the

need of any yearly maintenance.

A good advice if you opt to have your

waterproofing needs carried out by third

parties, always make sure they are members of

the Malta Professional Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association. Always demand to see the

Association’s INSTALLERS CARD. This will save

you a lot hassle as improper roof protection by

unaccountable or unethical persons can give

way to a serious of unwanted damages. Over

54


BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

80% of building damages originates from water

intake. The result is an endless court case, if you

are lucky enough to trace the guys who carried

out your works. All this will eventually take years

and prove fruitless. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Hot Sprayed applied Polyurea can

withstand UV, Stagnation and Acids. It

can also be applied on Wells and Pools

NAICI Thermal Protective waterproofing membrane

The black stains and cracks are a

clear indication of acid and UV rays

deterioration leading to water entry

The Malta Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association provide technical

knowledge and professional formation to

all Maltese installers who wish to improve

their workmanship or start a carrier in the

waterproofing business. The Association

also assists its members by providing the

services of a profession advisor when facing

challenging situations or other difficulties

during their works. The Association also

provides its qualified members the Certified

Installers Card. This is done to reassure the

general public that the person is able to carry

out the requested job at its best. All this is

being made possible thanks to Resin and

Membrane Centre and NAICI International

Academy. For further information with

regards the Malta Professional Waterproofing

and Resin Flooring Association visit our

website on www.maltawaterproofing.com or

call on 27477647

www.maltabusinessreview.net

55


Malta Business Review

MIGRATION

EU Commissioners Avramopoulos and Hahn discuss

managing migration and EU enlargement at #CoRplenary

On 22 March Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home

Affairs and Citizenship, will discuss progress of the European Union's migration

agenda and the integration of migrants in cities and regions, many of whom host

refugees and new arrivals from the Middle East and North Africa. This debate kicks

off the European Committee of the Regions' March plenary session in Brussels that

will also focus on the EU's possible enlargement to the Western Balkans. Johannes

Hahn, the EU's Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement

Negotiation, will participate in the debate.

Integrating migrants: EU

must show more unity and

give more support to local

authorities (22 March)

Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, twotime

mayor of Athens and former member

of the CoR, will discuss the state of the EU

migration agenda focusing specifically on the

integration of migrants into communities and

the labour market with CoR members. Laura

Thompson, Deputy Director-General of the

International Organisation for Migration, Anila

Noor, a refugee and member of the European

Migrant Advisory Board, and Elisabeth Bartke

from the Association of German Chambers

of Commerce and Industry, will also join the

debate on migration trends, experiences of

refugees, and efforts to integrate new arrivals

in Europe.

The European Union's efforts to support

cities and regions in receiving, hosting and

managing migrants remains inadequate, an

opinion drafted by Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos

(EL/EPP) argues. He draws particular

attention on the intense pressure on islands,

and calls for exploring the possibility of

"transferring responsibility for examining

asylum applications from national to EU

level". The CoR adopted an opinion on the

European Agenda on Migration in 2015.

Since then, it has adopted recommendations

for reform of the common European asylum

system, legal migration, and the integration

of immigrants.

The need for local reform: EU

enlargement to the Western

Balkans (22 March)

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn will

discuss progress of Western Balkans countries

have made towards EU membership and the

importance of local and regional government

reform. These are also the principal themes

of an opinion drafted by Franz Schausberger

(AT/EPP), representative of Salzburg. The

draft focuses on readying local and public

administrations as "absolutely essential" for

the success of integration. The opinion warns

of "a shift towards more autocratic forms of

government and centralisation" and says that

the EU "must be stronger and more stable" as a

result of enlargement to the Western Balkans.

The future EU budget and

cohesion policy (23 March)

EU local leaders will discuss their position

on the EU long-term budget after 2020 with

the European Parliament's co-rapporteur,

Jan Olbrycht (EPP/PL). The CoR is working

to shape the future EU cohesion policy

highlighting the 'cost of non-cohesion', with

the opinion by Mieczysław Struk (PL/EPP),

Marshal of Pomerania. The CoR is also focused

on improving the impact of the European

Social Fund – the EU's main instrument to

support employment, education and social

inclusion policies – with proposals included

in the opinion prepared by the President

of the Umbria Region and Chair of the CoR

PES Group, Catiuscia Marini. How to support

structural reforms in the context of the

forthcoming Eurozone's reform will be the

challenge addressed by the opinion prepared

by Olga Zrihen (BE/PES), member of the

Parliament of Wallonia. MBR

Credit: PresseCdr@cor.europa.eu; CoR/18/044.en

56


“I am truly proud of

ALIVE Charity Foundation

– a true pioneer in local

cancer research”

CSR: CHARITY

Malta Business Review

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

presided over an event at San Anton Palace,

during which ALIVE Charity Foundation

presented a donation of €100,000 to the

Research Trust (RIDT) of the University of

Malta for Cancer Research. This is the fifth

major donation by ALIVE in the past 5 years.

So far ALIVE have financed 3 PhD and 1

Master scholarships in cancer research at

the University of Malta, making the NGO

the leading philanthropic organisation that

supports medical research in Malta.

President Coleiro Preca commended ALIVE

Charity Foundation for taking up this cycling

feat annually, and for continuously being

innovative to raise the much needed funds

for local cancer research.

During the event, President of ALIVE Charity

Foundation Mr Nicky Camilleri, also launched

the RE/MAX ALIVE 2018 Cycling Challenge

for Cancer. RE/MAX ALIVE 2018 will bring

together around 50 cyclists who will this year

be participating in a 1200km Trans-Alp cycling

challenge between 19th and 28th July 2018.

The group will cycle approximately 170 km

every day for 7 days, from Vienna to Salzburg,

Two successful

events for the team

at Equiom Malta

Equiom Malta’s attendance at the recent

Opportunities in Business Jets and

Opportunities in Superyachts events.

Important topics affecting the sectors were

discussed, including Brexit’s impact on the

superyacht industry. VAT Director at Equiom

Solutions, Ayuk Ntuiabane who took part in the

discussion panel noted ‘we can expect to see

an increase in the number of yachts registered

through the Brenner Pass, along Lake Garda to

Milan. The participants have a choice of two

routes to choose from, either road or trails for

those who prefer off road. The two routes run

in parallel giving a chance to the participants

to meet and exchange their experiences at

intervals during the day.

“I am truly proud of all the team at ALIVE

Charity Foundation for taking this initiative

to another level, even in terms of solidarity,

through something which I’d like to call

solidarity diplomacy, because bringing people

together from different countries in this event,

is very important, not just for funding, but for

befriending, to enhance further connections,

to do solidarity together. What you have

been doing during these six years, is truly a

statement and a way of being proactive. We

need to be proactive against this scourge

which we need to fight, and yes, together we

can,” President Coleiro Preca said.

This year the RE/MAX ALIVE2018 Cycling

Challenge for Cancer will start promoting the

challenge internationally to encourage cyclists

from all over the world to take part and raise

funds for local medical cancer research.

in Malta by non-EU companies who want to

retain access to the EU post-Brexit’. Experts

from Equiom’s yachting and aviation team

recently attended the Opportunities in

Superyachts and Opportunities in Business

Jets events in Malta, hosted by Quaynote

Communications.

Chris Cini, Legal Director, and Mark Young,

Senior Manager of Yachting & Aviation

at Equiom Malta and Ayuk Ntuiabane,

VAT Director at Equiom Solutions were

all in attendance to hear discussions and

presentations on topics such as business jet

finance, end-of-life options for aircraft, the

Paradise Papers and its effect on business jet

ALIVE Charity Foundation is a member of the

National Cancer Platform Association, under

the patronage of the President of Malta. MBR

Credit/Photos - OPR

ownership, new guidelines for the registration

of superyachts and what will happen to the

superyacht industry post-Brexit.

Ayuk, who participated in the panel discussion

on ‘The impact of Brexit on the superyacht

industry’, commented: ‘Both events provided

an excellent opportunity to meet with

operators and suppliers and discuss current

issues affecting the sectors. The superyacht

event was most stimulating and the high

attendance of more than 150 delegates was

indicative of the importance of this sector in

Malta. It was interesting to hear the views of

other EU based panellists regarding Brexit’s

impact on the sector. While some regulatory

aspects will not be affected, such as the coding

compliance of chartered yachts which are

governed by international conventions, the

ability to provide port to port services within

individual EU Member States, or cabotage,

may be at risk. For this reason, we can expect

an increase in the number of yachts registered

in Malta by non-EU companies who want to

retain access to the EU post-Brexit.’

Equiom has had a dedicated yachting and

aviation department for over 10 years, which has

grown to a 30-strong team worldwide. MBR

Photo: Chris Cini, Ayuk Ntuiabane and Mark Young

More information: www.equiomgroup.com

Credit Equiom

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

£10,000 for the ‘ITCP TC

Global Programme on the

effective implementation and

enforcement of energy efficiency

measures for ships’

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and

Capital Projects Ian Borg met Secretary

General of the International Maritime

Organisation (IMO) Kitack Lim in London.

Minister Borg said that Malta is indeed a

firm supporter of the technical cooperation

programme and is committed to continue

doing its utmost in order to further develop

such a programme. As a sign of Malta’s

continued support for the valuable work of

the IMO, especially in the fight against climate

change, Minister Borg said that Malta will

be contributing the sum of £10,000 to the

‘ITCP TC Global Programme on the effective

implementation and enforcement of energy

efficiency measures for ships’.

The IMO is a United Nations specialised

agency that sets global standards for shipping

and is responsible for the safety and security

of shipping and the prevention of marine

pollution by ships. Malta has been a member

since 1996 and currently holds a position in

the council.

Minister Borg said that Malta remains a

firm supporter of the work of the IMO and

is committed to continue playing an active

role in promoting the aims and objectives

of the organisation.

Secretary General Kitack Lim praised

Malta’s contribution, and also referred to

the Valletta Declaration, which outlines the

strategic direction that the EU should take

for ensuring that the EU maritime industry

remains sustainable.

The Secretary General and the Minister both

referred to the excellent work being carried

out at the International Maritime Law Institute

(IMLI), which is proudly hosted in Malta–

further underlining Malta’s commitment to

the IMO training institutions. MBR

Credit: Ministeru ghat- trasport Infrastruttura u

progetti kapitali

Photo: MTIP

Parliamentary Secretary Julia

Farrugia Portelli addresses

the Malta Infertility Network

conference

Whilst addressing the Malta Infertility

Network conference, Parliamentary Secretary

Photo: DOI- Clifton Fenech

Photo: DOI- Clifton Fenech

for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification

of Administrative Processes Julia Farrugia

Portelli, stated that, “The Government is

backed by a strong mandate to change the

IVF bill and that is what we will set out to do

after the Parliamentary Easter recess.”

This new bill will eliminate discrimination,

makes IVF more accessible and is intended to

benefit both mother and child.

Farrugia Portelli explained that infertility is a

global health concern which is on the rise and

it is said to affect 1 in every 6 reproductiveaged

couples. Since it was first made available

in Mater Dei some three years ago, 111 births

reported through the assisted means of

IVF. Before that, couples who had infertility

problems had to resort to private healthcare

abroad, ending up costing them a fortune.

The Parliamentary Secretary emphasised

that the Government plans to strengthen the

existing law, allowing for better use of assisted

reproductive technology, in order to heighten

the present success rate, apart from making

IVF more accessible with the allocation of

more funds.

During her speech, Farrugia Portelli outlined

that the Government’s decision to allow

couples undergo gamete donation treatment

abroad to avail themselves of 100 hours of

vacation leave, including lesbian couples,

signals well.

The Parliamentary Secretary concluded

that the Government of Malta is taking

everything into consideration but most

definitely the law will be devised to benefit

both mother and child. MBR

Credit: The parliamentary secretariat for

reforms, citizenship and simplification of

administrative process

Malta supports ECOFIN

agreement on fighting

aggressive tax planning

Malta takes exception at the non-European

way that small member states have been

labelled in the press recently with regard

to the European tax reform process. This

was stated by Minister for Finance Edward

Scicluna while addressing the Economic and

Financial Affairs Council of the European

Union, which met today in Brussels. This

sentiment was also expressed by the six

other member states which, like Malta, have

been labelled negatively in the press by the

European Tax Commissioner.

Minister Scicluna further stated that the

unanimous agreement reached during

the same meeting today on the proposal

to amend Directive on Administrative

Cooperation was a testament to all member

states commitment, including Malta, in

combating aggressive tax planning.

Speaking on Malta’s behalf, Minister Scicluna

stated that Malta is fully compliant with

EU rules and directives on taxation and is

also fully compliant with international tax

standards. The introduction of ATADI and

ATAD II, coupled with today’s unanimous

agreement on the proposal for a directive

to amend the Directive on Administrative

Cooperation, is a further demonstration of

our commitment to this cause.

The proposal to amend the Directive on

Administrative Cooperation provides

for mandatory disclosure of potentially

aggressive tax planning by extending the

obligation to report cross-border tax planning

arrangements to intermediaries.

In a separate discussion on the Banking

Union package, Minister Scicluna referred

to the Minimum Requirements for Own

Funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) proposal

and emphasised the importance of making

requirements proportional to bank risks.

Minister Scicluna stressed the point that

small banks need a longer transition to

adapt to the new rules as small banks face

difficulties in accessing capital markets.

Minister Scicluna continued by stating

that “imposing unnecessary onerous

requirements would impair banks’ ability to

finance our economies, with limited benefits

in terms of risk reduction”. Furthermore,

he stated that “we should also bear in mind

that smaller institutions, especially those in

smaller member states, have limited access

to capital markets”.

Meanwhile, the Council added the Bahamas,

St. Kitts and Nevis and the US Virgin Islands to

the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.

Minister Scicluna also participated in the

Euro Group meeting which was held on

Monday. The Euro Group set June 21 as the

deadline for finalising the Greece bailout

programme and for agreeing on a package of

proposals for Eurozone reform.

Minister Edward Scicluna was accompanied

by the Permanent Representative of Malta

to the European Union Marlene Bonnici and

by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for

Finance Alfred Camilleri. MBR

Credit: The parliamentary secretariat for

reforms, citizenship and simplification of

administrative process

58

Photo: MFIN


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