MBR ISSUE 43

martin.vella

COVER STORY

Integrity, Ethics & Resilience

Interview with Andre' Muscat from

SHIELD Consultants Ltd. p.06

ANALYSIS & DEBATE

Maltese PM and wife cleared of

wrongdoing in graft case

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s

nightmare – is it really finally over? p.12

MANAGEMENT PESPECTIVES

An interview with a marketing and

business leader

Interview with Marla Bace, who is an

active speaker and moderator p.20

CORPORATE INTERVIEW

The Whole is Greater Than The

Sum of Its Parts

Thomas Kraemer, Fund Manager,

Timberland Invest Ltd on a customer

driven culture p.22

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 43 | 2018

Newspaper Post


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Malta Business Review

CONTENTS

Issue 43

22

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM

OF ITS PARTS

Thomas Kraemer, Fund Manager, Timberland Invest Ltd

on a customer driven culture

06

28

FEATURES

SINGLE DIGITAL GATEWAY: A TIME SAVER

FOR CITIZENS AND COMPANIES

Marlene Mizzi steers a legislation which will help

citizens and firms to access information and

administrative procedures online

06

COVER STORY

INTEGRITY, ETHICS & RESILIENCE

Interview with Andre' Muscat from SHIELD Consultants Ltd.,

who has recently finished his studies in Fire Engineering at

the University of Central Lancashire

TALKING POINT

08 WHY VLADIMIR PUTIN IS VERY, VERY HAPPY

Tunku Varadarajan on the 2018 World Cup through the

lenses of culture, politics, anthropology and the love of

the Beautiful Game

12

14

16

ANALYSIS & DEBATE

MALTESE PM AND WIFE CLEARED OF

WRONGDOING IN GRAFT CASE

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s nightmare – is it

really finally over?

NELSON MANDELA’S 100 TH BIRTHDAY

WALK TOGETHER WITH A SPARK OF HOPE

Honouring the Legacy of Nelson Mandela: Leading by

looking ahead and being disruptive

EUROPE START-UP STUDY

MALTA'S CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY GREW BY

89% FROM 2016-2017

Paymentsense research reveals Malta’s construction

industry is booming with a growth of over 89%

30

32

FEATURES

12

22

AN ONGOING CONVERSATION ABOUT

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE KEY

GOVERNANCE AND INNOVATION ISSUES

FACING POLICYMAKERS

Feature Powered by ACCENTURE

THE HIDDEN VALUE OF NETWORKING –

AND HOW IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Mike Kaeding tells us about the reasons behind

networking

20

28

MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVES

20 AN INTERVIEW WITH A MARKETING AND

BUSINESS LEADER

Interview with Marla Bace, who is an active speaker and

moderator on a number of subjects,including business

operations and customer loyalty

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

36

FEATURES & STORIES

34 WHY GAMING MIGHT BECOME THE BIGGEST

THING IN THE HISTORY OF ENTERTAINMENT

Toan Nguyen, an Instagram influencer, discusses

gaming as a ritual of entertainment

TOAN NGUYEN, AN INSTAGRAM

INFLUENCER, DISCUSSES GAMING AS A

RITUAL OF ENTERTAINMENT

A new certification framework for connected devices

and a stronger role for the EU Cybersecurity Agency

52 BUILD A WALL ACROSS AFRICA AND EUROPE

TO KEEP OUT SIX MILLION WAITING MIGRANT

The EU must build ‘a thousand of miles of walls’

across Northern Africa and on Europe’s frontiers

says populist independent MEP Janice Atkinson

4


MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

EDITORIAL

Malta Business Review

There was a flying pig bearing the words: “Stay human

or die”. There were slogans reading “Pigs rule the world”

and “Trump is a pig”. At that moment, I thought that this

sounded so close to home. It was Stirring and hopeful...

Roger Waters on stage at the Circus Maximus in Rime on

14th July- I happened to be there by chance!

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

Janice Atkinson; Antoine Bonello; George

Carol; Laurens Cerulus; Janosch Delcker; Jean

Paul Demajo; Jaume Duch Guillot; Mike

Kaeding; Toan Nguyen; Jaan Soone; Tunku

Varadarajan; Nic van den Bergh.

SPECIAL THANKS

DOI; European Parliament Information Office in

Malta; European Parliament, Directorate- General

for Communication/Press Office; European

Research Council; FIMBank; HSBC; LinkedIn; MCA;

MALTCO Lotteries; Edwards Lowell & Co.;

MORGEN EUROPA; OPR; POLITICO SPRL;

Politico Global Policy Lab; PTV Group; Taylor &

Francis Group.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"When one with honeyed words but evil mind

Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state"

-Euripides, Orestes

Anyone who thinks pop and politics should not mix ought

to steer clear of Roger Waters’ Us + Them tour, one man’s

attempt to put the world to rights delivered as a giant

spectacle. There were surveillance satellites and rendition

aeroplanes. During a thrillingly tumultuous Another

Brick in the Wall, a multiracial group of local schoolchildren dressed as students sang:

“We don’t need no thought control.” The message of all this – which is written on the

schoolchildren’s T-shirts and on confetti that showers over the audience during a superbly

reflective Comfortably Numb – is “resist”. “Resist what or who?” reads a query on screen

during the interval, to which the answers come in a blitzkrieg: “Neo-fascism”, “pollution”,

“profits from war”, “Mark Zuckerberg”, corruption and other such bugaboos.

In fairness, Waters has been writing lyrics about authoritarianism, war, death, power

and such for decades, but the Pink Floyd co-founder can probably scarcely believe

how prescient those songs now are. Breathe’s “don’t be afraid to care” lyric sounds like

a manifesto. Time’s ticking clocks perfectly capture the current creeping dread, as we

sleepwalk towards an unknowable future, because “hanging on in quiet desperation

is the English way”. The mammoth set-list spans five Pink Floyd albums – Meddle, The

Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall – from 1971-79,

but the mostly retrospective show feels alive and relevant, with impeccable sound: a

quadrophonic system means the cackle in Brain Damage suddenly emits from the other

side of the arena. But Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig (from indie outfit Lucius) more than

manage The Great Gig in the Sky’s tonsil-troubling wailing, and the musicians recreate

and reimagine Waters’ old band’s sound impeccably. It’s not all Floyd, though. The Last

Refugee – one of four recent solo songs – sounds eerily moving with the breaking news

report of more than 500 migrant shuttling on a boat in desperation in the Mediterranean.

Although Waters’ politics undoubtedly have refuseniks, issues close to his heart are mostly

encouragingly received, although the massed cheering that suddenly spreads round the

arena during the Orwellian, Trump-ridiculing Pigs (Three Different Ones) is for news

of England’s penalty shootout success, not the revolution. Other ovations come thick

and fast for the mock-up of Battersea power station (the cover star of 1977’s Animals)

across the stage, or the gigantic, laser-powered Dark Side of the Moon prism replete with

lasers. For all such stunning visuals, the focus never quite drifts from the music. Eclipse is

wonderfully weightless. Money chugs timelessly on its groove of cash tills. Us and Them

– illustrated by Black Lives Matter protests and riot police – is heartbreakingly beautiful.

Waters doesn’t speak much during the performance but ends it with a stirring, hopeful

speech asking people to “rise up” for human rights. Here, the rugged 74-year-old grins,

air-punches and even seems to wipe a tear from his eye at the audience reception. If it

weren’t for all those audio visual runes of oncoming war and apocalypse, you would think

he was having the time of his life.

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

Roger Waters review is raging at the dark side of the Earth, against corruption at the top

echelons of powers that are. The former Pink Floyd bandleader is full of air-punching

vigour as his Us +Them tour makes a stand for ethical resistance, and as the grand finale

comes to a spectacular fireworks ending, I echo the saying that, “The greatest sin of all

is to stand by silent and indifferent”– true of any act of oppression or any predicament

human beings find themselves in the world irrespective of their religion or nationality.

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

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

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

analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

www.maltabusinessreview.net

5


Malta Business Review

COVER STORY

INTEGRITY, ETHICS AND RESILIENCE

Andre' Muscat from SHIELD Consultants Ltd. has recently finished his studies in Fire

Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire. We discuss with him what this

interesting field, what it means in practice and how it is impacting on the contemporary

business, commercial and residential environments.

CORPORATE BRIEF: SHIELD Consultants Ltd specialise in providing operational risk

management and consultancy training services, focusing mainly on high-risk market

segments in the Mediterranean, Middle East, Gulf Region and Africa. The company

also specialises in maritime security; critical national infrastructures and Oil &

Gas. SHIELD combines operational with technology In bringing innovation into all

functional elements of operational risk management – Security; Maritime Security;

HSE; Business Continuity Management; Fire & Safety; Crisis Management and

Emergency Response, as well as Quality Risk Management.

MBR: What is Fire

Engineering and how does

it differ from traditional

methods?

AM: Good question to start with. Fire

Engineering refers to the application of

scientific and engineering principles to the

design of a building. The purpose is to protect

people, property and the environment from

the effects of fire and smoke. In short, FE is

about prevention and controlling the effects

of fire to mitigate damages.

MBR: How does fire

engineering defer from

standard approaches and

what are the benefits of such

solutions?

AM: Standard approaches normally rely on

prescriptive codes and guidelines that specify

solutions to a particular type of building.

This might be very well applicable in most

cases, but in some situations these standards

might prove to be constraining or simply

not applicable. In these cases an engineered

solution allows for a level of fire safety to be

maintained, even if conventional standards

cannot be meet.

This would require a tailored solution for the

particular building type, size, and function

and would not force the application of any set

standard but would rather focus on achieving

the final required result. We at SHIELD

specialise in this proactive approach to fire

prevention and control.

MBR: Can fire engineering

be applicable only for new

constructions or can some

principles be applied to

existent buildings?

AM: No. Fire Engineering solutions can also

be applied to existing buildings in order to

improve or maintain the fire safety of the

building, especially if the use of the building

is going to change from what it was originally

designed for, or if the age of the building is

such that no prescriptive methods can be

applied to it.

MBR: In your studies you

focused on the effects of

ageing and wear of fire

protection in buildings. What

where your main findings?

AM: Yes, my final study regarded a particular

aspect of fire safety within buildings that

is very often overlooked. This is the part

called Passive Fire Protection (PFP). These

include techniques and applications such

as compartmentation walls and fire doors,

amongst others. To an observer who is not

well versed in fire engineering solutions,

these parts of a building might not appear to

serve an important role in the fire safety of the

building. This could lead to certain changes

being made to the building, resulting in

deterioration in structures, without essential

fire mitigation and control.

The studies focused on the primary

documented reasons for failure in PFP

and through experiments in a fire testing

laboratory and also by using a specialised

computer simulation programme, it was

observed that small gaps around doors did

not have severely impact safety conditions of

the escape route. However, as soon as these

gaps are widened slightly, environmental

conditions in terms of smoke and heat start to

pose a threat to life quite quickly.

MBR: What are the most

common damages sustained

by Passive Fire Protection

systems within buildings?

AM: Some of these damages simply occur

due to the passage of time and the wear and

tear that components sustain. These include

fire doors sagging and not being able to close

well into their frame, or intumescent strips

(material that expands when heat is applied)

that are fitted around fire doors that become

damaged due to abrasion over time.

Other damages are sustained to the changes

in the building that the occupants carry out on

them. These would not normally be carried

out while knowingly damaging the building,

but simply because the building users would

not recognise the problem in effecting such

changes. These can include, drilling holes

through walls to facilitate the passage of

services, changing fire doors to a non-fire

rated door, or removing a door altogether.

Sometimes spaces that are normally unseen,

such as above soffits or through ventilation

ducting, might be left unprotected simply

because they are forgotten and are left free

to allow the passage of smoke and heat.

"We at SHIELD specialise

in this proactive

approach to fire

prevention and control

6


COVER STORY

Malta Business Review

Andre' Muscat

Andre’ Muscat conducting fire testing for his dissertation at the

University of Central Lancashire.

MBR: Do you think that

recent fire incidents over

seas will leave an effect

on the current fire safety

regulations?

AM: The latest great fire that the world has

suffered took place just over a year ago in

the UK. The incident at Grenfell Tower will

not only leave an effect in the UK but has

reverberated throughout the entire fire safety

industry worldwide.

The rapidity, intensity and extent to which

the fire spread and the effects that it had,

took many by surprise and due to this

incident many failing factors that were being

overlooked have been brought to light. In the

UK the investigation that is currently being

concluded will be leading to a considerable

change in how fire safety is regulated.

Apart from the Grenfell incident, there have

been other big fires that left its effect on the

industry such as the fire at Club Colectiv in

Bucharest, Romania that killed 64 and injured

147. However no other incident has left as big

an effect as the Grenfell fire.

MBR: What sort of problems

do you come across most

commonly in terms of fire

safety within buildings?

AM: Building occupants, including management,

not understanding the importance of fire

safety in their building, thinking that small

changes do not matter, and the overall notion

that it will never happen to them. At times, als

thinking that having lots of fire extinguishers

makes the building safer, something I would

find very funny, were it not such a serious issue.

Sometimes building owners do not know

what is installed in their building, especially

when they where not the original building

users or when the building has been taken

care of by multiple entities through the years.

At SHIELD, we normally find that most

problems are in fact not engineering problems

but managerial problems. And these would

also not be because the management does

not care but because they do not understand

the importance of some of the issues.

Many times, people would worry if they

are meeting legal requirements. What I try

to explain is that legal requirements stop

at having the occupants getting out safety.

But if the building sustains a substantial fire

of damage business continuity would be

severely disrupted and recovery would be so

much harder. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

"if the building sustains

a substantial fire of

damage business

continuity would be

severely disrupted

www.maltabusinessreview.net

7


Malta Business Review

TALKING POINT

Why Vladimir

Putin is very,

very happy

The World Cup has been the

Russian president’s friend.

By TUNKU VARADARAJAN

Tunku Varadarajan and colleagues

on the 2018 World Cup through the

lenses of culture, politics, anthropology

and the love of the Beautiful Game.

I’m not sure if Vladimir Putin has read Elias

Canetti, but if he hasn’t, he would enjoy the

old Bulgarian sage’s “Crowds and Power.” As

the World Cup sails forward into the next

knockout stage, Putin has managed Canetti’s

twin themes — the crowds in his presence

and the power in his hands — so impeccably

that his performance borders on genius.

Russian President Vladimir

Putin, between Ronaldo and FIFA

President Gianni Infantino | Yuri

Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images

Putin made a canny bet. He reckoned that

once people from all over the world streamed

into Russia to watch football, they would cease

to look at Russia. Writing about a strongman’s

use of the “arena” to divert the public gaze

away from ugliness, Canetti observed that

the strongman induces the spectators to

“turn their backs to the city. They have been

lifted out of its structure of walls and streets

and, for the duration of their time in the

arena, they do not care about anything which

happens” outside.

The city is a metaphor for the world beyond the

walls of the stadium — here, Putin’s Russia, the

Russia of gagged dissent and state repression,

of a mafia-style economy and barefaced

corruption. Putin gambled that outsiders,

beguiled by feats of great footballing skill and

fuelled with the kind of benign nationalism that

accompanies such events, would have eyes

only for the sporting and the theatrical, and

space in their imaginations only for personal

heartbreak and ecstasy.

Putin knows, too, that football fans are tribal,

and that at tournaments they stick with their

own kind both inside and outside the arena.

Everywhere, there have been solid knots of

Swiss, hordes of Danes, swarms of English,

Russia fans celebrate their team’s win after the Russia defeated Spain

in the round of 16 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 1, 2018 |

Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images

cartels of Colombians, musters of Croatians,

troops of Nigerians, bevies of Egyptians. Yes,

they mingle with others — there is no more

gregarious life-form on the planet than the

football fan — but they mostly stay with their

own kind. Among their own, they paint faces

in the colours of their flag, drink beer and

vodka, eat till they burst, and radiate cheer

toward every TV cameraman they encounter,

shouting slurred greetings to mom back

home, or to a sweetheart left behind.

The football, here, has been Putin’s friend.

Interaction with ordinary Russians is confined

to those who serve them in bars or cafés,

sell them tickets on buses and trains, or

who reside in the parts of town that tourists

from abroad frequent. Visitors, chastened

in advance by scary reports of Russian ultras

and hooligans, have rarely ventured into the

scruffier, un-friendlier twilight zones of Russia’s

host cities. Pre-tournament worries of attacks

on foreigners, of racism directed toward nonwhite

fans, have proved entirely unfounded.

No one should be surprised by this. Violence

in Russia flows from a spigot that Putin

controls. The Russian state has urban thugs at

its disposal, who do its bidding. One can be

certain that every pre-emptive measure was

taken to keep troublemakers on a leash. This

is not difficult for Putin, since these groups

are his extra-judicial enforcers. It would have

been a wonder, in fact, if there had been

trouble of this kind.

So we have had two weeks in which football

fans — not always the most enlightened souls,

not always attuned to the political nuances

around them — have had the loveliest time

in Russia, where the local strongman has

ensured that there will be absolutely no

ugliness from his own citizens that might

invite reciprocal ugliness from visitors. Every

moment of significance has been confined

to the “arena” (to use Canetti’s word), and

absent from the “city.”

Where’s Putin?

The football, here, has been Putin’s friend. The

standard has been uniformly high, with goals

galore and some matches of breathtaking

tension. There’s been just one goalless draw.

Compare that with Brazil, in 2014, where we

were subjected to a flaccid tournament in

which the overrated hosts were humiliated,

and the whole affair was overshadowed by the

host nation’s hubris. Russia’s lack of football

prowess has helped: Every improbable win by

the home side has been treated like a party

by the locals, and there has been a cheerful

humility to Russian spectators that has

contributed to the tournament’s success.

Add to all of that Putin’s own low profile these

last two weeks. He was present at the opening

ceremony, and at Russia’s first game against

Saudi Arabia. He was absent at Russia’s Group

of 16 knockout game against Spain, when the

king of Spain was in the presidential box.

King Felipe VI was accompanied by Dmitry

Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, and

that cannot have been by accident. Putin isn’t

a stupid man, and must have been aware

that his presence alongside the Spanish king

would give rise to bitter comment in the West.

There was nothing to be gained by being in

the box, so he stayed away. (Will he be there

on Saturday, we wonder, when Russia plays

Croatia in the quarter-finals?)

This is precisely what those critical of Russia’s

hosting the cup had feared — an aura of

success, and the apparent softening of a

strongman’s reputation. These fears are

coming true.

People are thinking of this as the World Cup

in Russia, and not as the World Cup in Putin’s

Russia. Our minds are locked inside the

arena. No one cares about what’s happening

outside.

Tunku Varadarajan, a contributing editor at

POLITICO, is a fellow at Stanford University’s

Hoover Institution. He helms The Linesman. MBR

Courtesy: POLITICO

8


EMPTY


Malta Business Review

FINANCE: FACTORING RANKING

FIMBank Receives Top

Worldwide Factoring Rankings

The FIMBank Group achieved strong

recognition and won top industry rankings

at the annual meeting of the Factors Chain

International association in Amsterdam,

at its anniversary meeting in June. FCI,

headquartered in Amsterdam, is a global

network of the world’s best factoring

banks and companies, counting over 400

institutional members in 90 countries,

and connects, educates and influences

cross-border and domestic factoring as

well as supply chain financing, across the

global financial community comprising the

biggest international banks amongst others.

Members of FCI account for over EUR 75bln

of global factoring volumes in 2018.

FIMBank Group achieved several credentials

during this annual meeting.

FIMBank Malta, generating an annual

turnover exceeding EUR 200mln in 2017,

ranked first in Malta, with an overall service

quality score of 100%.

FIMBank Greece ranked 12th Best Export

Factor in the World, 30th Best in the World

Overall (Export and Import) and 2nd in

Greece, with a turnover exceeding EUR

175mln with an 8% international market

share and a service quality score of 98.41%.

Egypt Factors, a fully-owned subsidiary of

FIMBank, ranked second in Egypt with a 20%

market share and turnover exceeding EUR

100mln in 2017 and a service quality score

of 95.83%.

India Factoring, a majority subsidiary of

FIMBank, ranked second in India with a 15%

market share and turnover exceeding EUR

250mln and a service quality score of 94%.

Commenting on these results, FIMBank

Group CEO Murali Subramanian said that

“Factoring is a technically sophisticated

product and one of the most important

components of supply chain financing

globally, and is a cornerstone of our business.

These results are a reflection of our constant

efforts at improving our standing as a provider

of quality and reliability, in the markets we

operate in. With these results we are better

placed to offer superior supply chain financing

and risk management solutions to our clients

and partners worldwide”. MBR

Creditline: FIMBank

Med

Factors

Malta

"With these results we

are better placed to

offer superior supply

chain financing and risk

management solutions

to our clients and

partners worldwide

Country Ranking

#2

Service Quality

94%

Hellenic

Branch

Greece

Country Ranking

#1

Service Quality

100%

Factors Chain International

Worldwide Ranking

World Export

Factoring #12

Country Ranking

(Export + Import)

#2

Service Quality Score

98%

Overall

(Export + Import)

#30 Worldwide

FIMBank

Country Ranking

#2

Service Quality

96%

10


EMPTY


Malta Business Review

ANALYSIS & DEBATE

Maltese PM and wife

cleared of wrongdoing in

graft case

‘This was nothing more than a frame-up against

me and my family,’ says Joseph Muscat.

By Laurens Cerulus

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said

Sunday his “nightmare” was over after an

inquiry ruled that his family had no links to a

company in Panama.

“The day of truth has finally arrived,” Muscat

said. “Someone falsified the documents. This

was nothing more than a frame-up against

me and my family … They wanted to harm

me and the Maltese economy.” An emotional

Muscat was speaking at a press conference

minutes after the conclusions of a inquiry

were published.

Muscat’s wife Michelle had been accused

of being the beneficial owner of Egrant, a

company opened by Mossack Fonseca, the

law firm at the center of the Panama Papers

scandal. It was alleged that Mrs. Muscat

received $1 million through the firm from

the daughter of Azerbaijan’s president,

Ilham Aliyev.

The claims were made by journalist Daphne

Caruana Galizia — who was murdered by a car

bomb in October 2017 — and backed up by

an employee of Pilatus bank, Maria Efimova.

However, despite the allegations, any evidence

which might have been incriminated had long

been removed the same night she broke the

story, when Seyed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad,

Pilatus’ Iranian owner, now under monitored

custody in the US, was filmed leaving the bank

through an emergency exit carrying heavy

suitcases. The same had happened during one

evening, when the late blogger reported bags

being removed from Maltese company at the

heart of the Panama scandal, Nexia BT, with vans

reportedly being provided by Kasco, company

owned by Keith Schembri, the PM’s Chief of

Staff. Any documented or online evidence must

have been carefully erased as a precautionary

measure by the people behind this secretive

and cagey practice, which truth may never be

known on an Island that thrives and responsible

offenders brought before justice.

Unlike other occasions when asked about

the Panama companies of close associates

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, there was

never a hint of uncertainty in Muscat’s voice

when talking about Egrant. Magistrate Aaron

Bugeja’s Egrant inquiry did not succeed in

establishing who the ultimate beneficial

owner of the Panamanian company Egrant

is. Although a weight may have been lifted

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle attend the Queen's

Dinner at Buckingham Palace, April 2018 | Pool photo by Daniel

Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

"This was nothing more

than a frame-up against

me and my family …

They wanted to harm

me and the Maltese

economy.

off the Muscats and the country still seeks to

know the genuine truth, until then no closure

can be announced on the Egrant saga. Malta

cannot be expected to accept that the owner

of Egrant will never be known, moreso when

the UAE, where it was claimed that Egrant Inc.

held a bank account, has failed to respond to

Magistrate Bugeja’s request for information.

As was foreseen, Magistrate Bugeja would

find it impossible to prove or disprove that

Michelle Muscat was the ultimate beneficial

owner of the company because he would be

unable to prove the identity of the company’s

ultimate beneficial owner

DOI - Ruben Piscopo

The inquiry’s final report said it was hard to

reconcile the testimonies of Caruana Galizia

and Efimova, who gave contrasting versions

of events. “A hundred suspicions do not

amount to a single piece of evidence,” the

conclusions said.

However, that the inquiry stated that there

was great difficulty to reconcile the accounts

given by Efimova with those given by Caruana

Galizia and Pierre Portelli with regard to

many of the most important aspects of the

remainder of the evidence gathered, still

leaves pockets of black holes which remain

surreptitious and unanswered.

“Not one of the allegations that were made

involving my wife Michelle, myself, my family,

or persons close to us were found to be true,”

Muscat said in a statement.

Muscat used the press conference to slam

Simon Busuttil, leader of the opposition

Nationalist Party, for supporting the claims

of corruption. MBR

Sources: POLITICO; The Guardian; Reuters;

Malta Today

12


COMMENTARY

Malta Business Review

LOCAL-EUROPEAN WRAP-UP

By Special Correspondent

On Political Decency

The tone of the conversation between Malta

and its bigger neighbour Italy has become

jarring. In a letter to Italy’s Prime Minister

Giuseppe Conte, Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat

tells his colleague off, writing — in almost

impeccable Italian — that he was “perplexed”

by a note he received earlier. Italian

“allegations that Malta had acted against

the rules are totally unacceptable,” Muscat

writes, going into detail about the recent case

of a fishing vessel.

Helpful advice: “We understand Italy’s

difficulties, but the solution is certainly not

to attack a European partner facing the

same challenges and continuously showing

solidarity,” Muscat wrote in the letter, dated

July 15, 2018.

“The biggest ever political lie

to ever take place in the history

of the country”

As a Magisterial inquiry comes to a close,

it leaves more questions unanswered in an

unsolved mystery saga

Muscat's 'Nightmare' is over: Let’s stay

in Malta for a while. An emotional Muscat

spoke at a press conference minutes after

the conclusions of an inquiry that ruled that

his family had no connection to a company

linked to the Panama papers scandal were

published. He said his “nightmare” was over,

adding that “the day of truth has finally

arrived.”

“Someone falsified the documents. This was

nothing more than a frame-up against me

and my family … They wanted to harm me

and the Maltese economy,” Muscat said.

The claims were made by journalist Daphne

Caruana Galizia — who was murdered by

a car bomb in October 2017 — and backed

up by an employee of Pilatus bank, Maria

Efimova. Laurens Cerulus has the story.

The report is in Maltese; key graphs in English

here: “The inquiry concludes the following:

that no shares in the company Egrant Inc

were found to belong to Michelle Muscat, or

otherwise traceable to her, her husband Dr

Joseph Muscat, to any of their family members;

the inquiry did not find Joseph Muscat,

Michelle Muscat … to have been involved in

corruption and/or money laundering and/or

suspect financial transactions.”

As one of the political parties asked, we too ask

why "government friendly agents and insiders"

had details from the full report before it was

published, while the full report remained out

of reach of the public or journalists?

Over a year ago, Daphne Caruana Galizia

correctly predicted that Magistrate Bugeja

would find it impossible to prove or disprove

that Michelle Muscat was the ultimate

beneficial owner of the company because

he would be unable to prove the identity of

the company's ultimate beneficial owner. As

Daphne Caruana Galizia also predicted, the

UAE, where it was claimed that Egrant Inc.

held a bank account, has failed to respond to

Magistrate Bugeja’s request for information.

Daphne Caruana Galizia knew that the only

way to get to the whole truth about Egrant

Inc. and the Prime Minister -- the company’s

ownership is not the only pending question

-- is for the Maltese authorities to investigate

Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna,

Karl Cini, and the remaining staff at Pilatus

Bank while they are still within easy reach.

Muscat has yet to ask for the resignations

of his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and

his minister Konrad Mizzi, despite their

undisputed ownership of secret Panamanian

companies which they set up shortly after

the 2013 election. Until Joseph Muscat sacks

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi he will

continue to be complicit in their crimes.

The question is of primary public interest

because Egrant Inc. is one of four related

companies set up by Muscat’s consultant,

Nexia BT, for one of Muscat’s ministers,

Konrad Mizzi, for Muscat’s Chief of Staff, Keith

Schembri, and for a consultant, Cheng Chen

of Accenture, all of whom were involved in

the previously unannounced sale of shares in

a key state asset, Enemalta, to a Chinese stateowned

company, Shanghai Electric, shortly

after the Panama companies were set up.

The responsibility of a Prime Minister in a

parliamentary democracy is to prioritise

the public interest over personal interest. If

secret ownership of a Panama company is a

resignation offence, and if Egrant Inc. really

did not belong to the Prime Minister or his

wife, then at least three questions remain:

1. Why hasn’t Muscat fired Keith Schembri

and Konrad Mizzi?

2. Why is Muscat still engaging Brian

Tonna’s firm on government business?

3. Why is Muscat not interested in finding

out the identity of the actual or intended

ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant Inc.?

The answers to these questions are unlikely

to exonerate Joseph Muscat. Malta needs

the whole truth and Joseph Muscat still

holds the key.

Who’s down: Opposition leader Adrian

Delia, from the Partit Nazzjonalista, said his

party “had made the … allegations its own,

and I have therefore asked [former opposition

leader and his predecessor] Simon Busuttil to

shoulder political responsibility and suspend

himself from our parliamentary group to focus

on the ongoing inquiries,” Delia said at a press

conference. “I have immediately removed him

as shadow minister for good governance and

took the portfolio myself. The fight against

corruption is an important one and no one is

bigger than the party or the country.” MBR

Sources: POLITICO Playbook; The Malta

Independent; Times of Malta

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

NELSON MANDELA’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

Leading by

looking ahead and

being disruptive

By Nic van den Bergh

A

s we reach the culmination

of The Elders’ #WalkTogether

campaign, Virgin Unite are

celebrating Nelson Mandela’s

100th birthday, his legacy and the founding of

The Elders.

The #WalkTogether campaign has built a

bright web made up of 'Sparks of Hope' –

communities building a movement for the

freedoms Mandela dedicated his life to:

peace, health, justice and equality.

Virgin CEOs and staff members from all over

the world have written about their own

Sparks of Hope and for the next month we

invite you to read their stories and join the

global #WalkTogether movement.

The person that has inspired me the most in

my life is my father. Though he is my dad he

is so much more – he has been a spectacular

mentor, specifically when it comes to how one

should behave both at a personal level and at

a business level. He’s inspired me for the last

20 odd years where I’ve been in formal and

informal employment.

My father has this incredible spirit and ability

to help and support others, even when

he might be going through a difficult time

HONOURING THE LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA

himself. Something that I have learnt from

him and taken into my own life is to rise above

whatever is being thrown at you and to keep a

positive face and a positive outlook.

A great learning that I have taken into

the workplace is to look ahead and to be

disruptive, but more importantly it’s about

looking to constantly improve yourself. I like

to believe that I never take things at face

value and I’m always questioning how I can

do things better. I try to look at ways that not

only improve my own life, but to make sure

that I’m improving the lives of the people that

I serve.

The only way that you can do this effectively,

is if you work hard at creating a better

working relationship with your colleagues. To

have a successful output, you need to have

a successful team and that’s why I’ve always

tried to inspire with knowledge and passion.

I try to encourage people with belief, because

if people believe in you and they believe in

what you’re doing, you will have very loyal

colleagues and employees.

Something that I have learnt from him

and taken into my own life is to rise above

whatever is being thrown at you and to keep

a positive face and a positive outlook.

I have always tried to empower people and to

make sure that they can be much more than

their job title so that they can grow faster

and be a sponge – it’s about making sure

that you both have an equal footing and that

you do not see your ideas or beliefs as more

important or better than other people’s.

A good leader should also be able to reflect

and learn from the past. I have tried to

start businesses and failed spectacularly at

them and that has given me some amazing

learnings. I don’t think that we embrace

failure enough – we must learn from failure.

I love advertising and marketing and how you

can connect with customers.

I love trying to improve individual’s lives

through products and services. Ultimately, it

is my dream and passion to get involved with

a mentorship programme or investment into

entrepreneurs. I know within the Virgin group

there are many bodies and organisations that

look to supporting businesses. I would like to

give back to an industry that has given and

taught me so much.

Nic van den Bergh is the Head of Digital at

Virgin Money South Africa MBR

Creditline: Nic Vah Den Bergh, Virgin

14


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Malta Business Review

ESS: CONSTRUCTION

European Start-up study:

Malta's construction

industry grew by 89%

from 2016-2017

•With 1,955,681 start-ups registered

between 2013-2017, the construction sector

is the third biggest industry fuelling Europe’s

start-up scene

•Ireland is the top country for the construction

industry in Europe, with a steady growth of

11.18% of new businesses between 2013-17

•Looking at the growth rates between

2016-2018, Malta’s construction industry is

booming with a growth of over 89%

Analysing the start-up industry in Europe, card

processing specialists, Paymentsense, have

conducted research to reveal the countries

seeing significant growth in start-ups between

2013 -2017. The data has been mapped out

across Europe - detailing the industry’s most

prevalent in each country and the rate of

growth over the last 5 years. Paymentsense

have analysed 30 European countries and

ranked each one based on how many new

businesses have been registered in a 5-year

period. The business types which have been

the most popular in these countries are also

detailed.When looking at what type of startups

have dominated Europe in the last few

years, wholesale and retail have the largest

presence with 3.7 million new businesses

started up. This is surprising to see when in

recent years we have seen a retail crash with

companies like Woolworths and Toys R Us go

bust.

With 1,955,681 start-ups registered between

2013-2017, the construction sector is the

third biggest industry fuelling Europe’s startup

scene.

The type of companies that have started up in Europe between

2013-2017

Guy Moreve, Chief Marketing Officer at

Paymentsense, says: “It’s fascinating to see

how Europe has changed in recent times. A

number of countries are now placing more

emphasis on technology which has helped

create a ‘golden era’ for tech start-ups.

Top 10 countries fuelling the European construction industry:

Looking at the

percentage growth of

new businesses in the

construction sector,

Ireland tops the charts

as country with the

highest stable growth

of 11.18% between

2013-2017, followed

by Latvia and Malta.

Although the UK has

the highest number

of newly registered

businesses, its industry

has only gained 7.10%

more companies over

the course of the past

5 years.

“In order to thrive a business in your respective

country, make sure you analyse the market

you’re addressing – what works best and

what doesn’t; It’s also worth looking at the

legal and environmental conditions in order

to make sure your business idea is a success”.

You can find the full research for all 30

European countries here: v

Sources: The statistics were all sourced

by Statista. All data for 2016 and 2017 are

estimated, using linear derivation. Any data

provided as N/A has been aggregated as

zero. The research has been carried out on

behalf of Paymentsense, who provide awardwinning

low-cost merchant services and card

machines, in April 2018.

About Paymentsense

As Europe’s largest merchant service provider,

Paymentsense enables over 65,000 SMEs

to process over £6 billion worth of card

payments per year. From card machines to

semi-integrated and online payment services,

Paymentsense supplies small businesses with

card processing solutions that allow them

to take payments in store, online, over the

phone and on the move. MBR

For more information, please contact William

Hobson at william.hobson@branded3.com.

Courtesy: Paymentsense; BRANDED3

16


AZURE AD


Malta Business Review

CASE STUDY

THE HIGH LIFE ON THE HIGH SEAS

Head down to the tranquil Birgu marina on any summer morning and you’re likely to see one of Azure

Ultra’s impressive Sunseeker yachts setting out to sail the Maltese archipelago’s sapphire seas. On board, the

voyagers are about to spend the day basking in all the refined bells and whistles only this charter company can

provide. Personal steward service. A gourmet food selection. Chilled champagne. To paraphrase Azure Ultra’s

own adage, this is a luxury private cruise that goes beyond the ordinary.

It’s high season in the sultry Mediterranean

and Azure Ultra is currently enjoying its busiest

few months yet. Founder and Managing

Director Perry Newton, a former artilleryman

from the 29th Commando Regiment Royal

Artillery in Her Royal Majesty’s Armed Forces,

established the charter company in 2015.

From the very start, the Azure Ultra vision was

to offer unforgettable nautical experiences

combined with top-class service. And the

dream has certainly become a reality. In

a few short years, the brand has become

internationally renowned for its bespoke

luxury yacht experiences throughout the

central Mediterranean region. Over the last

year alone, the company reported a 200%

increase in business. They also welcomed a

fully-accredited yacht captain to the crew as

well as another Sunseeker to its fleet.

So what can people expect from a typical

Azure Ultra experience?

“As each charter experience is specifically

tailored to meet our clients’ wishes, no day

out at sea with us is ever truly the same,”

Newton explains. “Visitors to these shores

may wish to explore the archipelago’s glorious

variety of coastal locations. Our charters give

them the opportunity to discover Malta in

a unique, immersive and elegant fashion.

They can sail from charming fishing villages

to popular beaches or spend an afternoon

cruising around the impressive Grand

Harbour coastline with all its historic sites.

Each port of call is the client’s choice.”

“Our locally based clientele, on the other

hand, usually looks for something entirely

different,” Newton continues. “We can

provide them with a stylish escape from

the bustling island. Our exceptional crew

takes care of their every need, allowing

them to spend quality, stress-free time with

friends and family in secluded spots. They

can unwind on deck, swim and sunbathe,

or use the onboard water sport gear to go

snorkelling or glass-bottom canoeing in

stunning locations.”

It’s immediately apparent that there is no set

programme or one-size-fits-all mentality with

Azure Ultra.

“That’s absolutely correct,” Newton asserts.

“We certainly are adaptable. However,

the one thing that never changes is our

commitment to excellence in every aspect of

our chartering services.”

Newton has good reason to highlight Azure

Ultra’s services. The chartering company has

recently scooped up a handful of prestigious

industry prizes. In 2017 they were the

recipients of two Malta International Boats

& Yachting awards, where they topped tough

competition in the Best Customer Service

of the Year and Best Maltese Based Charter

Company of the Year categories. Earlier this

year, Azure Ultra was also awarded Winner

of Unique Tour Company of the Year at the

Travel & Hospitality Awards.

“We’re all extremely proud of the industry

recognition we have garnered. We worked

extremely hard to achieve these results,”

18


CASE STUDY

Malta Business Review

Newton enthuses. “But perhaps our true

badge of honour is that we hold a TripAdvisor

Certificate of Excellence with 100% five-star

reviews from our clients. This is the real proof

that we’re delivering on our promise to give our

clients unparalleled luxury boating experiences

time and time again.”

Another crucial component to Azure Ultra’s

impeccable quality is that they fully own all

their Sunseeker yachts and are fully insured

and licenced. Moreover, the company employs

an exceptional full-time crew solely dedicated

to its fleet.

“This sets us apart from other chartering

companies who may hire freelance mariners

and captains. We realised early on that having

a dedicated crew allows us to maintain a

consistent high-end service from trip to trip.

The captains and stewards are intimately

knowledgeable about the yachts they are

operating on and are proud to represent a

leading name in the industry. Engaged and

committed staff have a massively positive

influence on a client’s enjoyment factor.”

Aside from the first-rate service, there is also

Azure Ultra’s fleet to consider. Azure Ultra uses

Sunseeker yachts exclusively, a brand that is

the ultimate in glamour and sophistication

and happens to be the boat of choice for many

Hollywood A-listers. These spacious luxury

yachts come with fully equipped bars, fullwidth

staterooms, VIP double cabins, overhead

flybridges, split level saloon, outside grills and

much more.

“We are experts in utilising the full potential of

our Sunseekers,” Newton continues to explain.

“That is why we offer a variety of tailored

chartering packages for all sorts of events.”

Corporate packages are ideal for hosting

professional and business activities.

Alternatively, clients can charter yachts as a

unique venue to celebrate special occasions

such as engagements and anniversaries. Each

Azure Ultra package is specially designed by

knowledgeable charter specialists to ensure

all client expectations are met down to the

tiniest detail.

With business booming and the trophy cabinet

steadily growing, what’s next for Azure Ultra?

“We have recently added a brand new

Sunseeker Camargue 50 to our fleet and

hired new crew members. The long-term

objective is to remain visionary, stand apart

and upscale from any competitors. We aim

for Azure Ultra to be a byword for chartering

excellence in the central Mediterranean

region," Newton concludes.

Given their formidable track-record in such a

short space of time, surely this objective is just

over the horizon. MBR

Creditline: Azure Ultra

Coca-Cola

celebrates Malta

MBR Publications Ltd Head of Design wins

Award for designing three limited edition

Coca-Cola contour bottles featuring Valletta

on the bottle can be bought to celebrate the

European City of Culture 2018

This year, the Capital City of Malta, Valletta,

is being honoured with the prestigious title

of European City of Culture. The Coca-Cola

Company is celebrating this occasion by

dedicating three limited edition Coca-Cola

contour bottles developed by the local

young artist Maria Graziella Zammit, MBR

Publications’ Head of Design, and inspired by

the rich culture and history of Valletta and the

Maltese Islands.

The designs of the limited edition Coca-Cola

contour bottles were inspired by decorative

details found in some of the most historical

buildings in Valletta and specifically the

designs embedded in the majestic ceiling and

balconies of the Manoel Theatre, the palace

armoury and the grandiose paintings found in

the halls of the Grand Master’s Palace. Other

inspirations were the traditional Maltese

balconies and the Valletta skyline, especially

the steeple of St Paul’s Pro Cathedral.

Coca-Cola through its local bottler GSD

Marketing ltd teamed up with MCAST Institute

of Creative Arts and asked students to develop

a concept which celebrates the fact that

Valletta was being honoured with the title of

European City of Culture. Out of more than 200

submissions, the concept presented by Maria

Graziella Zammit was chosen and developed

to produce these three magnificent Coca-Cola

limited edition bottles. MBR

Sources: Coca Cola; Malta Today

www.maltabusinessreview.net

19


Malta Business Review

MANAGEMENT INTEVIEW

AN INTERVIEW WITH A MARKETING AND

BUSINESS LEADER

By Staff Writer

Marla Bace is an active speaker and moderator on a number of subjects, including business operations and customer

loyalty. She is currently the General Manager of Marketing and Operations at Circles, a division of Sodexo, providing

concierge services, even management, and customized rewards and experiences for customers and employees. We

recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Bace.

MBR: Tell me a little about

being an executive manager.

MB: The biggest difference between being

a manager and an executive manager is the

level of responsibility. As a manager, you

are solely responsible for the day-to-day

operation of a single function and your direct

reports. As a general manager or executive

manager, you are also responsible for the

organization, including ensuring that the

goals of the management committees are

executed and met, as well as developing

business plans and products to shape and

facilitate the future of the organization.

MBR: How do you and your

team define customer care?

MB: Customer care is the delivery of seamless

customer service before, during, and after a

transaction. When a customer experience is

significantly better than anything they could

have expected, you have a customer for life.

Maria Bace

MBR: How do you drive

strategic business changes?

MB: Collaboration. Being part of the

management team often requires a hard

look at all aspects of the business. This may

mean building out areas and in some cases

reducing resources in others. If one is not a

collaborator—forging bonds between people

and entire departments—the strategic

change necessary to grow the organization

will not occur.

MBR: What do you do to

mentor the individuals

on your team (men and

women)?

MB: This is the part of my career that I enjoy

the most. Each person on the team brings a

different strength to the table. As a manager,

I strive to recognize and leverage everyone’s

talents. Being an effective mentor also means

helping your employees identify personal

development opportunities, such as some

personal one-on-one career training with

another team member who has a particular

skill in spades.

MBR: You have been very

involved with mentoring

young ladies in your career,

whether through your career

positions or your affiliations

with non-profits like the NJ

Sharing Network or Liberty

Science Center. Why is this

important to you?

MB: I have only had male mentors throughout

my career, yet I believe women encounter

different challenges and have to address

situations with a different perspective

because of the many hats they wear—

career, home, and family. It’s 2013, and the

hot topic is should women “lean in” or not.

Young women need to know that they can be

themselves, enjoy work/life balance, and be

successful. I enjoy helping them realize and

achieve this.

MBR: Do you think that all

managers have the capability to

help others with their careers?

MB: When someone is coming up through

the management ranks rarely do they start

out as a perfect role model. This doesn’t

mean they can’t learn how, however. While

some will be better at it than others, all can

develop the capability, leading by example

and through nurturing.

MBR: What do you

consider your strongest

strengths in dealing with

staff workers, colleagues,

senior management, and

customers?

MB: The ability to draw awareness to

circumstances by identifying public opinion

and gathering other data and then facilitating

conversation to develop a plan and drive

results. In short, working with the team to

reach right solution to a business challenge.

I never leave the team to execute against a

deadline alone; we are always in it together.

MBR: As a woman, do you

believe it is easier to work

with co-workers, senior

management, or customers?

MB: I have found it both easier and harder. It

depends on the audience and the topic. If I

have a strong opinion and a hard conversation

with a male colleague, it is a “good” discussion.

The same discussion with a female colleague

could still be called a “cat fight” in some

quarters. We have come a long way in

business, but some stereotypes are still there.

You have to be aware of it and work around

them and in the process hold yourself to the

highest ethical and professional standards.

MBR: What skills would you

recommend other women

develop to help them

advance in their careers?

MB: A thorough grounding in whatever

field you are working in and the ability to

exude confidence, graciousness, optimism,

and ambition. And always have a good

sense of humour.

MBR

Creditline: Editor of Leader's Edge.

20


Malta Business Review

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE

SUM OF ITS PARTS

By George Carol

A key asset in driving the business forward is the workforce and Malta can certainly boast about it in terms of

talent and personality, education, and experience. Thomas Kraemer, Director, Timberland Invest Ltd, explains to

MBR that embedded within its core business philosophy is a customer driven culture. Thomas talks about the

importance of the brand following five years of inception and how the Company believes that investing in the

right staff with the right skills will effectively improve the Company’s bottom line.

THOMAS KRAEMER: Mr Kraemer has worked in consultancy and finance since 1992.

He is known for successfully combining all relevant sectors of the financial market

to achieve the maximum benefit for the clients. Guided by an almost British sense

of fair play, he consistently aims to achieve the best possible results on a case by

case basis. Mr Kraemer has been a member of the Board of Directors of Timberland

Capital Management GmbH since the beginning, 25 years ago. He set up the first retail

investment fund of Timberland Finance in 1999 and was responsible for the day-to-day

management of the fund’s portfolio assisted by a specialised investment committee

team. Mr Kraemer is a board member of Timberland Invest Ltd and Timberland Fund

Management Ltd. He also serves as an investment advisor of Timberland Invest Ltd and

as investment committee member in Timberland Fund Management Ltd, thus bringing

investment expertise also to the Maltese entities forming part of Timberland Finance.

MBR: Will you discuss the

history and heritage of

Timberland Invest Ltd and its

key areas of focus?

TK: Timberland Invest limited forms part

of the Timberland Group of Companies,

with its head office in Germany, and has

over twenty five years’ experience with

authorised entities in Malta, Germany and

Luxembourg. Timberland Invest Limited

was registered in Malta in 2013 and was

authorised with a category 1A licence from

the Malta Financial Services Authority

in 2014 to provide Investment Services

under the Investment Services Act

1994. In terms of its investment services

licence, Timberland Invest Ltd has been

appointed as the authorised distributor

of Timberland Securities Investment

plc, another company forming part of

the Timberland Group of Companies.

Timberland Invest Limited thus undertakes

the distribution of the bonds issued by

Timberland Securities Investment plc,

issued in terms of its prospectus, which

has been approved by the Liechtenstein

Financial Market Authority in terms of

the Prospectus Directive for distribution

throughout Europe and the EEA.

MBR: Is brand awareness

for Timberland Invest Ltd

important or is it more about

the individual businesses

within the group?

TK: We believe brand awareness is an asset

for the company to create client loyalty and

to help in distinguishing one company from

its peers. Furthermore, it creates financial

value and helps in the creation of business

growth. Brand awareness is important for a

company which is in the process of entering

a new market by launching new products.

This was exactly the strategy we have

adopted over the years since we established

in Malta. We believe in the concept of “the

whole is greater than the sum of its parts”,

and although the individual businesses

within the group focus on their particular

strategy, it is this interlinked approach that

creates value to the whole Group.

MBR: Is there a commonality

among the businesses under

the Timberland Finance

brand?

TK: As already highlighted above,

Timberland Invest Limited is part of the

Timberland Group. Timberland Invest Ltd is

the licensed entity in Malta with a category

1A licence from the Malta Financial

Services Authority in 2014 to provide

investment services under the Investment

Services Act 1994. Timberland Invest Ltd

acts as the distributor of the bonds issued

by Timberland Securities Investment plc

another company forming part of the

Timberland Group of Companies. Both

Timberland Invest Ltd and Timberland

Securities Investment plc form part of the

Timberland Finance brand.

MBR: The Company is

celebrating five years- what

can you tell us about the past

five years and what are the

major highlights from these

first five years?

TK: This year Timberland Invest Ltd is

commemorating its 5th year anniversary

in Malta. We set up the office at Aragon

House Business Centre, St Julian’s from where

we are still operating. After giving it some

good thought we decided to enter inter

alia the Maltese retail market with our first

Timberland Securities Investment plc bond

issue in 2016 and subsequent to the first

bond we issued a second bond. Both bonds,

"Brand awareness

is important for a

company which is in

the process of entering

a new market by

launching new products

22


CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

which have the same conditions and mature

in 2026 were issued with a prospectus under

the Liechtenstein Securities Prospectus Act

and passported it into Malta in terms of the

Prospectus Directive.

MBR: When you reflect back

on creating Timberland Invest

Ltd and see the impact it has

made, are you able to take

moments to appreciate what

you have built?

TK: We certainly do and we do not regret

the decisions taken by the board of directors.

Identifying the saving culture of the Maltese

people was of utmost importance. We also

know that there are no obligatory pension

plans in place to which one can start saving

for retirement. Malta still relies on the payas-you

go system and in this regard, product

providers need to find ways and means how to

incentivise people to start saving. Irrespective

at what stage of a person’s life cycle and

taking into account a person’s investment

appetite, creating the right medium to save

is important. By issuing bonds in the past

two years, we are certainly in that direction.

People can invest in the bonds to supplement

their income whether in their working life or

for retirement.

MBR: What did Timberland

Invest Ltd see in Malta that

made the company feel

it provided such a large

opportunity?

TK: After having been established in Germany

for more than 20 years we decided to establish

further foothold in Europe. We were after

a central location within the Mediterranean

Region with good professional people. Malta

was the best choice considering the good

education system and the strong economy

that considering its size remained strong during

"People can invest in the

bonds to supplement

their income whether in

their working life or for

retirement

the financial crisis that hit the whole world in

2008. Malta’s financial sector and the gaming

industry have seen unprecedented growth

and accordingly we decided to pursue the

expansionary business model. The country

has very strong work practices which are very

much in line with our business culture.

MBR: Can you describe

current operations and

ongoing projects?

TK: Whilst the Timberland Group of

Companies already has presence beside

Germany in Hungary, Luxemburg, Austria and

Malta, it is the Group’s strategy to continue

to build on its success story achieved so far

by expanding outside Germany into other

European jurisdictions using the prospectus

passporting. Certainly, in doing so we have

to familiarise ourselves with the national

regulatory processes in place and offer a

bespoke service to our clients. Another

project in which the business has invested

in, is the interest of Timberland Securities

Investment plc in E7 systems which is a leading

technology company concerned with battery

packaging mainly for electric cars, but also

with other industrial applications. E7 offers

a greater opportunity for the growth of the

Timberland Group as we know the economic

potential of innovative technology. We all

also know the importance of safeguarding

our environment for the benefit of everyone.

MBR: Timberland has also

achieved strong results on

the investment side of the

business. What have been

the keys to the strength of

this part of Timberland’s

business?

TK: Timberland Securities Investments plc has

innovative solutions for investors. In setting

up innovative solutions over several years our

solutions are ahead of market developments

in certain areas in product structuring. As

it is quite a technical description of what

we are doing, we can simply say, that our

innovation power – which includes as well E7

Systems - are a base for Timberland Securities

Investment plc’s success.

MBR: How critical is it to

maintain the innovative edge

and where do you see the

company in the next five years?

TK: The Company continues to look for new

ideas for growth, to offer different products,

but most importantly how to better meet

the needs of our customers, and which

would set us apart from the rest of our peers.

Keeping in mind changes in the regulatory

environment, our processes have to reflect

these regulatory changes whilst creating new

ways to do business in line with our business

model. Our way forward is to continue raising

capital through bond issuance. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

left to right Ms Joanne Schembri, Ms Antonella Mercieca, Mr Colin Micallef, Mr Dirk Koester,

Mr Thomas Kraemer, Mr Anthony Paris

www.maltabusinessreview.net

23


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE

EXTRACTION AND IMMEDIATE IMPLANT REPLACEMENT

Up until the introduction of dental implants, a single tooth replacement was usually performed with a removable denture

wedged in between adjacent teeth or a dental bridge attached to 1 or 2 adjacent teeth. Nowadays most single teeth are

replaced with dental implants. A dental implant is the insertion of a screw or fixture into the bone site of the missing tooth.

Following 3-6months of healing the top part of the implant is exposed and a tooth/crown is attached onto it. This is the basic

manner of completing an implant-retained crown.

Today the choices on materials and the manner of which the job is completed my vary considerably. Here are a few options,

which must be weighed out and selected to obtain the best aesthetic and functional result:

The Implant

The majority of implants are made of highgrade

titanium. These implants are extensively

researched and carry excellent success rates.

These are also metal-free implants made

out of zirconium. These so-called biological

implants have many advantages including:

• Hypoallergenic

• High biocompatibility

• One-stage surgery

• Excellent aesthetics

• Corrosion resistance

• Holistic friendly

• Strong and comfortable

Implants also come in various sizes, shapes

and forms so the right implant must be

chosen for the right place.

Before Treatment

The Crown

Implant crowns are also available in different

materials. The material of choice was

once porcelain fired onto cast gold. Then

pre-fabricated titanium abutments were

introduced allowing a conventional crown

to be cemented onto it. Then came the

revolution of maximising aesthetics and

eliminating any metal in the crown allowing

room for an all-ceramic crown made from

zirconia. This metal-free zirconia framework

allows the firing of porcelain onto it

maximising the aesthetics especially in the

anterior area. The main advantages of allceramic

crowns are superior aesthetics with

no metal edge, high biocompatibility and the

ability to perform these in single day visits.

Surrounding Bone

The implant must be inserted into an area

with sound and sufficient bone. If the area

does not have enough bone then a bone

graft must be performed to allow complete

coverage of the implant at insertion and

forever after its completion. There are many

bone grafting materials available to buy; cow

bone, human bone and other inorganic bone

substitutes. This has become the norm for

most of the aesthetic cases.

After Treatment

A young woman presents with a broken tooth

and a failed root canal treatment exhibiting

recurrent swellings and exudate. The tooth

was extracted, the socket cleaned and

disinfected and an implant was immediately

inserted. A minor bone augmentation was

also placed in the socket to aid with the final

aesthetics of the gum tissue. A temporary fixed

acrylic-resin crown was also attached onto the

implant to further help the gingiva maintain

its contour. In this manner the patient also

benefits from a fixed tooth as a temporary

solution. 4months after the extraction and

implant insertion, the temporary crown was

replaced with an all-ceramic highly aesthetic

crown. This sequence of treatment is not

always possible but when it is, the aesthetics

of the final product is highly dependant on it.

Ask you dentist!

A Case Scenario

Gingival tissue

More often than not the bone and

surrounding gum in the site of a missing tooth

is to some degree resorbed. This results in an

obvious drop in the gum level and/or width

of the ridge. Replacing a tooth would result in

either a long-looking crown or a crown with

spaces in between the other adjacent teeth.

This creates poor aesthetics and discomfort

on eating, as spaces are obvious food traps.

The bone and gum grafts restore the implant

site to normality allowing for a firm anchorage

and a tight gingival cuff synonymous with

good hygiene. MBR

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon

24


POWERHOUSE


Malta Business Review

MALTA PRIDE 2018

More information will be available on

www.maltapride.org

announces

headline

sponsorship

of

"We don’t just believe that iGaming should be

fair and fun for all, we believe that life should

be fair and fun for all. And to demonstrate our

support, today we’re teaming up with Allied

Rainbow Communities (ARC) to be Malta

Pride 2018’s main partner".

GiG (Gaming Innovation Group) will be the

main partners of Malta Pride this year, Allied

Rainbow Communities (ARC), the organisers

of Pride have announced. A week-long

celebration with different activities will take

place between 9-16 September 2018 with

the main Parade and open air free concert

to take place on Saturday 15 September. The

theme of Pride this year will be ‘Pride in the

heart of the Mediterranean’.

GIG is a fast-growing tech company with

over 450 employees based in Malta but

also located in Spain, Norway, Denmark and

Gibraltar totalling over 700 employees. Earlier

this year, their ultra hip offices by St. George’s

Bay were inaugurated by the Prime Minister

Dr Joseph Muscat.

Mikael Ångman, Chief Operations Officer of

GiG said: “We are proud to be the headline

supporters of Malta Pride, an event we

believe to be a highlight in Malta’s calendar!

GiG’s vision is to change the iGaming industry

to make it fair and fun for all. A huge part

of that is to have a diverse workforce and

provide an atmosphere where everyone can

be the best version of themselves, no matter

their background or sexual orientation. We

want to encourage everyone to be able to be

who they are without fear.”

ARC is a voluntary organisation dedicated

to support the LGBTIQ community in Malta

by organising monthly events, campaigning

for better sexual health, collaborating

with rainbow-friendly businesses and coordinating

Malta Pride.

“Studies are showing that countries that

support LGBTIQ rights are better off in

economic development and social wellbeing.

We are witnessing this in Malta as well and we

are finding a lot of positive collaboration with

the business and civic communities”- Clayton

Mercieca, the co-ordinator of this year’s

Malta Pride said. “We are also aware however

that negative attitudes and stigma still persist

and an event like Pride is an occasion to bring

different minorities together in support of

each other and give courage to people who

are still too afraid to live their truth. To have

such a major employer like GIG supporting

Pride gives us a lot of encouragement to make

each year’s Pride a better one than before –

not just for the fanfare and glamour that is

fun for all the family, but because there is a

lot of isolation in our small islands that makes

it very hard for minorities like the LGBTIQ

community to integrate”.

Following a record turnout participation last

year, ARC has initiated its intent to host an

International Pride event in five years time

and has become a member of the European

Association of Pride Organisers.

Several local artists will be performing for the

crowds at the open air concert which will be

held after the parade in Valletta. In addition, the

Italian Drag duo Karma B. will be entertaining

the crowds with their spectacular acts. MBR

Creditline: GiG

26


Malta Business Review

GIG

www.maltabusinessreview.net

27


Malta Business Review

SINGLE DIGITAL GATEWAY

Marlene Mizzi

Single digital gateway: a time saver for citizens and companies

• Easier for citizens and businesses to do

their paperwork online

• Key administrative procedures to be fully

accessible

• Examples include: birth certificates,

car registration, European Health Card,

study loan and grant applications and

business permits

The single digital gateway will help citizens

and firms to access information and

administrative procedures online, e.g. to

apply for study loans or register a car.

A provisional deal struck with the Council on

24 May to set up a single digital gateway, to

make it easier to find information, forms and

assistance for people moving to or doing

business in another EU country, but also for

those staying at home, was endorsed by the

Internal Market Committee on Thursday, by

33 votes to three, with one abstention.

This European single entry point will be

integrated in the “Your Europe” portal,

available in all languages. It will provide access

and links to national and EU web sites and

web pages, in a user-friendly way, to enable

users to exercise their rights and comply with

their obligations within the single market.

EU member states will be required to grant

online access to the most important and

frequently used procedures. In “justified

exceptional cases of overriding reasons of

public interest in the areas of public security,

public health or the fight against fraud”,

member states may ask the user to appear in

person for a procedural step. The information,

online procedures and assistance services

provided must be of high quality and

accessible to users with disabilities. A user

feedback tool will also be available.

Quote

Marlene Mizzi (S&D, MT), who steered this

legislation through Parliament, said: “Today,

the Internal Market Committee has achieved

an important milestone in improving and

easing citizens’ interaction with public

authorities through the digitalisation of public

services and the completion of the digital

single market. The new rules will provide

responsive, inclusive, borderless, userfriendly

digital public services to citizens and

businesses at national and European level.”

“Such services are paramount when people

want to move, live or study in another

EU country and need to request relative

documentation, such as a birth certificate,

proof of residence or apply for university or

study financing, amongst many others. It

is also very relevant for businesses wishing

information relating to cross-border activities

and procedures.”

“Once only” principle and data protection

The “once only” principle aims to ensure

that citizens and businesses are asked to

submit information only once to a public

administration, which can then be re-used in

other procedures, upon the user’s request.

The single digital gateway regulation includes

provisions to make sure that this principle

is implemented in line with the new data

protection rules.

Next steps

The draft regulation still needs to be voted by

the full Parliament in an upcoming plenary

session (September) and formally approved

by the EU Council of Ministers. In order to give

national, regional and local administrations

time to adapt, the target date for placing all

relevant procedures online will be five years

after the entry into force of the regulation.

However, many procedures are already

available online now or will be available

before that date.

Background

The single digital gateway proposal is part

of the “compliance package”, aimed at

enhancing the practical functioning of the

EU single market. It builds on several existing

schemes, which cover only a few fields, are not

always interconnected, suffer from not being

well known and are therefore underused.

According to the European Commission, this

legislation could help EU citizens save up to

855 000 hours of their time annually and

companies could save more than EUR 11

billion per year. MBR

Creditline: Europarl Press

28


Edwards Lowell


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: POLITICO CONNECTED

AN ONGOING CONVERSATION ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE KEY

GOVERNANCE AND INNOVATION ISSUES FACING POLICYMAKERS, SCIENTISTS,

INNOVATORS, INDUSTRIES AND ACADEMICS, POWERED BY OUR FOUNDING

PARTNER ACCENTURE - By Janosch Delcker

Roundtable Report | Responsible

AI in the UK: How to raise a good,

ethical machine

Facing down another ‘AI winter’

The prospect of another “AI winter” is

haunting the artificial intelligence community.

Some are convinced it’s coming. But before

you rush to get your winter coat, keep reading.

Hello again, it’s Janosch Delcker, POLITICO’s

AI Correspondent writing from a summery

Berlin, and I’m back to get you up-to-date on

artificial intelligence.

Wait, what? An “AI winter”? If the term invokes

the Cold War, that’s probably because it was

coined back then.

Research on AI started in the late 1950s, and

some ambitious researchers predicted soon

after that machines would “be capable within

20 years of doing any work a man can do.” In

the years that followed, however, technology

failed to deliver on those promises and the

bubble burst in the late 1970s, leading to a

major hiatus and the public losing interest. It’s

what’s now known as the first “AI winter.” A

similar crisis followed in the 1990s. And now

"A cock may crow at

dawn every morning,

but that doesn’t mean

it’s the cock who causes

the sun to rise.

we are back in an era of hype, which makes

some experts believe the next winter is

looming. But is it?

Not in the next couple of years, the University

of Delft’s Virginia Dignum, who is a member

of the EU’s high-level expert group on AI,

told me. Yes, a buzz surrounding the field is

back, she said — but this time around, there

are enough successful real-life AI applications

that the bubble is less likely to burst.

That’s the great difference to previous “AI

winters.” Thanks to recent advances in

technology, particularly in computer power

and cloud storage, AI developers are now

able to turn more cutting-edge theory into

real-life applications.

But that doesn’t mean we will not experience

some sort of bitter awakening soon. At the

core of much of today’s AI sits a machinelearning

technique called “deep learning,”

which essentially works by classifying data. It

finds patterns in a pile of information, which

reveal new correlations. Problem is, however,

that those correlations explain a lot but not

everything: A cock may crow at dawn every

morning, but that doesn’t mean it’s the cock

who causes the sun to rise.

“If we keep focusing only on ‘deep learning,’

I can see that at some point, people will be

disappointed because there are problems you

can’t solve with it,” Dignum said.

What then are the alternatives AI researchers

should also embrace? One of them could

be working with models based on causality

rather than correlation, she told me. Another

one could be models that try to minimize the

dependency on existing data.

No one knows for sure whether or not another

AI winter is looming. But the vast majority of

AI experts I talk to don’t think so. What they

agree on, however, is that it’s time to start

thinking beyond deep learning. MBR

POLITICO, in partnership with its AI series’

Founding Partner Accenture Applied

Intelligence, hosted on June 11 an invitationonly

roundtable discussion in London on

responsible AI in the U.K. Here are the main

takeaways:

It can be hard to predict exactly how fastspreading,

constantly improving artificial

intelligence will evolve, or the harm it could

inflict. Just don't blame the machine for the

unintended consequences of what it was

programmed to do.

The advent of AI, after decades of research,

development and discussion, is raising

concerns about how to protect people

from risks such as data hacks, infrastructure

outages or swayed public opinion. Many point

the finger at machine-learning, saying it's

impossible to predict what the technology will

learn to do. But experts disagree, countering

that ultimately the machine will only become

as evil as it's built to be.

They say it's up to policymakers and

industry to set the rules around ethics,

fairness and transparency and apply them

across the development, programming and

deployment stages — and to make sure they

are forward-looking and flexible enough to

keep up with changes.

POLITICO recently gathered a group of

industry, government, academia, legal and

non-profit representatives in London to talk

about responsible AI in the U.K. and how

to avoid potential pitfalls — or knowingly

accept them along with the good. All

participants took part on the understanding

that comments would not be attributed to

individuals, in order to encourage an open

and frank debate.

Here are POLITICO's five takeaways on how to

build responsible AI:

1. Be accountable

The biggest challenge posed by machine

learning is that it's emergent: It improves

with more data and experience, making its

evolution hard to predict.

"It's a question for society, in order to get

the benefits that we imagine we're likely to

get from machine-learning, are we happy

to bear a little bit of cost, sometimes some

unforeseen consequence which is bad? Or

do we want to impose strict liability?" one

participant said.

30


SPECIAL FEATURE: POLITICO CONNECTED

Malta Business Review

One example of that trade-off is clickbait. It

may tap into a reader's immediate desire to

read the story behind a juicy headline, but

in the longer term it can skew the type of

information people receive.

This requires governments and businesses

to assign accountability, participants noted.

Businesses need to keep track of every

development step, because decisions made

from an AI's conception will dictate its

evolution. Governments, instead, need to

make clear that developers will be liable if

anything goes wrong.

"Then transparency will follow," said one.

"Yes, machine-learning is something that

can do things you don't expect. But systems

aren't just like one person trying to be Godlike,

systems are lots of pieces. … It is our

responsibility, if we're going to deploy these

technologies, to be willing to make the

liabilities that we come to."

2. Don't reinvent the wheel; adapt it

AI may be a constantly moving target, but

it doesn't require an entirely new policy

framework. Governments can start with

established national and international

standards, such as human rights law and

impact assessments, participants said.

"It's not about actually regulating a

technology," one participant said, pointing to

the U.K.'s strong existing regulations. "There

are lots of values already imbued in our law

and we just need to make sure that the AI is

compatible with that."

“Internationally, human rights law already

provides an ethics framework that allows for

trade-offs in difficult situations," a second

speaker said. "The question needs to be …

how do we translate all the human rights

legislation that's been built up over decades

into stuff that we can actually, practically use

when it comes to machine learning?"

In boardrooms, governments should push

executives to think about responsible AI in the

same way they're increasingly thinking about

climate change and sustainability, another

said. Environmental impact assessments,

for example, could provide blueprints

for algorithmic or technology impact

assessments, someone else noted.

3. Power and jobs to the people

AI is consolidating power and wealth into the

hands of those with the necessary skills, while

automation reduces the workforce needed to

run a business, speakers warned.

"We have companies making tens of billions

of dollars of profit with very few [employees]

"The energy sector, for

example, will need 10 to

15 years of planning and

data collection to gain

public trust

— that's never happened before, ever …

which actually is another problem," one

participant said.

Policymakers should work to rebalance the

power in this increasingly fragmented, AIpowered

world, the way consumer groups

and standards bodies help safeguard market

competition, another said.

"Even when you have got good consumer

choice, it just doesn't work — it doesn't drive a

good product for people, it doesn't mean you

get a good deal," the person said. "We have

to think, what's the ethical infrastructure we

might need that means individuals affected

have a bit more grit in the system?"

With fewer blue-collar jobs available, workers

will have to get used to the idea of "lifelong

learning," instead of relying on one skillset

for their entire careers, participants agreed.

And the education system will have to be

overhauled to support that.

4. Different values, different rules

The definition of responsible AI will

depend on a government's or society's

values — and those vary around the world,

speakers said. That will inevitably lead to

some regionalization.

"Human values are deeply, deeply political …

when we look at it on the international level,

we see just how divided the world is. China,

obviously," one participant said.

The U.K. and EU are already "highly aligned"

on many of those values, the person added.

But as AI spreads into the real world,

governments and companies will have to

think about what the technology they develop

in their countries and sell globally says about

their brand, and what that brand should say,

others added.

5. From research to the real world

Now the hard work starts: Jumping from

theoretical discussions to deploying AI

responsibly.

It's up to governments and developers to

identify those most affected by the changes

and prepare sectors that are lagging, such as

energy and manufacturing, speakers said. The

energy sector, for example, will need 10 to 15

years of planning and data collection to gain

public trust, one person said.

Asked what they would like to see over the next

18 months, another participant suggested

the creation of international standards that

provide a "mark of approval" for companies

without being too heavy-handed.

The U.K. is ahead of many others because

the conversation around AI ethics is already

mainstreamed, speakers agreed. Now it

needs to keep building political and public

awareness, understanding of how AI can be

used and consensus on the ethical trade-offs.

"We're all drinking the same Kool-Aid," said

one. "The problem is we need others to drink

the Kool-Aid. We need the public to come

with us." MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

NETWORKING

The Hidden Value

of Networking –

And How it can

Change Your Life

By Mike Kaeding

85% of jobs are filled via networking.

I read this recently on one of Lou Adler’s

LinkedIn articles. This is a big reason why

people start networking. People want to

get something out of it. But if you focus

too much on what you will get out from

networking, you’ll miss the mark. People

will not care about you until they realize

how much you care about them. So instead,

focus on helping others and you will achieve

incredible things.

I was terrible at networking when I first

started. I treated it too much like a business

transaction. I wasn’t human. But then a friend

gave me some well-timed advice that I will

never forget.

The goal of networking is to build friendships.

That realization changed everything. I came

into networking initially to “network.” But

with some tweaks and good advice, I found

something so much better.

I found real friends.

And those friends have helped me achieve

more than I ever dreamt possible. I cannot

understate that. So, let me say that again:

Those friends have helped me achieve more

than I ever dreamt possible.

For me, there has been two keys to building a

great network.

1. Get Out There

2. Authentically Help Others

Get Out There

Start by just getting out there. Go to events.

Stick your hand out to a stranger and say “Hi

my name is…” Walk up to a group of people

and introduce yourself. It is terrifying. But just

act on it. The longer you wait to act, the worse

it gets in your mind. It isn’t nearly as bad as

you make it out to be. Plus, most everyone

else is just as scared as you.

Find local business events, industry conferences,

or meet-ups. You could try a website like meetup.

com to find people interested in the same things

as you. Then once you start to meet people, ask

them what other events might be good for you

to attend. That really gets the ball rolling and you

will start finding incredible events that you didn’t

even know existed.

Authentically Help Others

The most important take away is to be

authentic and help others. Ask the people

you meet to join you for coffee or lunch. Ask

them about their passions and interests. Get

to know them and look for ways you can help.

Because here is the most important piece I

can give you about networking:

Help others reach their dreams and they will

likely help you reach yours.

One Last Story

One of my connections was my biggest

competitor. We met several times and really

connected. I realized that he was an incredible

human being. Over time he became a friend.

Then one day, disaster struck. We had a

maintenance emergency. I exhausted all

my options. But then I remembered my

competitor. In a moment of desperation, I

called him. And he stepped up in a big way to

help me out.

It was incredible!

I want to help him in a big way as well. He has

been looking for help networking and getting

some more exposure. I will be speaking at a

North Metro Chamber of Commerce event

where I am going to introducing him to some

important connections. I know that’s going to

help him better reach his dreams.

That’s the power of building up real friends.

We all fight hard to help each other out.

And together we can accomplish far more

than we could apart.

A Special Note

I wanted to share a special word to the people

who have been so gracious to like, comment,

and message me. I have really enjoyed

connecting with you. I feel like I am starting

to build some incredible friendships through

LinkedIn. I didn’t think that was possible. But

you have been an inspiration to me. You all

have an unquenchable desire to do great

things. So…

Let’s change the world together! MBR

Courtesy: LinkedIn

32


GAMING

Malta Business Review

The FIAU issues the Implementing Procedures -

Part II addressed to the Remote Gaming Sector

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit

(FIAU) has issued the Implementing

Procedures – Part II (found here)

addressed to the remote gaming sector. This

document focuses, and provides guidance,

on certain aspects of the Prevention of

Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism

Regulations (“PMLFTR”) which warrant

further elaboration at industry-specific level

to ensure that they are understood and

interpreted consistently by licensees.

The Implementing Procedures – Part II for

the remote gaming sector were drawn up in

conjunction with the Malta Gaming Authority

and following due consultation with the

relative sector. All interested parties are

to take note thereof. These Implementing

Procedures are also accessible through the

FIAU’s website - http://www.fiaumalta.org/ -

and are considered to have come into force

on the date of their publication. MBR

Creditline: Malta Gaming Authority

EMPTY

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Malta Business Review

ENTERTAINMENT

Why gaming

might become

the biggest

thing in the

history of

entertainment

By Toan Nguyen

Sergei Fadeichev / Getty Images)

When people think about entertainment they

often think about shows. Shows on TV or shows

on stage. A quick search on Google Images

using the term ‘entertainment’ will suggest

that entertainment is either a theatrical movie

or a music concert.

Let’ start with a personal confession. I am a

millennial and yes: I don’t watch TV; I watch

YouTube channels. I don’t know soap-opera

actors, but I know Instagram influencers. I

operate mainly based on different social media

filters, hacks and algorithms. But the most

disturbing thing you will probably read today is

that I enjoy watching other people play video

games online.

Yes, I really do.

I might even be sitting on my couch while you

read this, watching other people play ‘League

of Legends’, ‘Dota 2’ or ‘Counter-Strike’ on my

big TV screen at home, which I initially bought

for Netflix and Amazon Video. And there is also

a good chance that I’m not by myself.

Some friends of mine could well be there,

too, passing round some snacks, because

it’s obviously more fun to watch games and

matches together. This might sound superweird

to you, but think about it.

How many people watch other people play

traditional sports? How many people watch

other people cook? How many people watch

other people get naked and do stuff? Those

are all phenomena that have been around

for some time, right? So obviously there is

something about watching others do stuff

that seems to trigger people. And this holds

true for gaming, as well, and — hell, yeah,

we are talking about millions upon millions of

people watching people play video games to

win millions upon millions of dollars. Actually,

you can win $20 million for winning a single

tournament.

I’m a strategist who works in sports marketing

and for the last four years I have been working

with sports entities such as the German

national soccer team, the German Olympic

team, several Bundesliga clubs, a few select

athletes and, of course, sports brands like

Adidas, Reebok and sports sponsors like

Mercedes-Benz. It’s mostly been fun, simply

because it’s more fun to market a soccer

team than Bavarian cheese, the next flavour

of deodorant or a banking account (all been

there, all done that). My older colleagues have

always stated that working with cars is the

supreme discipline in advertising. Well, maybe

that used to be true

But right now I am looking at 29 million

hashtags for BMW, 12 million hashtags for Audi,

39 million hashtags for Adidas and 69 million

hashtags for Nike on Instagram. Without doubt

traditional sports such as tennis, soccer and

American football have been significant drivers

of great marketing initiatives.

I truly believe that sport as a platform is and will

always be king when it comes to its potential

to reach consumers. It is by nature a killer

application, something with inherent strength

and uniqueness through one particular factor:

all its ingredients are engaging by default. No

other platform can produce content on such

a regular basis as sport; no other platform is

as naturally tied to anticipated occasions like

match days, cups or finals. Sport embodies

the idea of community-building and loyalty

in its fans. Sport is also emotional. It’s all

about drama – winners and losers. Ultimately

sport is about powerful things: humans and

personalities. It’s without any doubt a powerful

platform!

But what would you think if I told you that there

was something bigger than sports? When we

talk about entertainment we ultimately have

to talk about gaming.

Yes, gaming.

In fact, gaming might become the biggest thing

in the history of entertainment. And I’m talking

real money here: $108.8 billion in revenue

in 2017. The market has been growing at an

average rate of 5%, which represents roughly

$5 billion a year. And things are getting more

aggressive. The game ‘Call of Duty’ had a

marketing budget of $200 million; the ‘Call

of Duty Black Ops II’ instalment, in return,

generated $1 billion in sales within fifteen days

of release. This game is moving more money

than many Hollywood blockbusters — and it’s

not alone. Titles such as ‘GTA, ‘Final Fantasy’

or ‘Pokemon’ series are all money-printing

machines.

Let’s go back to the beginning and the strange

idea that certain people would watch other

people playing video games. Why? Because

it’s reality, and reality hits hard! We have seen

kids watching make-up tutorials on YouTube.

We have seen a range of digital-born stars on

Instagram who may, sooner or later, change the

entire fashion industry. And we’re now facing a

time when it’s sport and entertainment that

will be truly redefined.

What if I told you that there is something

like competitive gaming out there. There are

professional teams, professional leagues and

professional players who are playing video

games for a living. This happens in stadiums

around the world, most of them sold out,

while companies such as Twitch (Amazon),

Facebook and YouTube stream the games live

with regular six-digit to seven-digit concurrent

views. How would you feel about this fact:

the world championship in ‘Dota 2’ has a

prize pool of more than $20 million! For

just one single event. All of this is driven by a

strong and growing fan community. Fnatic, a

London-based eSports clan, has more than

1.12 million followers on Twitter alone! Faker,

a South Korean ‘League of Legends’ player and

something of a Lionel Messi of eSports, counts

more than a million fans across different

channels such as Facebook, Twitter and – most

importantly — Twitch.

Let me dive deeper into the subject, because

there is a lot to tell. And, yes, there are a lot of

prejudices when thinking about eSports, so let

me address the three most common ones first.

#1 That thing about the nerds

The first picture that might come to your mind

is probably a teenage boy who’s sitting in his

parents’ basement. You would probably call

that kid a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ and most likely think

he’s not someone who’s going to date the

prom queen. And you could be right.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Malta Business Review

Sure, the average eSports fan probably

doesn’t live in the New York’s East Village,

nor do they drink fancy matcha lattes after

attending Vinyasa yoga class. They also don’t

usually live in artsy lofts with a fixie bike in the

hallway or a surfboard on the wall. In fact, it’s

more likely they’re sitting in an engineering

or computer science lecture, learning about

macroeconomics or tutoring math.

What makes me say that? It’s simple. The

people who keep up with eSports very likely

possess not only above-average English skills

but also significant cognitive skills.

If you don’t believe me, come and visit an ESL

(Electronic Sports League) event and have a

look for yourself. The complexity that hits you

when commentators analyse strategies, plays

and scenarios in double-time English is a pretty

good demonstration of the brain capacity of

eSports fans who live all over the world. ‘Dota

2’, for example, one of the most popular games

right now, is an amalgam of game theory, as in

the movie A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe;

and American-football moves coupled with the

high speed of basketball. And all that wrapped

in bangs, thuds and lots of blinking lights.

So not only are eSports fans not stupid, they are

young, too. More than two-thirds of them are

under the age of thirty-five. They think globally,

they think digitally and, as the numbers prove,

they’re clever: according to the institute

Newzoo, eSports fans have an above average

education and income.

So, let’s put it like this: eSports fans and players

may not be your typical mood-board target

group that live in urban lofts, but they aren’t

the blaring, fireworks-lobbing beer lunatics

that can be found in other types of sports.

It’s most likely that a lot of them will become

tomorrow’s programmers, aircraft specialists

and mobility engineers. Yes, they are the ones

who’ll go on to have the money.

#2 That thing about the violence

I hear this a lot: eSports and gaming is about

bang-bang and violence and forms the perfect

boot camp for future serial killers. When most

people think about serious eSports they think

about ‘Counter-Strike’, and, again, they are

right. ‘Counter-Strike’ is huge.

The current player base stands at a cool 10

million. Per month, obviously! Sometimes,

there are up to 850,000 gamers playing on

the servers at the same time. During ESL One

Cologne (like a world championship), there

were 15 million unique viewers watching the

streamed matches online — read that number

one more time — and 47.9 million hours of

‘Counter-Strike’ were watched on Twitch in

January 2017 alone.

Statistically they cannot all be maniacs and

serial killers.

‘Counter-Strike’ is among the four most

popular eSports titles. That’s why prize pools

can easily reach into the millions of dollars

— on top of an average player base salary of

about between $65,000 and $100,000. Think

about it. You don’t make these amounts of

money through senseless aggression but

rather technical versatility, reflexes and,

most importantly, a high degree of tactical

thinking, both individually and as a team.

So it’s hardly surprising that the whole do-

FPS-games-make-you-violent (that is, firstperson-shooter)

discussion is limited to a few

countries. Countries like Germany, where

I live, for instance. In other countries huge

brands such as Visa, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Audi

and Domino’s Pizza have been sponsoring

‘CounterStrike’ teams and events for quite

a while now, and NBA players and top DJs

such as Steve Aoki are even buying their own

teams. In comparison, the fact that some

countries are still stuck thinking ‘Counter-

Strike’ is for unstable personalities with low

impulse control and high levels of aggression

is somewhat embarrassing, to be honest.

And even if you dislike guns, there are plenty

of other opportunities. ‘League of Legends’

or ‘Dota 2’, for instance, are basically cute

versions of a Harry-Potter-Meets-Hobbit-

World. It’s all fantasy with fairy tales, dragons,

wizards and werewolves. Speaking of ‘Dota

2’, this is the game with the $20 million prize

pool. That’s quite a sum.

#3 That thing about ‘not being a sport’

Some people may argue that eSports is not a

normal sport. And they are correct; nothing is

really normal in eSports. A global community

that is digitally connected, exceptionally

clever, gets its entertainment via streams,

willingly pays for ‘in-game items’ (for example,

little outfits for your character) and regularly

breaks viewership records is anything but a

normal sport. Because the fact remains that

normal sports — apart from soccer and very

few others — are having huge difficulties in

many areas. Entire sports are taking place

practically without any viewers, and organized

sports entities are desperately looking for

members. Meanwhile, the eSports kids just

have to open up their browser or game client.

Long story short: the entry barriers are a lot

lower than they are in other sports.

And what about the sweating? Shouldn’t

sports be sweaty? Another one of those

topics. . . Once you have seen how many

actions the pros perform every single minute,

how precisely they are handling their mouse

and keyboard, you can hardly maintain that

there isn’t a physical component to it. Then

there’s the mental component as well — and

let’s not forget that chess is a sport, too.

The thing is: eSports can help itself to

elements of traditional sports, picking up

what works best. It can. But it doesn’t have to.

And that’s what makes it so exciting. After all,

in some ways eSports is still in its early stages

and therefore still keen for co-shaping!

Entertainment is what entertains

Again, this is reality: we have heard peculiar

stories about ‘World of Warcraft’ and

struggling families in South Korea. We have

seen the long lines of people buying games

and going crazy about new consoles. And

there is an entire genre on YouTube called

‘Let’s Play Videos’. What is happening now is

not only an evolution of gaming it’s a powerful

transition that will bridge different parts of

different entertainment industries. It will

bridge sports with gaming, with streaming,

with talent, with live, with online, with on-theground

and with a global community.

eSports is the sport and entertainment

phenomenon of the new generation: it’s a

digital-born sport with digital-born stars. And

there is a much stronger feeling of ownership

by the fans. They have helped build the

eSports scene from the ground up themselves

and thus feel strongly about it as ‘their’ scene.

This means they are much more interested in

what happens in the scene beyond individual

teams or athletes than regular sports fans

tend to be.

While we all know those brands and

industries that are desperately striving for

digital transformation, eSports has managed

to build its very own ecosystem. It’s all

digital by nature — the games, the training

sessions, the interaction with fans, the

activation, the reach and the views. It is also

a rather untapped space for many brands

and potential sponsors that still offers the

potential for genuine co-creation instead of

plain, unimaginative logo placements. We

may still lack a definition of entertainment,

but we know that it needs to entertain. MBR

Creditline: Toan Nguyen

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35


Malta Business Review

CYBERSECURITY

CYBERSECURITY ACT:

build trust in digital technologies

By Gerardo Fortuna

• Safer “smart” appliances and connected

(Internet of Things) devices for EU

consumers

• A stronger European Cybersecurity

Agency

• Minimise risks and threats to information

security and network systems

• Increase cyber resilience

A new certification framework for connected

devices, together with a stronger role for the

EU Cybersecurity Agency, were backed by

Industry Committee MEPs on Tuesday.

The EU cybersecurity scheme will certify

that an ICT product, process or service has

no known vulnerabilities at the time of the

certification’s release and that it complies

with international standards and technical

specifications.

Cybersecurity certification framework

Certification will be voluntary and, where

appropriate, mandatory and will prove:

• confidentiality, integrity, availability and

privacy of services, functions and data,

• that services, functions and data can be

accessed and used only by authorised

persons and/or authorised systems and

programmes,

• that processes are in place to identify all

known vulnerabilities and deal with any

new ones,

• that products, processes or services are

designed to be secure and that they are

fitted with up-to-date software without

any known vulnerabilities,

• that other risks linked to cyber incidents,

such as risks to life or health, are

minimised.

Assurance level

The certification scheme will specify three

risk-based assurance levels:

• basic, meaning the appliance or device is

protected from the known basic risks of

cyber incidents,

• substantial, meaning known risks of

cyber incidents are prevented and there

is also capability to resist cyber-attacks

with limited resources and

• high, meaning risks of cyber incidents

are prevented and the appliance or

device is able to resist state-of-the-art

cyber-attacks with significant resources.

A stronger mandate for ENISA

The new draft rules will give a larger budget,

more staff and a permanent mandate to

the existing European Agency for Network

and Information Security (ENISA), with its

headquarters in Heraklion and offices in Athens.

In addition, ENISA will become the reference

point on the cybersecurity certification

scheme, in order to:

• avoid fragmentation of certification

schemes in the European Union,

• draft candidate EU certification schemes

for specific products, under the request

of the European Commission,

• maintain a dedicated website with all

relevant information on certification

schemes, including that on withdrawn

and expired certificates.

Quote

Rapporteur Angelika Niebler (EPP, DE)

"Today's vote is a very important step towards

a long-term vision of cybersecurity in the EU

for two reasons. Firstly, from the perspective

of consumers, it is important that users have

trust and confidence in IT solutions. Secondly,

I strongly believe that Europe can become

a leading player in cybersecurity. We have a

strong industrial base and it is vital to continue

working on improving cybersecurity for

consumer goods, industrial applications and

critical infrastructure."

Next steps

The draft report, approved by 56 votes to 5

with 1 abstention, will constitute the EP's

position for the negotiations with the Council,

if it is approved by the full house during

September's plenary session. MBR

Courtesy: EP/Europarl PO, Valletta

"We have a strong

industrial base and

it is vital to continue

working on improving

cybersecurity for

consumer goods,

industrial applications

and critical

infrastructure.

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Malta Business Review

ECOMMERCE

The MCA launches FastTrak to Mobile Business

Hon. Schembri MCA Chair

The FastTrak to Mobile

initiative has been launched

by the Malta Communications

Authority (MCA), as part of its

efforts to encourage the use

of eCommerce by businesses,

as set out in its National

eCommerce Strategy (2014-

2020). Following last year’s

success of the first iteration of

FastTrak, the MCA has today

launched the second phase

of the project, with particular

focus on mobile commerce and

mobile marketing.

Over the past years, businesses across the

globe have shifted their focus to mobile

technology. The number of connected devices

in the world is staggering. As at Quarter 1 of

this year, Malta has surpassed 606K active

SIM cards, and the transformation in the way

we live, work, learn, travel, shop and stay

connected has been phenomenal. This is why

mobile has been identified by the MCA in last

year’s review of the National eCommerce

Strategy, as a specific focus area that must be

tackled via initiatives, such as FastTrak.

Addressing those present for this morning’s

launch, the Parliamentary Secretary for

Financial Services, Digital Economy and

Innovation, Silvio Schembri, further stressed

that projects such as FastTrak to Mobile are

Ms Caryl McCay MCA

necessary when considering the mobile device

advancements in the telco industry in the past

couple of years, and how Malta has been at

the forefront in this sector, with 4.5G rolled out

nationwide, and with 5G in the pipeline.

“This ecosystem inevitably creates a market

for mobile enabled apps and environments

and government is intent on assisting small

and medium sized business organisations to

tap into this market. Fast Trak to Mobile is

one way through which we are providing this

assistance,” said the Honourable Schembri.

The FastTrak sessions, will guide local

business-owners through various topics

to help them take the next step to mobile.

These include mobile commerce, website

optimisation, mobile search and mobile

marketing, amongst others. The hands-on,

2.5-hour sessions, will be offered completely

free of charge to participants.

The training sessions are scheduled to

commence this September, with various

intakes throughout the months of September

and October. The course will be held at

MCAST Paola and at Business First in Mrieħel,

during evenings between 18:30-20:00 hrs.

Participants will receive a certificate on

completing the training.

FastTrak to Mobile is supported by MITA,

MCAST, Business First and MEA. MBR

Creditline: MCA

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Malta Business Review

ARTS & CULTURE

OVER 70,000 PEOPLE VISITED THE

PICASSO AND MIRÓ EXHIBITION

The exhibition of Picasso & Miró held at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta was a

huge success for Malta with over 70,000 visitors.

Picasso and Miró. The Flesh and the Spirit

offered the first international presentation

of 144 works by these two great 20thcentury

artists. Organised by Fundación MAPFRE in

collaboration with the Office of the President

of Malta and Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti,

the exhibition contributed to the image of

Valletta as European Cultural Capital 2018

from a cultural, educational and recreational

perspective.

The Flesh and the Spirit was part of the

cultural event “Picasso-Mediterranean”, led

by the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Around

60 cultural institutions from across Europe

have joined forces for this initiative, notably

the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, the Museo

Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the

Fondation Van Gogh in Arles, the Musées

de Marseilles, the Paris Opéra, the Museo

Capodimonte in Naples, the Galleria Nazionale

d’Arte Contemporanea in Roma and the

Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. Together

they will be aiming to pay tribute to Pablo

Picasso, exploring his creations and the places

that inspired him in order to offer a unique

cultural experience that will strengthen ties

between all sides of the Mediterranean.

While Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) co-founded

Cubism, the precursor of all the other avantgarde

movements, Joan Miró (1893-1983)

was involved in the creation of Surrealism.

Aside from the major artistic trends and avantgarde

movements, the two artists created

their own universes which gave them unique

places within the history of art, located at the

centre of the avant-garde as independent

creative figures. It was this independence and

artistic uniqueness that made both artists

a reference point for other creators as well

as key figures in the renewal of art: Picasso

through line and drawing and Miró with his

use of colour and its intensity.

These two aspects were the most notable

in the works selected for this exhibition. In

the Suite Vollard, shown in its entirety at the

Palace, Picasso decided not to use colour

and the contrasts between black and white

allowed him to consolidate his return to

a more classical manner of drawing and a

more reflexive world, making the Suite a key

work within his extensive oeuvre. For its part,

Picasso and Miró exhibition

Picasso and Miró exhibition

the collection of paintings by Miró shown in

the Malta exhibition, focused on his output

mainly in the 60s and 70s, not only showing

him at the peak of his artistic maturity, in

full possession of all the resources of his

profession, but above all revealing his passion

for colour as an expressive element and as the

true basis and material of painting.

This landmark exhibition was very well

received, with over 70,000 visitors

visiting, making it one of the most well

attended exhibitions in Malta in recent

times. Accompanying the exhibition was

a full programme of events organised by

Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, which included

daily free guided tours as well as children’s

workshops focusing on Picasso and print, and

Miró and sculpture.

For those who missed the exhibition a detailed

and illustrated catalogue is still available for

sale at MAPFRE Middlesea regional offices

in Floriana, Birkirkara and Luqa. It is also

available at Agenda Bookshops. MBR

Creditline: MAPFRE Middlesea p.l.c.

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Malta Business Review

EU: EXTERNAL RELATIONS

• Future deal must be ambitious and

deliver concrete benefits

• But has to ensure fundamental

freedoms are respected

• Must also fight corruption, money

laundering and tax evasion

MEPs list conditions for new EU-

Azerbaijan deal

Ensuring that core EU values and rights

are respected is one of the conditions for

deepening EU-Azerbaijan relations, said MEPs

on Wednesday.

Parliament’s recommendation to negotiators

working on the EU-Azerbaijan Comprehensive

Agreement, passed by 564 votes to 69, with

47 abstentions, calls on the Council, EU

Commission and the EU foreign policy chief to:

• ensure that the future agreement is

ambitious and delivers tangible and

concrete benefits to both sides, not only

for large companies, but also for SMEs

and citizens of the EU and of Azerbaijan;

• ensure that the deepening of EU-

Azerbaijan relations is conditional upon

it upholding and respecting democracy,

the rule of law, good governance, human

rights and fundamental freedoms,

• remind the Azerbaijani authorities that no

comprehensive agreement will be ratified

with a country that does not respect

fundamental EU values and rights,

• ensure, before the negotiations are

concluded, that Azerbaijan releases

its political prisoners and prisoners of

conscience,

• help Azerbaijan to develop a strong

framework to protect human rights

and fundamental freedoms and ensure

that it respects the right to freedom of

peaceful assembly,

• support reform of the judiciary aimed

at ensuring its impartiality and

independence from the executive,

• put in place specific provisions to help

Azerbaijan to fight economic crime,

including corruption, money laundering

and tax evasion, and back investigations

European Council President Donald Tusk (right) and Azerbaijani

President Ilham Aliyev

into laundering schemes, notably the

“Laundromat” affair, and

• further support free and pluralistic media

in Azerbaijan with editorial independence

from dominant political and oligarchic

groups and in line with EU standards.

MEPs hope that if negotiations advance

speedily and all key conditions are met the

new agreement could be signed before

the next EU-Eastern Partnership summit in

"The EU is Azerbaijan's

top trading partner and

Azerbaijan is a strategic

energy partner for the

EU - it is high time to

update the framework

for our relations with

a comprehensive

agreement

2019. They also urge the EU side to ensure

that the new agreement does not take

effect provisionally until after the European

Parliament has given its consent.

Quote

Parliament’s rapporteur Norica NICOLAI

(ALDE, RO) said: “The EU is Azerbaijan's top

trading partner and Azerbaijan is a strategic

energy partner for the EU - it is high time to

update the framework for our relations with

a comprehensive agreement. Today’s vote

shows that the European Parliament will

remain very attentive to developments in

Azerbaijan and I hope we can work together

to ensure that the necessary progress in terms

of democratic standards can be achieved

before the conclusion of negotiations.”

Background

EU-Azerbaijan relations are governed by

the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation

Agreement. Negotiations for a new

agreement were launched on February 2017.

The EU is Azerbaijan's top trading partner

and its biggest export and import market,

accounting for 48.6% of Azerbaijan’s total

trade and providing its largest source of

foreign direct investment. MBR

Creditline: Gediminas VILKAS

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PRESS POINT

Malta Business Review

NOT IN OUR NAME

Press conference: 4.07, 12.00, Press Point, European Parliament, Strasburg.

The “Not in our name” picket was organised

by the coalition of Polish non-governmental

organisations during the speech of the Polish

government’s Prime Minister in the European

Parliament. Participants of the picket wanted

to draw attention to the false statements

of the Polish authorities propagated on the

forum of the European Union. They were

holding banners with the inscription: “Mr

Morawiecki, your lies don’t work here”.

Poles are among the most Europe-enthusiastic

societies in the EU. EU membership is supported

by 84% of Poland’s citizens. However, the Polish

government is proceeding with introducing

such changes to the judiciary which openly

breach EU Treaties, violate the Polish

Constitution and destroy court independence.

The authorities have introduced laws which

allow over half of all judges of the Supreme

Court to be removed and exchanged and

which allow for removal of the President

of the Supreme Court before her term of

office expires. This new law enters into

force on 3 July, 2018. Since taking office in

November 2015, Law and Justice has passed

legislation that has already given it control

of the Constitutional Court, which can veto

legislation, and the National Council of the

Judiciary - the body that nominates judges

in Poland. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro

has used another law to change almost 20%

ordinary court presidents or their deputies.

The protesters drew attention to the fact

that over the past 3 years, tens of thousands

of Poles have been protesting against the

violation of their Constitution. Every day, for

the past 3 weeks, thousands of Polish citizens

have taken to the streets in defence of the

Supreme Court. Such protests have been

held so far in 250 cities and towns in Poland.

All the living former Presidents of Poland

have become involved in defending the

independence of courts, with Lech Walesa

in the forefront, the former Foreign Affairs

Ministers and activists of the democratic

opposition of the 80-ties and 70’ties.

The picket was organised by the “Europe, don’t

let go” coalition, including 150 civil movements

and NGOs, among them: European Front,

Bronisław Geremek Foundation, Stefan Batory

Foundation, Committee for the Defence of

Democracy, Citizens of Poland Movement,

Citizens in Solidarity in Action, Polish Nationwide

Women 's Strike, and Free Courts. MBR

Creditline: Iwona Wyszogrodzka Obywatele RP

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Malta Business Review

EUROPEAN COUNCIL / ASYLUM / MIGRATION

MEPs deplore lack of

concrete deals at the

EU summit

Outcome of the EU summit©EU 2018 – EP: European Council President, Donald Tusk and Commission President,

Jean-Claude Juncker, a majority of speakers criticised the heads of state or government for not being able to reach

substantial agreements on how to deal with migration and asylum flows.

The results of the last EU

summit are unsatisfactory for

most MEPs, who regret the

lack of progress on asylum

reform and on deepening the

economic and monetary union.

In a plenary debate with European Council

President, Donald Tusk and Commission

President, Jean-Claude Juncker, a majority

of speakers criticised the heads of state or

government for not being able to reach

substantial agreements on how to deal with

migration and asylum flows. They voiced

concern that little will change on the ground

and that people will continue dying in the

Mediterranean.

Opening the discussion, President Tajani

reiterated that the Parliament has been

waiting for a long time to start negotiations

on the reform of the Dublin Regulation and

called on the Council to adopt its position

withqualified majority. Tajani stressed that the

EP proposal is an “excellent starting point”, as

it is balanced and broadly supported in the

Chamber.

There is also frustration among MEPs given

that, almost ten years after the financial crisis,

EU leaders have not been able to put in place

the necessary safeguards to avoid further

economic meltdown. MBR

Credit: Estefania Narrillos, Press Officer

44


LOREM

EMPTY


Malta Business Review

MGA ANNUAL REPORT 2017

MGA Publishes its 2017

Annual Report and

Financial Statements

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

has published its Annual Report and

Financial Statements for the financial

year ending 31 December 2017. The report

provides an overview of the activities and

work performed throughout the year by

the MGA which mainly focused on the

finalisation of the new Gaming Act, coming

into force in 2018, and on the enhancement

of its compliance systems, including the

implementation of the requirements of the

EU 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Throughout 2017, the MGA also focused on

enhancing its IT systems, as reflected in the

introduction of the Licensee Relationship

Management System (LRMS), a secure

and dedicated portal featuring a one-stop

shop for licensing and reporting and a new

communication channel.

The Annual Report also looks at 2018 and

beyond, whereby the MGA will be focusing

on the implementation of the new regulatory

framework, the transition towards a riskbased

approach to regulation, the continued

implementation of onerous AML (Anti-

Money Laundering)/ CFT (Combating the

Financing of Terrorism) obligations, and the

application of the General Data Protection

Regulation, and its impact on operators and

the MGA alike.

The following are the key highlights from

the Annual Report:

During the year under review, the MGA

generated a total revenue of €66.3m in licence

fees, gaming tax and other administrative fees

and fines, compared to €62.5m in 2016. This

represents an increase of €3.7m or a 6% yearon-year

increase;

The direct

contribution of

the gaming industry

to the Maltese

economy was valued at

€1.1 billion in 2017, with

approximately 9,800 full time

jobs created within operators

directly in the sector and other

associated businesses;

In January of the same year, the MGA

launched a licensing and regulatory regime

based on the Skill Games Regulations for

the online skill games sector, including the

creation of a specific B2C and B2B licences for

‘controlled skill games’;

It also conducted a thorough study to

assess the application of Distributed

Ledger Technology (DLT) and the use of

cryptocurrencies in a sandbox environment,

with the objective of issuing a consultation

paper and subsequently, guidelines, in 2018;

As highlighted above, the MGA kept investing in

its IT systems, most notably on the introduction

of a New Licensee Relationship Management

System accessible through a secure and

dedicated web portal. This system has changed

the way the MGA interacts with its existent and

prospective licensees through the digitisation of

regulatory and licensing processes;

In 2017, the MGA further enhanced its AML/

CFT supervisory mechanisms, including

the implementation of the EU 4th Anti-

Money Laundering Directive. This involved

cooperation with the Financial Intelligence

Analysis Unit (FIAU) to develop supervisory

practices and procedures, sector-specific

guidelines, and joint supervision;

MGA’s most important achievement was the

finalisation of the new Gaming Act which was

tabled in Parliament earlier this year. The new

law is set to overhaul completely the way the

Authority regulates the sector, once it comes

into force in 2018.

In publishing this report, Heathcliff Farrugia,

Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Gaming

Authority, stated that: “Last year was perhaps

one of the most exciting years for the MGA.

The ongoing efforts and relentless work of

MGA officials on the various projects the

Authority embarked upon was reaching

its final stages, with the new regulatory

framework and the 4AMLD being the most

notable ones.

Their introduction in 2018, coupled with

the investment in IT systems shall continue

to elevate our regulatory standards, by

strengthening our controls and empowering

the Authority to adopt a risk based approach

towards enforcement and supervision.” MBR

Creditline: Malta Gaming Authority

46


LOGISTICS

Malta Business Review

BDI, PART OF HUDSON

GROUP, EXTENDS NIKE

REPRESENTATION

IN AFRICA FOR

AN ADDITIONAL

5 YEARS AND

STRENGTHENS MALTA

AS INTERNATIONAL

LOGISTICS HUB

BDI, which is part of Hudson Group, has

extended its contract to represent super

brand NIKE in 30 African countries until

2023. Together with this, it will extend its

current warehouse facilities as to continue

developing its logistics hub in Malta, through

which it serves Africa.

Through BDI, NIKE has a strong presence

in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia and is also

present in sub-Saharan countries including

Nigeria, Angola, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

This extension was celebrated during a

Press Conference as well as a ‘NIKE – Think

Sport’ themed staff event at Hugo’s Infinity,

St Julian’s, Malta. Present for the press

conference were Sean Harris, NIKE General

Manager for EMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle

East and Africa) Distributors, Wouter Van

Olm, NIKE Regional Sales Manager Africa,

NIKE AMEA, Burak Dolanay, Sales Director for

CEE NIKE distributors, BDI and Hudson Group

CEO Alfie Borg, as well as the broader crossfunctional

NIKE team, BDI and Hudson Group

Directors and Management. MBR

Creditline: Hudson Group

EMPTY

www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

PLATFORM BANKING

PLATFORM BANKING IN THE US:

Positioning to Be at the Center - By Alenka Grealish

How can a bank position itself to be at the center of customer engagement and avoid being squeezed out

by nimble incumbents, digital giants, and fintechs?

KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1 2 3

What is a platform

banking strategy?

What will the

pursuit of a platform

banking strategy

bring in the US?

What could the

platform banking end

game look like?

ABSTRACT

Platform banking as

a business model will

become a force in the

US that will dramatically

change the competitive

landscape. Given the

unique characteristics

of banking, banks will

not follow the platform

strategy playbook of the

digital giants like Apple

and Facebook. Instead,

they will develop and

adopt hybridized versions.

There has been much buzz in Europe about

open banking ever since open application

program interfaces (APIs) were mandated.

What of the US, where there is no mandate?

Are there market and/or other forces which

will drive banks toward a platform strategy,

one broader than open APIs? The resounding

answer is yes.

Given the unique characteristics of banking,

banks should not follow the platform strategy

playbook of the platform pioneers. On the

demand side, banks should seek to acquire

and serve customers not only through

their channels but also through partners’

“channels.” On the supply side, they should

integrate partners’ “product” into their

channels, typically by white-labelling but

occasionally co-branding.

Platform banking as a business model will

become a force in the US that will dramatically

change the competitive landscape. Given the

unique characteristics of banking, banks will

not follow the platform strategy playbook of

the digital giants like Apple and Facebook.

Instead, they will develop and adopt

hybridized versions.

Banks that harness the power of the platform

model will generate a win-win through

partnerships that will enable them to break

resource constraints, accelerate scaling, and

generate new revenue pools. MBR

Courtesy: CELENT - www.celent.com

INSIGHT DETAILS

Sector

Banking

Content Type

Reports

Focus

Digital, Industry Trends, Innovation & Emerging Technology, Technology trends

Location

North America

48


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Malta Business Review

FULL SPEED AHEAD TO MONACO

YACHT SHOW 2018

| Family Office | Tax & VAT

ess | Yachting | Aviation | Crewing

Full speed ahead to Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Mark Young is Senior Manager - Yachting and Aviation at Equiom

Malta. As Equiom gears up for its tenth year attending MYS in September 2018, we asked Mark about the industry,

its current trends and what’s in store for the future.

a trustee and fiduciary services provider and as a company service provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

CORPORATE BRIEF: Equiom (Guernsey) Limited and Equiom Trust (Guernsey) Limited are licensed by the Guernsey Financial

Services Commission. Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Equiom (Jersey)

Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Equiom (Luxembourg) S.A is supervised by the Commission

de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), the supervisory authority of the Luxembourg financial sector. Equiom (Malta)

Limited is authorised to act as a trustee and fiduciary services provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Equiom Trust

Services Pte. Ltd. is licensed by The Monetary Authority of Singapore. Equiom Trust Services (BVI) Limited is regulated by the

British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission. Equiom S.A.M. is authorised to act as a trustee and fiduciary services

provider by the Ministry of Finance in Monaco. Equiom Trust (South Dakota), LLC is licensed in Guernsey by the Guernsey

Financial Services Commission and in South Dakota by the South Dakota Division of Banking.

MBR: How long have you

worked in Yachting?

MY: I started out in corporate services 15 years

ago and have spent the majority of my time

working in various roles within the sector in

London, the British Virgin Islands and Malta.

In 2015, I joined Equiom in Malta and began

working in the intriguing world of yachting.

MBR: How does yachting

differ from corporate

services?

MY: The yachting sector is highly dynamic,

demanding a substantial level of support work

in jurisdictions worldwide and that is where

my job comes in. The work I do covers every

aspect of our structures, be it VAT, tax, yacht

operations, importation, sale and purchase.

Working in yachting requires dealing with

several different parties on a daily basis

including the owners, family offices, yacht

managers, charter brokers and captains.

What’s more, its clients are some of the most

high profile high-net-worth individuals.

It is not a nine to five job, that’s for sure, but it

has to be one of the more exciting roles in the

financial services industry.

MBR: What types of services

are yachting clients most

interested in?

MY: Clients can come to us for a whole

range of requests. They might be looking for

operation and management of ownership

vehicles for their private or commercial yacht.

They could also require VAT and tax advice or

be interested in accounting and audit of their

ownership vehicles. We have also advised on

yacht leasing structures and more recently,

we have been approached for options to

allow for chartering a yacht in Spain following

the introduction of Spanish matriculation tax.

Another very popular service is crewing and

the support we provide for the employment

of staff on board a vessel. The considerations

for employing crew members can often

seem endless and we have a global team of

specialists that can take care of this.

MBR: What are some of your

key messages for promoting

Malta as a yacht registration

jurisdiction?

MY: We have an impressive set of numbers to

boast about, which are a testament to Malta’s

success in this industry.

• Malta is the largest ship registry in the

EU, and the sixth largest in the world in

terms of gross tonnage.

• During 2017, 828 vessels totally just shy

of 10 million gross tons were registered

under the Malta flag, a growth of 7.7%

over 2016’s figures.

• Over 8,000 ships are registered in Malta,

totalling just shy of 75.2 million tons.

• Over 687 superyachts are now flying the

Malta flag

• Within the superyacht sector, the

registry reported an increase of almost

19.5% over the previous year in relation

to superyacht registrations.

MBR: What’s in store for

the future of the yachting

industry in Malta?

MY: The statistics indicate that Malta’s

popularity within the superyacht industry

will continue to increase. With the UK set

to leave the Customs Union, the industry

is keen to determine the specifics of future

ownership structures, and Malta is well

placed in this regard.

The government has plans to continue

Investment into its infrastructure in order

to further emphasise Malta’s place at the

forefront of the industry.

MBR: Looking ahead to MYS

2018, what are you most

looking forward to?

MY: It’s always a pleasure to catch up with our

clients and intermediaries at MYS. Following

Equiom’s acquisition of Carey in Monaco

last October, this year’s show will be a new

experience with a full team of colleagues and

clients based in Monaco.

Our attendance at the show allows us to

stay well informed of developments from

key jurisdictions. I look forward to some

stimulating discussion around the industry as

a whole both locally and globally.

If you are going to the show please stop by Darse

Sud, QS107 to meet the Equiom team. If you

would like to arrange a meeting please contact

me on markyoung@equiomgroup.com.

www.equiomgroup.com MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

49


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORT

Mobility

By Jaan Soone

Parliament is pressing for

measures to increase the use

of alternative fuels as well as

to improve road safety and to

tackle unfair competition and

the exploitation of workers.

In line with its Work Programme 2017, the

European Commission proposes a set of

initiatives to make traffic safer, encourage

smart road charging, reduce CO2 emissions,

air pollution and congestion, cut red-tape

for businesses, fight illicit employment and

ensure proper conditions and rest times for

workers. These initiatives are linked to the

strategy for a Resilient Energy Union, Europe's

transition to a low-carbon economy and the

strategy for low-emission mobility.

Updated EU rules to fight illegal

practices in road transport and to

help improve drivers' employment

conditions were approved by the

Transport Committee.

EU rules on posted workers, based on the

principle of “equal pay for equal work”,

would apply to so-called ‘cabotage’ deliveries,

according to amendments approved by the

Transport Committee on Monday. This means

that the same remuneration rules apply to

a truck driver delivering goods in another

member state after a cross-border delivery as

to drivers in the host country.

Transport Committee MEPs also proposed

changes to ensure better rest conditions for

drivers. For example, companies will have to

organise their timetables so that, once every

three weeks, drivers are able to return home

or to another location of their choosing for a

weekly rest.

Ensuring fair competition

The draft rules aim to step up inspections

and roadside checks as well as speed up

cooperation between national authorities

to tackle fraud related to working time, rest

periods, ‘cabotage’, and posting of drivers.

MEPs backed new time limits for ‘cabotage’

(i.e. making deliveries within another EU

country after a cross-border delivery), instead

of the current limit based on the number of

deliveries. Border crossings would need to

be registered in a truck’s tachograph to help

detect fraud.

To tackle the issue of letterbox companies (i.e.

companies registered in another member

state to cut costs related e.g. to tax rules,

while the main business activity is conducted

in another), businesses will be obliged to have

substantial business activities in the member

state where they are registered.

Cutting red tape and more efficient

operations

The draft legislation provides a limited list

of administrative requirements and control

measures that member states can impose

on operators with regard to posting, to avoid

excessive red tape.

Investigations and checks would need to

focus on companies with a poorer risk-rating

and would reduce the administrative burden

for law-abiding operators. MEPs also want

electronic documents and digital technologies

to be used more efficiently to help ease the

burden for drivers.

Changes to drivers’ rest rules would give

companies more flexibility to organise their

business operations. For example, drivers will

be allowed to complete a return journey if

they are close to the operating base, as long

as extra rest time is added to the following

rest period by way of compensation. MBR

Next steps

The texts adopted today by transport MEPs,

when approved by the full house of the

Parliament, will be the EP position ahead

for the negotiations with the Council. The

negotiations can then start as soon as the

Council adopts its position.

The proposals on posting of drivers, drivers’

rest periods and access to the occupation of

road transport operator and road haulage

market amended today by the transport

MEPs are part of the Mobility Package

tabled by the Commission in May 2017. The

Transport Committee adopted its position

on road charging proposals of the Mobility

Package on 24 May.

Creditline: By Jaan Soone

50


BREXIT

Malta Business Review

Brexit:

EU and UK citizens’ rights remain EP’s key priority

On 29 March 2017, Theresa MAY, British Prime Minister, triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

T

he right of a Member State to

withdraw from the European Union

was introduced for the first time with

the Lisbon Treaty; the possibility of withdrawal

was highly controversial before that. The

Article 50 provides for the negotiation of a

withdrawal agreement between the EU and

the withdrawing state, defining in particular

the latter's future relationship with the

Union. If no agreement is concluded within

two years, that state's membership ends

automatically, unless the European Council

and the Member State concerned decide

jointly to extend this period.

EP Brexit Steering Group and MEPs from five

committees in charge of citizens' rights heard

representatives of the 3 million group and UK

Home Office officials on Tuesday.

The purpose of the meeting was to look

into the British procedure for registering EU

citizens living in the UK. EU and UK citizens'

rights remain a key priority in ongoing

Brexit negotiations.

Following a presentation of UK’s online

application system for EU citizens by Home

Office officials, Guy Verhofstadt, the European

Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, issued a

statement on behalf of the Parliament’s Brexit

Steering Group:

"Further to my invitation to Amber Rudd,

MEPs today heard from representatives of

the UK Home Office about their plans to

register over 3 million EU citizens living in the

UK. After hearing from representatives of the

3 million group, MEPs raised a number of

concerns and asked many questions about

the proposed online app which is being

developed by UK authorities, as well as the

procedure more generally. The European

Parliament's Brexit Steering Group will collate

any concerns or suggestions raised by MEPs

and I will be writing to Amber Rudd detailing

any recommendations."

"It remains a priority for the European

Parliament to ensure that citizens, whether

UK citizens in the EU or EU citizens in the UK,

can continue to lead their lives as they do

now, which was also the promise made by

those campaigning for Brexit. The treatment

of the Windrush generation under UK

Immigration law has unfortunately created

renewed anxiety among EU citizens in the UK

and shows why we have to get this right. The

European Parliament will closely scrutinise

developments and work to ensure sufficient

guarantees are in place to avoid the repetition

of such a situation for EU citizens."

The committees involved in the talks are

those dealing with constitutional affairs, civil

liberties, employment and social affairs, legal

affairs and petitions.

Background

In March, the Plenary adopted a resolution

laying out a possible association framework

"It remains a priority

for the European

Parliament to ensure

that citizens, whether

UK citizens in the EU or

EU citizens in the UK,

can continue to lead

their lives as they do

now, which was also the

promise made by those

campaigning for Brexit.

for future EU-UK relations after Brexit. On

the withdrawal, it reiterated the importance

of securing equal and fair treatment for EU

citizens living in the UK and British citizens

living in 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

Guy Verhofstadt

Creditline: Jaume Duch Guillot

www.maltabusinessreview.net

51


Malta Business Review

DEBATE

BUILD A WALL ACROSS AFRICA AND EUROPE TO KEEP OUT SIX

MILLION WAITING MIGRANTS

Janice Atkinson MEP

The EU must build ‘a thousand of miles of

walls’ across Northern Africa and on Europe’s

frontiers to halt the tide of more than six

million migrants who are queuing up in Africa

waiting to get into Europe, says populist

independent MEP Janice Atkinson.

Proposing some of the most radical policies

put forward by a British politician, Janice says

the BBC and mainstream Left-wing media

throughout the UK and Europe is encouraged

by “NGO people-smugglers” to peddle the

“dangerous and disingenuous’ myth that

migration numbers are falling.

Such propaganda, she says, is employed to

put a sticking plaster over the political wounds

inflicted on Angela Merkel and the EU by the

ongoing immigrant crisis which, along with

Brexit, is threatening to tear the EU apart.

Janice says: “In an attempt to paper over the

EU cracks and counter the sweeping advances

of populist parties in Italy, Austria, France and

Germany, the Left wing media is creating the

dangerous and disingenuous narrative that

migration numbers are dwindling.

“This is not true – it is a myth deliberately

propagated by the tax-payer funded people

smugglers of the NGO’s who are working

directly against the governments and

peoples of Europe. “The truth is that there

are around 6.6m people in countries in

and around the Mediterranean all waiting

for their opportunity to get into Europe,

by whatever means. They are aided and

encouraged by the human rights industry

through unaccountable NGOs.

“The only answer now is to build walls on

the southern borders of North Africa and on

Europe’s frontiers. And the EU must build

European visa/asylum centres within these

walls in Africa.

“If it that means a thousand miles of walls, or

even more, then so be it. At the same time

the nation states of Europe must increase

naval patrol facilities in the Mediterranean

and work with neighbouring countries to

ensure their borders are secure.

“A programme of mass information must

be clearly conveyed to Africa making clear

that there are no jobs, houses, welfare or

healthcare. In short, if you are thinking of

trying to get into Europe – then think again.

“If you are in a conflict zone, stay and fight

like our forefathers did for us, do not leave

your women to fare for themselves in the

hope that you may make it to Europe and

eventually gain entry for them. That option is

no longer available. Europe is closed.

“The people of Europe are saying no to mass

migration and the high unemployment levels

"The truth is that there

are around 6.6m

people in countries

in and around the

Mediterranean all

waiting for their

opportunity to get into

Europe, by whatever

means

it brings. Our infrastructures can no longer

cope and our culture, safety and way of life

is being undermined by alien cultures and

practices.

“For too long European voters have had

to watch the EU's temporary and wholly

inadequate fix of closing a few politically

sensitive borders when it’s too late. “The EU's

answer of throwing billions of our money at

despots in Turkey and Africa, along through

our own bloated foreign fund and EU one into

which the UK pays also pays is not going to

solve the problem. “Instead it simply increases

the off-shore bank accounts and jewellery

vaults of the rulers of the African states, leaving

their own people to flood into our countries in

search of the better life that our aid is supposed

to provide for them at home.”

Co-president of the ENF Group, Marcel De

Graaff adds: “I fully support the idea of a wall

to keep these migrants out. Be it a wall of

concrete or a wall of patrol boats? Whatever

works best. I say: build the wall. And I would

like to add that it is clear that NGO´s facilitate

human trafficking, when they pick up migrants

just miles off the shores of Libya. They should

be brought to justice. Confiscate these ships

and put the crew behind bars for years.” MBR

Courtesy: Tom J.P. Vandendriessche, Press officer

ENF Group | European Parliament

52


RETAIL/TECH

Malta Business Review

Five-time major gold champion

Phil Mickelson and agent Steve Loy

join forces with robotic tech leader Reis &

Irvy's to disrupt food retail

Phil Mickelson

The legendary golfer is poised to help define

the “unattended retail experience” for the

next generation.

Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc.

(OTCBB: VEND) announced today that its

flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, has inked

a deal with five-time major championship

golfer and World Golf Hall of Famer, Phil

Mickelson, and his career-long business

manager and business partner, Steve Loy, for

30 new Reis & Irvy’s locations to be installed

throughout San Diego County (where Phil is a

native and resides with his family).

Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot

characters of the same name can dispense

servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos

and sorbet topped with a selection of six

delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With

self-checkout touch screen ordering and

payment options, video animation, music and

delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively

by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer

demand for convenience, entertainment and

a superior quality product.

Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy continue

to expand upon their business portfolio

with the investment in Reis & Irvy’s that is

challenging the status quo in food retail by

catering to this generation’s expectations

of immersive, entertaining and on-demand

shopping experiences. “We have seen the

development of Reis and Irvy’s over the last

eight months and became intrigued with the

advancement and benefits of robotics which

enhance the delivery of quality products to

the consumer while reducing overhead cost,”

said Steve Loy.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such

transformative industry change,” said

Mickelson. “I have pushed boundaries my

whole career and that mindset carries over

into the business world. The energy and

passion from the Generation NEXT team to

both deliver a quality product and disrupt

food retail is exciting.”

Describing “the new arms race in retail,” John

Bird of Forbes wrote that “unattended retail

storefronts” — with their speed, flexibility

and improved customer experience — are

the future of retail. Brands like McDonald’s

are successfully innovating their customer

experience and “it will change forever the

landscape” of casual dining, with “Gen-Xers,

millennials, and successive generations

already used to a computer interface for

making most of their daily choices.”

With over $130 million in franchise and

licensing contracts, Generation NEXT

Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCBB:VEND) is

leading the way with frozen desserts, fully

autonomous robotic delivery, visual and

audio entertainment, and a unique retail

experience.

Reis & Irvy’s: Franchise Expansion Highlights:

• Since its debut, Reis & Irvy’s has grown

to over 235 franchisees across the U.S.

and represents over 1,100 pending

robot installations aggregating over

$45 million, with additional contract

commitments for 2,300 robots worth

an estimated $130M in potential future

revenues for Generation NEXT Franchise

Brands, Inc.

• Reis & Irvy’s has strengthened its

offerings by teaming up with some of

the world’s largest manufacturing and

logistics partners, including Dannon

YoCream (www.yocream.com), Flex, Ltd.

(www.flex.com), Stoelting Food Service

(www.stoelting.com), who created

the very first soft-serve machine for

Dairy Queen, and Pitney Bowes (www.

pitneybowes.com), who will provide the

installation and national servicing.

Nick Yates, Chairman of Generation NEXT

Franchise Brands, Inc., is proud to be

associated with such a high-profile athleteentrepreneur

of Mickelson’s global stature.

“Phil is consistently ranked by ESPN as one

of the ten most highly-regarded athletes

in the world. Having such a well-respected

champion as a stakeholder and franchisee,

in our own backyard here in San Diego, is an

honor, and a confirmation of our mission to

help bring about a dramatic change in food

retail,” said Yates. MBR

Creditline: Darren Shuster, Generation NEXT

Franchise Brands, Inc.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

53


Malta Business Review

LOREM

RESIN AND

MEMBRANE

54


LOREM

Malta Business Review

RESIN AND

MEMBRANE

RESIN AND

MEMBRANE

www.maltabusinessreview.net

55


Malta Business Review

EU: MIGRATION

Antonio Tajani

President of the European Parliament

Tajani to EU Leaders :

to manage migration flows we must first

stop departures, strengthen external

borders, reform Dublin and stabilise Libya

By Carlo Corazza

“The immediate priority right now is to close

the Mediterranean route, strengthen our

external borders and reform the European

asylum system. In parallel to this we must

support the stabilisation of Libya, finance

centres for the support of asylum seekers

in transit countries and invest in Africa to

provide opportunities for young Africans in

their own countries” declared President Tajani

in a roundup of his address to the European

Council on the migration crises.

Time for answers

“This European Council meeting will be

remembered for a long time, but we cannot

yet say whether it will be remembered as a

success or a failure. That will depend on us, on

the responses we offer to our fellow citizens’

most pressing concerns on the migration

crisis” opened President Tajani.

Stopping departures

“EU citizens are caught in between their

humanitarian instincts and their fear

of uncontrolled migration. Against that

background, the first thing to do is to stop the

constant stream of migrants leaving transit

countries and the coast of Africa and ensure

that only people genuinely entitled to asylum

arrive in Europe, and do so safely.

The number one priority, therefore, must

be to shut down the Mediterranean routes.

Taking our cue from the agreement concluded

with Turkey, which led to the Balkan route

being shut down, we must invest at least EUR

6 billion in an effort to achieve that objective.”

Strengthening our external borders

“We must also strengthen our external

borders, increasing the number of officers of

the European Border and Coastguard Service

to 10,000. Just as urgently, we need to turn

the European Asylum Support Office into a

fully-fledged EU agency with greater human

and financial resources.”

European Asylum System reform

“The overhaul of the asylum system remains

the key to the whole problem. We must

simply accept the fact that the Dublin system

was designed to deal with normal migration

flows, not with migratory pressures on this

scale. We all agree, admittedly for differing

reasons that it needs to be changed quickly.

Parliament already voted by a wide majority

in November 2017 a reform proposal which

is a sound basis for discussion balancing

firmness and solidarity.“

Cooperation with transit countries

“We must build on what is being done in

Niger and set up protection and reception

centres run by the United Nations and the

European Union in as many African transit

countries as possible. We must work with

Libya, of course, but also with other countries,

such as Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Tunisia,

Morocco and Algeria. For this we need more

resources for the Africa Trust Fund, which is

close to depletion. In mid-July I travelled to

Niger, a country with a key role in the context

of the migration problem, and I will also led an

economic diplomacy mission with European

entrepreneurs.” emphasised Tajani.

Supporting the stabilisation of Libya

“In the medium term, we need a European

effort to stabilise Libya and help with the

reconstruction of a state which can act as

our partner.

I will be travelling to Libya shortly to discuss

the role that the European Parliament can play

in that process and in the organisation, in the

future, of democratic elections. We are ready

to make our resources and skills available, if

necessary, for example at a conference held at

Parliament which brings all the stakeholders

together.” added Tajani

While we speak, our Union is drowning

President Tajani concluded with a latin

saying, alerting leaders to the urgent need for

concrete actions: “To conclude please allow

me, as a Roman, to quote Titus Livius: Dum

Romae consulitur, Saguntum expugnatur:

whilst Rome talks, Sagunto falls.

If we continue to talk without finding

solutions, it will be the European Union and

its values which fall. Their conquerors will

of course not be migrants, but those who

wish to tear down everything we built so

painstakingly over the past 60 years.” MBR

Creditline: Europarl President Press - Europarl.

President.Press@europarl.europa.eu

"We must simply accept

the fact that the Dublin

system was designed

to deal with normal

migration flows,

not with migratory

pressures on this scale.

56


LOTTERIES

Malta Business Review

GLMS welcomes Maltco Lotteries Ltd

within the GLMS family

M

altco

Lotteries

Ltd has today become the

31st Member of the Global

Lottery Monitoring System

(GLMS). Maltco Lotteries has

been a firm and traditional

supporter of sport of all

levels in Malta and with a

long-standing commitment

to responsible gaming

operations in all its products.

GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi states: “We

are delighted to welcome Maltco Lotteries

Ltd to our Association. Maltco once again

proves its commitment to responsible and

sustainable sports betting operations, but

also to an ethical driven sport in the highest

interest of all Maltese citizens. The joining of

Maltco will no doubt further strengthen this

unique global alliance of Lotteries that have

joined forces to safeguard the credibility

of sports, fully in line with the core lottery

integrity mission and values”.

Vasileios Kasiotakis, CEO of Maltco Lotteries,

adds: “Being an operator that respects both

society and its customers and sharing a strong

commitment to responsible sports betting

operations, Maltco is pleased to join the

GLMS, notably as it has been lately enhancing

its operations and intensifying its regulatory

efforts and activities. We look forward to

benefiting from the GLMS services and also

contributing to its important work for the

benefit of sport and society” MBR

Credit: Maltco Lotteries

EMPTY

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

TWO NATIONS JOINED BY

COMMON HERITAGE

Credit: MEW

During a press conference in Gela, Sicily,

Minister for Energy and Water Management

Joe Mizzi addressed the Malta-Sicily gas pipeline

with Gela Mayor Domenico Messinese, Vice-

Mayor Simone Siciliano, Council President

Alessandra Ascia, and other representatives

and counsellors from the region.

The press conference coincided with the

feast of Our Lady of Graces, currently

being celebrated in Sicily and traditionally

celebrated in Żabbar. Minister Mizzi noted

that this was a clear indication of the common

heritage and link between the two countries.

Minister Mizzi expressed gratitude to the

Municipality of Gela for its continuous

support in the last few months in relation

to the project for the development of a

gas pipeline between Malta and Gela - an

international energy project identified by the

European Union as a project of importance at

European level to ensure that the European

Gas Network is further extended to link Malta

to the European mainland.

The Minister also thanked the representatives

of the Municipality of Gela and the other

authorities and institutions involved for

their professionality and support in the

preparatory phase for the project especially

with reference to the public consultation

held in Gela last April aimed at understanding

the opinions and concerns of the citizens of

Gela with regards to the project to address

these concerns during the design and

implementation of the project.

Minister Mizzi concluded by once again

noting the importance of the geographical

and socio-cultural link between Malta and

Sicily and the mutual benefits that could be

reaped through collaboration.

“In this way the gas pipeline project can also be

seen as a catalyst for closer relations between

our populations and hence leaving a positive

effect on the daily lives of our citizens through

the promotion, coordination, and strengthening

of our mutual collaboration in areas of common

interest such as tourism, culture, artistic

heritage, youth and sports”. MBR

Creditline: The Ministry For Energy and Water

Management

WORLD’S FIRST CONVERTIBLE

COIN OFFERING PLATFORM

The world’s first convertible coin offering

platform was officially launched with Prime

Minister Joseph Muscat saying that the

blockchain technology will be a harbinger

of a new economic niche for the country

which in turn will create more jobs and

wealth. The offering by the company

Palladium saw its chairman Paolo Catalfami

saying that the project will create more

than 100 job opportunities. Palladium uses

blockchain technology to bond banking

with cryptocurrency and had its prospects

approved by the MFSA and is subject to

stringent EU laws. Malta is one of the

first countries worldwide to regulate this

technology creating an ideal ecosystem for

companies, start-ups, and investors. MBR

Creditline:Malta Stock Exchange, Valletta

Credit: DOI - Jason Borg

EQUIOM MALTA RAISES SMILES

AMONG LOCAL CHILDREN

Equiom Malta recently organised a trip to

the zoo for the children of St. Rita Home

orphanage in Tarxien. Staff from Equiom

Malta accompanied 13 children from the

orphanage to the Wildlife Park in Rabat for

the day where the children observed the

animals and were treated to lunch.

The team at Equiom Malta also made a

donation of €500 to St. Rita Home through

a mix of fundraising activities and corporate

donations. In addition, they gifted toys to the

children in partnership with Playmobil.

Stephanie Sammut, Colin Gregory,

Edward Saliba and Tiziana Calleja from

Equiom Malta are pictured handing over

the cheque to the sisters at St. Rita Home.

Colin Gregory, Managing Director of Equiom

Malta commented: ‘I am pleased that we

were able to help out in such an important

way. Many of these children had never visited

the zoo before so it was a great experience

both for them and for the staff. I would like

to thank the team at Equiom Malta for giving

up their free time on a public holiday to make

this event happen. Special thanks also to

eCabs for providing the transport, Playmobil

for the toy donations and the Wildlife Park

for entry to the park free of charge for the

children. This was a great initiative and I am

looking forward to offering more support to

St. Rita’s in the future.’

St. Rita Home is an orphanage run by the

St. Ursuline Sisters. It is home to 16 local

children cared for by four nuns who dedicate

their lives to providing a safe and nurturing

environment. MBR

Creditline: Equiom

FIMBANK HOSTS CORPORATE

CLIENT EVENT

IMBank recently hosted a reception for its

local corporate clients which was held at the

Bank’s Head Office. The event served as an

excellent opportunity for the Bank’s clients to

interact with their Relationship Managers and

customer-facing employees. The Chairman

and CEO of FIMBank greeted the clients and

thanked them for their attendance.

Jason Zammit, Head of Real Estate stated that,

“FIMBank has built a reputation on its ability

to build strong relationships with its clients.

As a customer centric Bank which proactively

listens to its clients, we are committed

towards tailoring financial solutions to meet

their specific needs.” He also emphasised on

the importance of such events as it enables

the Bank to build a stronger rapport with its

growing local customer base. In addition to

FIMBank’s real estate finance proposition,

the Bank also offers a comprehensive

range of trade financing, factoring and cash

management services.

Describing the Bank’s client relationship

management approach, FIMBank’s Head

of Cash Management Chris Trapani said

that, “The Bank is strongly geared to offer a

wide range of Cash Management services

to businesses. Our strategy hinges on a

personalised approach, with a consistent

commitment to adapt to the latest technology

and innovation to provide added value to all

our clients.” MBR

Creditline: FIMBank

FIMBank Corporate Client Event

58


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