Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meets Minister for Foreign Affairs


GRTU,
represented by President Paul Abela, Deputy President Philip Fenech and
Executives Abigail Psaila Mamo and Carmen Borg met the Minister for Foreign
Affairs Hon George Vella and Permanent Secretary Mr Joseph Cole, for a cordial
introductory meeting.

GRTU
explained the role GRTU has as a Chamber representing SMEs and that
international relations are today very important for our members. GRTU's
members are looking at expanding beyond the limitations offered by the Maltese
market not just to the EU market but to the international market. GRTU today
welcomes business delegations and accompanies members of trade missions in
order to help them in their efforts to expand their business prospects. GRTU
therefore emphasized the importance that it is involved in efforts in this
regards as it has a lot to contribute and members have a lot to gain.

The
Minister said that Government had initiated a process of pooling of resources
so that countries are targeted better and the target is more focused. He
immediately welcomed GRTU's offer of collaboration and assured us that GRTU
will be involved in Government's efforts. The interest of his Ministry was also
that the Maltese businessmen derived as many benefits as they can from Malta's
relations with EU and non EU countries.

GRTU
also enquired on what is called a State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Agreement
with the US. The Minister said that Malta currently enjoyed very good relations
with the US and the status quo should be maintained. GRTU mentioned the
positive economic effects ships coming into Malta have and this was
acknowledged by the Minister. The Minister explained that he had as yet
encountered no reason to decline entry of ships that requested entry into Malta
and explained the issues that concerned him in relation to a SOFA Agreement
with the US. 

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