Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meets the Ambassador Kmiec – US

GRTU has this week met the US Ambassador Douglas Kmiec and Political, Economical and Financial Officer Thomas Yeager. GRTU explained that the US is the ambassador of free enterprise and this is what we want Malta to achieve. We have had plenty of meetings with US representatives however nothing concrete has come out of it.

 

The Ambassador asked whether the GRTU heard of any complaints of the legal system being long and inexplicable. This not due to a particular case but due to bureaucracy and Government revenue. GRTU explained that in Malta we have an arbitration centre however probably because it does not create enough revenue lawyers do not advertise it enough. There is also the small claims tribunal. It is however true that we get complaints on the delays in our legal system.

The ambassador asked how capable is Malta to monitor regulatory movements in the EU and manage to influence them. GRTU explained that Malta is very capable in presenting its views. In one way or another we manage to keep up and influence. It is true we have our limitations in resources and power however we fair well considering everything.

GRTU was asked what other factors do we consider as hampering small businesses. GRTU said that access to finance is one of the biggest factors as our banks are still very conservative. Banks tend to however favour more foreign investors as Malta Enterprise would guarantee for them.

When asked which are the emerging and most promising sectors at the time GRTU answered that IT, Gaming, Healthcare, retirement tourism and green technology and the new and most promising ones at the time.

The ambassador explained to us that he was one of the few Americans who new what Malta was and were Malta is. When asked on his impressions of us Maltese he said that the Maltese seem to have a strong commitment to their culture, society and family, and to him all these factors have led to the economic success of Malta. The only thing he at first was perplexed about was Malta's principle of neutrality. However he understands that the way Malta perceives neutrality is that in comparison to other countries, by way that Malta's security comes first when considering military alliance. He is pleased this principle is not utilised by Malta to preclude it from developing safety relations such as terrorism operations because Malta to them is very important in view of the South.

Abigail Mamo –

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