Fabian Demicoli

Opportunities of Gold

 The visit of the business delegation to the Gulf States of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar was a real success, even though it has been only seven months since the last trade mission lead by president George Abela to Dubai and Qatar.

 

GRTU participated in these missions and ensured that a good evaluation is done of the prospects for Maltese traders and investors from the strengthening of trade and investment relations with these super rich states. "Trading with these countries is a new concept for most Maltese businessmen. As I had reason to explain to the senior executives and business owners I addressed in these countries, Malta is today practically too small for the richness and abundance of entrepreneurial abilities that the Maltese business community posses. This is true especially for family businesses who have reached third generations. We need to look elsewhere. These are the lands of opportunity. The relationship that the Malta Government enjoy with the owners and government leaders in these states is exceptional. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi was welcomed everywhere and listened to with the greatest respect and most of the requests he made on behalf of the Maltese economic operators were immediately met. It's up to all of us now to seek how best to transform this good will and interest by the authorities in these states to help Maltese entrepreneurs who want to seek joint-ventures or trade partnerships with leading entrepreneurs from these countries to act without delay. The businessmen who participated in these missions can vouchsafe for the eagerness of the business community in all four states visited to work with Maltese business. It's not a question of sending emails and talking on the phone. We must be there. We are willing to make the contacts and Malta Enterprise through their office in Dubai will help with the links. Hopefully by next year we will also have a direct air link that will further ease the barriers of doing business with the gulf states." Says Vince Farrugia.

"Malta enterprise is doing an excellent job in subsidizing these trade missions. I'm in no doubt that the Maltese economy will pick up steadily as from next year as more of the planned infrastructural projects in many sectors will reach implementation stage, but the spreading and feeding in of money in the economy through major construction and civil engineering projects is not enough. We need fresh money that can only come through increased inward flows of investment, increased tourism flows and increased exports and trading and expansion of our transhipment, financial services and electronic based services. These trade missions boost the possibilities for expansion in these important economic areas. But its up to all of us to do our part. Moaning will not get us anywhere. The opportunities are there and we must work on them. There was a time when we were left on our own while others had the opportunity to seek new business opportunities with the support of government initiative. Now these initiatives are open to all of us. We are here to guide all those who want to act" concludes Vince Farrugia as he sums up to GRTU Council his report on the Gulf Trade and Investment Mission.

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