SME Chamber

Paul Abela confirmed as GRTU President – GRTU holds successful Annual General Meeting

GRTU has today held its first Executive Council meeting during which Paul Abela has been confirmed as GRTU Presidentfor the year 2015.

The Executive Council also elected GRTU’s 6 Vice Presidents as follows:


Vice President – Policy and Strategy

Philip Fenech

Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Business Consultancy Services

Vice president – Finance and Administration

Marcel Mizzi

E-Commerce, Web & Software Developer

Vice President – Sections

Joan Haber

Manufacturer of Artistic Crafts & Ceramic Goods, Event Organizer, Crafts Council Representative

Vice President – Districts and Localities

Sergio Camilleri

PetrolStation owner, Auto Parts, Auto Dealer, Rent a Car & Panel Beater

Vice President – International Relations

Michael Galea

Auto Dealer, Importer & Repairs, Auto Service Station, Marketing Advisor & Real Estate

Vice President – Training and Development

Mario Debono


Pharmacy Owner, Pharmaceutical Importer, Healthcare IT Provider & Property Developer


Amongst its 18 Council Members, representing diverse economic operators within GRTU, GRTU is this year welcoming two new Members on its Executive Council, Mr Alfred Fenech of Sterling Jewellers and Mr Christian Vassallo of Vassallo Group. GRTU’s Memberson the Executive Council for the year 2015 are:


Azzopardi Emanuel

Laundry & Dry Clean, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning

Cutajar Patrick

IT Consultant

Fenech Alfred

Jewellery Importer, Manufacturer & Retailer & Restauranteur

Fenech Azzopardi


Retailer & Manufacturer of Furs & Leather Wear, Importer & Retailer of Swimwear

Galea Stephen

President Socjeta` Vitikultura, Agriculture, Farmer & Vine Grower

Gauci Noel

Renewable Energy, Culinary Products

Vella Josette

Importer & Retailer of Quality Giftware, Furniture and Fine Arts

Vella Salvu

Cargo Haulier (Burdnar), Customs Clearance Agent & Forwarder, Shipping & Travel Agent & VRT

Vassallo Christian

Construction, Real Estate, Elderly Care, Furniture, Hospitality & Catering

Zammit Carmel

Cargo Haulier (Burdnar)

Zerafa Joseph

Hifi, TV & Domestic Electronic Equipment Importer & Retailer


Last Sunday the 18thof January GRTU successfully held its Annual General Meeting during which Paul Abela made an introduction of what this year meant for GRTU and that even though this was once again a very challenging year it was also a successful year.


In her presentation of the Annual Report GRTU CEO Abigail Psaila Mamo presented an overview of the work undertaken by GRTU in 2014 and amongst other things explained the important wins GRTU achieved during the year:


1. Shift from Eco Tax

Through its efforts for Budget 2015 GRTU committed Government to shift electrical and electronic equipment from Eco Tax to the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment. This is something GRTU has been insisting on for a number of years and we therefore consider this as a very big win. Much rests on the implementation of this commitment and GRTU will be following it up closely in 2015.


2. Tackling Unfair Competition

Also through its efforts for Budget 2015 GRTU committed Government to increase drastically its enforcement system to tackle the issue of unfair competition. The first action started at the end of 2014 and enforcement will be escalated in 2015. This is another big win for GRTU and GRTU will continue monitoring implementation in 2015.


3. Access to Finance

Thanks to GRTU’s efforts the authorities, the banks and other entities started offering cheaper financing options for SMEs and the Government committed to implement GRTU’s request to have a development bank. This is just the tip of the iceberg however GRTU is confident that the situation will continue to improve during 2015. This especially GRTU has convinced the MCCAA to investigate GRTU’s claims. The investigation will be conducted during 2015 according to the priorities identified by GRTU and its members.


4. Valletta Shop Scheme

GRTU successfully renegotiated the original Valletta Shop Scheme that would give an increased and longer title of lease to tenants. GRTU will continue negotiating on this Scheme in 2015 so that it ensures a high take-up.


5. Reduction in Excise duty on Tyres

GRTU has successfully negotiated a better deal for importers of large tyres, from what was announced in Budget 2015, by convincing the authorities to introduce a cap on larger tyres as well as better payment terms for the excise due. GRTU estimates that the change negotiated will result in a 50% reduction in excise due from importers of large tyres.


6. Smart card compensation

GRTU won a reimbursement for owners that have purchased a smart card machine during 2013 and 2014 in view of the change in policy. The reimbursement is capped and GRTU will be in charge of administering the reimbursement process in 2015.


7. Stalling increases in port charges

GRTU has so far successfully managed to stall further increases imposed by the VGT. Pressure to increase the charges is however constant and GRTU is ready to escalate its action.


8. Online directory by MCA

As part of the E-Commerce strategy GRTU proposed the setting up of an online directory and this was set up by the MCA. This we feel is a first important step in making the online world more accessible and to small businesses.


9. Sections

2 new sections have joined the GRTU in 2014 and the GRTU has reached an agreement that safeguards the livelihood of Gas Distributors for the years to come.


10. PVPFS and GRTU Approved Schemes

In 2014 GRTU was able to quantify the final results and benefits reaped from the Schemes that emanated from the PV Section. GRTU regards both Schemes as success stories which it will seek to replicate in other areas and sections. GRTU waits expectantly to see the GRTU Approved recognized on a national level in 2015.


Members present for the AGM were also given the opportunity to raise any issues and some members expressed their concern on the current high fuel prices. They emphasised that coupled with the high licensing fees on commercial vehicles, these were heavily decreasing the competitivity of Maltese enterprises.


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