Scandinavian Business Forum - Malta

“The role of the Scandinavian Business Forum Malta will be to create a permanent forum on which existing network chains between Scandinavian and Maltese businesses may be consolidated, as well as the establishment of new ones,” said Dr. Mark Fenech, Chairman of the Scandinavian Business Forum Malta (SBFM). Dr. Fenech was speaking during the launch of the SBFM, a forum established under the auspices of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

“We would also like this Forum to be a pro-active body which can be used as an instrument to further promote business interactivity among Maltese businesses already commercially linked to the Scandinavian region, and Scandinavian entrepreneurs who are somehow linked with these Islands,” he added.

The website of the Scandinavian Business Forum Malta may be accessed here.


2014

Scandinavian Business Forum hosts Swedish Residents Association AGM at Malta Chamber

On 25th March, the Swedish Residents Association in Malta (known as "Svenskklubben") held their annual general meeting at the Malta Chamber. The association had been invited to hold their AGM at the Malta Chamber by the Scandinavian Business Forum, since one of the primary objectives of this entity is to promote and enhance networking between the Maltese business community and Scandinavians in Malta.

Following a brief introduction on the history and functions of the Scandinavian Business Forum by the Chairman, Dr. Mark Fenech, the Swedish Residents Association proceeded with their Annual General Meeting, which included a networking buffet. The event was successful in introducing the 60+ members of Svensklubben to Scandinavian Business Forum and the Malta Chamber.

Seminar on Leadership in Business

The Scandinavian Business Forum Malta organised a seminar on Leadership in Business at the Malta Chamber on 13th March 2014. The well-attended seminar, opened with a welcome speech by the Chairman of SBFM Dr. Mark Fenech, followed by a presentation by key-note speaker, Mr Christer B. Jansson.

Mr. Jansson is a Swedish national with experience as a purchaser, salesperson, sales manager, marketing manager and management consultant. In 1989, he created BelBin Svenska 1991 which focuses on the development of management teams. Mr. Jansson moved to Malta in 2010 and has since created a new consultancy company trading under the name Confident Approach which company is currently represented in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Malta and Ireland. He is a certified trainer and he has, so far, trained over 300 trainers throughout Europe.

Mr. Jansson spoke about a topic which he has studied for many decades, namely Sales Call Reluctance. He explained that this is a field of study which pertains to sales managers managing salespersons. He said that the people in business were selling themselves and their organisation in one way or another and the topic is therefore of relevance to all. He proceeded to explain the factors which keep people from reaching out to customers and other contacts, and stressed that these inhibitions are learned over time from other people - very often the very management who are supposed to promote the organisation. He also went through the different types of call reluctance, explaining that the types of people suffering from call reluctance could be grouped into different types of characters. Finally, he gave the audience a short test, which indicated whether one had call reluctance and to what extent. Mr. Jansson proceeded to take several questions from the floor about how call reluctance changes geographically and over time.

The seminar was followed by a networking reception with food sponsored by Fontanella and Meridiana wines, kindly supplied by S. Rausi.

Members wishing to keep up-to-date with upcoming SBFM events are kindly requested to contact Internationalisation Executive, Lina El-Nahhal, on email: lina.el-nahhal@maltachamber.org.mt and to check out the web-site: www.sbfmalta.com


2013

Networking Seminar by Scandinavian Business Forum

The Scandinavian Business Forum – Malta in collaboration with Loyalty Group A/S of Denmark organised a seminar on Customer Loyalty at the Malta Chamber on 28th November 2013. The well-attended seminar, opened with a welcome speech by the Chairman of SBFM Dr. Mark Fenech, followed by presentations by two key-note speakers: Dr Gege Gatt, Director of ICON Studios and Mr Mikkel Korntved, CEO of Loyalty Group A/S of Denmark. Dr Gatt spoke captivatingly about what principles to keep in mind when using social media channels to achieve customer loyalty and sales. Mr Korntved spoke about customer loyalty, stressing and illustrating the importance of building relationships with customers and the often over-looked economic importance of retaining customers - especially those that brought profit. The seminar was followed by a networking reception with Scandinavian food sponsored by Swedish Delights and Meridiana wines, kindly supplied by S. Rausi.

Members wishing to keep up-to-date with upcoming SBFM events are kindly requested to contact Internationalisation Executive Lina El-Nahhal, on email: lina.el-nahhal@maltachamber.org.mt and to check out the web-site: www.sbfmalta.com

SBFM meets Commercial Counsellors from Finland and Denmark

On 17 September 2013, a familiarisation meeting was held in Valletta between Ms Riika Eela, the newly-appointed Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland in Rome, Mr Asser Rasmussen Berling, Counsellor at the Embassy of Denmark in Rome and representatives of Scandinavian Business Forum Malta. The expansion of business and networking opportunities between Maltese and Finnish and Danish entrepreneurs was actively discussed. Among the subjects discussed was Malta’s ideal position as a base for Finnish and Danish entrepreneurs seeking to penetrate the North African market, particularly the Libyan market.

SBFM was represented by Chairman Dr Mark Fenech, Malta Chamber Internationalisation Manager Klaus Pedersen, and SBFM Executive Committee Member Christer Gustafsson.


2012

Motivational Speaker Runa Magnusdottir meets Maltese Entrepreneurs

On 16th November, the Scandinavian Business Forum Malta organised a seminar at the Malta Chamber where internationally renowned Icelandic motivational speaker Runa Magnusdottir was invited to talk about "Using the internet to develop your brand and yourself as a brand".

The seminar was attended by Malta Chamber Director General Kevin Borg and Internationalisation Manager Klaus Pedersen along with several Maltese and foreign business representatives.

Ms Magnusdottir spoke about social media including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as a marketing tool to promote oneself and his/her product as a brand. She also focused on first impressions and how important and effective they are. Using several examples, Ms Magnusdottir proved that the face behind the brand can be more effective than the brand itself. After the seminar, the attendees together with Ms Magnusdottir were invited to networking food and drinks, giving them the opportunity to talk further about the seminar and possible future cooperations.

For more information about Runa Magnusdottir, one can visit her personal website here: http://www.runamagnus.com/

Scandinavian Business Forum Malta meets SEB Bank

On 7th November 2012, the Executive Committee of the Scandinavian Business Forum Malta (SBFM) met with a delegation from SEB Bank. SEB is originally a Swedish bank, which now has a strong retail presence in all of Scandinavia, Germany and the Baltic States, as well as more specialized representation in more than 20 countries. The visitors were representing the bank’s fund and wealth management operations in Luxembourg and consisted of:

Mr. Stefan Stjerngren, Head of SEB International Private Banking

Mr. Jorgen Gronlund, Senior Legal Adviser

Mr. Mats Oscarsson, Senior Private Banker from Luxembourg Family Office desk

Mr. Casper Rigneus, Private Banker, Luxembourg

This was the third visit by SEB bank to Malta, reflecting a clear interest from the bank’s side in exploring the opportunities in the Maltese market further.

The delegation was welcomed by the executive committee of SBF-M. After an introduction by Chairman Mark Fenech and a description of activities by Mr. Stjerngren, the individual members introduced themselves and gave their impressions of business opportunities in Malta. The meeting was followed by a brief reception where the discussions continued over drinks.

Internationally renowned motivational speaker at Scandinavian Business Forum Malta

Scandinavian Business Forum Malta has the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar with Runa Magnusdottir. Runa is an entrepreneur from Iceland, who has won much acclaim as a motivational speaker. We are therefore proud to announce that Ms. Magnusdottir will be addressing a seminar at the Malta Chamber on Friday 16th November at 15.30, where she will be speaking about:

Using the internet to develop your brand and yourself as a brand; and

How to generate more customer engagement

For more information about Runa Magnusdottir, visit www.runamagnus.com

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet up and network both before and after the event. Attendance is free of charge for Malta Chamber members and an attendance fee of €10 is applicable to non-members.

To register or obtain a copy of the fact sheet and testimonials, kindly send an email to: lina.el-nahhal@maltachamber.org.mt


2011

Scandinavian Business Forum Networking Drinks

On Tuesday 22nd November, the Scandinavian Business Forum organised and hosted a session of networking drinks at the Cucina del Sole, Trattoria e Pizzeria at Tigne Point. Some 100 people from all the Scandinavian countries had signed up for this event which was sponsored by Tigne Point, La Cucina del Sole and S. Rausi Co. Ltd.

Scandinavian Business Forum is managed by an executive committee within the Malta Chamber, and seeks to promote business between Malta and Scandinavia, here defined as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Since its' inception, this committee has been extremely active and, apart from networking with various stakeholders, has organised several successful events and activities.

Scandinavian Business Forum intends for this event to be one of a series, bringing together Scandinavian business persons in Malta with local businesses doing business in Scandinavia - or wishing to do so. It is felt that this fits very well with one of the declared goals of SBF, namely the creation of such informal networks. In this respect, the event was very successful, bringing together an even mix of representatives from Scandinavian and Maltese companies.

Look out for more events, activities and information by Scandinavian Business Forum in the future.

If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact Internationalisation Manager Klaus Pedersen on: klaus.pedersen@maltachamber.org.mt

Executive Committee of the Scandinavian Business Forum

A call is being made for members of the Malta Chamber interested in forming part of the Executive Committee of the Scandinavian Business Forum. Members interested in forming part of this Committee and participating in meetings held on a monthly basis, are kindly requested to contact Chairman, Dr. Mark Fenech on e-mail: mark.fenech@fenlex.com, copying the Director General in charge of Internationalisation, Mr. Kevin J. Borg on kevinj.borg@maltachamber.org.mt

SBF-Malta to participate in Stockholm Forum

On 5 October 2011, SBF-Malta Chairman Dr. Mark Fenech and Committee member Mr. Stefan Magnusson will be attending a half-day Seminar in Stockholm entitled “Financial Services in Malta”. This event is being  organised by The Banker in association with FinanceMalta.
 
Mr. Magnusson, on behalf of Scandinavian Business Forum Malta, has been invited to sit on a panel which will be discussing wealth management.

For further details, please click here.

Malta Visit by Head of FINPRO Milan

The Head of Finland Trade Centre in Milan (FINPRO) Marjaana Karjalainen will be visiting in Malta between 21 and 22 June 2011 and will be hosted by Scandinavian Business Forum Malta.

Dr Mark Fenech, Chairman of Scandinavian Business Forum Malta, told The Times Business that during her brief visit Ms Karjalainen is expected meet with officials from the IT Ministry, Malta Enterprise, Finance Malta, Malta Communications Authority and other organizations from the local media/telecom sector.

Apart from running FINPRO in Italy, Ms Karjalainen is responsible for developing new co-operation opportunities in the telecom/media/software business for Finnish companies and will be travelling to Malta with a view to understand better the local market trends and potential partnering opportunities between Maltese and Finnish companies. She is also currently working on client interface with Finnish software, telecom and digital media companies interested in the Western European and Northern African markets.

FINPRO is currently represented in more than 40 countries around the world.

Scandinavian Business Networking Drinks


Scandinavian Business Forum Malta will be inaugurating the Maltese summer season with a Scandinavian Business Networking Drinks activity on 28th July 2011 at Cucina Del Sole Restaurant at Tigne Point in Sliema from 19.00 hours onwards.

This activity, for which a number of members of the Scandinavian business community and their Maltese counterparts have been invited, will be sponsored by James Vassallo from Tigne Point and by Julian Zammit from Kitchen Concepts and will be the first in a series of summer business networking events organised by Scandinavian Business Forum Malta.

Those interested to attend for this first business networking event are kindly requested to contact Mr Klaus Pedersen on klaus.pedersen@maltachamber.org.mt.

Swedish Business Delegation Visit the Malta Chamber

This week, the Scandinavian Business Forum, in collaboration with Finance Malta hosted a delegation of Swedish businessmen at the Exchange Buildings, who were in Malta to learn more about Malta’s potential for investment, particularly in the financial services sector, as well as Malta’s tax advantages.

The delegation was welcomed by Dr. Mark Fenech, SBF-Malta Chairman. Dr. Fenech stated that Malta is a safehaven for trade, with a well trained workforce and a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework. He added that Malta’s advantages also include a competitive fiscal regime, a low cost base, as well as the benefit of over fifty double taxation agreements.

The delegates were given a presentation by Mr. Kenneth Farrugia, Finance Malta. Mr. Farrugia stated that pre-accession to the European Union, Malta had the most advanced and structured financial services framework out of the ten accession countries. Mr. Farrugia explained that Malta’s financial sector did not suffer during the economic crisis, with the funds and insurance sectors being amongst the fastest growing sectors in Malta. Malta’s intellectual capabilities and a single regulatory operator are particularly attractive to companies that wish to set up here.

Mr. Chris Curmi, Partner at Deloitte Malta then gave a technical presentation on the Maltese tax system, also referring to the features of international taxation in Malta as well as the various pillars of Maltese tax regimes, including tax relief and refunds.

The delegation was then given the opportunity for a networking lunch with a number of Maltese delegates who also attended the event.

Swedish Delegation to Visit Malta

The Scandinavian Business Forum - Malta, in collaboration with Finance Malta, will be hosting a high profile Swedish delegation on 9th May 2011. The delegation will be in Malta to learn more about Malta's potential for investment, particularly in the financial services sector.

Programme

09.00            Private viewing of The Malta Experience, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
10.00-13.00   Swedish business delegation arrives at the Exchange Buildings, Valletta     
  • Registration and Coffee
  • Introduction by Dr Mark Fenech – Chairman, Scandinavian Business Forum - Malta
  • Presentation by Mr Kenneth Farrugia – Chairman, FinanceMalta on Malta’s commercial and regulatory environment
  • Presentation by Mr Chris Curmi, a Partner at Deloitte Malta, on Malta’s fiscal regime with an international perspective.
  • Questions from the floor
  • Networking reception
13.00 Guided sightseeing tour of Valletta

Visit by delegation from the Danish Embassy to Malta

From the 14-15th March, the Malta Chamber and the Scandinavian Business Forum hosted and organised a visit by a Commercial Attaché from the Danish Embassy in Rome and the General Consul of Denmark in Milan. In accordance with its' mission to promote business between Malta and Scandinavia, the Scandinavian Business Forum within the Malta Chamber is reaching out to the diplomatic corps of the Scandinavian countries.

In this context, Scandinavian Business Forum has long been seeking to organize visits from the Danish Embassy in Italy, and were delighted to welcome Mr. Steen Thorsted, who is the General Consul of Denmark in Milan and Mrs. Elisabeth Falck Muntforti, who is Commercial Attaché at the Danish Embassy in Rome.

The Malta Chamber's Internationalisation Desk organised a busy programme, which saw the delegates meeting with Denmark's Honorary Consul in Malta, Mr. Karl Gollcher, with Malta Chamber officials, Finance Malta and Malta Enterprise. A meeting was also arranged with P.J. Sutters, the Maltese distributor of Scandinavia's largest food manufacturer, Arla Foods, as Mr. Thorsted is responsible for assisting this company in the region.

Finally, Dr. Mark Fenech, Chairman of the Scandinavian Business Forum hosted the representatives for a lunch, where the possibilities for future cooperation were discussed. Mr. Thorsted commented that the visit had put Malta on the map for the Danish diplomatic mission in Italy, and the Embassy is planning to include a feature about Malta in the international magazine of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called "Focus Denmark", to alert Danish companies to the many business opportunities in Malta.


Launch of the Scandinavian Business Forum-Malta

“The role of the Scandinavian Business Forum – Malta will be to create a permanent forum on which existing network chains between Scandinavian and Maltese businesses may be consolidated, as well as the establishment of new ones,” said Dr. Mark Fenech, Chairman of the Scandinavian Business Forum-Malta (SBF-M). Dr. Fenech was speaking during the launch of the SBF-M, a forum established under the auspices of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

“We would also like this Forum to be a pro-active body which can be used as an instrument to further promote business interactivity among Maltese businesses already commercially linked to the Scandinavian region, and Scandinavian entrepreneurs who are somehow linked with these Islands,” he added.

In her opening address, Malta Chamber President Mrs Helga Ellul noted that during the business delegation to Scandinavia, organized last year by Malta Enterprise, the great interest from both countries was evident, but it was also clear that Maltese companies faced a number of challenges, including a lack of general awareness about Malta, and what Malta has to offer. “This means that the Maltese company has to first sell Malta – and then their offering,” she explained.

“Given these challenges, I am very pleased to note the ever closer cooperation which exists between the Malta Chamber, Malta Enterprise and Finance Malta,” Mrs Ellul said. “This is also why there is a real need for the Scandinavian Business Forum, to be the nexus around which such efforts are organised, and from which they will be initiated.”

In his address, the Hon. Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that while Malta is already home to Scandinavian investment in the iGaming and manufacturing sectors, the existing level of commercial relations between Malta and Scandinavia is below its potential and can further develop. “There are a number of areas of potential growth in our business relations, such as trade, investment, tourist flows and real estate.” he said.

“We also welcome more Scandinavian interest in Malta to invest, do business and exploit Malta’s position as a financial, educational, trading, logistics, and high-tech manufacturing hub in the Mediterranean region,” Dr. Borg added.

Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Hon. Tonio Fenech expressed his hope that the Scandinavian Business Forum can act as a catalyst to facilitate greater commercial activity with the region. He remarked that “although Malta and Scandinavia are geographically distant and diverse in various aspects, there are good business prospects as Malta can act as a European gateway to opportunities presented by markets in North Africa, the Middle East and even Asia.”

At the same time, he encouraged local business to consider the different opportunities being provided through Malta Enterprise to assist local companies in exploring opportunities abroad, particularly through franchising and networking events.

The event was also addressed by Mr. Ole- Kristian Baevahr (Vice President, Wilhelmsen Shipping Lines, Norway), who discussed Wilhelmsen’s experience in Malta and why they chose Malta as one of the centres for their many activities. Mr. Phillip Baruch (Partner at Lund Elmer Sandager law firm, Denmark), drew upon his considerable experience in the fields of alternative energy and eco- tourism and combined with his sound knowledge of Malta he explored some of the areas of potential collaboration between Maltese and Danish companies in these fields. Mr. Mikkel Korntved (CEO- Loyalty Group International, Denmark and guest lecturer at Copenhagen Business School), discussed building strong business relationships within the Scandinavian market and elaborated upon the different styles of doing business within Scandinavia.

The event was supported by Wilhelmsen Lines, Fenech & Fenech Advocates EMD Advisory Services Ltd, 3a Malta Ltd and Frank Salt Real Estate Services.

 

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