Addressing an event from the ‘Doing Business with:’ series, the President of the Malta Chamber Mr Frank V. Farrugia said that great scope for strengthening ties between Malta and Colombia exists, as both countries share numerous commonalities which can be developed for mutual benefit.
The event had the aim of exposing investment opportunities in Colombia which has access to 47 countries and more than 1.5 billion consumers through its network of Free Trade Agreements.
Mr Farrugia said that economic collaboration between Malta and Colombia was increasing. In fact between January and December 2016, Malta registered €2.6 million imports from Colombia; doubling the amount of imports (i.e. €1.3 million) during the previous year. This shows a growing positive predisposition to do business within Colombia.
“There is scope of strengthening our ties with Colombia because it is a strategic partner for the European Union, and is the third largest economy in the region after Brazil and Mexico” Mr Farrugia said.
Mr Farrugia also underlined the fact that Colombia is ranked 59th in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ classification by the World Bank in 2017.
Mr Farrugia also mentioned how there is no visa requirement for Maltese to reside in Colombia subject to 90 days extendable up to 180-days stay within a one-year period.
“Both countries undertake to facilitate temporary stay within the respective territories of short term business visitors as well as services providers who have been contracted to provide a service in the European Union” he said.
Then, the President went on to speak about the solid economic performance registered in Malta in the past years.
“The development of a diversified economy, which is responding to the challenges of an ever-increasing globalised world has brought a substantial increase in GDP growth, registering a budgetary surplus. The economic projections, which are encouraging, resonate the hard work of our sterling business community, and the business environment which Malta enjoys” he said.
He also said that the Malta Chamber takes a central role in this scenario, as it provides government with detailed studies on sectors and areas of growth.
In conclusion he said that the effort to bring Malta and Colombia closer, and promote business collaboration will undoubtedly result in a prosperous future not only for the businesses communities but also for the people of both countries.
The event was addressed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Hon. Mr Carmelo Abela, the Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia in Italy, H.E. Mr Juan Mesa Zuleta together with Mr. Pascual Martínez Munárriz from ProColombia, which is the equivalent of our Malta Enterprise in Colombia. Mr Jeff Galea of Room4 Media and Mr Alex Camilleri of Chamber College who are already doing business in Colombia also spoke about their experiences in the South American country.