Quality to Members

Throughout the past year, members remained at the centre of The Malta Chamber’s efforts and work.

Mr Kevin Mizzi, Member and Stakeholder Relations Manager at The Chamber, explained how the restructuring of the onboarding process allowed the team to meet and understand the different needs of every new member, in order to make a proper difference in their business ambitions.

The Chamber’s internationalisation efforts remained active to provide support to interested members to grow beyond our shores, stated Mr Lino Mintoff, Internationalisation Advisor of The Malta Chamber. At a diplomatic level, The Chamber remained in close contact with ambassadors and commercial counsellors to strengthen ties with trade partners, stated Mintoff.

TradeMalta CEO, Mr Anton Buttigieg, explained how the implications of COVID initiated a shift in services, with most of the services provided now being implemented online, together with a series of webinars regarding several focus areas.

Ms Dana Farrugia, CEO of Tech.MT, which was established in 2019 as a Public-Private Partnership between The Malta Chamber and the Maltese Government, remarked on their continuous encouragement on the need to upskill and reskill, while providing guidance to firms seeking to advance internationally.

Though disrupted by COVID, the operations of Education Malta shifted virtually to reflect new interests from global players within the education field, said CEO Mr Charles Zammit during The Chamber AGM.

Mr Joe Tanti, Malta Business Bureau CEO, commented on the ongoing discussions being held with key stakeholders in order to keep The Malta Chamber and its members updated on relevant news from EU institutions.

Marisa Xuereb elected President of The Malta Chamber

Following the Annual General Meeting of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry held on the 24th March, the newly elected Council met today, and elected Ms Marisa Xuereb as President of The Malta Chamber 2021-2023.

Addressing the Council for the first time, Ms Xuereb outlined the priorities for her Presidency for the coming two years. She said that she felt honoured to follow in the footsteps of the outgoing President who worked tirelessly to elevate the vision of The Chamber. Xuereb noted that in the next 24 months, she will strive to maintain The Chamber’s leading role in representing businesses while facing the challenges ahead.

“I look forward to working with the Council, executive boards, business sections, committees, and all members and stakeholders of The Chamber, as well as with all our sponsors and partners, in order to build upon the tremendous work that has been done in the past years and further strengthen the position of The Chamber as the voice of business. Together we will work relentlessly to enhance competitiveness and ensure a steady recovery and the implementation of a smart and sustainable economic vision for the country,” said President Xuereb.

Marisa Xuereb has sat on Council for the last six years and served as Deputy President for the last two years, during which she has been actively involved in the renewal process of The Chamber, championing initiatives such as the Young Chamber Network and the creation of several policy committees. She is a Director on Malta Enterprise, MCAST, MCST, and the Chamber’s PPP, Education Malta.

As Managing Director of Raesch Quarz (Malta) Ltd, she has over 20 years of experience in the FDI manufacturing industry and direct experience of exporting to a wide range of countries, both within and outside the EU. Her business experience is supplemented by a strong academic background, as she holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and is well established in local policy fora.

Malta Chamber council 2021-2023 elected

Following last Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting and subsequent voting process, Malta Chamber members elected a new council for 2021-2023.

The elected members, who also form the Economic Group executive boards are as follows (in alphabetical order):







The first meeting of the new Council will convene on the 30th of March, during which the new President of the Chamber shall be elected by the individuals forming the Council.

Once elected the President will vacate his seat on the Executive Board of the Economic Group. This will be filled by the first runner up in the election for Economic Groups. This will take the total number of Council members up to 19.

Reshaping the workplace from covid experiences

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, in collaboration with the Covid-19 Public Health Response Team and the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate, organised a webinar on the current scenario in terms of Covid measures and the recent update in protocols and procedures at the workplace.

Addressing the attendees and moderating the ‘Reshaping the workplace from covid experiences’ webinar, Ms Fabianne Ruggier, Executive Consultant at RSM Malta, sponsors of The Malta Chamber HR and Talent Thematic Committee, noted the importance of such a webinar in providing the much-needed clarity that businesses are after to help mitigate the spread of Covid at the workplace.

As Malta’s foremost business representative body, this webinar is yet another effort in The Malta Chamber’s restless drive to support businesses during such troubling times. In fact, in its bid to enhance safety at the place of work, recently, The Malta Chamber had called on all the business community to provide remote working options, when possible, to employees.

Dr Elaine Lautier and experts from the Public Health Response Team provided insights that business-people, including the Human Resources and Operational functions, would find incredibly useful to not only control the spread of Covid, but also find ways to maintain operations while securing employee safety. Expert advice was given to all areas of business, from manufacturing plants to office buildings on a plethora of efforts that can be implemented as safety precautions.

During the webinar, attendees were provided with an array of information that any business needs to ensure high-level safety protocols to their employees and society at large. Apart from the essential basics that most have grown accustomed to, such as the importance to wear masks and the minimum social distance required, experts provided helpful tips on matters related to contact tracing and remote working measures.

Furthermore, importance was given to mental health and wellbeing, which have been greatly impacted due to Covid and its implications on society. To this end, the webinar emphasised how vital it is that businesses nurture a culture that promotes a sense of resilience while encouraging employees who may be at risk, to seek professional help.

Fabianne Ruggier said, “events such as this webinar represent one of the objectives of our collaboration with the Chamber – to raise awareness and provide educational opportunities to the members on pertinent workforce matters”.

MBB study highlights opportunity to rethink the workplace

This morning the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) published findings from its study into the economic and environmental effects of working from home by businesses in Malta. This study was presented by the MBB and economist Dr Marie Briguglio in an online event hosted by the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), also addressed by Minister Carmelo Abela, Minister Aaron Farrugia and MCESD Chairperson James Pearsall.

The objective of this study was to examine the economic and environmental implications of working from home, including online, remote and flexible measures, so as to identify measures that businesses could efficiently introduce into their daily operations.

Introducing the study, MBB President Simon De Cesare remarked, “some salient points already stand out to me. The need to train employees and equip them with the necessary skills to work efficiently and safely from home; the need to facilitate socialisation and team building through online means; and the opportunity to rethink or re-purpose office space will all be driving factors which will allow working from home to succeed in the long term.”

Over 330 in-depth replies were gathered from surveys targeting employers and employees. Increased work satisfaction, productivity and employee well-being all emerged as significant benefits across both employers and employees. On the other hand, the greatest challenge is to maintain employee cohesion and team spirit as physical meetings and workplace interactions naturally decrease.

On the environmental front, there seems to be significant scope to reduce private vehicle travel, as well as energy and paper use at the office. Nonetheless, the overall effect on the environment is more nuanced due to the uncertainty of environmental practices at home and the persistent high number of car trips even when working from home.

The findings show that working from home should not be an all-or-nothing solution. Mr De Cesare adds, “this is not simply about abandoning the workplace to stay at home. Early research into the topic had already identified a strong environmental and business case of employing the appropriate mix between being at the workplace and working from home. Employers could therefore evaluate this further according to operational requirements in the medium to long term.”

On his part, MBB CEO Joe Tanti stated, “As an EU-business advisory, the MBB always aims to be at the forefront of EU developments affecting businesses. We not only aim to lobby and influence policy in Brussels, but also work to facilitate the implementation of this EU vision on the ground, working directly with our businesses through such initiatives. The topic we are discussing today is in line with the EU’s focus on digitalisation and safeguarding the environment in the current Multi-Annual Financial Framework.”

He added, “the opportunity to create locality-based public or private work hubs could greatly address many barriers identified in the study, such as missing infrastructure at home and the reduced social interaction, while increasing the feasibility of walking or cycling to work. With the gradual lifting of Covid restrictions, future remote working solutions beyond the home could widen the options of places to conduct work. The further upgrading of IT and communication systems would naturally help facilitate this.” This is especially relevant given over a quarter of participants do not have a private place to work at home.

The MBB stressed that whatever measures are adopted to help facilitate working from home or remote working, these do not present any additional expenses for businesses.

This research was commissioned against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which introduced a new reality for businesses having to promptly ask employees to work from home where possible. This unfortunate situation brought to the fore several potential opportunities for businesses, employees and the environment. Going forward, the gradual easing of restrictions would then allow this research area to be expanded into other areas such as remote working more generally.

The MBB thanked Dr Marie Briguglio and her team for conducting the research and analysis, and acknowledged the technical and financial support provided by the Ministry within the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning, and the MCESD.

Eunoia Partners with Databricks to Drive Business Value with Unified Data Analytics

Eunoia , a focused data and analytics services company, today announced they have partnered with Databricks, the data and AI company, to drive business value by unifying data and artificial intelligence (AI). Confirming the focus of Eunoia into the data and analytics space the announcement provides inherent value by addressing the gaps in the data strategies of organizations that wish to put their data to the service and retrieve new insights to drive their business.

Databricks Unified Data Analytics Platform helps organizations accelerate innovation by unifying data science with engineering and business. This managed Cloud service auto-scales clusters and includes an optimized version of Apache Spark that is up to 50x faster, and uses Delta Lake to bring data reliability and scalability to your existing data lake. It’s the best-in-class collaborative platform that truly unifies data science and data engineering for fast iterations of data prep, model training and production deployment. Databricks customers also benefit from data security, compliance and reduced DevOps costs. All of this means organizations can finally apply AI across their data and drive disruptive innovations to the market.

Eunoia is a data and analytics company which provides industry focused business intelligence solutions. As a cloud first company, we build solutions that deliver scale and speed, ensuring optimal ROI through highly engineered orchestration, paying only for the value consumed. Our objective is to actively empower our users to look for potential risks and opportunities and increase the automation and correctness of these processes. The discussion on the use of machine learning and predictive analytics has long started, but it all boils down on how good the ground data is. Therefore, we apply rigorous cleansing methodologies to ensure the veracity of the base data to deliver on the promise of predicting outcomes. Today many of the platforms we use are commoditized as platforms which are consumed as a service. As a result of the partnership, enterprise organizations will realize the collaboration with Databricks will increase the value at the customer by providing innovation and scale to the data estate whilst releasing the potential of AI.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Eunoia and look forward to seeing the value this partnership delivers to our joint customers,” said [Databricks executive]. “Using the power of Databricks Unified Data Analytics Platform, Eunoia will help accelerate how businesses solve problems and better prepare for the future in an uncertain world. Ultimately this will help our joint customers maximize the business value of their data.”

“The partnership with Databricks cements our maturity in the platforms that we use and the unique talent pool that we have in our holds. We are very excited with the closer relationship with Databricks to address business problems and deliver value with the technologies of tomorrow. Our conviction is that the journey with Databricks will impact positively our customers.”

Eunoia is a startup with a legacy with over twelve years of market presence, having been the BI team of another company. In 2017 Eunoia was hived off and founded with the objective of delivering focused data and analytics solutions. The team is made up of young, enthusiastic and passionate masterminds who strive to see Eunoia flourish. With our positive attitude and experience in the field, we can successfully guide you in becoming the data-driven organisation.

Eunoia means ‘beautiful thinking’. A noun that dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks. This era in history was devoted to the development of intelligence, a strive for increased brain power in a composed and eloquent manner. Like a full toolbox, Eunoia is also the shortest English word to feature all the vowels in the English alphabet. Our Business Analytics solutions can also be considered to be the full toolbox for all your needs.

Anything but a level playing field is not acceptable

In a recent development earlier this week, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced an updated quarantine rule which allows fully vaccinated healthcare workers to go into quarantine for five days instead of fourteen. However, this new rule only applies to employees working at Mater Dei Hospital.

Although this decision is welcomed in order to ease pressure on healthcare workers by freeing up staff at an earlier stage, it is deemed to be unfair as it only applies to healthcare workers in the public sector. In fact, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and more specifically the Care Home Operators Committee, has been proposing various recommendations to tackle staff shortages, and reduce bureaucracy and red tape in the public and private sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is therefore being asked to reconsider this decision and offer the same terms and conditions to all employees who are fully vaccinated, across all sectors to alleviate the COVID-19 burden as much as possible.

The Malta Chamber welcomes ‘Start in Malta’ scheme

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry applauds the ‘Start In Malta’ scheme intended to aid and promote the Maltese startup ecosystem. The Malta Chamber is proud to form part of this initiative.

“This project is being launched at an opportune time, as COVID, through its disruptive forces, is leading entrepreneurs to re-think their business models. The ‘Start in Malta’ scheme is the ideal seeding ground for innovation and start-ups to happen” said Perit David Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber.

“The ability to grow a startup into a successful business requires a number of factors to work in unison. It necessitates a culture of collaboration, where background, skills and a plethora of other elements come together to make a project a success. We trust that this tool will continue to create this special environment which will be conducive to our start-ups’ growth into success stories” Perit Xuereb augured.

Perit David Xuereb – 2 years as President of The Malta Chamber

Marking his two years at the helm of The Malta Chamber, President, Perit David Xuereb, was interviewed this morning on TVAM to discuss the journey that the foremost business representative organisation has been on during the past 24 months.

“Looking back at the past two years, The Malta Chamber of Commerce revitalised and improved its operational structures, both internally and externally, to strengthen its position as Malta’s foremost voice of business. I am truly humbled to have been entrusted with this responsibility to lead Malta’s leading business representative body, as we embarked on a number of ambitious projects. We did not limit ourselves to enhancing our value proposition for our members, but more importantly, through the engagement of our same members, we are the true thought leaders that are able to direct and drive national agendas and tangibly contribute towards sustainable economic development and our nation’s quality of life” noted Perit Xuereb.

Perit Xuereb explained how during the past months, The Malta Chamber had been actively present within the public sphere to address the issues that truly mattered to make an impact in Malta’s economy especially during these unprecedented times. “Good governance measures, climate change, the gap between our education systems and industry talent needs, gender equality especially at the workplace, and, most notably, all measures to address the influence of COVID on our lives and livelihoods, have all been addressed and engagement remains active to ensure that well-researched proposals are formulated for the benefit of the greater good,” stated The Chamber President.

“Looking forward, The Malta Chamber will remain objective, apolitical and proactive as ever before, to ensure that with the recommendations that are made are tangible and impactful, while relevant to our aligned national ambition of a smart and sustainable future for Malta and Gozo alike”, concluded Perit Xuereb.