The Malta Chamber furniture makers and MCAST join forces to address shortage of workers

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry joined forces with MCAST to promote carpentry and joinery programmes as the sector faces a shortage of skilled workers.

During a meeting at MCAST, Ms Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber and Dr Mario Cardona, MCAST Deputy Principal for Technology and Applied Sciences agreed to collaborate in a structured way to give the sector the attractiveness it needs towards the new generations, help rejuvenate it and keep it highly competitive.

A delegation from The Malta Chamber explained how the furniture sector in Malta is facing enormous competition from countries having low production costs. “The reliance on innovation, authentic tradesmanship and design as a competitive advantage of the Maltese furniture sector, makes it more vulnerable,” said Ms Xuereb while highlighting the many misconceptions of working in such a dynamic industry of opportunities.

“In the provision of its academic and training programmes, MCAST aims to be always relevant and responsive to industry’s needs,” said Dr Cardona.
At the urging of three main furniture makers and joiners in Malta, namely Domestica, Saw and Trends, the management of the Institute of Engineering and Transport at MCAST visited their shopfloor to better understand the new realities in the sector driven by technological advances and coordinate more frequent visits by both lecturers and students.

The managements of The Malta Chamber and MCAST said that this is a tangible example of how the industry and education institutions can work together to address practical and urgent problems faced by businesses while creating opportunities for students to be involved actively in the industry and academics to keep abreast with industry developments.

The Malta Chamber welcomes UK’s decision to add Malta to its quarantine-free green list

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry welcomes UK’s decision to add Malta to its quarantine-free ‘green list’ thanks to the collective efforts in keeping a very low COVID-19 case rate.

The Tourism Business Section within the Malta Chamber notes with satisfaction that Malta has been added to the UK’s green list for travel as from this Wednesday 30th June, meaning that vaccinated travelers from the UK will be able to visit the Maltese islands without the requirement of quarantine on their return to the UK.

“This is a significant development as the British market is Malta’s largest tourism market and the UK’s decision confirms the remarkable progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Malta,” said the Head of The Malta Chamber Tourism Section, Alan Arrigo. He added that strict observance of health protocols remains critical to continue succeding against COVID-19.

In their latest update, the UK authorities added Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK Overseas Territories and Caribbean Islands to the green list. All territories but Malta are on the ‘green watchlist’ and at a risk of turning ‘amber’. Almost all other EU countries remain on the UK’s amber list meaning travelers returning to the UK must self-isolate for 10 days and take two PCR tests.

The Malta Chamber welcomes the Government’s decision to allow only vaccinated travelers in Malta from the UK and re-iterates its call on the authorities to ensure strict restrictions at the points of entry, especially at the airport so the tourism industry continues to recover in a safe way without compromising the recently efforts.

Need for a national approach to restore our reputation

The Malta Chamber calls for all key stakeholders in the country to come together, analyse the implications and devise a clear action plan on how to move forward following the disappointing result of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) evaluation. It must be borne in mind that Malta has very recently obtained a positive Moneyval assessment which attests that it is technically compliant. We are now at a stage where we must convince the FATF of the effective implementation and enforcement of our recently established rigorous regulatory framework to be removed from the greylist in the shortest time possible.

The repercussions of greylisting by FATF will have a negative impact on many important sectors of the economy and on the international reputation of the country. The cost of compliance of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulatory framework, which is now more rigorous than that of many other jurisdictions, is being borne by our financial services’ sector. The costs of this greylisting will be borne by the whole economy for as long as we retain this status. We therefore need to show the same rigour that we have shown in becoming technically compliant over the past two years, in terms of effective implementation.

The Chamber has always insisted that success can only be achieved by having an effective unified effort. The country’s economic wellbeing needs to come first in such a delicate moment; political maturity in a time of crisis is crucial whilst personal, sectoral and partisan interests need to be secondary.

Evidently, compliance clearly needs a joint Government and stakeholder approach which binds all towards a commitment towards our country and more importantly its people. The key to turning around this situation, is by joining forces to enforce the existing framework and have effective monitoring systems to safeguard our jurisdiction.

The Malta Chamber will work with all the key stakeholders in the country to make sure that an action plan is drawn up to respond constructively and diligently to the situation, to ensure that the country’s international reputation is restored.

The Malta Chamber launches a document led by the Education Thematic Committee titled Education for the Future

Yesterday, President Ms Marisa Xuereb welcomed Minister for Education, Hon. Minister Justyne Caruana at The Malta Chamber. The delegation included CEO Dr Marthese Portelli and individuals forming part of the Education Thematic Committee, chaired by Ms Claudine Attard.

President Xuereb said, “It is important for Education and industry to be closely aligned and work in tandem to have a better skilled workforce. It is with this in mind that The Malta Chamber created the Education Thematic Committee.”

The main objective of this Committee is to recommend active and concrete measures to ensure alignment between the national curriculum and the needs of today’s Maltese employers and economy. Furthermore, it serves as the support and driving force to national educational institutions to implement the necessary change to the benefit of students and employers.

In doing so, the Committee proposed its recommendations based on its three priorities:
1. Vocational Educational Training
2. Upskilling and Reskilling
3. Future of Education

During the meeting, The Chamber’s document Education for the Future was presented to the Minister. This document highlights the importance of lifelong learning, having period curriculum reviews, developing and empowering educators, and introducing Social Emotional Learning and Service Learning for both students and teachers.

The Committee is composed of Chairperson Ms Claudine Attard, Vice Chairperson Christopher Bezzina, Ms Mariella Galea, Mr Stephan Vella, Dr Nadia Maria Vassallo, Ms Fiona Captur, Mr Antonello Cappitta and coordinator of the Committee, Ms Julia Aquilina.

The Malta Chamber Welcomes The New EU Rules Granting Malta Access To Hydrogen And Future Energy Markets

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry welcomes the European Council approach to review the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation and consequently give Malta access to future energy markets including hydrogen, an important enabler to achieve the targets of the European Green Deal and clean energy transition in a timely manner.

With high ambitions for sustainability at the core of The Malta Chamber, the derogation secured by Malta to be eligible for EU funds to co-finance a hydrogen-ready gas pipeline, offers a tangible solution to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors where reducing carbon emissions is challenging to achieve.

Given that hydrogen is climate-friendly and provides far-reaching opportunities, the Malta Chamber believes that it will play a pivotal role in supporting Malta to achieve the ambitious transition of its energy system while ensuring security of supply and flexibility.

“Hydrogen has several uses, from storing renewable energy to fuelling heavy transport that cannot be easily electrified. Thus, it can be critical in preparing a climate-neutral Maltese industry and economy by 2050,” said Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber.

While anticipating that the agreed derogation in the EU Council is confirmed without delay during the forthcoming discussions between the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, the Malta Chamber urges the Maltese authorities to start preliminary studies, set a clear vision and ensure priority status for this cross-border project to link our energy network to the trans-European network. This might be crucial for the future sustainability of industries in Malta.

HSBC Malta Foundation supports The Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation

The HSBC Malta Foundation continues to support The Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (MCCFF) through financial support. These donations have helped MCCFF in its ongoing work which includes providing medical assistance to people with rare diseases, social assistance and helping people who live with disabilities.

Simon Vaughan Johnson, CEO of HSBC Bank Malta, said: “The HSBC Malta Foundation has been a longstanding supporter of MCCFF and we have maintained our level of support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe in the important work which MCCFF carries out, not only to help those in need but also, more broadly, to foster solidarity across all elements of our diverse society.”

His Excellency George Vella, President of Malta, said: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to HSBC Malta for the consistent support to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation. On behalf of the hundreds of beneficiaries and their families, I thank you for the support you have been generously providing along the years.”

The services provided by MCCFF include the provision of specialised medicine and treatment for severe chronic illnesses, cancer, and rare diseases through its Medical Assistance Unit. The Foundation’s Social Assistance Unit assists individuals and families experiencing difficulties in the form of household appliances, food vouchers and miscellaneous items donations. The MCCFF also assists people with disability by financing specialised equipment and funding the cost of specialised therapy programmes as well as covering the costs of travel and subsistence of relatives while accompanying patients abroad.

More information is available at

GasanMamo Insurance supports The Malta Chamber ‘Think Tank’

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has renewed its collaboration partnership with GasanMamo Insurance Ltd through a Bronze Collaboration Agreement. GasanMamo Insurance will once again be paired with The Chamber’s Think Tank to devise a long-term vision and effective strategies to truly inspire and seek to position Malta as a leading country that fosters economic growth in respect of its national resources and driven by offering its inhabitants an enviable quality of life.

“With the vaccine roll-out well underway, approaching a post-pandemic scenario does not mean that we revert back to previous methodologies. Let us not forget the lessons learnt and keep looking forward as we adapt to new, more efficient procedures,” said Ms Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber, ahead of the signing.

Ms Xuereb noted that this signing will be particularly beneficial as the outcomes will aid businesses by providing innovative approaches towards a new norm, in the context of the post-Covid-19 pandemic landscape. “Strategic recommendations and initiatives will need to be revisited, with others undertaken, in the short and medium-to-long-term addressing the mindset, skill set and tools of various industries, to re-engineer their business smartly and sustainably in the New Norm,” she said.

The Chamber has ensured that the Think Tank has top thinkers from Malta’s business and supporting community – Dr Max Ganado, Ms Maria Micallef, Dr Stephanie Fabri, Prof. Charmaine Gauci, Ms Claudine Attard, Mr Kenneth Spiteri, Mr Winston Zahra Jr, Prof Simone Borg, Dr Marie Briguglio, Mr Michael Debono, Mr Andy Gatesy, Mr Kevin Grech, Mr Julian Bajada, Dr Vince Marmara, Mr Julian J Mamo, Mr Mark Bajada, Mr Andre Fenech, Dr Marthese Portelli and Perit David Xuereb as Chair.

Commenting on the partnership, Julian J Mamo, Managing Director of GasanMamo Insurance said “GasanMamo Insurance has been a long-standing supporter of The Malta Chamber and is delighted to be once again getting behind it as a Bronze Sponsor. Our support to the Chamber Think Tank Committee confirms our belief that solutions for a resilient and sustainable economy, that puts the wellbeing of citizens at its core will only be found through collaboration and innovation. There is no Body better placed to achieve this than The Malta Chamber of Commerce.”

The Bronze Collaboration Agreement was signed by Ms Marisa Xuereb and Mr Christopher Vassallo Cesareo as President and Deputy President of The Malta Chamber, respectively, and Mr Julian J Mamo, Managing Director of GasanMamo Insurance and one of the Think Tank members.

Concerns Flagged in NAO Report on Former ITS Site Remain Unaddressed

Just over a year ago, in April 2020, the NAO report on the disposal of the ITS site highlighted a number of serious concerns about the regularity or otherwise of the tender for the transfer of public land. The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry felt compelled to call for transparent, honest, detailed, and comprehensive explanations on the doubts raised by the NAO. Just over a year later, these doubts and questions have remained unaddressed.

The Malta Chamber insists on full transparency and on the importance of observing good governance principles as well as providing an equal playing field for all at all times. Serious concerns were raised by the Auditor General on the lack of good governance, the lack of transparency and the lack of equity in the way the process was handled.

Since its statement last year, The Malta Chamber has published a series of 35 recommendations applicable to procurement to ensure that public interest is upheld in a transparent fashion.

Public land should be for the benefit of the common good. Furthermore, The Malta Chamber reiterates its call that such any such projects must take Malta in a much-needed direction, towards increased value, respectful of the island’s carrying capacity, and such projects should not be built in a piecemeal fashion based on outdated local plans.

As Malta’s foremost representative body of ethical businesses, The Malta Chamber is compelled to promote the highest standards for the country, in the interests of both the business community and Maltese society. The continued doubts and questions related to the project must be addressed in a fair and credible manner, and any such major projects must be respectful of Malta’s tourism and sustainability objectives, as quality is not to be confused with luxury.

The Malta Chamber and PT Matic strengthen ties

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has renewed its Bronze Collaboration Agreement with PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd. For the second consecutive year, PT Matic will be paired with The Malta Chamber’s ‘Circular Economy Committee’ to provide leadership support to business on matters related to sustainability and resource management.

Ahead of the signing, Ms Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber, noted that the continuation of this partnership reflects the essential work that has been carried out between both parties in the last year in exploring possibilities and future global economic scenarios with a view to forecast and advise on required strategies and resources.

“The role and work of the Malta Chamber centres around mobilising people and resources with a view to promoting a business environment which is conducive to the prosperity and wellbeing of its members and the Maltese people whilst advancing the islands as a worthy jurisdiction for trade, services and investment within the Mediterranean region, the European Union and the rest of the world,” noted The Chamber President.

Ing. Oliver Fenech, General Manager of PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd, said “it is with great pleasure that we renew our sponsorship with The Malta Chamber. We are pleased to have found in The Chamber, but also in the Circular Economy Committee therein, the right level of commitment and professionalism necessary to drive the transition towards a Circular Economy. Over the next year we thus look forward to continued efforts in submitting the right policy proposals and in leading initiatives that enable private enterprise to occupy a driving role in achieving circularity.”

The Circular Economy Committee is a horizontal policy committee set up to draw on the work of experts and Economic Groups to ensure that The Malta Chamber is centrally positioned to provide leadership in the country and to the business community on issues of environmental sustainability with the aim to help businesses reach their ambitions and objectives. The work carried out by this Committee has been greatly impactful especially during the pandemic.

The Bronze Collaboration Agreement was signed by Ms Marisa Xuereb and Mr Christopher Vassallo Cesareo as President and Deputy President of The Malta Chamber respectively, and Ing. Oliver Fenech as General Manager of PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd.