The Malta Chamber Foundation Initiatives Help Temporarily Displaced Ukrainians

The Malta Chamber Foundation is committed to further support displaced Ukrainians by identifying employment opportunities for them

The Malta Chamber Foundation, being The Malta Chamber’s arm to actively contribute back to society, tangibly assisted a number of Ukrainians that fled from their country due to war.

The first initiative that the Foundation organised was the gathering of funds from its members that supported the delivery of aid to Poland, at the onset of the war. This initiative took place after millions of Ukrainians fled to neighbouring countries. Given this sudden influx, the Foundation liaised with the Polish Ambassador to Malta, Tomasz Czyszek to better understand the support required to aid displaced Ukrainians. Several entities and individuals donated various beds, mattresses, linen, pillows, sanitisers and soft toys upon the recommendation of the Polish Ambassador.

Amongst the donations received for the purpose of providing relief supplies, The Malta Chamber Foundation also received, in May of this year, a significant donation following an initiative of the Tipico Group of companies, headquartered in St. Julian’s. In fact, Tipico donated the amount of €27,000 out of which €7,000 were contributions by its own employees to help all those suffering because of the war. Given the significant contribution, a second initiative could be funded solely by this iGaming operator to offer English courses to Ukrainian war refugees in Malta to help them integrate locally.

The Malta Chamber Foundation collaborated with various local language schools that are members of FELTOM, to implement this project and help displaced Ukrainians learn the English language. These English Language Schools collaborated with the Foundation and offered a discount of more than half their usual charging rates. These schools are, Alpha School of English, AM Language School, BELS Malta, Clubclass Language School, Sprachcaffe Languages PLUS and Inlingua Malta.

Particularly, BELS Malta offered all tuitions for free. Rebecca Bonnici, BELS’ Chief Executive Officer, said that, “having the opportunity to welcome Ukrainian students in our school is an extremely rewarding experience. This program has already helped around 60 Ukrainian applicants who received English tuition. We felt it was a small way to give back to the global community, by not only teaching them English to help them settle in Malta and find jobs, but to also help them build new friendships and feel a sense of belonging.” The Malta Chamber Foundation spoke to some of the Ukrainian students that participated in this project.

Olha Vladymyrets, a 53-year-old teacher said that, “it was a good experience for me, because the atmosphere, educational materials, methods used by our mentors helped me overcome language and psychological barriers. On these courses, we made many friends and interacted with like-minded people from different countries of the world.”

Volkivskyi Oleg, a 37-year-old sound engineer thanked all involved and said that, “everything was great, and I really enjoyed it. I think my level of English has improved not to mention communication with others and a sense of purpose in life.”

The Malta Chamber Foundation is committed to further support displaced Ukrainians by identifying employment opportunities for them once completed their tuition in liaison with The Malta Chamber members. Alexia Melkonyan, the co-founder of the Foundation for the Ukrainian Community in Malta, helped the Malta Chamber Foundation identify displaced Ukrainians in Malta.

BOV Participates In Ġemma And MBA’s Pilot Project To Promote Financial Literacy Courses For Elderly

The Bank’s Training Centre in Gzira hosted a group of senior citizens who visited the premises during an activity organised by the Paola Local Council

Bank of Valletta, through its membership of the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA), has actively collaborated in the MBA’s partnership with ĠEMMA in a pilot project to increase financial literacy among the elderly. The Bank’s Training Centre in Gzira hosted a group of senior citizens who visited the premises during an activity organised by the Paola Local Council. The group of 40 plus attendees were accompanied by the mayor Dominic Grima.

Noel Scerri, Head of the Bank’s Operations addressed the attendees during the morning session. They were shown educational clips intended to elicit discussions about modes of cashless payments and their related benefits, as well as precautions one can take to safeguard against third parties with malicious intent. “One can never overemphasise the importance of educating the market. We understand that the shift to cashless transactions may be daunting. That is why we organise such activities for small groups so that they can discuss with their peers and with us, air their concerns and familiarise themselves with the tools available”, said Noel Scerri.

This sentiment was corroborated by Rita Sammut Buontempo, Assistant Secretary General at the Malta Bankers’ Association, who was also present for the session. “It is critical that in today’s world of self-service banking, we ensure that nobody falls victim to the digital divide. Such sessions help in boosting the confidence of senior citizens and help them become more financial literate”, she said.

BOV participates in Ġemma and MBA’s pilot project to promote financial literacy courses for elderly

Petra Marie Ellul-Mercer who is responsible for the Project Development at ĠEMMA gave a brief overview of the ĠEMMA programme that was set up in 2019 as a muti-stakeholder working group focusing on launching campaigns to promote awareness on retirement income and financial capability. Since then, ĠEMMA has among other initiatives, launched interactive calculators to help people manage their finances, collaborated in outreach events like this one, and drawn up resources for teachers and parents to disseminate such information.

In his conclusion Noel Scerri stated that “Bank of Valletta is an avid supporter of education in Malta. Considerable effort is made in supporting education programmes for various age groups. We organise numerous educational sessions relating to finances and investments, both for the general public and the business community. These dovetail with our commitment towards ESG, which will see the Bank taking a more active role in supporting continuous learning and upskilling, even more so for vulnerable groups.

KPMG In Malta Double Up With Second Family Business Certification

DAVID PACE – Head of Advisory – KPMG

Building on the successful completion of the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising the Family Business, three professionals from KPMG in Malta’s Advisory function obtained a second certification, the STEP Advanced Certificate in Family Business Governance. Another professional also obtained the first certification, the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising the Family Business.

One of KPMG in Malta’s Family Business Services Leaders and Head of Advisory David Pace was among those professionals who attained the second qualification. David joins his colleagues in continuing their journey to gain specialized knowledge on the theory and practice behind the family business system and how advisors can support and assist on unique challenges faced by family businesses.

“The continuing focus on learning and development in this space highlights KPMG in Malta’s ongoing commitment to the Family Business sector” commented Mr. Pace. Family business, like any other business type, continue to focus on innovation and maintaining a competitive spirit, while also navigating inter-generational transitions and ownership succession. Having the right structures in place and installing the right approach and behaviours is also seen to be rising in importance over the years, especially with the increased pressure on having good governance practices. Aspects such as management’s and shareholders’ roles and responsibilities, corporate and family governance, and the orderly transition of management, income, control, and equity become more complex as a result of the family dimension.

Given the unique nature of family businesses, KPMG in Malta continues to invest in its people to ensure they have the right knowledge and expertise to support clients. KPMG in Malta’s family business practice work with organisations of all sizes, tackling various dimensions relating to the business, including those of the family.

David has more than 20 years’ experience working on advisory assignments spanning multiple service lines both locally and overseas. He currently heads the firm’s Advisory function, one of the broadest multi-disciplinary teams on the island.  Throughout his career, David has supported clients in various industries in successfully raising debt and equity finance, valuing shares and businesses, supporting businesses in drafting and implementing growth strategies, and assisting family businesses in managing the transition of management and ownership from generation to generation. His engagement portfolio has led him to work at the heart of strategy within a number of businesses, helping them throughout the process of considering strategic options, articulation of plans and their subsequent implementation and monitoring. With family businesses, whilst supporting on the various aspects of the succession journey, David focuses primarily on enabling families in business to better govern themselves, leading them to more effective communication and decision-making practices.

The Malta Chamber And Malta Communications Authority To Work Together Towards Keeping Businesses Updated On The Latest Digital Services Developments

The mutual collaboration will aid the Maltese business sphere in ensuring that it is cognisant of the latest updates in the field of digitalisation

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malta Communications authority (MCA) with the aim of establishing a collaboration framework to advance digital services and promote regulatory compliance amongst local businesses.

Ahead of the signing, Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber, said “we are pleased to be developing such a collaborative partnership that is built on mutual interest to advance digital services for the benefit of Maltese businesses and the economy.”

“We are pleased to be working closely with The Malta Chamber to advance digital services and promote regulatory compliance for the benefit of Maltese businesses,” said Jesmond Bugeja, CEO of the Malta Communications Authority. “This MoU represents an important step forward in our efforts to support businesses as they navigate the complex and constantly evolving digital landscape, and we look forward to collaborating with the Chamber to achieve our shared goals.”

Both parties will work towards sharing knowledge and expertise through joint education and awareness initiatives with the objective of keeping businesses abreast with digital services developments and related regulations. The mutual collaboration will aid the Maltese business sphere in ensuring that it is cognisant of the latest updates in the field of digitalisation particularly in relation to eCommerce regulations, website/apps accessibility, trust services, and the Digital Service Act.

The agreement was signed by Marisa Xuereb and Dr Marthese Portelli, President and CEO of The Malta Chamber respectively, and Jesmond Bugeja, CEO of MCA.

Digitalisation Voucher Scheme For Tourism SMEs

Calling all tourism SMEs interested in innovating and investing in digital technologies

With the aim to stimulate digitalisation and innovation uptake in Europe’s tourism sector, the Tourism4.0 project has now officially launched the call for the selection of tourism SMEs. The Malta Business Bureau (MBB) is encouraging local SMEs to apply for the chance to benefit from a training and financing opportunity to prepare their business for the digital transformation.

MBB CEO Joe Tanti maintained that “this project has a great deal of potential in terms of providing more and better opportunities for the digital transition, particularly for SMEs who often lack the financial resources to innovate and adopt new digital technologies”. In line with the Digital Strategic Roadmap for Tourism in the Maltese Islands for 2030, he added that “promoting innovation and digitalisation as a journey for SMEs is the way forward for an economy like ours that is heavily dependent on tourism”.

In collaboration with a consortium of Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Croatian, and Polish partners, the MBB is working to support SMEs in keeping up with the digital transformation by improving their skills and competencies. This project targets specifically those SMEs that seek to embrace digitalisation through the exchange of best practices and mentoring support. To facilitate this transition, selected SMEs will also benefit from a voucher scheme valued at €7,000 that is earmarked for SMEs to invest in digital technologies and innovations.


MBB Projects Executive Martina Spiteri explained that “as part of this project, local tourism SMEs committed to engage in the digital transition will be supported financially to invest in digital business solutions”. “The aim is for tourism SMEs to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their business, especially within a global market that is increasingly pushing forward the green and digital agenda”.

The Tourism4.0 call is now OPEN and the guidelines, which have been officially approved by the European Commission, are available on the project’s website:

Interested companies are kindly requested to complete the application form that may be also found on the project website. The deadline for submitting applications is 18/01/2023 at 17:00 CET.

For further information, kindly contact MBB Projects Executive Martina Spiteri on or visit

BNF Bank Wins Bank Of The Year Award For Third Year Running

The Bank has won the accolade for its stellar financial performance and resilience

For the third consecutive year, BNF Bank has won The Banker’s Award as Malta’s Bank of the Year for 2022. The Bank has won the accolade for its stellar financial performance and resilience despite challenges posed by the significant geo-political uncertainty within the macroeconomic environment, characterised by rising prices and volatile economic activities.

BNF Bank was particularly recognised for its digital transformation as part of its long-term strategic growth. By introducing innovative technology and responsive digital solutions, the Bank is ensuring it keeps abreast with the rapidly evolving needs of its customers.

Indeed, the Bank is renowned for its strong relationships with its loyal customer base and for being a trusted partner to its personal and business clients, offering a seamless experience and straightforward financial solutions that meet their needs throughout their life’s journey or their business’ lifecycle. And this by combining the latest technology with the insights and experience of its people.

A reputable authority in the world’s financial sector, The Banker magazine, published by the Financial Times, provides economic and financial intelligence for the global industry and provides objective and incisive reporting as well as in-depth regional and country reports. Its awards acknowledge achievements that put banks and financial institutions at the forefront of the industry.

Commenting at the award ceremony held recently in London, CEO and Managing Director Michael Collis, said “It is a moment of great pride for all the team at the Bank to be awarded this prestigious award for the third year running. As a trusted source of banking information since 1926, we thank The Banker for the award, who has navigated its way through years of covering the global banking industry and can identify and award the bright stars of this sector.”

“We have kept out position as one of the leading reputable financial institutions in Malta and as a systemic contributor to Malta’s resilient economy, while making inroads in being the Bank of Choice among local consumers. We remain committed to giving a customer centric service to the community we serve, whilst keeping all our stakeholders in full sight. The key driver in our industry for the foreseeable future is technology, with digitisation of services remaining at the core of our strategy also coupled with the service provided by our branch network.

Whilst praising his team members for this recognition, Mr Collis also thanked the Bank’s shareholders for the continuous support and investment.

Establishing Malta’s Framework For A Net Zero Carbon Building

This project provides a framework for net-zero office buildings in Malta based on HSBC’s flagship net-zero building in Qormi

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, together with HSBC Malta Foundation organised an information session regarding a project entitled ‘Establishing a Framework for Net Zero Buildings in Malta’. The aim of this project is to guide Malta towards achieving its climate goals by tackling the building and construction sector, with particular focus on operational carbon, i.e. the emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases during the in-use operation of a building.

In her opening statement, The Malta Chamber President Marisa Xuereb said that, “this project provides a framework for net-zero office buildings in Malta based on HSBC’s flagship net-zero building in Qormi. Office buildings constitute a high percentage of business buildings and reducing their carbon footprint can have a significant impact on reaching Malta’s decarbonization targets and helping businesses become more ESG compliant.”

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli and the Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi participated during this event. Minister Dalli reminded that the measures being proposed under Budget 2023 aim to support the green transition: renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable products and green investments amongst others. She said that, ” these support measures on their own will not be enough, unless professionals come together to adopt the required change to truly transform buildings, from the planning stage to the finishing stage.”

Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi said, “it is high time for great change in the construction sector to achieve quality and to reach higher energy efficiency in buildings.” He continued to say that energy efficiency in buildings is necessary as part of our positive actions to decarbonize our economy and achieve the 2050 objectives. It is also a new economic opportunity for various players in the construction and engineering sectors. Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi concluded by assuring the Government’s commitment in decarbonizing the economy and encouraged all professionals and businesses to take the lead and invest in energy efficiency buildings.

During this session Ing. Abigail Cutajar in her capacity as the lead technical project manager of this project, presented the work and data obtained so far following the evaluation of existing national building stock and the identification of selected office buildings. In her presentation she explained that the HSBC head office has been selected to perform building energy modelling as a case study to retro fit offices to more efficient buildings.

The Malta Chamber CEO Dr Marthese Portelli in her presentation showcased what The Malta Chamber did to become more sustainable and how the challenges that such a historical prestigious building presents can be overcome to achieve energy efficiency. She also spoke about recommendations that The Malta Chamber issued in relation to sustainable building. She added that the New Regulatory Framework for the Construction Industry with at least a minimum skill licensing for building & road contractors (which should include knowledge on renewable systems) coupled with Points-System and Fast-Tracking for more sustainable buildings.

During this information session, a number of HSBC board directors and senior executives and a number of entities and entrepreneurs participated and discussed how sustainability should be incorporated in the business model and projections that the various local companies embark on.

Strengthening The Niche Industry Of Craft And Organic Beer

Malta Business Bureau holds TAPROOM final conference at Farsons Brewhouse

On Friday 2nd December, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) held its final conference for the Erasmus+ TAPROOM Project: Promoting the Production and Marketing of Organic and Craft Beer.

The event, which took place at the Farsons Brewhouse, was kicked off by MBB CEO Joe Tanti, who highlighted MBB’s work in attaining EU funding and participation in European programmes such as TAPROOM for the benefit of the business community, stating, “we take great pride in being of service to businesses and entrepreneurs through such projects.”

The audience was welcomed by Farsons Group Chief Executive Norman Aquilina to the Farsons Brewhouse, while Dr Chris Bonett, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds, reinstated the importance not only of EU projects, but also of supporting niche industries such as the craft and beer market.

TAPROOM Project Manager Michele Agius went on to introduce the project, affirming that “this Erasmus+ project was not only instrumental in strengthening the niche industry of craft and organic beer through numerous tools and activities, but also in bringing together a national cluster of passionate and energetic brewers. MBB is committed to bring this cluster to new heights by means of the Enterprise Europe Network support service and other opportunities.”


Mr Agius went on to discuss the primary project outputs, presenting the Manual for Trainers, a tailor-made approach to train the trainers how to educate people and entrepreneurs by means of ten training modules which deal with the entire process of getting craft beer from farm to glass.

Citing the uniqueness of the craft and beer industry as the basis for this unique approach in training, the Project Manager also presented a guidebook for national certification developed by the five project partners, which includes a step-by-step instruction list for emerging enterprises to obtain certified legal labelling for their products, tailor-made for each of the five countries and for EU standards. These tools, he continued, have been made all the more accessible and far-reaching by featuring on the specifically designed digital hub, known as the Interactive Repository Platform.

Finally, Mr Agius explained how, thanks to the willingness of the brewers, national clusters have come together in the spirit of collaboration, resulting in the creation of five national clusters of brewers (one from each of the five partnering countries participating in the Erasmus+ TAPROOM Project). With the aim of working on both at a national level and cooperating on a trans-national level, the Malta cluster can also benefit from the collective assistance offered by the MBB with regards to its many support services, including the Enterprise Europe Network.


Panels discussing organic and craft beer from a local and European perspective followed, with contributions from key industry representatives from ITALCAM (Germany), AVA Creations (Bulgaria), Out of the Box International (Belgium) and GAL Molise (Italy), and Malta Business Bureau (Malta) on a European level, and Lord Chambray, Huskie Craft Beer, The Beerhop, The Brew Grill & Brewery and Farsons on a local level, after which questions were fielded from the audience.

For more information, kindly contact TAPROOM Project Manager Michele Agius at

Large Manufacturers Share Energy Expertise With SMEs

WE MAKE Project Holds Second Group Mentoring Session

The WE MAKE project has held its second best practice mentoring session focusing on energy efficiency air compression systems. The objective of these sessions is to provide guidance on how Maltese manufacturing companies can become more energy efficient, reduce costs, and increase competitiveness.

In an online session hosted by the Malta Business Bureau, Baxter showcased its best practices relating to air compression technology and operating procedures to a select group of SMEs. The SMEs were able to seek guidance and clarification on their own air compression systems from Baxter during the session.

This mentoring session by Baxter followed up on another session organised in October this year, led by De La Rue, which also identified opportunities to make air compression systems more efficient through calibration, leak detection, operator knowledge and other low-cost initiatives. By identifying low hanging fruits, industry stands to make large savings with minimal effort, and often at no investment. Hence, this highlights the importance of knowledge transfer to share such insights and opportunities to improve business processes. Efficiency gains will naturally depend on the intervention measures being implemented. However, the group mentoring session showcased how enterprises who utilise air compression as a resource in their manufacturing process stand a lot to gain. Proper calibration of air compression systems, for example, prevents wastage and is merely a question of modifying the system’s settings, with no investment needed. For aspects such as leak detection, one can either look at staff routines and protocols, to ensure that leaks are proactively sought, or else, one can invest in leak detection technology.

A collaboration between the Malta Business Bureau, the Energy & Water Agency and The Malta Chamber, the WE MAKE project aims to help manufacturing companies interested in becoming more sustainable to bridge the gap between theory and reality. It does so through such knowledge transfer initiatives, workshops and general outreach to local enterprises As many Maltese manufacturers do not compete for clients, there is potential for a co-operative business climate, which the WE MAKE project is helping to realise. Companies pooling their knowledge and offering expertise to other like minded businesses represents a convenient transaction where everyone stands to gain, and makes the overall Maltese manufacturing sector more competitive. This follows the WE MAKE vision of increasing opportunities for all Maltese businesses, rather than withholding knowledge and stifling progress. The project will therefore continue to offer all manufacturing companies the assistance they need.

Moving forward, the WE MAKE project will emphasise the need for energy project implementation within companies, identifying barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency initiatives, and identifying solutions.