Beginning a sustainable client journey in industry

The Malta Business Bureau, the Energy & Water Agency (EWA), and The Malta Chamber, hosted an event titled Sustainability in Industry: Different Perspectives. The scope was to provide a holistic and comprehensive overview of the path businesses need to take to become sustainable, ranging from core concepts such as double materiality, to the behavioural dynamics obstructing green growth. This webinar was the 11th of the WE MAKE event series, a collaboration between the aforementioned partners, funded by EWA. Through the project, the call to action for SMEs to become more sustainable is to begin with an energy audit, which can be funded up to 5000 euros. Those interested are to get in touch with the Malta Business Bureau.

Vice President of The Malta Chamber, Mr Mark Bajada, opened the event by stating:

“This consortium serves as a valuable resource, offering guidance, connections and resources to businesses seeking to embark on a sustainable path, and obtaining financial support. By fostering meaningful connections between industry, academia, business and policymakers, we can dismantle barriers, unlock opportunities and ensure industry’s sustainable growth.”

Dr Alex Mifsud, an academic versed in carbon literacy and sustainable development, presented an overview of the key concepts behind going green, while sustainability consultant Corinne Fenech explained how change is difficult both because of psychological obstacles to sacrificing in the short term for long term gains, and also because sustainability presents a social dilemma. Social dilemmas arise when individual self-interest conflicts with the collective interest, posing a challenging decision-making situation. These dilemmas occur in various contexts, such as the overuse of shared resources or the provision of public goods. In such scenarios, individuals face a choice between pursuing their own immediate benefits or contributing to the greater good. However, if everyone acts solely in their self-interest, it can lead to suboptimal outcomes, where the collective suffers. In a business context, these suboptimal outcomes may be understood via the concept of double materiality.

Dr Jonathan Spiteri from the Department of Insurance & Risk Management at the University of Malta explained that double materiality recognizes that the impacts of environmental factors, such as pollution, resource depletion, or climate change, can have material effects on both the financial performance of a company and the broader societal and environmental well-being. It is a concept that recognizes the interconnection between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and their impact on both the financial performance of a company and the broader society and environment.

Double materiality emphasises the importance of assessing and managing risks and opportunities related to ESG factors that can have material impacts on both the financial bottom line and the well-being of stakeholders and the planet. By adopting a double materiality approach, companies can strive for long-term sustainable success by integrating ESG considerations into their strategies, operations, and reporting, and addressing the interconnectedness of financial and non-financial factors. By recognizing the double materiality of environmental factors, businesses are encouraged to consider the potential financial risks and opportunities associated with environmental damage, as well as the broader societal and environmental impacts.

The event concluded with an overview of the next steps which businesses can take to become energy efficient by participating in client journeys through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). MBB Senior Executive (Business Advisory & Support) Michele Agius  explained how client journeys enable a green transition for SMEs. Those businesses interested in taking advantage of these opportunities may reach out to MBB Senior Projects Executive (Sustainability) Timothy Alden at

The Water and Energy Management and Knowledge Transfer in Manufacturing Enterprises (We Make) project, is a collaboration between the Energy and Water Agency (EWA), Malta Business Bureau and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, sponsored by the EWA, to give manufacturing industry businesses guidance on how to consume energy and water efficiently.

Getting the regulatory balance right for the short & long term

On the occasion of its General Assembly in Geneva today and as the EU enters a pivotal 12-month period, Eurochambres calls on policy makers to commit to Europe’s competitiveness and to getting the regulatory balance right.

With Spain about to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with one year left of the current EU legislative term and with preparations for the next five-year mandate gathering momentum, it is of paramount importance that political leaders seek to improve Europe’s deteriorating business environment.

Since the beginning of the current EU term in 2019, the European business community has been exposed to a high number of significant new policy initiatives and legislative proposals. The pursuit of the von der Leyen Commission’s policy objectives has continued unabated despite a global pandemic, the war, the energy crisis, international supply chain disruption and strong economic headwinds.

Businesses are struggling to keep pace with emerging new requirements, notably in relation to the green transition and to environmental, social and corporate governance. The digital and green transition can only be achieved if it is driven by a flourishing business community, but many companies have reached regulatory saturation point. Indeed, there is a sense among entrepreneurs that the EU is oblivious to the cumulative burden that its rules impose on the day-to-day activities of businesses.

While the new Commission target to reduce reporting requirements by 25% and its commitment to conduct regular competitiveness checks are both welcome, a more fundamental reset is needed, and an approach based on burden prevention rather than cure. The final 12 months of this EU mandate must be used to redress the regulatory imbalance swiftly and substantively. This should set the tone for a 2024-2029 legislative term that puts businesses front and centre to allow them to plan, invest, innovate, and employ.

Chambers act as a bridge between public authorities and the business community and as such are committed to providing concrete recommendations and support to the EU in getting the regulatory balance right. Europe remains an economic force and a source of progressive policy solutions to society’s challenges. Let us work together to ensure that this remains the case, for the good of our businesses and for the good of our citizens.

The full document can be downloaded here.

“Ftit tbatija issa tista’ tiskansalna tbatija akbar fil-futur”

Silvan Mifsud, Membru tal-Kunsill tal-Kamra tal-Kummerc, l-Intrapriza u l-Industrija

Jekk il-politika fiskali tkun waħda espansiva, fejn jibqgħu jingħataw sussidji fuq l-enerġija u fejn l-infieq tal-Gvernijiet biex itaffu l-effett tal-inflazzjoni jibqgħu jikbru, dawn il-miżuri jmorru kontra t-tnaqqis fid-domanda li qegħdin nippruvaw miż-żieda fl-imgħaxxijiet.

Dan ifisser li ndumu ferm aktar sabiex nrażżnu l-inflazzjoni, bir-riżultat li l-imgħaxxijiet ikollhom jogħlew aktar u bir-riskju li jkollna nidħlu f’riċessjoni pjuttost qawwija qabel titrażżen l-inflazzjoni. Għalhekk ftit tbatija issa tista’ tiskansana t-tbatija fil-futur. Dan intqal mill-ekonomista Silvan Mifsud, li hu ukoll membru tal-Kunsill tal-Kamra tal-Kummerc, l-Intrapriza u l-Industija f’intervista li kellu ma’ dan il-ġurnal, fejn irrimarka li l-inflazzjoni hi r-rata li bihom qed jiżdiedu l-prezzijiet fi żmien partikolari. Mifsud qal li l-problema hija meta din ir-rata ta’ żieda fil-prezzijiet tkun għolja wisq u tkun hekk għal żmien twil.

Qal ukoll li din jista jkollha konsegwenzi soċjali ħżiena filwaqt li l-miżuri li jridu jittieħdu sabiex titnaqqas l-inflazzjoni jistgħu jwasslu għal riċessjoni ekonomika. Huwa għalhekk li l-Bank Centrali Ewropew għandu l-mandat sabiex ikunhawn stabbilita’ fil-prezzijiet u li jkun
hawn inflazzjoni ta’ madwar 2%.

Meta mistoqsi minn fejn hi ġejja l-inflazzjoni, Mifsud spjega li din tista tkun ġejja minn tlett sorsi. L-ewwel sors turi x-xokkijiet li ġejjin min-naħa talprovista. L-ekonomist irrimarka li dan ġara hekk kif kellna tali xokkijiet li kienu ġejjin mill-ewwel pandemija tal-Covid-19 u imbagħad mill-gwerra fl-Ukrajna. Teknikamnet din tissejjaħ inflazzjoni “cost push”, fejn iż-żieda tal-prezzijiet provduti minħabba x-xokkijiet li kienu ġraw iwasslu għal l-inflazzjoni.

Mifsud qal li t-tieni s-sors huwa ż-żieda ta’ flus fl-idejn. Ġie spjegat minnhu li hekk kif ikun hawn aktar flus qed iduru fl-ekonomija, jkun hawn domanda aktar għal prodotti u servizzi u dan iwassal għal żieda fil-prezzijiet. Teknikament wieħed jista’ jirreferi għaliha bħala “demand pull”.

It-tielet u l-aħħar sors li jista’ jkun li qed toħloq l-inflazzjoni huma l-aspettattivi. F’dan ir-rigward, Mifsud qal li hemm element ta’ inflazzjoni li jiġi minħabba dak li s-suq ikun qed jantiċipa jew jistenna li jiġri. Jekk is-suq ikun qed jistenna żieda fid-domanda, hemm ċans li l-prezzijiet jogħlew minħabba f’hekk. L-ekonomista żied jgħħid li it-tali aspettattivi jistgħu jwasslu sabiex il-pagi jibqgħu jogħlew u jwasslu għal ċirku vizzjuż.

Fir-rigward ta’ kif qiegħed iħares lejn il-fatt li r-rata tal-interessi jidhru li se jibqgħu jiżdiedu, l-ekonomist Silvan Mifsud qal li l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew m’għandux għażla oħra ħlief li jgħolli irrati tal-imgħaxx, bħala parti mill-politika monetarja tiegħu, sabiex jipprova jnaqqas id-domanda u jikkontrolla l-inflazzjoni, waqt li jirbaħ il-ħin sabiex il-problemi fissistemi ta’ provvista jissolvew.

Huwa qal ukoll li l-Bank Ċentrali L-ekonomista Silvan Mifsud Ewropew huma inkwetati bil-persistenza tal-inflazzjoni li għaddejin minnha. Sa issa l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew kien qed jipprova jibbilanċja bejn iż-żieda flimgħaxxijiet sabiex jiġġieled l-inflazzjoni waqt li jniżżel id-domanda bilmod u ma jitfax l-ekonomiji Ewropea f’riċessjoni profonda.

Pero’ il-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew, jibża’ li jekk ma jibqax iżid l-imgħaxxijiet issa, se nispiċċaw biex l-aspettativi msemmija qabel, ikunu li l-inflazzjoni se tibqa’ għolja fit-tul, li jwassal li l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew jkoll jgħolli l-imgħaxxijiet ferm aktar u għal aktar żmien fit-tul, li żgur imbghad jitfa l-ekonomji Ewropew f’riċessjoni kbira – xi ħaġa li l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew qed jipprova jevita.

Jista’ jagħti l-każ ukoll li l-inflazzjoni tista’ twassal għal riċessjoni. L-opinjoni tal-ekonomista Mifsud fuq ir-relazzjoni ta’ bejn l-inflazzjoni u r-riċessjoni, huwa qal li jekk l-inflazzjoni ndumu sabiex nrażżnuha, dak ikun ifisser li l-aspettativi ta’ kulħadd huwa li l-prezzijiet se jibqgħu jgħollew fil-futur.

Dan għalhekk jista’ iwassal sabiex innies jibdew jibżgħu u jnaqqsu in-nefqa tagħhom fuq ħafna affarijiet, speċjalment dawk mhux neċessarji. Huwa qal ukoll li barra minn hekk il-politika monetarja tkun trid tibqa’ tgħolli l-imgħaxxijiet għal ħafna aktar żmien.

Misfuq saħaq li dan kollu jista jwassal għaltnaqqis drastiku fid-domanda li jwassal għal riċessjoni qawwija fejn jitkissru xi negozji. F’dan ir-rigward huwa qal; “Filwaqt li għandna bżonn nikkalmaw ftit id-domanda ma rridux nġibu kollass fid-domanda għax l-ekonomija għandha bżonn l-istrutturi ekonomċi tagħha (innegozji) jibqgħuu għaddejin għal meta
jkollna aktar stabbilta’ fil-prezzijiet”.

L-ekonomista qal li huwa għalhekk importanti li kemm il-politika monetarja u anke fiskali jaħdmu id f’id sabiex dan ixxenarju jiġi evitat. Hawnhekk żied jgħid; “Huwa importanti ħafna li meta nitkellmu fuq prezzijiet u fuq x’qed jikkawża l-inflazzjoni, dan isir fil-qafas ta’ analizi xjentifika u mhux waħda superfiċjali”

L-ekonomist Silvan Mifsud temm jgħid li huwa importanti li n-negozji jaraw kif se jsiru aktar effiċijenti fil-mod kif jaħdmu ħalli jżommu l-ispejjeż tan-negozji tagħhom taħt kontroll. Dan sabiex jkunu jistgħu jnaqqsu il-pressjoni fuq jekk u kemm iridu jżidu l-prezzijiet tagħhom.

Huwa qal li min-naħa l-oħra l-ħaddiem huwa importanti li jifhem li żieda fil-pagi, sena wara sena, sabiex jagħmlu tajjeb għal żieda għolja fil-prezzijiet ma tkunx se tgħinhom sabiex jkollhom is-saħħa tal-pagi tagħhom. Qal ukoll li jkun aħjar li għal xi żmien l-ħaddiema jaraw kif se jibdlu l-konsum tagħhom sakemml-inflazzjoni tiġi taħt kontroll.

Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat għall-ewwel darba fuq fid-19 ta’ Ġunju 2023.

The Single Market at 30 – a reboot towards growth and competitiveness


Volatile energy markets, high inflation rates and geopolitical unrest at Europe’s borders have dominated the EU agenda during the last months. Against this ever-increasing list of challenges, this year the EU is nonetheless celebrating a significant milestone – the 30th anniversary since the establishment of the European Single Market. As the European Commission itself noted, “anniversaries are an opportunity not only to look back at past achievements, but to set the expectations and objectives for the future.”

The European Single Market is home to 23 million businesses employing millions of people. Consequently, it needs to consistently have a forward-looking and well-defined framework. The Single Market plays a vital role in enhancing the global competitiveness of the EU. By removing internal barriers, it promotes economic integration, boosts internal trade, and facilitates market entry. Trade without barriers fosters healthy competition and allows businesses to benefit from economies of scale, with improved efficiency and resource allocation. As a result, market integration contributes to higher economic growth, job opportunities, and improves overall welfare.

30 years since its foundation, however, the Single Market remains highly uneven with the depth of integration varying substantially across the four freedoms. Free movement of goods and people work far more seamlessly compared to some of the evident barriers that still exist for cross-border services and capital. The inconsistency between procedures covered by the Single Digital Gateway and national Points of Single Contact and the restriction to access public procurement due to additional requirements placed by Member States are just a few examples. Moreover, Europe is lagging somewhat behind global competitors such as the US and China with regards to innovation and future-oriented technologies that are key components to the digital transition. All this to say, that although the Single Market achievements deserve celebration, the EU faces substantial challenges that must be addressed in the short-to medium term if it wishes to remain competitive internally and globally to enable European companies to prosper.

As part of its forward-looking agenda linked to the 30th anniversary of the Single Market, the European Commission published a strategy on the Long-Term Competitiveness of the EU. This provides a policy framework and key performance indicators aimed at achieving sustainable competitiveness, economic security, open strategic autonomy, and fair competition. An important element is the prioritisation of the “competitiveness check” for better regulation – an important outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe – which is concerned with evaluating the effects of new policy proposals by conducting more comprehensive analysis to gain a deeper understanding of how proposals will impact competitiveness. In addition to the competitiveness check, the Commission is also committed to adopt a “one-in, one-out” approach, to offset any burden for businesses resulting from new proposals by removing an equivalent existing regulatory burden in the same policy area.  While appreciating the fact that the Commission is aiming not to increase the legislative burden on businesses, the objective should be more ambitious and focus on reducing regulatory burden more broadly rather than simply offsetting new ones. Regular evaluation of existent EU legislations needs to be conducted to ensure their relevance and effectiveness, and review where necessary to reduce burdens and improve the competitiveness of European businesses.

This would require reinforcing the Single Market governance infrastructure to continue identifying existing barriers and ensure the consistent application of Single Market rules. For this, enhancing the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement tools like the Single Market Enforcement Taskforce (SMET) and Solvit, a service for citizens and businesses when their rights in another member state is breached, is crucial. This is particularly relevant in areas such as the Digital Economy for instance where landmark legislations such as the Digital Markets Act, Digital Services Act, Data Act, and Artificial Intelligence Act were recently adopted or are in the process to be adopted, and whose proper application is essential to support businesses advance technological innovation, development, and commercialisation.

From a Maltese perspective, despite the challenges and trade barriers that remain, Maltese businesses should feel privileged to be part of the world’s biggest market and remain open to take up opportunities by making use of its full potential.  Whenever encountering difficulties, companies must come forward and discuss with national public agencies and business support organisations that can help them navigate their way through and bring their grievances forward to the relevant EU institutions.

Alison Mizzi is the President of the Malta Business Bureau. The MBB is the EU business advisory organisation of The Malta Chamber and The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.

This article was first published on The Sunday Times on 18th June 2023.

Igniting Change: The need for fire safety legislation in Malta

Earlier today, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, through its Health and Wellness Committee which is sponsored by Atlas Insurance, organised an event to raise awareness on the need for a fire safety legislation in Malta.

Fire safety is an area of great concern for the general public, insurers and also for health and safety professionals. Malta currently follows a set of guidelines that are now out of date and which in themselves do not hold the power of law, while the new Fire Safety Act still awaits ratification.

In her introductory speech, Catherine Calleja, Council Member and Chair of the Health and Wellness Committee within The Malta Chamber, said “what The Malta Chamber is pushing for is to have a single piece of legislation which can be updated regularly to ensure that working or living in Malta is as safe as in other comparable jurisdictions.  Fear of retrofitting is not a justifiable reason for delay.  Transition periods to comply must be given but we have to start somewhere. The longer we delay the more expensive retrofitting will be. Resources for enforcement must be provided.  It is useless having legislation in place and no provision for enforcement.  Otherwise, it is just a matter of time before we are ‘too late’ to prevent another tragedy.”

“This standard is therefore about people’s safety and people’s lives. The drafting of the standard has to be the result of a solid interface between the Building & Construction Authority which is responsible for building codes together with the Civil Protection Department that has various important responsibilities in relation to this specific topic” said Hon Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Minister for Public Works and Planning.

When asked about who will take the role of enforcing the new legislation once it is in place, Ing Antoine Bartolo, Chief Officer at the Building and Construction Authority said that “the authority is looking at the resources required for the enforcement of this legislation.”

Peter Paul Coleiro, Director General at the Civil Protection Department, gave an overview on the current realities. “A holistic approach is the way forward. Together with the Building and Construction Authority, and the input from various stakeholders, we have drafted a fire legislation which is in its final stages. Emphasis is also being made on educating the young about fire safety and we have started discussions on getting courses for those who are interested in the profession,” he said.

During one of the panel discussions, Dr Marthese Portelli, CEO of The Malta Chamber, started off by saying that The Malta Chamber goes beyond simply representing its members, but ensures that its policy proposals are for the general benefit of the entire community. “As The Malta Chamber, we are after clarity and responsibility. Rather than a lot of sporadic legislation falling within the remit of various entities, departments and enforcement officers we are pushing for a main law which regulates fire safety and which gives the legislator enough flexibility to be able to legislate further and amend easily. The Malta Chamber is also advocating that everybody needs to bear their fair share of responsibility,” she noted.

Dr Portelli also highlighted how fire safety ties into proper governance structures and policies, the relationship between energy-efficient solutions and fire safety, as well as the relationship between quality and fire safety. In terms of public procurement, she insisted that one should move away from the ‘cheapest compliant’ as ‘cheap products mean cheap safety’.

Gearing towards the Digital Decade


An overview of the EU’s strategy for 2030

Digitalisation is a key priority for the EU. Being ahead of the curve on innovation and technology is crucial to safeguard the competitiveness of European businesses and this is enabled through timely and efficient regulatory frameworks.

We have witnessed a digital revolution over the last few decades. During this time, digital gatekeepers have accumulated a magnitude of power over ordinary businesses and consumers which needed rebalancing; artificial intelligence has evolved from basic to highly sophisticated tools; data is now widely regarded as digital gold; and as the digital economy grows, so do the challenges and risks that come in the form of cybersecurity threats.

The basis for a thriving digital economy is a robust regulatory framework. This way innovators and companies can operate by the same rules in a predictable environment. To this effect, during this mandate the European Commission has been very active in regulating the digital economy. To mention a few, the Data Act which concerns the interoperability between data spaces, the Chips Act which focuses on semiconductor technology, the Artificial Intelligence Act which is a new global standard establishing rules according to risk categories, and the Cyber Resilience Act which tackles cybersecurity aspects of hardware and software products. Not to mention the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act that aim to ensure the safety and standards of products and services sold online. Considering the impact that digitalisation will have on the future EU economy, a reinvigorated focus on legislation is highly justified as long as it is practical and does not stifle innovation.

Nevertheless, beyond legislation, a much broader vision is required for the EU to be a global protagonist of the digital economy. With this in mind, the European Commission took a step further by outlining a strategy for the Digital Decade with clear milestones leading up to 2030 in areas that include digital skills, digital infrastructures, digitalisation of businesses and public services. The EU’s Digital Decade strategy is human centred and aims at building and deploying technological capabilities that will address digital divides and will help people and businesses become more independent in an increasingly interconnected world. In this respect, to keep up with innovative technologies that are fast evolving, the EU also established the Digital Europe Programme, with EU funds made available to help public authorities and companies to reinforce the critical digital capacities in the key areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced computing, data infrastructure, governance, and processing. These are to be deployed in critical sectors like energy, climate change and environment, manufacturing, agriculture, and health.

Furthermore, through the Digital Decade Policy Programme (DDPP) the EU is looking to double the number of EU digital unicorns by 2030. Unicorns are defined as privately owned companies valued at $1 billion or more. Such companies provide an innovation and investment driven ecosystem that will boost the creation of more tech companies in the EU. To date such investment is mostly concentrated in the United States and Asia.

From a local perspective, Malta ranked 6th out of 27 EU Member States in the 2021 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). 71% of Maltese small and medium enterprises have at least a basic level of digital intensity and perform particularly well in the use of technologies such as big data and cloud solutions. Malta also boasts a strong focus on advanced digital technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence. But despite such progress, Maltese companies, similar to businesses across the EU, experience lack of staff with adequate digital skills.

Overall, these are encouraging indicators, but not sufficient to be complacent. In the coming years, digitalisation will become more sophisticated and in much shorter timeframes. This will require ongoing investment in infrastructure and skills for Maltese and EU companies to remain competitive. For these reasons, while the EU’s ambitious and multifaceted Digital Decade plan is welcome, the progress and success of the strategy will be shaped by ongoing proactive policy and regulatory updates, and consistently matching public investment to the same level as other global competitors.

The Malta Business Bureau has been fairly active in supporting companies go through the digital transition through the different EU projects it is engaged in. Currently, together with other partners the MBB is implementing the DIGITOUR project, which identifies innovative ways in bridging the digital skill gaps and training needs within the tourism sector. Through the Tourism 4.0 project several tourism SMEs have received a grant to upgrade to more digital operations. Another project, ToRRe, is concerned with helping the retail sector reinvent itself through a toolkit that promotes digital upskilling. Digitalisation shall remain a priority for the MBB, and we will seek to continue adding value to the local business sector through such projects. 

Joe Tanti is the CEO of the Malta Business Bureau. The MBB is the EU business advisory organisation of The Malta Chamber and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. It is also a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network.

This article first appeared on The Malta Independent on 1st June 2023.

PwC’s Tech Week: working towards a human-led and tech-powered future

PwC Malta has recently organised a series of technology-related events aimed at giving more prominence to the various challenges business leaders face in undertaking digital transformation initiatives. During the week starting 15 May, PwC’s Tech Week kicked off with ‘Reshaping the future of Tech’ – a day dedicated to the student community. With constant disruption being created by technology, there has never been such a demand from the business community looking for key talent in technology related careers. The events were aimed at encouraging students to understand better how their relevant studies could be practically transposed within the world of work.

The main highlight of the week was the Intelligent Digital two-day conference, held on 16 and 17 May. The first day’s proceedings included a full-day conference focusing on digital transformation, followed by afternoon deep-dive insights on business applications and use cases. Targeted mainly at CEOs, the conference presented insights into how technological innovation can aid businesses in shaping strategy and maximising business performance. The second day, targeted mostly at CTOs, was a half-day conference presenting a technical focus on digital infrastructure and storage, cyber security, and data privacy, amongst other topics.

In commenting on the two-day conference, Michel Ganado, PwC Malta’s Digital Services Leader, emphasised the need for “organisations to re-imagine and re-think the art of the possible and move to more data-driven, customer-centric omnichannel solutions which are tech-powered and human-led”. The speakers and panellist line-up for the two days was extensive, comprising local C-suite business leaders, technology alliance partners from Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and HP as well key PwC subject matter experts from its local and EMEA network.

The fourth day of Tech Week comprised a whole day event of Digital in Action at PwC’s The Hub in Qormi. The agenda included eleven thematic sessions that provided business and technology leaders with the opportunity to see technology in action and gain insight into how certain digital areas and emerging technologies will be crucial to driving their business agendas for the years to come.

The closing day of Tech Week involved a joint event with The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry on the Customer Experience in the Digital Age. Two brief presentations, followed by a panel discussion related to the customer experience, included speakers such as Christina Zammit La Rosa (Director at Zammit La Rosa Footwear Ltd), Malcolm Camilleri (Deputy CEO at the PG Group), and Benji Borg (CEO at ANCHOVY. and 9H Group).

Reflecting back on the full week of events dedicated to technology and innovation, PwC’s Territory Senior Partner, David Valenzia, stated that “it has been a pleasure seeing this week unfold, and we have received very positive feedback from our foreign-based colleagues, and our technology alliance partners. It has also been very well received by our clients locally, and I’m sure it has invigorated our business community to look forward and assess how technology can be used as an enabler for their strategy and transformation.

Michel Ganado supported this view and commented that “the Intelligent Digital conference will feature as an annual event aimed at helping organisations of all sizes leverage digital technologies to drive sustained business outcomes.”

Invitation: Signing of Ukraine Business Compact

On behalf of Ukraine and the United Kingdom, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry cordially invites its members to sign the Ukraine Business Compact 2023 – a declarative and non-binding statement of international businesses’ support for Ukraine’s recovery.

The Business Compact can be signed on the Ukraine Recovery Conference portal here. Password: URC_2023_apklsnbdudor. Or by simply returning a signed PDF (see below) document to The deadline to do so is 19 June 2023.

The Ukraine Business Compact gives international businesses a platform to show their support for Ukraine’s recovery. Specifically, Ukraine’s impressive drive to modernise, build a resilient and agile economy, and emerge from conflict as a stronger and more prosperous state.

As a signatory, you will join companies around the world declaring your support for the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine. This includes looking for opportunities, when the time is right, to engage in trade and investment, peer-to-peer expertise sharing, pro bono work and business activities.
The Business Compact will be officially launched at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (“URC23”) in London on June 21/22.

The URC23 itself will focus on identifying and taking actionable steps to helping Ukraine build back better, as a more resilient, greener, and more prosperous European nation. In particular, the URC23 will place emphasis on the role of the private sector – and the reforms required to drive investment – as essential components of Ukraine’s long-term recovery.

We very much hope you will join businesses from across the globe in supporting the Business Compact and invite you to sign by returning the below PDF or via this link.

Raising awareness on the importance of data protection and cyber resilience

The Malta Chamber, in collaboration with BMIT (Bronze Sponsors of The Malta Chamber) organised an event titled ‘Data Protection and Cyber Resilience: A Powerful Combination’. The event, which featured Malta’s Data Protection Commissioner, aimed at raising awareness about the latest developments in data protection and cyber resilience. 

In his opening speech, President Chris Vassallo Cesareo noted that The Malta Chamber believes that there is lack of awareness and knowledge when it comes to cybersecurity, hence, more education and awareness is required. “More digital-centric schemes are required for businesses to shift, upgrade, and improve their digital infrastructure, systems, and solutions. Government and business should join forces to develop and implement digitalisation, innovation and technology-driven transformation pathways tailored to different sectors,” he said.

During a panel discussion, The Malta Chamber CEO Dr Marthese Portelli highlighted the top 3 essential steps that businesses of any size should prioritize in terms of cyber resilience and to ensure that their business data is protected. She said, “It is important to know what data you have, where it is and who has it.  It is important to know its value and relay it to employees. It is important to plan well your cyber resilience and to include the necessary resources for it in your annual budget.”