TradeMalta Facilitates Maltese Companies’ Participation at Libya Build

TradeMalta is proud to announce its coordination of the Malta Pavilion at Libya Build 2024 between 29 April and 2 May

This event marks the return of Maltese companies to this fair after an absence of several years. The exhibition, now in its 15th edition, is renowned as the foremost gathering for the building, design, and construction sector in North Africa, and is taking place at the Tripoli International Fair Grounds from 29 April to 2 May. Libya Build serves as a vital platform, uniting thousands of construction solutions under one roof.

Five Maltese companies are participating, seizing the opportunity to forge new connections and explore potential partnerships. They are set to showcase their expertise with a diverse array of offerings spanning door designs, engineering solutions, integrated professional and technical services in building construction, fibreglass manufacturing, and operational risk management solutions.

Anton Buttigieg, CEO of TradeMalta, commented, “TradeMalta is delighted to spearhead the Malta Pavilion at Libya Build. Our involvement underscores TradeMalta’s dedication to facilitating international trade and fostering growth opportunities for Maltese businesses. We are committed to empowering local enterprises to expand their global footprint and seize promising prospects in international markets.”

Participation in Libya Build presents an excellent opportunity for Maltese companies to engage with industry leaders from North Africa and the Middle East and cultivating valuable relationships and accessing new avenues for growth. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Malta Pavilion in Hall 1 at the Tripoli International Fair Grounds to discover the latest innovations and capabilities offered by Maltese firms.

For further information about the services provided by TradeMalta, please visit or contact us at Tel: 22472400.

BOV apprenticeship programme offers MCAST students world of opportunities

Members from the People & Culture team at Bank of Valletta met MCAST Paola students during this year’s MCAST Career Expo. In growing organisations such as BOV, it is very common that opportunities for work placement are offered regularly. One of the Bank’s focus is to support the education system, offering rewarding experiences that turn into lifelong careers.

Bank of Valletta offers an extensive Apprenticeship Programme specifically designed for MCAST students, which not only leads to a Banking and Finance career path, but includes also working opportunities in the areas of IT, Business Administration, Insurance, and other industry-specific areas such as ESG, Anti-Financial Crime, Risk and Compliance.

The Bank currently employs 49 students under the MCAST Apprenticeship Programme, with careers spanning various areas including Trade Finance, Stockbroking, and Corporate Finance. Placements are also found at various Branches, Business Centres, IT departments, Investment Operations, Controls, Risk & Compliance, Tax and Legal units amongst others. The experience has shown that in most instances, students who join the Apprenticeship Programme during their MCAST studies will eventually continue working for the Bank once they finish their studies. As is the case of Ms Tiffany Pace, who at just 21 years of age, has already gained over 4 years of experience working for Bank of Valletta, having started her career as an MCAST apprentice. “My journey at Bank of Valletta began while sitting for an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration at MCAST. Back then, I started performing front-line duties at Birkirkara Branch, an experience which provided me with adequate knowledge, thus making the shift to a full-time basis, a seamless one. Two years later, I am proud to be an integral part of the BOV community, forming part of the Talent Acquisition Team at the People & Culture unit. I am eager to keep on learning and growing within the People & Culture team, committed to furthering my studies, and fully confident that the Bank will continue to support me every step of the way.” 

The MCAST Career Expo served as a showcase of career opportunities available both in the Private and Public Sectors, where various organisations met under one roof to promote their workplace with MCAST students. Bank of Valletta offered additional value during the Expo, with an information session delivered by Senior Marketing Manager, Ms Vanessa Borg on the Marketing techniques used by the Bank in promoting its products and services.  Students following courses in Marketing and Business Management attended the session and were given insights into the marketing process adopted by Bank of Valletta, from identifying business opportunities and the right target audiences to implementing the creative visuals of a marketing campaign to analysing and measuring the effectiveness and tracking the sales records.

Further information on the MCAST Apprenticeship Programme, is available at and the currently available full-time career opportunities at BOV, can be obtained from

Political Decisions that undermine Integrity and Good Governance

Too many wrongdoings happening systematically and frequently

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry re-iterates its emphasis on the importance of good governance, and insists that the country needs to move from lip service and words on paper, to tangible action where full accountability and transparency, integrity, proper stewardship and sound leadership prevail.

Over the past few months, the country has witnessed systematic and frequent wrongdoings. The extent and spread of the benefits fraud scheme that is currently being exposed through court proceedings casts considerable questions on the integrity of everyone involved in the granting and disbursement of such payments, including the respective Ministry. The fact that such a scheme could be run for years, with such intensity, without anyone batting an eyelid, indicates that there is no accountability, as well as no internal auditing systems to detect and deter abuse, and that people are either actively involved in fraudulent activities and profiting from them, or they have grown accustomed to seeing them occur. Like the three monkeys, they see no evil, hear no evil, and say nothing about it.

Government seems intent on wiping out people’s criminal records as quickly as possible lest they are a hinderance in securing employment. Bearing in mind that the public service is the largest employer, one hopes that this urgency to cleanse the conduct of people who abused from social benefits is not intended to facilitate a quick transition from dependency on benefits to recruitment with the public service, whether directly or through agencies – we really need to have people who can be trusted both within the public service and state entities.

The Malta Chamber is also worried that top positions at key government authorities and agencies have become hotseats that people occupy for just a few months, before resigning or being transferred to another hotseat to possibly diffuse the next crisis. The practice of leveraging resignations to give the impression that action is being done, discourages capable people from taking on these crucial roles and executing the significant reforms required to shift course. Furthermore, a short-term period in these driving seats will mean even greater political involvement, because the drivers are dispensed with before they have been in place long enough to truly take charge of the issue and sniff out all those systematic abusive practices that may be widespread. This comes out loud and clear in what is being uncovered with respect to social benefits, licences, construction practices, as well as in public procurement.

The presidential pardon that has been granted to the recipients of social benefits in return to testify against the perpetrators of the scheme further reinforces a culture of impunity. It also undermines the newly appointed President – whereas many think that a presidential pardon lies completely within the prerogative of the President, in actual fact, the request for a presidential pardon is on the advice received.

Government needs to be on the side of what is right and send clear signals that it will not come to the rescue of abusers or restrain those who want to set things straight. This is what good governance is about. Anything short of this will come across as pandering to the masses and playing for time, which is running out.

Atlas Insurance presents “Centennial Chronicles: Celebrating Malta’s Commercial Legacy”

Atlas Insurance’s exhibition is marking the hundred years of its legacy. “Centennial Chronicles: Celebrating Malta’s Commercial Legacy,” is currently underway at The Malta Chamber in Valletta. This unique exhibition, open until May 28th, is not just a celebration of Atlas’ 100-year journey but a comprehensive tribute to the vibrant commercial history of Malta.

The exhibition offers visitors a journey through Malta’s economic development, cultural history, and political dynamics, which are deeply intertwined with the narrative of Atlas Insurance. From pre-20th century insurance documents to a reconstructed 1920s-1930s office, the exhibition showcases the evolution of the insurance industry in parallel with the country’s social and economic evolution, as it adapted to reflect the shifting needs and risks of each period.

Catherine Calleja, Executive Director and Company Secretary of Atlas Insurance, commented: “This project has long been in the making. Atlas Insurance has chosen to put together an exhibition of commercial history in Malta rather than concentrate on its own journey alone, highlighting the fact that it is the commercial legacy of our clients which has made Atlas what it is today – and made the Atlas story.”

Curated by Justine Balzan Demajo, with archiving and research conducted by Nikolai Debono, the exhibition is open from Monday to Friday until the 28 May between 8am and 4.30pm. There will be daily curatorial tours on a drop-in basis at lunchtime from 22 April. 

Lectures by Liam Gauci, Dr Philip Farrugia Randon and Dr Mario Brincat will also be held, shedding light on various aspects of commercial history, from corsairing to memories of Valletta in the mid-twentieth century, to economic history between 1945-1959.  Bookings for these lectures and for evening curatorial tours are available online through the Atlas website.

For more info and bookings, click here.

The Malta Chamber BOM pays courtesy visit to the President of Malta

The Malta Chamber Board of Management paid a courtesy visit to H.E. the President of Malta, Myriam Spiteri Debono. During the meeting, Chris Vassallo Cesareo, The Malta Chamber President, discussed the ongoing initiatives and outlined future plans for the business community.

He also highlighted two critical areas necessitating utmost prioritisation and expressed satisfaction in the alignment of objectives between The Malta Chamber and the President’s office:

  1. Constitutional reform – The Malta Chamber was proactive during public consultations for the necessary reforms to take place
  2. Enforcement – The Malta Chamber in its 2024 Pre-Budget Document insisted on having proper, co-ordinated and unselective enforcement of law and regulations

President Spiteri Debono thanked The Malta Chamber for its dynamic approach in being at the forefront on various national issues and for its valuable contribution to the local business community and the country at large.

As we have done in the past years, The Malta Chamber will remain committed to having a healthy and positive relationship with the Office of the President of Malta.

Celebrating Graduates of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

During a reception on April 17, Deputy Chief of Mission Ken Toko and Chris Vassallo Cesareo, President of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry, celebrated participants who graduated from the U.S. Department of State’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). The AWE program provides women entrepreneurs around the world with the knowledge, networks, and access needed to start and scale successful businesses. Two of the participants excelled in pitching their business proposals, winning a competition for $9,000, as the first prize, and $4,000, as a second prize, that they will invest in their businesses.

In 2022 and 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Malta partnered with The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry to implement the second and third iteration of this global entrepreneurship program in Malta. AWE supports the U.S. government’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality aimed at advancing women’s economic empowerment globally. Implemented in nearly 100 countries since 2019, AWE has empowered approximately 25,000 women entrepreneurs from around the world, including in Malta.

Mr. Toko and Mr. Vassallo Cesareo presented certificates to the AWE graduates and participants and awarded prizes in seed funds to the winner and runner-up of the business plan pitch competition. In brief remarks, Mr. Toko said, “At the U.S. Embassy, we take pride in collaborating with our partners in Malta to advance the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity across society, politics, and the economy. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy in Malta and the U.S. Department of State, I would like to congratulate you all. We are proud of your innovation and drive to follow your ambitions.”

In his remarks, Mr. Vassallo Cesareo said, “Our genuine enthusiasm for this project is founded on the widespread benefits it brings, not only to the participants or the business community, but to our society at large. I very much like to quote the United Nations term ‘He for She’ when embarking on solidarity with women to create a bold, visible, and united force for gender equality. The spheres of business and enterprise should not be an exception, but the rule. Together, and with each other to build businesses, raise families, and give back to our communities.”

Addressing the guests, Ms. Rachel Bondi Attard, Head of Media and Communication Strategist said, “I can say with confidence that your determination, resilience, and innovative spirit are the driving forces that will help you move forward, regardless of the obstacles you may encounter. The Malta Chamber is delighted to witness so many talented women completing this program successfully, and we eagerly anticipate seeing you pursue your entrepreneurial ideas with passion and conviction.”

The Malta Chamber renews gold partnership with Bank of Valletta

The Malta Chamber is delighted to announce the renewal of its Gold Partnership with Bank of Valletta (BOV), consolidating a longstanding relationship aimed at fostering economic growth and prosperity in Malta. 

The partnership between The Malta Chamber, the foremost voice of the Maltese business community, and Bank of Valletta, one of Malta’s leading financial institutions, has been instrumental in driving innovation, supporting businesses, and facilitating economic development. 

Under the renewed partnership, both entities will continue to collaborate closely on initiatives geared towards promoting entrepreneurship, driving investment, and enhancing the competitiveness of Maltese businesses on both local and international fronts.

Chris Vassallo Cesareo, President of The Malta Chamber, expressed his enthusiasm about the continuation of this strategic partnership, stating, “The Malta Chamber is proud to renew its Gold Partnership with BOV. Our collaboration over the years has been pivotal in advancing the interests of our members and the broader business community. Together, we will continue to work towards creating an environment conducive to business growth, innovation, and sustainable development.” 

Speaking on the signing of the renewed agreement, Kenneth Farrugia, the Bank’s CEO noted, “Bank of Valletta’s partnership with The Chamber goes back many years. Over this time, our strategic alliance has led to fruitful discussions and initiatives to better understand the needs of the local business community, particularly the SMEs and family businesses, whilst supporting and incentivizing them to explore new opportunities.” Here he made specific reference to the CSR Toolkit and the online SME toolkit that had been launched several years ago, and to the expertise of BOV professionals who are eager to offer their support, even by way of financial educational, giving support in a spectrum of financial services including trade finance, online trading, investments, and pension schemes. “The new agreement will enable us to continue exploring joint ventures that will benefit Chamber members and the local businesses. Specifically, we are also committed to strengthening our focus on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles, guiding the local business community in embracing changes that bring their operations more in line with the ESG principles. 

The agreement was signed by Chris Vassallo Cesareo, Nick Xuereb, and Dr Marthese Portelli, President, Deputy President, and CEO of The Malta Chamber respectively, and Kenneth Farrugia, Bank of Valletta CEO. Kenneth B Micallef from the Bank’s Business Development function and Charles Azzopardi from CSR and Events were also present.

FHRD launches Professional Membership Scheme

by Karen Muscat Baldacchino – Malta Foundation for Human Resources Development CEO

The Malta Foundation for Human Resources Development (FHRD) has launched a new Professional Membership Scheme which will allow HR professionals to get recognised by FHRD for their level of HR Competence. This falls in line with FHRD’s mission to set national standards in the development of human resources in Malta.

While there are no changes to the corporate membership scheme currently in place, the FHRD Professional Membership Scheme is a comprehensive revamp of the individual membership scheme that has been in place so far.

The Professional Membership Scheme has three levels: Associate, Fellow, and a membership developed exclusively for students seeking a career in human resources.

Prospective candidates will have the opportunity to submit applications for any level, provided that they meet the specified eligibility conditions.

Apart from forming part of a thriving local network, enhancing professional credibility, and enriching the HR journey, key features of the Professional Membership Scheme include:

  • A website specifically tailored to serve as a comprehensive platform for all Human Resources stakeholders.
  • Exclusive access to industry insights: Members will gain privileged access to cutting-edge research and articles by experts in the field, providing them with a competitive edge in their professional endeavours.
  • Tailored professional development opportunities: The scheme will offer a range of workshops, seminars, and training sessions conducted by industry experts to enhance members’ skills and knowledge.
  • Networking events and forums: Members will have the opportunity to connect with professionals, industry leaders, and experts through exclusive networking events, fostering collaboration and partnerships.

FHRD has developed a framework of HR competencies based on nine functional competencies and nine enabling competencies.

Functional competencies relate to those skills required to perform tasks that are within the scope of HR Professionals while enabling competencies are more strategic competencies that are not specific to the HR profession, but which are deemed essential.

These competencies are divided into three core areas:

  1. Individual Skills – Personal skills are recognised as soft skills which are not easy to teach. They are also known as interpersonal or ‘people’ skills. 
  2. Team Skills – Teamwork skills consist of interrelated abilities that let you work effectively in an organised group. Teamwork skills are vital to employees, as teams are a basic organisational unit within many companies. Teamwork happens when people cooperate and use their individual skills to achieve common goals.
  3. Organisational Skills – Organisational skills are the ability to manage time effectively, prioritise tasks, set goals, and develop systems for achieving those goals. Employees with good organisational skills can juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously, stay focused on deadlines, and handle complex projects efficiently.

Each of the core areas above has three functional and three enabling competencies:

Individual Skills:

Functional competencies

  • Organisational effectiveness
  • People analytics
  • Talent acquisition

Enabling competencies

  • Critical thinking
  • Tech savvy
  • Research skills

Team Skills:

Functional competencies

  • Compensation and reward
  • Talent management
  • Engagement and well-being

Enabling competencies

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Decision making
  • Business acumen

Organisational Skills:

Functional competencies

  • Employee relations
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Learning and development

Enabling competencies

  • Ethical behaviour
  • Negotiation and influence
  • Strategic leadership

Associate Membership Level:

This level is specifically tailored for HR professionals at the junior to mid-level who fulfill operational or administrative responsibilities. An associate member is envisioned to occupy roles such as HR Administrator, HR Generalist, HR Specialist, HR Business Partner, HR Assistant Manager, or an HR Manager with an operational focus (who reports to the Chief HR Officer or a Senior Manager in an HR function). The Associate Membership acknowledges one’s work experience and professional knowledge in the field of Human Resources.

Fellow Membership Level:

This level is intended for a senior-level HR professional who engages primarily in a strategic role, possesses numerous years of HR experience working on strategic projects, and consultancy, and forms part of an organisation’s senior management team. Fellow Membership acknowledges one’s vast work experience and substantial professional knowledge in the field of HR.

Student Membership Level:

The Student Membership is aimed at aspiring human resources professionals. It acknowledges a person’s dedication to academic advancement in the field of human resources and positions them on the path to professional recognition. This membership applies only to full-time students.

Renewals of the Associate and the Fellow Memberships will be possible subject to the candidate attending a number of HR-related events. The total number of required hours is 16, of which 10 must be in FHRD-organised events. The remainder can be obtained in any HR-related event, as long as a certificate of attendance is provided to the FHRD.

For further information about the scheme please visit: For any inquiries, please email:

FHRD was set up in 1990 to spearhead the evolution of people management and development practices as well as the human resources profession in Malta. The Foundation is an autonomous, private, independent body and works in partnership with its corporate members, the professional conglomerate of HR practitioners and service providers, leaders of the industry, and other key local players in the field of human resources management and development.

BOV talks artificial intelligence in the banking world

As banks continue to navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the integration of AI technologies promises to redefine industry standards and elevate customer satisfaction to unprecedented heights. This was stated by Ivo Camilleri, Chief Strategy, Transformation and Data Officer while introducing a workshop for BOV employees, focusing on the use of AI in the Financial Services World. “It is imperative that we invest in driving change in the local financial services sector, change that translates into better risk management and enhanced customer experience,” Mr Camilleri said.

The Bank sought the collaboration of experts from the renowned global firm Strategy& to contribute to this event. Strategy& presented cutting-edge advancements in the fields of AI that are relevant to the whole banking sector. They shared their insights and perspectives with those present.

The discussion moved from surrounding emerging technologies like Gen AI and Deep Learning to practical tools such as Microsoft CoPilot which are tailored for the banking industry. The experts at the event hinted at what could be the trajectory of financial institutions toward an increasingly technologically driven future.

It was noted that, despite advances made, Europe finds itself approximately 1.5 years behind North America in embracing such innovations. However, the silver lining lies in the flexibility of resource capacity requirements. Even if one had to start with modest numbers or small operations, the returns yielded would be significant. This acknowledgment underscores the immense potential for growth and innovation within the European banking landscape.  

Moreover, discussions at the event highlighted the need for banks to identify strategic entry points across various functions to embark on their transformative journey. AI brings important shifts towards greater automation and efficiency. More recently it is also expanding to encompass sophisticated applications in risk management, fraud prevention and tailored customer service. This shift requires broad upskilling initiatives across different teams within the organisation. Meanwhile, for banks to operate at scale successfully, it will be necessary to create interlinkages between engineering expertise and leveraging AI tools.

Speaking after the event, Ivo Camilleri expressed his satisfaction at the level of interest and the engagement that the discussion aroused among those present. “Artificial Intelligence is not a fad or a trend, but a critical tool that we need to understand and leverage for the best interest of both our customers and employees.” He explained how this workshop was an important prelude to a discussion that needs to go on within the Bank, cutting across all the functions, be they front-facing, support or control. “From the generation of synthetic data to personalised customer experiences, AI serves as a basis for driving customer-centric innovation within the banking sector. At Bank of Valletta, we are taking a leading role to reap the benefits of AI and translate them into better understanding customer journeys and providing high quality customer experiences.”