Throughout 2018, the Malta Chamber continued to provide its members with an ever-growing portfolio of value-added services, as well as supported Malta’s business community on a number of occasions, in a variety of issues.
Chamber President Frank V. Farrugia said that 2018 was yet another successful year for the Chamber. Mr Farrugia remarked that the Chamber continued to carry out representation work in terms of policy, in favour of a competitiveness-based sustainable economy. The Chamber also organised an increasingly ambitious number of events which were very well attended by members, as well as supported a large number of individual cases that turned to the Chamber for help.
Mr Farrugia augured members the very best for the festive season, as he encouraged more companies to approach the Chamber for all their business-related needs in the new year.
Overview of the Chamber’s work in 2018
In 2018, the Chamber presented a comprehensive study, complete with several recommendations to Government about the Labour Market situation in Malta. During a presentation to cabinet, the Chamber described the findings in its policy paper, and how the situation of labour shortage currently characterising the market can be addressed.
On the same subject, the presentation was further followed by a series of practical initiatives and collaborations amongst which with MCAST and other international partners aimed at helping businesses identify and recruit human resources.
Besides, the Chamber also analyzed a number of other challenges affecting businesses’ comeptitiveness and formulated a number of policy papers including documents on Work Based Learning in Malta, Rent Laws, public holidays, updated Equality Act and Equality Commission, and feedback on a set of four HR-related Legal Notices which had been implemented without prior consultation and subsequently suspended until these were discussed and accepted by the Social Partners.
The Chamber also actively participated in lengthy discussions on the Beverage Container Return System and the establishment of a Beverage Importers Association to defend its members’ interests.
As is customary, the Chamber also articulated a position paper ahead of the Budget 2019. This was accompanied by the necessary PR and live coverage on this portal which saw record visits on Budget Night, and a Post Budget reaction Paper.
The organisation successfully organised a number of high level, value-added activities for members, including two Family Business Conferences, Dialogue with the Prime Minister and a dialogue with Minister Cardona for Manufacturing Economic Group (MEG), a Start-Up Strong Seminar, GDPR Seminar, and a Blockchain conference.
Celebrating its 170th anniversary in 2018, the Malta Chamber also organised a series of events to mark the prestigious mile-stone in the organisation’s history. The Summer Reception this year was organised at the Lower Barrakka Gardens, while members could follow a special message for the business community, imparted by H.G. the Archbishop of Malta as he celebrated a special Mass for the occasion, in the Agostino Portelli Hall, in July.
Hosting EEN, the Chamber continued to provide members with a sterling internationalisation support service. EEN in fact helped 76 Maltese companies grow internationally in the last 3 years. These positive results were well recieved and confirmed by EASME who said that 73% of Maltese clients surveyed by EU were very satisfied by this service while 89% will actually recommend us to others.
Also through EEN, members participated in highly successful Business Delegations to Warsaw, Turin and Liverpool.
The Chamber President also led and participated in numerous other outgoing delegations throughout 2018, with the aim to expose members to the opportunities in new and existing markets beyond our shores.
The Chamber also welcomed a number of high-level visitors to the Exchange Buildings including Indian Vice President, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and three members from the House of Lords.
The various committees that deal with the different sectors in the Chamber continued to meet regularly, holding 131 meetings throughout 2018.
The Chamber continued to register growth in the number of students it welcomed as Malta’s only IELTS testing centre, despite a general downturn in local English Language Education reported by FELTOM.
In 2018, the Chamber also launched a new Corporate Video which concisely describes the operation of the organisation, and delivered a wall-hanging calendar to all members for 2018 as well as 2019.