For three days in November, Malta will be the main focus for millions of TV and online news viewers worldwide as it hosts The Commonwealth Business Forum welcoming world leaders from over 50 countries including Queen Elizabeth and members of the royal family.
For the island this event comes at an opportune moment as the Commonwealth can be a powerful voice in international trade negotiations. Investment, trade and development are central issues for all countries right now in an era of accelerated economic and technological change. It is clear to all that we now operate in a much more networked world. The ability to facilitate trade, and the building and strengthening of economic links is increasingly important and relevant in a world where trade barriers are falling and new technologies are connecting markets, societies and cultures as never before.
"Malta is of course a very small country but it provides a great example of an outward looking country that leaves no stone unturned to grasp every opportunity for growth", stated Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. "As such we would like to present ourselves as an example of how Commonwealth entrepreneurs can join forces to their mutual benefit."
CHOGM is held every two years and is the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making body. "The Commonwealth is an institution whose strength lies in its diversity," said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. "A diversity which has always been underwritten by a subscription to a common set of values which include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, free trade, inclusive global development embracing all members of the world community, and world peace."
Malta's accession to the EU one year before the Island hosted the first Commonwealth Forum brought significant sector-specific advantages. One of the main reasons Malta has become such an attractive domicile to many financial services firms is the passporting rights that firms enjoy to other EU and EEA areas, which has led to Malta becoming a magnet for insurance and fund management firms.
Indeed, thanks to a sound regulatory background, the financial services sector has flourished and the resilient banking sector actually registered strong balance sheets and increased its debtor base, despite the international crisis. This sector is one of the priority sectors which the Government has identified in its Vision 2015+, which seeks to transform Malta into a centre of excellence and a regional hub in a number of sectors. The visit of such high profile guest to Malta will no doubt raise the bar once again for this ambitious enclave.
This year’s Business Forum in Malta will take place from the 27th to 29th November 2015 seeks to provides Commonwealth business and enterprise with a valuable bridge into the European Union and the wider Mediterranean region.