The Economic Update April 2014

Page 1

MSV Life Top enTrepreneur AwArdS 2014 April 2014


Changing Things for The BeTTer Interview with Miriam Dalli p.04

InsIde ›› Malta-Tunisia-Libya B2B networking Forum: Fostering Opportunities

In a special feature about B2B event of the year, we sit down with the Tunisian Ambassador HE Soaud Geblaoui p.12

›› MsV Life Top entrepreneur Awards 2014: Aiming Higher

An interview with IIG Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Ray Busuttil, who brings outstanding experience, credentials, expertise and value-added performance p.20

›› MsV Life Top entrepreneur Awards 2014: Leading By example

Meet Sheila Dean, top female entrepreneur extraordinaire, who’s passion for business developed at an early age whilst working in the family owned retail businesses

›› events: TAP Knowledge network brings Top executives Together for a B2B networking event An article by the enchanting Anamaria Magri Pantea on the importance of networking and collaboration



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CHANGING THINGS FOR THE BETTER Interview with Miriam Dalli p.04

CONTENTS Feature stories


04 cover story: changing things

For the better

INSIDE ›› Malta-Tunisia-Libya B2B Networking Forum: Fostering Opportunities

In a special feature about B2B event of the year, we sit down with the Tunisian Ambassador HE Soaud Geblaoui p.12

›› MSV Life Top Entrepreneur Awards 2014: Aiming Higher

An interview with IIG Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Ray Busuttil, who brings outstanding experience, credentials, expertise and value-added performance p.20

›› MSV Life Top Entrepreneur Awards 2014: Leading By Example

Meet Sheila Dean, top female entrepreneur extraordinaire, who’s passion for business developed at an early age whilst working in the family owned retail businesses


›› Events: TAP Knowledge Network brings Top Executives Together for a B2B Networking Event An article by the enchanting Anamaria Magri Pantea on the importance of networking and collaboration


Publisher John Formosa editor Martin Vella Journalist George Carol sales & Publication Manager Margaret Brincat

Miriam Dalli tells us why she believes in transforming disadvantages into opportunities 08 health insurance: MediPhone services now oFFered with Middlesea health insurance

A medical consultation is just a call away! Discover Mediphone, a new service provided by Middlesea Health Insurance 10 exclusive interview: serving

Justice Part 3

graPhic designer Jessica Camilleri

We end our rare and far-reaching interview sequence with the Commissioner of Police Peter Paul Zammit

cover PhotograPhy Rene Rossignaud

12 Malta-tunisia-libya b2b networking ForuM: Fostering oPPortunities

Printing PRINT IT

In a special feature about B2B event of the year, we sit down with the Tunisian Ambassador HE Soaud Geblaoui


Quote of the month: “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” - Henry Van Dyke For magazine and website advertising enquiries please contact: or call on (+356) 9940 6743 For editorial enquiries please contact: The Economic Update is published by: Network Publications Ltd., Angelica Court, Giuseppi Cali Str., Ta’ Xbiex, XBX1425, Malta Tel: +356 2131 6326/7/8 Fax: +356 2132 3432

Contributors: Stefan Balzan, Denise Buhagiar, Antoinette Camilleri, George Carol, Richard Geres, Anamaria Magri Pantea, Roanna Mangion Special Thanks: Commissioner of Police; Ascend Consultancy Ltd; ICE Malta; Libyan Embassy; Tunisian Embassy

Please feel free to email us with your viewpoint, whether you agree or disagree with the standpoint of the personalities we interview or the topics we focus on. Your opinion, contribution, concern and feedback on our articles and interviews are welcome. Please include full name, contact details

20 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards

2014: aiMing higher

An interview with IIG Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Ray Busuttil, who brings outstanding experience, credentials, expertise and value-added performance 22 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards


2014: the bit8 double eFFect

Angelo Dalli, CEO of Bit8, talks about ‘culture fit’ and focusing on a paradigm shift that depends on continuous improvement 24 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards

2014: leading by exaMPle

Meet Sheila Dean, top female entrepreneur extraordinaire, who’s passion for business developed at an early age whilst working in the family owned retail businesses 28 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards

2014: Practising what you Preach

An insight into one of the Malta’s most vivacious and successful female entrepreneurs- Stellina Galea 32 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards

2014: a culture oF excellence

The Economic Update meets up with Douglas Salt, front runner for the category of Top Male Entrepreneur, discussing his leadership role 34 Msv liFe toP entrePreneur awards

2014: core values

An absorbing interview with the intrepid Anita Aloisio, Partner of Nexia BT’s advisory services area





Editor’s NotE Unfulfilled? Unhappy? Unsure? In a world where we are all supposed to have postcard perfect lives, speaking many words that start with “U” have become the new “F” word. “U” words uncover the heart of you, whereas the “F” word is like a magic cloak of self-protection that only shows anger and frustration. I admit, I have been known to blaze as a gun at the prejudices life throws at us, but it comes down to this: Is it simply more comfortable to keep on running on that hamster wheel, or do you wish to carve out a block of time to finish and check off as many things on your list as possible? Feeling unfulfilled, unhappy or unsure about what’s next does not have to be a dirty little secret at work, even if that’s the way it seems most of the time in a culture that favours politeness over authenticity, rawness and scary truths. We have become experts at keeping the curtain closed on reality, given the privilege of peeking around the corner to see what’s behind the smoke and mirrors. Here’s what I can say: when you speak your truth something remarkable happens – you transform and so do the “U” words that you carry with you. Uneasy becomes unafraid, unsuccessful becomes undeterred, unknown becomes unleashed, unrealised becomes unanticipated, uncomfortable becomes unchained, unsure becomes unlimited, and unconventional becomes uniquely YOU. Find the courage to speak your truth at work to re-ignite and re-invent on your quest for a fulfilling work. Internal hurdles are often the biggest reasons entrepreneurs, especially women, feel stalled, stuck, uninspired, overwhelmed, confused or lost. They can be the very reason a potentially great business results in mediocre success or failure. The key is to identify these behaviours and make a plan that allows you to eliminate or push through them. For the third consecutive month, we have continued our quest to identify the MSV Life Top Entrepreneur 2014 with a plethora of interviews featuring the finest entrepreneurs our business community offers. If you are a Type A personality, high achiever or pleaser, you are likely a perfectionist. So, it’s really important to keep this in mind, perfection is subjective. I have found this rings true lately, having had to plan, organise and manage three back-to-back events in less than a month, mainly the tremendously successful Tap Knowledge B2B Networking Conference, now with the forthcoming Malta-Tunisia-Libya B2B Networking Forum, gathering over 45 Tunisian companies and 25 Libyan businesses, and the MSV Life Top Entrepreneur Awards, being held at InterContinetal Hotel on the 16th May 2014. I must admit that what one person thinks is perfect, another may not. So, let go and let it flow! Launch whatever it is you are working so you move onto the next thing. Enjoy the read!


Martin Vella

38 EvENts: tAP KNowlEdgE NEtworK briNgs toP ExEcutivEs togEthEr for A b2b NEtworKiNg EvENt

An article by the enchanting Anamaria Magri Pantea on the importance of networking and collaboration 44 EducAtioN: MysuccEss discovEry ProgrAMME ExclusivEly At icE MAltA

We follow ICE Malta, Innovative Entrepreneurs 2013, together with educational partners Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco & Microsoft, who have recently launched Malta’s first MySuccess Discovery Programme

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in The Economic Update are not necessarily those of the editor or publishers. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. The Economic Update is printed by Print IT and distributed free with The Business Weekly.


Changing Things for The BeTTer By Martin Vella

If there is a familiar face in politics today, that would certainly be Miriam Dalli, who has tirelessly and diligently built a career she firmly has faith in. The charismatic and industrious lawyer believes that the PL candidates are in a better position to work for our country within the EU. She reiterates that PL candidates have the energy, determination and experience to make the utmost to address any future challenges and find the right opportunities for our families, as well as transform disadvantages into opportunities, something which she has thrived on in her past. Let’s meet the adorable yet virtuous MEP candidate, who is set to take the next EP elections by storm and also ready to listen. 04 |


TEU: How vital are these MEP elections and what made you want to stand as a EP candidate? MD: In my opinion these elections are the most important EP elections we ever had. First of all, they are being held at a time when the European Union is trying to come out of an economic crisis. Secondly, these elections are the first elections since the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. The treaty gave the European Parliament important new powers. One major new development introduced by the Treaty is that, when the EU Council nominates the next president of the European Commission they will have to take account of the European Parliament election results. The European Parliament must also endorse this candidate. Thirdly the Lisbon Treaty also provides for an increase in the use of the so called codecision or ordinary legislative procedure, and therefore increasing the powers of the European Parliament within the EU decision making procedure.

I am contesting these elections because I strongly believe that what happens on an EU level impact directly our families. Our citizens need to be aware of how they will be effected by decisions taken in the European Parliament and what impact such decisions will have on their every day life. In this regard I will be committed to promote the proper representation of my country, to ensure transparency and accountability in my work and to disseminate the relevant information so that Maltese and Gozitan citizens will be aware of what’s happening on an EU level and how this will impact their lives. TEU: In 2012, the European Union launched the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children. Safer Internet Day was celebrated two months ago. Why is this strategy aimed to enable children to develop “the skills and tools they need to fully and safely benefit from being online” and why do you feel that such a strategy could not have come at a better time?

MD: As a young parent myself I feel very strongly about the creation of the right online environment for our younger generations. I will personally work towards implementing the European Strategy for Better Internet for Children to ensure that it functions properly and produces the results, which I am sure each and everyone of us would like to see. As a nation we should aim to become a leader in this field with initiatives being backed by all political parties. This is a noble cause that transcends political differences and if we all pull the same rope then results can be obtained quickly and efficiently.

Such a strategy could not have come at a better time. In the light of the recent unfortunate incidents involving young persons having their ‘selfies’ shared and distributed via mobile technology, it is clear that more needs to be done locally to educate our children and young adults. The first fundamental thing they need to learn is that what they share online will stay there forever and can haunt them in years to come. This is especially true on a small island like ours where one simply cannot get lost in the anonymity of another large city.

I will personally work towards implementing the European Strategy for Better Internet for Children

TEU: Do you think that the Labour administration merits a vote of confidence by the people in the next MEP elections for the dynamic approach it injected into national affairs? MD: Definitely! Besides the dynamic approach it injected into national affairs, I think that the Labour party is delivering upon its promises. We are still in the early days of this legislature and a number of important decisions have already been taken in order to ensure that by the end of it we will have a much cleaner, economically stronger, and less corrupt country. This government has shown that it has the energy to implement the right policies for our families. Having said that, the European Parliament elections are never easy for the party in government, however I am confident that a majority of Maltese citizens will renew their trust in the Labour administration. TEU: In Malta, the public reaction to the arrival of migrants has become increasingly negative, “with xenophobic discourse all too often taking the mainstream stage”. This was reported by The People for Change Foundation and presented to the European Network against Racism (ENAR). In light of lacking innovative solutions to move Europe out of the crisis, Miriam can you share your views on the subject of illegal migration and what initiatives you are driving to measure equality as part of the positive duty to combat racial discrimination and to promote equality and social inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities? MD: While I share the view of many, that illegal immigration is an issue of major concern

to Malta, I deplore any sort of xenophobic discourse. Such discourse will in no way help in tackling this issue. I believe that the previous administration had miserably failed to find suitable, sustainable, solutions to address the illegal immigration issue. The EUREMA project on the relocation of asylum seekers from Malta was a big failure since the numbers relocated were too small to make any impact on our absorption capacity. I feel that we now need to think outside the box. The initiatives mentioned in the recent report of the Mediterranean task force are a step in the right direction. These include initiatives aimed at attacking the root causes and talking organised smuggling networks. I firmly believe that the challenge Malta is facing in this regard is one which needs to be addressed as an EU issue. EU support is required and such assistance cannot be limited to financial aid alone but it must be effective in a manner that actually leads to tangible results. The prospect of completing and processing asylum applications for Europe from abroad can be one option and it should be seriously considered. Furthermore, since the EU is based on solidarity it is only reasonable that the Maltese people expect the European Commission and the Member States to show this solidarity in concrete terms. Relocation is viewed as one of the most tangible forms of solidarity, which provides immediate relief in situations of particular pressure. Yet this is not the only solution. There are other instruments and actions which should be explored such as joint processing of applications, concrete actions in the countries of origin, and providing assistance aimed at strengthening border control of the countries of departure (such as Libya) and assisting/facilitating returns. TEU: You are known to be a strong campaigner and also an achiever with strong performances. Has your campaign so far reflected your ability to reach out to all sectors of society, including PN leaning voters? MD: I can easily say that I enjoy meeting people, getting to know different realities and learning from different experiences. I’m working really hard but this electoral campaign has been definitely a very interesting one.

I am in politics because I’m interested in changing things for the better. This is what I try to constantly do. As for as I’m concerned reaching out to people is of paramount importance. However, I have to admit that time is a major limitation. I wish I had more April 2014 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE

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Campaign Launch 2013

time to personally meet more people. I look forward to keeping in touch with people even after this election is over. My interest is to keep a down-to-earth approach in everything I do, where listening to what people need and want is of paramount importance. I honestly believe that if I continue to listen properly to people I will be able to address our families’ needs and this will in turn help me push forward policies that make sense for our families and our country, because ultimately my main priority is Malta and its people. TEU: What would be your main priorities as an MEP and what can you do to enhance Malta’s role in the EU? MD: I have set a number of priorities including employment, energy, businesses and youths. As regard employment I believe that we need to invest in sustainable growth and decent jobs. I believe in reforms that intend to increase employment, increase participation of women in the labour market and address youth unemployment. I believe in policies which ensure a secure supply of energy, promote affordable means of sustainable energy production, reduce energy costs and protect the environment we live in. When it comes to businesses I intend to work to identify funding opportunities and make Maltese businesses and citizens aware of such opportunities. Furthermore, I will definitely support less bureaucratic rules for companies, particularly SMEs that are considered major drivers of growth and employment. I will also work hard to make sure that our youths will have access to all opportunities available and which can help them further 06 |

their studies abroad or provide them with work opportunities in other EU Member States. TEU: Why do you consider Malta and the EU as equal partners? MD: The European Union is built on the principles of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The EU is an economic and political bloc made up of 28 Member States. I believe that each of these Member States should be considered as an equal partner, independently of its geographic position, size, wealth, or population size. This is what I have always reaffirmed. TEU: During your MEP campaign launch, you listed several priorities including job creation, irregular immigration, affordable energy, EU funding and better allocation of the EU budget, youths and less bureaucracy for businesses. Which of these is on top of your agenda? MD: I think they are all important priorities. However, if I had to choose one as the top priority I would choose job creation. We need to invest in sustainable growth and decent jobs. I believe that there should be a European plan for good jobs and a better future. Furthermore we need to instill a mentality in our young people which fosters further education. Our young people should have the required skills and knowledge that they can utilise in their working life. The Youth Guarantee scheme which is intended to provide youth training and support enterprise creation is a new approach to tackling youth unemployment and it aims to ensure that all young people under 25 – whether registered with employment services

or not – get a good-quality, concrete offer within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. This initiative is a step in the right direction but this is not enough. Let’s get together and discuss a way forward which can provide decent jobs and sustainable growth. TEU: Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat believes your abilities and qualities could be used for the benefit of Malta and the Labour Party - what are your comments on this statement? MD: I am obviously glad that the Prime Minister believes in my abilities and qualities. What I can assure the Prime Minister and all the Maltese people is that if I am elected I will work hard, to the best of my ability, to ensure that Malta’s name is held high in the EU and that the interest of the Maltese citizens are properly safeguarded. TEU

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Editor’s Note Miriam Dalli has successfully completed her Doctorate of Law at the University of Malta. Her thesis which focuses on the financial services sector is entitled Investment Advisors: Legal Obligations towards Investors. Miriam Dalli obtained a first class degree in her LL.B. course which leads to the conferment of Bachelor of Laws. She is a Communications graduate and she obtained an MA in European Studies, an MBA from the University of Malta. She acted as Corporate Affairs Senior Executive by Vodafone Malta where she worked on the company’s Internal and External Communications, Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Currently she is working as an advisor with the Ministry of Energy and Conservation of Water focusing on Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility and Stakeholder Management. Miriam Dalli is a candidate on the PL ticket for the 2014 MEP elections.


Mediphone Service now offered with MiddleSea’S health inSurance By Denise Buhagiar

Health problems usually strike us unexpectedly and sometimes we barely have time to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Now with Mediphone, a new service provided by Middlesea Health Insurance, a medical consultation is just a call away. Mediphone provides immediate care and quality medical advice, 24x7, for any pathological ailment with appropriate advice given by a medical team of doctors and nurses over the phone. Therefore, no matter where you are and what time it is, you always have access to reliable healthcare information. This medical information may be about the following: ● Consultations about medical emergencies and first aid treatments. ● Information about medicines prescriptions: Reactions to medicines, side effects and contraindications ● Baby care and maternity orientation. ● Health and Diet recommendations. ● Advice on preventive medicine. Middlesea Assist can also provide Service Coordination such as: ● Contact with emergency services and medical emergency. ● Information on public and private medical centres in Malta and worldwide. 08 |

● ●

Delivery of medicines. (Insured will bear the cost of the service, which will include the transport and the cost of the medicine.) Home dispatch of taxis / ambulances. (Middlesea Assist will send the taxi or the ambulance to the Insured’s home as soon as possible. Insured will bear the cost of the service. Coordination of Doctors/Nurses

How does MedipHone work? When the need to utilise the Mediphone service arises, all you need to do is call on 2248 0218 - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you will immediately be connected to a qualified medical practitioner. The Mediphone service has been added to all new and existing Middlesea Health Insurance policies with effect from January 1, 2014. This service is provided at no charge to policyholders having a Middlesea Hospital or Middlesea International policy. Policyholders on a lower level of cover may however purchase this additional benefit at a nominal premium. This unique healthcare service is provided in alliance with Middlesea Assist. Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. (C-5553) is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to carry on both Long Term and General Business under the Insurance Business Act, 1998. TEU


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Serving JuStice -Part 3 By Martin Vella

The Editor closes the third and final chapter of an all-encompassing interview with the Commissioner of Police Peter Paul Zammit. In this last sequel the Commissioner zeros in on criminality and looks ahead to a future of inclusion and organisation. This threepart interview sequence is commemorating the 200th anniversary since the Police Force was set up in Malta.

TEU: What were the aspirations behind the celebrations marking the 200 year anniversary, the new logo and motto ‘Min Nies ghan-Nies’, combined with the fact that the police are also celebrating the 60th ‘birthday’ of having moved their operations at the Floriana HQ?

PPZ: It is not just that… it is the 25th anniversary from the set-up of the Computer Section. This year also marks the 40th year of independence, 30 years of Malta becoming a Republic and so 2014 is a year where there are a lot of celebrations. In fact, this is also marked on our anniversary calendar depicting scenes from 1814 to the present, as well as where we want to be in the future. In all these anniversaries, we have agreed with the Central Bank to make a commemorative coin, wherein we ended up having a coin which will be circulated worldwide. The twoEuro coin shall bear on it the emblem of the Malta Police 1814-2014, 200th century. To us it is a stamp of quality, and recently it has emerged clearly from Eurobarometer that Malta is among the most secure and safest countries in Europe. We want to keep it that way, for us, for everyone, and for all of society. We have to look forward. TEU: Yes, that is correct, but if you had to look at the Global Competitiveness report, we are also listed among the most corrupt countries in the world… PPZ: The reason is simple. For instance, corruption in Germany is there and can be sensed. One, it doesn’t make much noise and 10 |

two, it’s so complicated that to solve a case it’s immensely difficult. We have corruption and the cases we have are extremely difficult to solve, yet the few we have make a lot of noise. Unfortunately, whenever Malta’s name comes up, 20 cases surface on the headlines, whenever you search Germany, it is never mentioned, as such cases there, they never make it to the headlines. It’s a question of how much the media pushes the subject. Now, when you come to look up murders in Malta, you find an average maximum of eight or twelve a year. We had three to four years when this was negligible. What is the general crime rate? With huge limitations we are fighting a war against drugs and we are doing a great deal here- needless to mention 31 arrests in just under one night with five trafficking cases. It is important that the small fry- those persons abusing drugs, are brought in to be reprimanded. That by itself may be deterring further abuse. Martin, when did you learn that fire burns: Surely not when your mother told you its dangerous, but when you touched it! Many people don’t realise what they are doing is illegal until they go through this trauma.

When did you learn that fire burns: Surely not when your mother told you its dangerous, but when you touched it! Many people don’t realise its illegal until they go through this trauma TEU: But most of these are out there to enjoy themselves, not to get into trouble…

PPZ: Agreed, but they are breaking the law…

TEU: Indeed, but their situations in fact is aggrieved instead of being given help- there are first time offenders who had their names publicised all over, or where forced to leave work, were stigmatised and their situation got worse. To err is human, there are people who do much worse in life, such as drinking, use domestic violence, employers who abuse workers or manipulate through psychological violence… PPZ: In all this context, this is one of our primary reasons as a Police Force our policy is to aim for decriminilisation, reduce punishment on certain crimes, to the point that we arrive to a warning instead of judgement. This is not a name and shame situation. Crimes are first committed with petty offenses and the motive behind this is that the offender did not get enough education. Today, things have moved forward compared to what it was twenty years ago. One must understand the actions of society and the action of the individual. Smoking from public places has been thoroughly eradicated, when the mentality was totally against this. We want to do the same with the drugs problem and we are doing our best to eliminate this cancer. We know that we cannot eliminate it, but we will control abuse. My grandfather used to teach me “that anything of everything is good”, the mistake is when you abuse. Even from food, water or air- if you abuse any of them, then that is also incorrect.


TEU: Turning the subject on a spate of recently unsolved brutal murders occurring recently and which are all tied to the drug circles. These crimes have happened in broad daylight, or in public places, seem to bear the hallmarks of sophisticated criminals, the likes which we witnessed similar to mafia hits or commissioned killings that have terrified the public. Doesn’t this alarm you and what do you think should be done, or needs to be done to find out the perpetrators? PPZ: My greatest fear on these cases was that a bystander would be hit. It was one of the most critical issues in the intensive investigations we did, one of which was to pass on the message to criminality: ‘Lord help you if an innocent bystander gets hit’.

The whole issue is here; as long as you retain your illegalities among yourselves the law will look at you in that context in a level that killing a good or a bad person is still wrong. Do not let your problems affect the rest of society in an disproportionate manner. It is evident from the warnings of our police force, from investigations and all the other work we did that the situation has been contained and the organised crime situation has settled down as they consciously know we are on their heels. We hope that these crimes will not ever repeat themselves and become something of an everyday occurrence such as the ones happening with our next door neighbour. The story seems to have ended and for obvious reasons. The three sides involved know very well that from here they cannot go anywhere further than they have done. They know that they have reached a stage where they are now on breaking point and will break themselves definitely if they continue on that path. If we can arrive to a situation where the proof is beyond reasonable doubt then the consequences are what they are for these criminals. On the other hand, we will not permit them to carry on what they want to do. If you notice, two important things have stopped being committed. The serious holdups have stopped and the drug trafficking has severely diminished. The idea is that we are on various tiers of investigations that primarily saw the introduction of RIURapid Intervention Unit- with a maximum arrival of three minutes anywhere, anytime. Within five minutes, I can have three units in place on the scene of the crime. Stage one: Therefore, these criminals know that the police will not be tolerating these actions.

Stage two: We have investigated these crimes and have arrived to the point of identifying in moral way but with not enough proof to confirm enough who did what and who was behind these murders. So they know we are nearly there, and that if they walk further we will catch them. We continued investigating further and among other things we uncovered, we discovered the underground tunnel that was being dug out by the same group of people who were trying to find funds to finance their criminal activity. If they succeeded, I wonder what would have been the economic effects on our country, since you had a bank that was going to suffer an undisclosed and unsustainable sum in what would have been one of the largest heists ever carried in Malta. The fallout from investors, customers and people having faith in the bank would have been enormous. So apart from looking at this holistically, one must also keep in mind the insurance risk that there was in such case. I would have guaranteed that even the car insurance premiums would have been adversely affected. There were also two other ulterior situations that were occurring and financing the same crime syndicate, that is black-market. We acted and stopped illegalities in cigarettes, diesel and drugs which was happening and that which appeared to be an organised crime on a large scale has been clogged. Beneficiary or not, whether we are on an explosive situation or not, I cannot give you a direct reply. What I can say is that keeping my ear to the ground and talking with the underground, it appears that the situation has calmed down.

strange. These are people who need help and want to find themselves in a society, so they have to be included, whether we want it or not. We want to understand them and they understand us. Therefore, the ones who can best understand us are the same people living among these asylum seekers.

I wish to have a more inclusive community-based and problemoriented policing

Peter Paul Zammit joined the Malta Police Force as Police Inspector in 1984 and was promoted to Police Superintendent 19 years later. Between the years 1997 and 2000 he read for a Bachelor of Arts in Legal and Humanistic Studies followed by a Diploma for Legal Procurator, both with the University of Malta. He also obtained the warrant to the Bar. Mr Zammit retired from the Malta Police Force in 2009, completing 25 years of service. During these years he served in a number of police stations around the island as well as the Criminal Investigations Department, Forensic Laboratory and the Force’s Legal Office. During his years in the Police Force he was nominated as expert for Commonwealth meetings in the fields of counter terrorism, money laundering and police cooperation across the Commonwealth. He was also nominated as expert in United Nations meetings regarding hate crimes and human rights as well as an expert in E.U. meetings concerning data protection, European arrest warrants and criminal law. In April 2013 he was appointed Commissioner of Police by the Prime Minister of Malta. Reading and travelling are two of his many interests. Mr Zammit is married with two children.

TEU: Where do you see the Police Force in five years time? PPZ: In five years time I see the Corps totally organised, re-educated and more efficient. I would wish to view the achievements by having the lowest possible crime rate. I also envisage that we will have the first black police officers serving the Corps. I wish to have a more inclusive community-based and problem-oriented policing. I want to see a much more integrated society with asylum seekers and dispel any notion, or euphemism there might be with the word illegal immigrant. We would want more policing but we will have introduced policing with their mentality, which for us may be bit

TEU: What are the values you stand for?

PPZ: I am an optimist person and one who doesn’t stop talking. La parola facile is there and it is a virtue to use it. My values are entwined within a Police authority which is based solely in the law. We have conducted this interview in Maltese, but it could have been done in any other language. I have always tried to understand the other part by knowing the other one’s own language. In that way I can say what I like and also compromise. I managed to integrate with the asylum seekers as I spoke with them in French and we understood each other. TEU

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Editor’s Note


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Fostering opportunity By Martin Vella

In December 2010, the Arab Spring erupted through the impervious soil of authoritarian rule in North Africa and the Middle East. The Arab awakening drove dictatorial and nepotistic rulers from power, first in Tunisia and then Egypt, Libya and Yemen. In under two years, Tunisians drove out dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, set up a provisional government, held fair elections and drafted up a new constitution. Tunisia’s ambassador to Malta Souad Gueblaoui, who embodies the new freedom and enthusiasm of the new Tunisia, speaks frankly and passionately with The Economic Update’s Editor Martin Vella about Tunisia’s new ideology, a stable democracy, the forthcoming Tunisia-Malta-Libya B2B Networking Forum and her efforts to increase investment opportunities.

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TEU: Can you tell me a bit about your career as a diplomat and as a woman and what challenges have you met so far being Tunisian Ambassador for Malta? SG: Firstly, I am very proud to be Ambassador of Tunisia in Malta. Secondly, I am equally pleased to be a woman diplomat. I started my career in 1986. I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after I got a Doctorate in political science, which I obtained at the Sorbonne University in Paris. I cannot say it’s a challenge being a woman and being an Ambassador. I have never felt any discrimination in Tunisia, thanks to Habib Bourgiba, the first President of Tunisia, who liberated the Tunisian women in 1957, giving them equal rights to men. So I grew up in a mixed environment, with boys and men. During my career I didn’t feel any discrimination and I had the chance to represent Tunisia in several beautiful countries, among them Malta, a small piece of paradise. When I have been nominated me to represent Tunisia in Malta it was a great and significant moment, since Malta is a neighboring country with which Tunisia is very keen to maintain the best relationships and to further develop bilateral cooperation in many sectors.

Next month we will receive a big delegation from Tunisia consisting of over 25 companies who are going to take part to the Malta-TunisiaLibya B2B Networking Forum at SmartCity Malta TEU: Following the revolution what is the main message that Tunisia wants to give to the outside world especially to the friends in Malta? SG: We can say that Maltese people can look at us as a new neighbor which is now democratic, which is competitive, which is anxious to build mutually beneficial relationships. Tunisia is an open and peaceful country, neighbor to Europe. Tunisia presents itself as an excellent example of a Mediterranean country that is also part of the Arab and African world due to the history and the dynamism of its society. It is also a country that combines tradition and modernity. Tunisia succeeds in

combining its own indefinable charm with other, European-like qualities. It has skilled human resources, a good quality of life, an economy opened to the world, a fast growing infrastructures and a transparent legal framework that provides incentives. TEU: Let’s go to the relations between Tunisia and Malta. is it effecting you a lot. How have relations between Tunisia and Malta developed during the past year since you have become an Ambassador? SG: Our political relations and the diplomatic relations are excellent with Malta. Malta supported Tunisia since the first day of the revolution. Many official visits took place in Tunisia and Malta in order to support the transitional Tunisian Government. Therefore, the political relations are excellent, but we need to do more at the economic level. Since my arrival in Malta, I tried to further develop cooperation between the business communities and I am happy that after huge efforts, a boat is operating since January 2013, between Tunisia, Malta and Libya. We are waiting for the situation to improve in Libya, to increase the level of trade. We are also contributing to the organization of business trips to Tunisia and Malta in order to develop bilateral cooperation between the private sector of the two countries. Next month we will receive a big delegation from Tunisia consisting of over 25 companies who are going to take part to the Malta-Tunisia-Libya B2B Networking Forum at SmartCity Malta. It will be an initiative, supported by The Economic Update. TEU: What are your views, what should be accomplished from such a conference and what do you expect? SG: First of all, thanks for accepting to organize such an important business Forum. I expect a lot from this conference. As you know we have more than 4,000 foreign companies in Tunisia. We are encouraging investment and supporting companies to look beyond Tunisia. This seminar will be an opportunity for Tunisia to explore the possibilities for Maltese enterprise to come to Tunisia and work from Tunisia all over the Maghreb countries, including Libya and as well as the sub-Sahara Africa region,

because Tunisia has strong links with all these countries. For example, Tunisian and Maltese companies can work together in sub-Sahara African countries and to invest there with the support of European Companies and international financial institutions.

This seminar will be an opportunity for Tunisia to explore the possibilities for Maltese enterprise to come to Tunisia and work from Tunisia all over the Maghreb countries, including Libya and as well as the sub-Sahara Africa region The other expectation is that we will not have to look just at the present, but also toward the future. Some people said ‘no I don’t want to go to Tunisia because the situation is not stable’. But this is wrong: Tunisia is a safe and secure country. I would like to tell the Maltese companies to come to Tunisia because we have a lot of advantages to offer to them, such as : • Freedom to invest in numerous sectors • Clear and investment-friendly legislation in a single code • A one-stop window to simplify all administrative procedures • Numerous advantages for totally exporting companies • A skilled labor force with a surprising aptitude to rapidly master new technologies • A real legal protection for the investor • A foreign exchange market with freedom of transfer • A functional infrastructure continuously improving TEU

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Editor’s Note After a doctoral degree in International Relations obtained in 1987, Mrs Souad Gueblaoui started in 1988 her diplomatic career at the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign affairs. She served subsequently at the Diplomatic Institute of Tunisia, at the Direction of North America and Canada and at the Euro-Mediterranean Direction. Overseas, she served as Vice consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg (1991-1998), as Counselor at the Embassy of Tunisia in Ankara (2001-2006) and as Chargé d’Affaires of Tunisia in Seoul (2009-august 2011).


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Malta-libya-tunisia b2b EvEnt spEcial FEaturE


Fact Sheet

Tunisia is a safe and friendly country in North Africa. Millions of Europeans visit annually to enjoy the beaches along the Mediterranean and soak up some ancient culture amongst the well-preserved Roman ruins. The Sahara Desert attracts adventure seekers during the winter months. Southern Tunisia is where George Lucas filmed many of his Star Wars movies, he used the natural landscape and traditional Berber villages (some underground) to depict the Planet Tatooine.

Tunisia’s Main aTTracTions: The vast majority of visitors to Tunisia head straight for the resorts at Hammamet, Cap Bon and Monastir, but there is more to the country than sandy beaches and the lovely blue Mediterranean.

Travel To Tunisia Tunisia’s inTernaTional airporT: TunisCarthage International Airport (airport code TUN) lies 5 miles (8km) northeast of the city center, Tunis. Other international airports include Monastir (airport code: MIR), Sfax (airport code: SFA) and Djerba (airport code: DJE). GeTTinG To Tunisia: Direct flights and charter flights arrive daily from many European countries, you can also catch a ferry from France or Italy -- More about getting to Tunisia. Tunisia embassies/Visas: Most nationalities do not require a tourist visa before entering the country, but check with the Tunisian Embassy before you depart. TourisT informaTion office (onTT): 1, Ave. Mohamed V, 1001 Tunis, Tunisia. E-mail:, Web Site: http://www.

Tunisia’s econoMy and PoliTics economy: Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region. Real growth, which averaged almost 5% over the past decade, declined to 4.7% in 2008 and probably will decline 14 |

further in 2009 because of economic contraction and slowing of import demand in Europe - Tunisia’s largest export market. However, development of non-textile manufacturing, a recovery in agricultural production, and strong growth in the services sector somewhat mitigated the economic effect of slowing exports. Tunisia will need to reach even higher growth levels to create sufficient employment opportunities for an already large number of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. The challenges ahead include: privatizing industry, liberalizing the investment code to increase foreign investment, improving government efficiency, reducing the trade deficit, and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the impoverished south and west. poliTics: Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country’s first president, Habib Bourgiba, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, Bourgiba was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a bloodless coup. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled

the country, and by late January 2011, a “national unity government” was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012, and is aiming to have it ratified by the end of the year. TEU

Sources:;; Wikipedia; UN; goafrica.about

lanGuaGe: Arabic (official) and French (widely understood and used in commerce). Berber dialects are also spoken, especially in the South. reliGion: Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%. climaTe: Tunisia has a temperate climate in the north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers especially in the desert in the south. When To Go: May to October, unless you’re planning to go to the Sahara Desert, then go November to February. currency: Tunisian Dinar GeoGraPhic and culTural daTa official name: Tunisian Republic GeoGraphy: Maghreb country, situated in the far northeast corner of Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean to the north and east with 1,300 km of coastline, Algeria to the west (1,050 km) and Libya to the south (480 km). capiTal: Tunis (population 2.5 million, including the suburbs); 2,412,500 (metro. area), 1,000,000 (city proper) oTher major ciTies: Sfax, Arianna, Sousse, Gabès and Bizerte populaTion: (2012 esT.): 10,732,900 (growth rate: 0.964%); birth rate: 17.28/1000; infant mortality rate: 24.98/1000; life expectancy: 75.24; density per sq mi: 163 surface area: 163,610 km² (of which 25,000 km² is desert); 59,985 sq mi (155,361 sq km); total area: 63,170 sq mi (163,610 sq km) consTiTuTion: currently under revision

Malta-libya-tunisia b2b EvEnt spEcial FEaturE


Fact Sheet

Libya is a large desert country and perhaps best known for its former dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Libya’s history is there for all to see with splendid Roman ruins dotting its warm Mediterranean coast, and ancient rock art on display in the Sahara desert. Libyans staged a revolution in 2011 and the country is currently still sorting itself out politically. Tourism has been very badly affected by the political upheavals, and the gorgeous Roman ruins, seaside towns and desert oases have been left for Libyans to enjoy on their own. Once peace is restored, there’s no doubt that people will be lining up to enjoy a Libyan vacation along with a good dose of Libyan hospitality.

Libya’s Major attractions Libya is home to some of the most pristine and impressive Roman ruins on earth. The Sahara desert is also spectacular, with incredible dunes, oases towns, and magical lakes. Under Qadhafi’s rule, tourists were strictly allowed to travel with official tours only. This rule is likely to change, but anyone planning to explore the Sahara, should do so with an official tour operator who knows the terrain well, just to be safe.

Libya traveL inforMation Getting to Libya -- Most people arrive by air, and land at the International Airport in Tripoli. Two Libyan airlines operate international and domestic services: Air Afriqiyah offers scheduled flights that include London, Rome, Istanbul, Cairo and Tunis. Libyan Airlines, the national carrier, has been in flux since the revolution and is expected to merge with Air Afriqiyah in 2013. Other airlines flying to Libya include: Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways and EgyptAir.

econoMic overview The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenue from hydrocarbons, which contribute about 95% of export earnings, 65% of GDP, and 80% of government revenue. Substantial revenue from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flowed to the lower orders of society. Libya in the past five years made progress on economic reform

as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold. This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and after Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. The process of lifting US unilateral sanctions began in the spring of 2004; all sanctions were removed by June 2006, helping Libya attract greater foreign direct investment, especially in the energy sector. Libyan oil and gas licensing rounds drew high international interest, but new rounds are unlikely until Libya establishes a more permanent government. The National Oil Corporation (NOC) set a goal of nearly doubling oil production to 3 million bbl/ day by 2012, but the goal is unlikely to be met by the target date. Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing its primarily socialist economy, but the revolution probably increases the opportunity for entrepreneurial activity and the evolution of a more market-based economy. The service and construction sectors, which account for roughly 20% of GDP, expanded over the past five years and could become a larger share of GDP after political volatility subsides. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Libya’s primary agricultural water source remains the Great Manmade River Project, but significant resources will be needed in desalinization to meet growing water demands. TEU

Sources:;; Wikipedia; UN; goafrica.about

LOCATION: Libya lies in North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia. AreA: Libya covers 1,759,540 sq km, which is slightly larger than Alaska and slightly smaller than Sudan. CApITAL CITy: Tripoli is Libya’s capital and largest city. pOpuLATION: Around 5.6 million people call Libya home. reLIgION: Sunni Muslim (official) 97%, other 3%. LANguAge: Arabic is the official language of Libya. Italian and English are all widely understood in the major cities. Other languages commonly spoken include various Berber dialects: Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq. CLImATe: 90% of Libya is made up of the Sahara Desert, so in general it’s safe to say it is dry, and gets extremely hot during the summer months (June September). The rains fall mainly along the coast from March through April, but less than 2 percent of the national territory receives enough rainfall for settled agriculture. It stays relatively cool along the coast during the winter months (December - February). BesT TIme TO VIsIT: Wait for the political situation to calm down and the official Travel Warnings to be lifted before planning a trip to Libya. Otherwise, the best time to visit is when it’s not too hot, from November to March. CurreNCy: The Libyan Dinar - LYD. LITerACy rATe: 89.2% (2010 est.) eCONOmIC summAry: GDP/PPP (2012 est.): $87.91 billion; per capita $13,300. reAL grOwTh rATe: 3.7%. INfLATION: 3.6%. uNempLOymeNT: 30% (2004 est.). ArABLe LANd: 1.03%. AgrICuLTure: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle. LABOur fOrCe: 1.437 million; agriculture 17%, industry 23%, services 59% (2004 est.). INdusTrIes: petroleum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement. NATurAL resOurCes: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum. expOrTs: $51.48 billion (2012 est.): crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas. ImpOrTs: $16.31 billion (2012 est.): machinery, transport equipment, semi-finished goods, food, consumer products. mAjOr TrAdINg pArTNers: Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey, France, China, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria (2011). COmmuNICATIONs: TeLephONes: main lines in use: 1 million (2011); mobile cellular: 10 million (2011). BrOAdCAsT medIA: state-funded and private TV stations; some provinces operate local TV stations; pan-Arab satellite TV stations are available; statefunded radio (2012). INTerNeT serVICe prOVIders (Isps): 17,926 (2012). INTerNeT users: 353,900 (2009).

April 2014 | tHE EcOnOMic upDatE

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Malta-tunisia-libya b2b networking ForuM 2014 “Malta, land of opportunities - link pin between continents and cultures” Promoting Business with Tunisia & Libya

SMARTCITY MALTA 8th May 2014 Press Conference led by The Economic Update’s Editor Martin Vella with HE the Tunisian Ambassador Souad Geblaoui, together with Dr Dahmani from the Libyan Embassy and members of the Libyan Business Council, incluidng Mr Mohammed El Tumi

This is a free event & last registrations are open till the 7th May 2014.

KeYnoTe SpeAKeRS: ● Dr Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister for Tourism ● HE Souad Gueblaoui, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunsia ● Mr Huseen M M Benown Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Libyan Embassy ● Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development ● Dr Mohammed Eltumi, GM Libyan Business Council (LBC) ● Dr Konrad Mizzi, Minister for Healthcare & Energy Sector ● Dr Gavin Gulia, MTA Chairman ● Address by Dr Michael Frendo, Member of the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission,; Co-rapporteur on the newly adopted constitution of Tunisia & Member of the Venice Commission on mission to the General ● National Congress of Libya ● Speech by Representative of “Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts” (UTICA) ● Representative of “Foreign Investment Promotion Agency” (FIPA)

oveR 45 TunISIAn CoMpAnIeS, 25 LIbYAn CoMpAnIeS And 25 MALTeSe exhIbIToRS

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● ● ● ● ● ●

Elghazala Technopark GM/Reps VIP Guests from the Libyan Business Council (LBC) H.E. Dr Anthony Licari, Maltese Ambassador to Slovakia Profs Brian Smart – Global College Malta Dr. Milad MM Gawagi, Lecturer Benghazi Medical University Dr. Tonio Fenech, partner at Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal and Chairman of Tap Knowledge

WoRKShopS: Afternoon Workshops Led By: ● Dr David J Dingli, Maastricht University Lecturer,Resource Productivity Consulting Services ● Anamaria Magri Pantea, Lecturer & Specialist Consultant, Ascend Consulting ● Werner E Jung, Felxible Factory Institute, Germany & Sr. Lecturer, Trainer, Consultant ● Dr Geraldine Spiteri, Aviation & Maritime Specialist, Consultant Featuring Libyan Cultural Oschestra brought exclusively for this event


ActAvis Aims At being recognised As A leAding internAtionAl speciAlty phArmAceuticAl compAny in the AfricA region. By Roanna Mangion

Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT) is a global, integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and distributing generic, brand and biosimilar products. Actavis has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and U.S. administrative headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA, while Global Operations has more than 30 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world, and includes Anda, Inc., a U.S. pharmaceutical product distributor.

Actavis develops and manufactures generic, brand, branded generic, legacy brands and Over-the-Counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products and has commercial operations in approximately 60 countries. The Company’s North American branded pharmaceuticals business is focused principally in the Women’s Health, Urology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology therapeutic categories with a strong pipeline of products in various stages of development. Actavis also has a portfolio of five biosimilar products in development in Women’s Health and Oncology. In January 2014, Actavis announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement under which Actavis will acquire Forest Laboratories Inc for a combination of cash and equity valued at approximately $25 billion. The combination of the two 18 |

companies creates an Innovative New Model in Specialty Pharmaceuticals Leadership, with an estimated $15 Billion in Revenue in 2015. The Actavis Africa cluster office based in Tarxien, Malta is responsible for commercial activities in Africa, Malta and Cyprus. Actavis is currently present and establishing presence in 18 countries in Africa, boasting a strong presence in the Maghreb region with Libya and Tunisia being the key markets. Actavis is known in most countries in the region as a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on Women’s Health and Dermatology. Other therapeutic areas of focus include Cardiology, Central Nervous System and Oncology. Through both a highly motivated and strong Field Force, and the partnerships we hold

with local agents and distributors in the respective countries, Actavis is highly recognized by authorities and customers in both public and private markets. We also relish strong brand recognition by key opinion leaders. Africa’s longterm growth will increasingly reflect social and demographic trends that are creating new challenges for healthcare professionals. Actavis aims at being recognised as a leading international specialty pharmaceutical company in the Africa region.


Aiming HigHer By Martin Vella

The Economic Update recently interviewed IIG Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Raymond Busuttil, who explains that as a bank involved in international trade finance, IIG finds Malta as an ideal location to develop its structured commodity trade finance business globally. IIG’s professional team bring outstanding experience and operational skills to bear when catering for the needs of established traders. IIG’s record performances and its network of international contacts provides the Bank with excellent growth opportunities.

TEU: What is the mission of IIG Bank?

RB: Using Malta as an idea location for its business, IIG Bank seeks to establish itself as an internationally recognized specialist in the provision of trade finance and supporting services to the global commodity trading community. TEU: How has IIG Bank thrived despite the volatility in the markets and continued to achieve growth? RB: The global economic crisis that has prevailed for over 6 years was triggered by a dramatic failure in the financial markets and the systemic knock-on effects that eroded investor confidence. Hit by huge losses, investors and depositors sought a safe refuge for their savings and hence, once again, the traditional capital protected bank deposit became attractive. The Bank launched its activity in 2010, amidst such uncertainty, yet identifying the opportunity. On the one hand, depositors were seeking a safe alternative for their investments that provided commensurate return, and the Bank could provide this.

The economic crisis once again proved the resilience of trade, especially that relating to the international trading activity in basic commodities. A number of major financial 20 |


players in this field had withdrawn their support to shore-up heavy losses sustained in other areas of their activities. Established commodity traders started finding it difficult to source financial support for their activities and sought alternatives. Small banks like IIG Bank stepped in to fill this gap. Like any other business, banking should be driven by those specialist skills and resources that can make a difference, by a commitment to provide a quality service and of course, by identifying the opportunity. IIG Bank has thrived by focusing on these fundamental factors. TEU: What can you tell us about your performance in 2013/14?

RB: The year ended 31 December 2013 was another very positive year for IIG Bank. Not only did the Bank’s balance sheet grow by over 40%, from $78.5 million to $111 million, but during the year, the Bank managed to expand its business of trade finance into new geographical areas and new industries. During the second half of 2013 the Bank started to develop its operational capabilities to support this new business and we are excited about the response we have generated so far in these new markets. During 2013, the Bank generated total revenues before tax of $1,827,462 up from $1,449,174 in 2012, made up of $1,005,910 in operating profit before tax and $821,552 in net gains on financial assets. TEU: Can you tell us about IIG Bank’s clientele and how has the game plan turned out for your company? RB: Like every other bank, IIG Bank clients fall under two basic categories, the depositors who place their trust in the bank to protect their hard earned savings and to achieve a return, and the borrowers, who while seeking finance for their business activities, place their trust in the capabilities of professional people to grow their business. The key word is trust. We are happy to say that on the depositor side, we attract medium to high net worth individuals with a minimum start-up deposit of EUR25,000 or the equivalent in USD and GBP. Deposits have more than doubled over the past year reaching a figure of USD90 million

as at end of March 2014. What is most meaningful to us is the retention rate of existing client deposits, which is close to 90%. Driven by this level of support, during 2013 the Bank embarked on the second phase of its business plan, which consists in the direct marketing and development of borrowing trade finance clients. Given the opportunity already mentioned, the Bank has also been very successful in sourcing such business from established commodity traders.

We believe that there is ample space for small banks that specialise in the area of international trade finance to thrive, especially banks that are quick and agile enough to grab the opportunities that characterise the international trade sector TEU: How would you describe the current state of banking sector?

RB: The domestic banking sector has proven to be sound and now that the worst of the crisis seems to be over, it is showing slow but sustainable growth, despite the challenges and restraints of new regulation. Internationally, banks are still striving to restore the trust that they once enjoyed, while there are those that still need to provide heavily for nonperforming assets on their balance sheets.

despite your success, which may lead to complacency?

RB: IIG Bank is still a very young institution and there is no space for complacency now or at any other time in the future. Being successful in achieving periodic goals is very important, but these must be seen as stepping stones along the road of longer term development objectives. IIG Bank is fully committed to develop and it has the full support of its shareholder to do so. The Bank reinvests all the annual revenues into its core capital to sustain its continued development. We believe that there is ample space for small banks which specialize in the area of international trade finance to thrive, especially banks that are quick and agile enough to grab the opportunities that characterise the international trade sector. In a world where economies continue to struggle, demand for basic commodities is not diminished. We are therefore positive that our loan assets will continue to expand in this direction while developing through geographical diversification. TEU

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TEU: Looking at the challenges ahead, do you believe that trade finance, and the soft commodity sector, continues to be resilient despite market uncertainty?

RB: The flow of cross border trade is the life blood of every country. The financing and facilitation of such activity is critical especially in the soft commodity sector, which essentially consists of trade in all those basic products that satisfy the basic needs of every nation on Earth. There is little correlation between trade flows and the financial markets, other than a general slowdown when economies are so hardly hit as to effect demand for consumer products. The challenges to trade finance are more directly related to strife, sanctions and other causes and effects that disrupt the free trade and movement of goods. TEU: How critical is it to maintain the culture of innovation within the bank,

Editor’s Note IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd is based at Portomaso, St Julians and has been established in Malta since March 2010. IIG Bank has quickly earned a reputation of a trustworthy financial institution offering best-in-class rates of return to its customers. The Bank is an affiliate of the International Investment Group LLC, an established global trade finance manager based in New York specialising in the global commodity trade sector with a focus on the emerging markets. IIG Bank is a fully licensed credit institution regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority and is a participant in the Depositor Compensation scheme.


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Doing the Right thing By Martin Vella

The secret to being a successful serial entrepreneur is to have a proper vision, strategy and resources complimented by the organisation, infrastructure and processes that support such vision. For Angelo Dalli then there is of course a learning curve. Accomplished, articulate and focused, Angelo maintains that as time goes by, the organisational aspects do get easier and more sophisticated, so one must avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that are often made when starting out for the very first time. TEU: One important aspect of business is the financial side, especially improvements to the company’s financial flexibility and balance sheet. Can you give us a sense of how you have done that? AD: At Bit8, we place a lot of importance on the company’s balance sheet, giving us the financing needed to achieve operational and strategic flexibility and the ability to compete effectively on a global scale against larger and more established competitors. The financial strength of our vision is well proven, with the number of operators using the Bit8 platform growing at an exponential rate. The initial seed capital invested in Bit8 enabled me to focus on building a great product during the first three years, with a venture capital injection last year giving us the funds necessary to market our product and expand our market share aggressively while constantly improving on our service delivery and team building. This strategy has worked extremely well, and in the space of a single year, Bit8 has signed up more than 10% of the top 50 casinos in the world and has consistently delivered innovations in its platform, and mobile and tablet solutions. I have ensured that there is a formal system of checks and balances that makes top management accountable against a budget, 22 |

while retaining discretionary flexibility to retain nimbleness and manoeuvrability. This system, together with daily updates of the company’s financial position and a flexible and responsive board of directors and advisory board, ensures that our finances are taken care of meticulously and professionally. TEU: What are some of the key challenges you can highlight in your career that have moulded you as a successful entrepreneur, and what kind of message were you hoping to impart to you employees? AD: One of the key challenges has been dealing with growth and the temporary instability that inevitably ensues as the number of employees grows significantly fast while the company needs to maintain a high quality of service throughout the growth phase. Additionally, facing challenges effectively that need timely and effective decisions that may at times be painful, especially when dealing with financing and resourcing. During any company’s start there is also the need to have a strong vision that is executed properly in order to minimise time wastage and too many pivots in strategy while retaining flexibility to fail fast and frequently if necessary on small experiments. I adopt an agile approach coupled with lean start-up principles


that together with my team I try to impart on our employees, giving them that entrepreneurial spirit that increases their accountability, dedication and pride in their work, which in turn drives a virtuous circle of continuous improvement. TEU: What are your leadership perspectives and values? AD: I believe that if you decide to do something, you need to do it in the right manner – and lead by example. A leader should always set the pace for the whole company and demonstrate the principles of accountability and execution in a simple and clear manner through action rather than merely words. The very first thing is to ensure that the commercial ideas are sound and feasible, rapidly followed by building up the right team of people and of course, getting cashflow into the business. The old adage of cash is king is very true, especially in a start-up environment. Having the right core set of people who are loyal and dedicated is also a key accomplishment that needs to be achieved early on. With my scientific background which I acquired from academic research and business background which I gained from experience, I have realised that creating technology just for technology sake is not good enough unless there is an element

of innovation, disruption and economic value added. The end aim is to build a scaleable and repeatable business, with solid products, great sales and marketing pipeline, an excellent aftersales service, backed up by a great team of people, processes, infrastructure and financing – all while having fun at enjoying seeing the company grow and evolve onwards and upward. TEU: How important has it been to build a businessfriendly environment? AD: Most of my businesses have operated in the business-tobusiness (B2B) space and thus it has been absolutely vital to build a business-friendly environment. We cater for the needs of the busy executives representing our clients and appreciate the fact that they are generally short on time and are looking for solutions that deliver extremely good value for money within ambitious timeframes. Our contractual negotiations are streamlined to ensure that customers can start doing business with us quickly with minimal overhead. Our business analysts ensure that a specification is always available that can be understood by the commercial, financial and technical stakeholders in any project. We also place a lot of emphasis on service delivery and after-sales support, which is something that business customers generally appreciate a lot.

Angelo dAlli Company name: Bit8 Top exeCuTive: Angelo Dalli Company porTfolio and invesTmenTs: When one considers the investments I made, and the companies started – which are still running and growing – together with companies I am board member of, then we are looking at over twelve enterprises based in Malta, UK and Sweden. Apart from Bit8, I am also involved in other companies, including intelligent transportation systems (Traffiko); big data analysis where we are working on a new concept to aid retailers to use their customer data to better identify product positioning, loyalty touch-points and business intelligence as a managed service (Minely); and a genre-defining candidate-profiling platform used by some of the top companies in the world (Zeepex). inspiraTion: ‘To create products that creates a paradigm shift in diverse industries; to use AI and apply it to everyday problems to fundamentally impact society in a positive manner.’ Employees: At Bit8 we are a stellar team of over 40 developers, analysts and industry experts. Bit8 has also attracted top people from leading companies in the gaming, financial services and enterprise software industries to join our team enhancing our service delivery, sales, quality assurance, business analysis and operational processes. We believe in empowering our employees giving them adequate ownership that results in pride and satisfaction. In total, the companies I have been involved in have employed over 250 people in Malta alone. aChievemenTs: Bit8 has been established since 2010 and has attracted an ever growing number of operators using its platform and modules, ranging from new operators to large established operators including 5 of the top 50 casinos in the world as clients including one of the top 10 global casinos. Bit8 always had a live operator client from day one. Bit8 is now in a position to offer the best-in-class platform solution in the

industry. Bit8 has over 25 integrations with third parties, with an estimated 20 more integrations currently slated for 2014, making us one of the most connected platforms in the industry. Bit8 has also recently concluded technology licensing deals with some of the largest casino suppliers in the world. In the past year Bit8 have also been nominated for the ‘Innovator of the Year’ award by the International Gaming Awards, and as ‘Platform of the Year’, and ‘Software Rising Star’ in the EGR B2B Awards. CorporaTe moTTo: Our corporate motto is Infinite Possibilities. TesTimonials: “Running the marketing for an online gaming means balancing resource, time, efficiency and opportunity at the same time to get the best possible results. The customer deserved transparency and instant gratification regardless of the operator’s product choices. To get to that point though, you need a global view of an individual customer’s behaviour, trends and patterns, something that a lot of gaming companies find it hard to do. With the Bit8 cross product bonus platform, you are able to cut down the resource required to run bonuses and reward campaigns, increase efficiency by always having your open bonus liability, expenditure plus return on investment in real time.” - John Faley, Marketing Director, TEU

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Editor’s Note Angelo Dalli is a serial entrepreneur with involvement in a number of companies in the Technology, Entertainment and Gaming industries. Since the late nineties he has distinguished himself for his ability to combine deep technical ability (he holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science) with commercial acumen. Through his innovative disposition, ability to build and lead teams, he has secured over 50 Million Euros of investments into his ideas from EU funds, Private Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, propelling his companies into the international domain. He is also Malta’s only fully accredited member of EBAN, the European Business Angel Network. Angelo’s profile is a realisation of the mantra he works by ‘To create scaleable, repeatable technology businesses that lead by innovation’.


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Sheila’s passion for business developed at an early age whilst working in the family owned retail businesses - gaining hands on experience of good business practices and learning that hard work and determination are fundamental to a successful career in business. Sheila’s successful career with Equiom has been founded on her belief in building partnerships with our clients and intermediaries – some of whom she has worked with for over 20 years, and many of whom repeatedly recommend Equiom’s services. Throughout her career Sheila has developed an extensive network of contacts many of which have developed into enduring friendships with like minded professional business men and women. Her ability to network extensively both socially and professionally is key to maintaining and developing Equiom’s profile.

Her extensive knowledge of trust and company structures and the implications of cross border issues ensure that Equiom’s clients’ complex financial matters are structured appropriately in order to preserve and enhance their assets and ensure tax- efficient planning. Sheila’s personal values of hard work, endless enthusiasm and absolute integrity have been imbedded into Equiom’s culture through Sheila’s determination to lead by example and by expecting nothing but the best from her team. Such high standards and expectations can be difficult to maintain. The Trust and Corporate Services industry is increasingly competitive and we must guarantee that our staff are delivering the best possible service otherwise we cannot expect to grow our business or continue to deliver value to our clients. 24 |

Sheila’s drive and enthusiasm ensures that Equiom, through its strategy for both organic and acquisitive growth, has the vision and flexibility to continually flourish. The drive to succeed, which typifies Sheila’s approach to business, is supported by the continued success of Equiom and the appreciation she receives for the work she does, from her clients, directors and staff. She is the first to admit that without her experienced team to support her (at home and at work) she would not be in a position to maintain the momentum that is required for Equiom to create and achieve new possibilities. Sheila’s vision has ensured that Equiom continues to retain and attract staff that are ready to work in a business led by a driven and entrepreneurial management team.


Sheila Dean Responsibilities: • Leading Equiom’s team of 180+ staff in Malta, Isle of Man and Jersey • Determining Equiom’s strategic direction and acquisitive growth strategy • Overall responsibility for operational control for the Equiom Group • Relationship adviser for a number of Equiom’s private and corporate clients • Development of relationships with Equiom’s key professional intermediaries • Driving the development of Equiom’s core and niche business lines worldwide

• •

Effective communication and confidence: being clear / providing clarity in the message you are delivering. This demonstrates clarity of thought. Confidence is important as this provides you with the foundation to face adverse conditions confidently. Demonstrating zeal and passion in every action: being dynamic, having the ability to lead change, inspiring commitment and being original. Being willing to travel: this is especially important if a business has multiple offices around the globe. It is important to meet the people on the ground, especially new recruits. This not only ensures that you have the right people in the organisation but that the culture of the organisation is embedded throughout. Humility and having a sense of humour: having a clear perspective and being able to place yourself on an equal footing with those around you. A sense of humour goes along way within any organisation and demonstrates that you are human after all!

CaReeR HigHligHts: • Led the management buyout which formed Equiom in 2006 • Led the successful acquisition in January 2011 of the Intertrust UndeR sHeila’s leadeRsHip eqUiom Has aCHieved tHe following Isle of Man Yachting and Aviation business in Relation to new bUsiness initiatives and sUCCess: • Led the successful acquisition in October 2012 of Andium • New business for the year ending September 2013 totalled in Trust Company in Jersey excess of £1.6million. • Led the successful acquisition of Citytrust Isle of Man in • In October 2012 Equiom acquired the Jersey based fiduciary March 2013 services provider Andium Trust Company. In July 2013 the • Led the successful secondary management buyout of Equiom team moved to new offices at One The Esplanade in St Helier in September 2013 to accommodate an increase in staff numbers. • Led the successful acquisition of leading Isle of Man fiduciary • In April 2013 Equiom acquired City Trust Limited an Isle of provider West Corporation Limited in October 2013 Man based trust and corporate services provider – 8 staff • Led the successful acquisition of an Isle of Man based tax, joined Equiom. insolvency and forensic business in October 2013 • In April 2013 Equiom (Malta) Limited opened its new office in Swatar Malta – offering a full range of trustee and fiduciary awaRds: services – the office now employs 7 staff. • Citywealth International financial Centres Awards 2014 – • In September 2013 Equiom completed a secondary Sheila Dean – Editors Choice Award management buy-out with the invested support of Lloyds • Citywealth Leaders List 2014 – Leading Trustee: Sheila Dean Development Capital (LDC). LDC’s support will allow us to • Private Client Practitioner: Top 50 Most Influential: Sheila further strengthen our position within the market. Dean 2013 • In October 2013 Equiom acquired West Corporation an Isle • Citywealth Leaders List 2013 – Leading Trustee: Sheila Dean of Man based trust and corporate services provider – 58 staff • Citywealth Magic Circle awards 2013 – Runner up: Sheila joined Equiom. Dean – Woman of the Year • The October 2013 Equiom acquisition also brought with it • Citywealth Leaders List 2012 – Leading Trustee: Sheila Dean 15 tax professionals adding to the expertise within ‘Equiom • Women in Business – North West & Isle of Man International Solutions’. Business Woman of the Year 2011: Sheila Dean leadeRsHip and vision: sHeila’s appRoaCH to leadeRsHip: • Equiom’s Group Managing Director Sheila Dean leads the • Leading by example: consistency in every action and gaining team of 180 staff across 3 locations with full responsibility hands on experience of good business practices. Learning for determining Equiom’s strategic direction and acquisitive that integrity, hard work and determination are fundamental growth strategy. to a successful career in business. • Sheila continues to be a Relationship Overseer for a number of • Teamwork: focussing on the “we” rather than the “I”. Utilising private and corporate clients, whilst developing relationships the experience of the team you have around you and drawing with Equiom’s key professional intermediaries and driving the on their support and expertise. Together with integrity development of our core and niche business lines world wide. and enthusiasm, this is fundamental in building trust and • Through Sheila’s leadership Equiom has achieved a number ultimately long-term partnerships. of strategic objectives in addition to delivering a set of robust • Showcasing success: recognising and praising milestones / financials. accomplishments. Recognising the team’s role in successes and also identifying individual contributors. All rights reserved | Copyrighted TEU


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Dare To Be


By Martin Vella

With an array of cafe bars, restaurants and stationery outlets lining just outside of the University gates lies a little burger joint that goes by the name of New York Best, serving fresh and incredibly juicy looking burgers, hot-dogs and pizzas. I met one of the guys behind this food paradise, Tommy Diacono, an emerging small business entrepreneur, who has big ideas and certainly knows how to use social media networks to grow his business. Now, Tommy has successfully launched his Flagship outlet on the Sliema seafront and stands poised to grow his chain further to other localities.

TEU: May I ask you about your “aha” moment the point in time when you knew you were on to something big? TD: Summer 2012, when the University Heights outlet hit bigger numbers in Summer (when there’s no school) than during the scholastic months. TEU: What’s the worst advice you have received? TD: Too many to remember...It’s usually people telling me to add things to the menu and modify the concept so it’s more for ‘everyone’. Sometimes in Malta businesses try to please everyone; that’s impossible, dare to be different and stick to your guns. Your core clientele will love you for it. We play cool LOUD music, our shops look different and we serve our burgers pink, a lot of our staff are heavily tattooed! Malta is changing, we like to think we’re part of this change. TEU: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own business? TD: Another tough one to fit into a few words. I would say ‘get off your ass, stop blaming everyone and everything for your shortcomings and just DO it!’ Plan it well, ask for advice, don’t play the smart ass, if you are not sure about something ASK, you would be surprised how happy people are to explain things to you. Get good solid financing and do whatever you want to do well, the days of scrapping a business together are over, either you go all in or nothing. At the end of the day you need to see it as a game and avoid falling into the trap of taking things too seriously or it will get the best of you. TEU: What are your main motives? TD: To keep growing the business, to open new concept outlets and export all of them as a Maltese company. That’s it really! 26 |


NEW YORK BEST Company name: New York Best (Popular Marketing ltd.) aChievements: Opening of 2nd outlet after only 1 and half years operation, Voted ‘Best Burger in Malta’ on MaltaToday, Reviewed twice in one year on times of Malta, calling us ‘The Fast Food Holy Grail’ 8.5/10. innovative idea and Business model Being proposed: To serve the best of New York’s traditional eats without having to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Utilising ONLY top quality, fresh and custom ingredients to create a product from scratch, thus having a unique and recognisable product. Also employing highly appealing visual branding vis a vis outlet design and food packaging. strategiC vision and market viaBility of the idea: At the moment the goal is to make the brand a household name (in Malta) by mid 2015. Long term vision is to export the brand to selected cities across Europe, not as a franchise but as a Maltese company operating overseas. aBility of the partiCipant to Create and exeCute on the Business idea: I saw a gap in the market, a happy medium between the established international fast food franchises AND the recent emergence of the ‘Gourmet Burger Experience’. New York Best falls in-between, We’re still a quick self service restaurant, but our buns are custom made, our beef blend is imported just for us, we make our patties ‘a la minute’ from fresh beef balls, our fries are skin on ‘Lady Rosetta’ 6 x 6 mm also imported just for us. We pay extra attention to detail with ALL our products, people noticed, they kept coming, thus the business was able to grow ORGANICALLY. No investors, no cash injections, just good old baby steps. We now have over 30 employees and are working on opening the third NYB and a new ‘top-secret’ concept outlet before years end.

Best ComBined use of investing, trading and negotiating: That’s easy, when I took over the Sliema outlet WITHOUT a subject to bank loan clause, I had financing in line for another concept outlet so I assumed the bank would finance Sliema instead as it was a no brainer on paper (and in theory), somehow the loan got declined...I had to renegotiate payment terms with everyone, and fast, as I only had a six week moratorium to get the shop up and running, this ended up being a massive challenge as the place turned out to be rotten and required full gutting. I made agreements with my suppliers to pause payments till I got on my feet with repayment schemes, while at the same time seeking financing from another bank. All this with an average of 10-15 people working on site everyday and having to micro manage every last detail as I designed the place myself...was touch and go for a couple of weeks but fortunately the brand was strong enough for the new outlet to achieve good sales from day one of operation! What’s your philosophy on entrepreneurship in 10 Words or less: That’s a very expansive question and I could go on for hours and hours, to be honest I’m still ‘developing’ my philosophy, so to speak. However my doctrine to entrepreneurship is to have fun, this may seem childish, but its true, unless you feel passionate about the business you plan to take on, and I mean really passionate, don’t bother, don’t go into something just because you think it will make you money, of course the money is important, but the most vital thing is that it has to be something that you love doing, talking about, dreaming about... the business needs to be a part of YOU! TEU

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Editor’s Note Once upon a time, two brothers raised in a family of chefs, classic recipes and old cook books decided to break away from their lineage and use all they learnt to make the best fast food they could possibly make. Run by the Diacono brothers, foodies to the bone, New York Best is an eatery like no other on the island. After the boys set up a hugely successful pizza stand at the Isle of MTV concert, it was clear that people wanted more, so they took on more and more of these events to raise enough dough to open their own place. New York Best opened its first outlet just outside University campus in late 2011. The boys quickly built quite a reputation, sourcing only the best of ingredients and paying extra attention to detail, their grub has fast become top favourite for Students and Food lovers alike. New York Best specialises in US style Burgers, Pizza & Hot Dogs (The Holy Trinity). Burgers can be served single, double, or even triple patty. The secret to their burgers taste and texture is the hand made patties along with the custom made burger buns and beef blend found nowhere else. Wieners for the hot dogs and their condiments are all custom made too. Their signature New York style pizza is made from 24 hour slow-rise sourdough, 100% premium mozzarella and simple seasonal toppings. Their Milkshakes are decadent and sinful, and employ whole ingredients found in the kitchen, like their Mum’s infamous Home-made Chocolate brownies. The boys have ample tricks up their sleeves and keep coming up with new and exciting tongue in cheek versions of New York classics. Tommy Diacono –


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Practising What You Preach By Martin Vella

After spending 12 years practising her profession as an accountant and auditor, and the past 15 years managing her outgoing travel business, YTC, Stellina Galea now leads a lifestyle company, Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes, which has already helped thousands of Maltese and Gozitans take the first step to changing their lifestyles. Stellina’s verve, boundless energy and charismatic persona come to the fore in all her activities. In an interview with the Economic update, this extraordinary self-made professional shares what she thinks gives people the power to build a successful business and brand it in an incredibly competitive industry.

Stellina Galea is known on TV as a person who is always running, who talks very fast and who is never still. She oozes confidence and energy as I meet up with her to get to know more about the person behind the TV persona, and to discuss her latest project, Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes. I ask her what it is like to be an entrepreneur and what remains to be done to help support female entrepreneurs. “I have always been an entrepreneur, way back since I was six years old”. Have I misunderstood her? “We would be playing in a group, and I would insist on being the grocery owner, and my friends would come and buy from my shop, from where I would hand out tins and packets of food in exchange for paper money.” With a quick smile, she continues. “My first entry into the business world was when I set up my piano school in my teens, 32 years ago. The successes achieved then still bring me pleasure so many years after. I then went to University, and was one of the first students to be in the student-worker scheme. My University years were the only years during which I was employed, and it was always my intention to set up my own accounting firm. So I did my two year stint with the Government as required in my University contract, and in 1990 I left my government job to become a self-employed accountant. I was always interested in travel, so the transition to a tour operator specialising in skiing and summer mountain holidays was not such an extreme career change as it may seem. That was 15 years ago. Last year I set up Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes”. “Looking back, I suppose entrepreneurship always came naturally to me. Having said that, any Government support, not just for female entrepreneurs, but for all entrepreneurs, is always most welcome. Recent past and existing initiatives such as Microinvest, Jeremie, TAF and ERDF. have all helped entrepreneurs, particularly start-ups. I now look forward to the simplification of bureaucracy, as I do believe that bureaucracy stifles entrepreneurship. In the meantime, I encourage anyone to just take the plunge and follow their dream”. 28 |


Stellina is known as a dynamic, energetic, hands-on, no-nonsense female entrepreneur who “thinks bigger”. Does she agree? Unhesitant, she replies, “Dynamic, energetic, hands-on, no-nonsense female entrepreneur would be an accurate description, though the ‘who thinks bigger’ cannot be further from the truth. I am actually quite cautious and conservative in my business dealings, yet the three business activities I am involved in (the administration of the accountancy firm, YTC Travel and Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes) all very quickly established themselves as market leaders within their area of specialisation.” So what does success mean to a successful woman entrepreneur? She answers briskly, “Every person has his own definition of success. My definition of success is very un-entrepreneurial – I gauge my success by the happiness I see on my clients’ faces. Success for me is helping other people achieve their goals, whether it is assisting them in their business ventures, seeing them enjoy their holiday or feeling healthier and looking better as a result of fat-loss. The satisfaction gained this way is worth more than any pecuniary reward from operating these business activities,” she says.

Success for me is helping other people achieve their goals, whether it is assisting them in their business ventures, or in recent years, seeing them enjoy their holiday or feeling healthier and looking better as a result of fat-loss Describing her work as sometimes stressful, I wonder whether, in the midst of the eye of the hurricane she is able to appreciate the control stress gives her over her life, or whether she views this as negative. “My work is mostly stressful because I am always striving for a higher level of service to be given to clients,” she explains, continuing, “this requires a lot of planning and organisation, and I am also very much involved in the media in order to promote the business activities. However since I got involved in the lifestyle business, I have learned to practise what I preach, and I make it a point to engage in exercise and yoga at some point in time during the day, to relax by mentally switching off in the evening and reading, and to enjoy the beauty of nature during the week-end, usually at my favourite bay, Ghajn Tuffieha.” She has always believed that good business must be fair with all the persons concerned, whether it is the clients, suppliers, employees or the business itself. “Values, integrity, industry, insight, kind heart and conviction are all equally important parts of my character, and make me what I am. I do feel the responsibility of having so many people blindly relying on me,” she admits. “Clients, suppliers and employees have all placed their trust in my businesses, and the businesses must do well to continue delivering a good service, and this creates a positive circle of growth.” Recognised for her superlative oratory skills, I query what makes her a superb communicator. “I am a good communicator because of the enthusiasm and passion I put into a talk or discussion. My habit of talking very fast is a disadvantage to communication, but people have accepted it, together with the sound of my voice, as being my characteristic.” She has actually calmed down a bit recently, and has learned to talk slower – still fast by normal standards - something which was a matter of concern at first for some of her friends, who weren’t used to this. The road was not easy though and Stellina herself admits that she has worked long hours to be where she is today. “In the running of

my business, I have learned that there is always a lot to learn from other persons, since everyone has a valid contribution to make. I have also learned that it is family values and the simple things in life which matter most, and which should come before business considerations,” she reaffirms. This brings us to what makes sense out of her CSR role. “I have always taken my corporate social responsibility seriously and YTC has always been in the forefront of giving holidays to deserving persons, even fifteen years ago during the ‘Tista Tkun Int’ days. During the recent year, Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes has participated in fundraising activities for Inspire, such as the Jingle Bell jog, a sponsored bike ride, a sponsored walk and the fundraising by our clients during the Christmas party we hosted. We also participated in Move Week organised by the government following an EU initiative, and we provided our premises and trainers for a whole week to provide free exercise sessions to the public. We regularly sponsor a number of lifestyle change programs on TV programs like Arani Issa which help persons who have particular needs. We are also sponsoring one of our manageresses for the 2014 Actavis LifeCycle Challenge to Japan in aid of the Renal Unit at Mater Dei and the Transplant Support Group. My final question regards the results of Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes. “The results are there for all to see. I lead a large, dedicated, professional team which now numbers 40, which helps our clients achieve their lifestyle goals. These goals vary, but mostly involve fat-loss, improved health and fitness, reduced medication in some cases, improved confidence, improved appearance, participation in sports and so many other things. The photos which our clients give us permission to print show the exterior results, which are amazing in themselves, but it is the unquantifiable feeling of well-being which is most truly amazing. And that, for me, is success.” TEU

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What is stElliNa’s lifEstylE ChaNgEs? Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes is one of the leading companies in the health and fitness industry. Led by Stellina Galea, it consists of a team of 40 persons which includes three state registered nutritionists, Certified Personal Trainers and Fitness instructors and several staff members who hold a diploma in both nutrition and training . With obesity being such a major problem in Malta, the need was felt to provide a service which concentrates on educating people and assisting them to change their lifestyle. Once they have managed this, the company then provides the service of assisting them to maintain this lifestyle for the rest of their lives. The Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes program teaches people how to eat in a healthy manner in order to maximise fat loss and provides tailor-made eating plans to achieve this . The program also aims to educate people about exercising in the most efficient way given the limited time one has available. The results, for those who diligently follow the program, are impressive. 5 to 10 kg of fat loss in the first month of the program is not uncommon, with additional kgs of fat lost gradually in the following months . Since its inception, Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes has helped thousands of Maltese and Gozitans to take the first step to achieving health and well-being.

Editor’s Note Stellina Galea is a certified public accountant auditor and, a qualified pianist having obtained a licentiate of the Trinity College of Music. She has taught the piano for a number of years, and also runs a travel agency. Stellina is the sole director of Stellina’s Lifestyle Changes which has established itself as one of the leading fitness companies. She has been married to Steven Galea for the past 28 years.


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A Commitment to QuAlity By George Carol

Bortex is a fully verticalised clothing business with private label manufacturing operations, brand distribution and retail. The business which started in 1964 is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. In this interview we speak with Sam Borg, to find out how he is behind the fastest growing area of the business through the launch of its own menswear brand, Gagliardi. Ranges from the Maltese brand can be found in some of the best names on the European high street, in standalone Gagliardi concept stores and online through its E-Commerce platform. 30 |


Bortex Group Company name: Bortex Group ( Gagliardi – sartoria dal 1964 ) Top exeCuTive: Group Managing Director : Peter Borg Brand developmenT direCTor : Sam Borg exeCuTive Summary: School Captain - The Oratory School, Berkshire 1998 - 2008, LLB Exeter University (2008 – 2011), 1st XV Malta Rugby (5 Caps). Returned to Malta in 2011 to join the family business in time for the group’s launch of its ‘Gagliardi satoria dal 1964’ brand. Company deSCripTion: Fully verticalised clothing business with private label manufacturing operations,brand distribution and retail. Using Malta as its base the Bortex Group owns and operates factories in Tunisia, Serbia and the Far East and supplies high end tailoring to many upmarket fashion brands, department store groups and internationally renowned retailers. Knowledge based activities such as design, product development,sales and marketing and production planning are carried out from Malta. Total worldwide employment is around 850 and group turnover for 2013 was in excess of € 25 million. aChievemenTS: Spearheading the development of the Gagliardi brand into a fully fledged, complete menswear offer sold via own bricks and mortar stores in several European cities, international wholesale chanels,franchise operations and worldwide via its online platform. Several enquiries for further expansion currently in hand with partners in the Middle East, Far East and Russia as well as further own store openings throughout the rest of Europe. innovaTive idea and BuSineSS model Being propoSed: The development of a relatively keenly priced, high quality menswear brand that takes its inspiration from the celebration of all things Southern European and Maltese and extolls the virtues of Mediterranean culture, lifestyle, good taste and above all ‘joie de vivre’. TEU: May I ask you about your “aha” moment - the point in time when you knew you were on to something big? SB: When we were finalising the plans for the concept and identity of the Gagliardi brand we were all pretty confident that there was a gap in the global market for a relatively keenly priced, high quality menswear brand that takes its inspiration from the celebration of all things Mediterranean, Southern European and ( why not ) Maltese too. When you are setting up something like this the first 18-24 months are basically about incurring costs without taking in any revenue, so to some extentA we were all rather anxious and before our very first fashion exhibition tensions were quite high. About half way through the first day the realisation set in that our stand had been busier than all the others in our aisle, some of which were occupied by established international brands. At that moment I knew we had hit the nail on the head with our concept and that from then onwards, although it would still be a hard slog to develop the brand, we would be bulding on a solid foundation. TEU: What’s the worst advice you have received? SB: That things come easy in life.

TEU: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own business?

STraTegiC viSion and markeT viaBiliTy of The idea: To use our comparative advantage and experience as large scale, high end clothing manufacturers to develop an international menswear brand with multiple routes to market. aBiliTy of The parTiCipanT To CreaTe and exeCuTe on The BuSineSS idea: Developing an international brand without huge marketing and advertising budgets is no mean feat. Naturally the quality, appeal and competitive pricing of the product are the starting point for success but developing a network of own stores, wholesale customers, franchise partners and online operations requires a great deal of focus, extensive travel, people skills and the determination to succeed. BeST ComBined uSe of inveSTing, Trading and negoTiaTing: Potential wholesale customers and franchise partners need to believe in the brand and its potenial on the particular market but convincing them to take the initial plunge requires also that they believe in the people behind the brand. In order to achieve both, Gagliardi’s approach with selected key accounts or partners has often involved participating in the initial fixturing investment and occasionally also underwriting the risk on seasonal stocks. Having used this approach to open doors it is then necessary to ensure that the initial seasons are successful from the point of view of the partner and again a good product range and competitive pricing are not enough. Initially is necessary to hold the partners hands , to guide with regard to selling techniques and stock management as well as areas such as visual merchandising. WhaT’S your philoSophy on enTrepreneurShip in 10 WordS or leSS: 1% idea 99% execution – take calculated risks, don’t stop until you achieve your targets and get ahead of your competition

SB: If you believe in your project and in yourself, go ahead and take the plunge but be prepared to give up on a great many other activities in your life and to work harder than you ever have done before. It will not be an easy ride but success is a very sweet reward. TEU: What are your main motives?

SB: The Bortex group has always wanted to create its very own international menswear brand besides producing private label product for other prestigious brands and distributing branded products under license. ‘Gagliardi 1964’ is that brand and I have been entrusted with spearheading the international development of the brand via the three routes to market of wholesale, own retail and franchise as well as transactional web platform that delivers worldwide. The primary motivation is about achievement, success and the pursuit of excellence which are values which have been bred into me throughout the course of my education at an English public school but achieving something which has been a dream for so many years for both my father and his father before him is also a very strong motivator. After all, they both invested a great deal of money in my education and I want them to feel that investing in me was one of the best investments they ever made. TEU

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A Culture of

exCellenCe By Martin Vella

TEU: Can you summarise your philosophy? DS: Motivation, enthusiasm, planning, determination to succeed and most of all flexibility. TEU: Where do you come in terms of flexibility with Frank Salt Real Estate? DS: The nature of the business itself dictates flexibility because the Real Estate scenario is changing, not just annually but almost monthly. You must be willing to change tack to be able to meet opportunities that come your way. As an example, last month we had a call from Total, who required 45 apartments to rent out, which in the current scenario would have been difficult to accommodate, so you have to get resources from somewhere and place them in charge of that particular project. Therefore, flexibility toward meeting the unexpected demands of the market, which is evolving all the time, is imperative. The government introduces incentives for first time buyers. Perhaps that particular market was not on your radar to be emphasised in the first few months of the year, but given the opportunity, you suddenly change the whole marketing overnight, take advantage of that market segment, which reacted very quickly to the news that they did not have to pay stamp duty. TEU: If you had to describe important achievements, milestones that have led you to re rise your dream and hold your position within the brand o Frank Salt Real Estate, what would those 2 most achievements be? DS: The first biggest achievement was the seamless transition between the first generation and the second generation when my father retired and handed over the Company to myself, my brother and my sister we seamlessly moved on and it has grown extremely well post transition.

The Economic Update meets up with Douglas Salt, a front runner for the category of Top Male Entrepreneur, as well as Property Entrepreneur of the Year in this year’s coveted MSV Life Top Entrepreneur Awards 2014 being held at the InterContinental Hotel on the 16th May. We discuss with him the dynamics of the property sector and what his leadership role is all about. 32 |

Having said that, I believe that a constant achievement is by far more noteworthy- the ability to create and execute any business idea is derived through ensuring the consultation and collaboration of all stakeholders involved, mainly auditors, statisticians, professionals, local authorities and the likes to ensure the viability and sustainability of a business plan. Internally, a substantial effort (through training, monitoring, assistance and empowerment programs) is made to ensure proper implementation and take up of ownership by the team of consultants and other staff members- this expansion is by far the best accomplishment I have ever had in my life.


TEU: Your expansion has been very optimal, following a systematic pattern of Frank Salt Real Estate culture, since it has always been a pioneering type of business, always looking for new markets. What I would wanted to see your achievements in these. DS: Obviously as a Director of the Company and looking after Frank Salt Real Estate in general is challenging and a very large part of my role was to see that the transition was seamless, that new ideas where put into place, that we open new branches, and expanded our work force. Now the second part of that transition is a massive expansion over the next five years, which has started in January and we plan to double our sales force, taking on the challenge of increasing our market share not within the Real Estate agency market but outside the Real Estate agency market. At the moment we know what Frank Salt Real Estate market share is, we know what the market share of Estate Agencies is in general, and there is a large untapped section which we plan to start attacking and gaining market share from.

the ability to create and execute any business idea is derived through ensuring the consultation and collaboration of all stakeholders involved TEU: If I had to outline the fruits of your labour what kind of rewards are most satisfying, especially when you are dealing with vendors, sellers or tenants? DS: Today, I would say Real Estate is much more satisfying than in the past because it is more difficult and we are being hit by the sins of the past. Therefore, when you sell a property invariably there is some problem with the permit, or there is a problem with the Bank loan, or on our negotiation level, and as a Manager of sales, I look after the sales of my staff once the promise of sale is signed. You are in constant contact with client, so the satisfaction within the final deal is great and you know that you have done a hell of a lot to make that happen, and they know it too. So obviously they refer more because they know how intensely we work to make it successfully happen. TEU: What can you tell me about competition, how does diffusion of

knowledge affect competition and how do you harness your expertise, knowledge, your position- from family business point of view? In other words, what advantages have propelled you forward because you had your father as an inspiration as a roles model, so you had a lot of motivational forces behind you, how do you see that? DS: First of all competition doesn’t bother me, the more competition the better it is. I always say there are 350,000 competitors with us! Everybody has wants to have something to sell. We feel that we have a massive advantage in a) the length of time being in the business; b) the contacts we have build up; c) the knowledge of the market that we hold; d) the database, past and present, which allows us to give accurate evaluation and guide people quickly in the pricing of their property. That’s where it all starts. We have never fallen into the temptation of franchising our business since we only want it is a family business. We run a very tight ship- we train our people well, we have a very strong internal code of ethics which we enforce and we make sure that our staff are not just representing Frank Salt Real Real Estate, but also through Douglas Salt and Grahame Salt, a new vision of our Company. Our surname is synonymous with Real Estate- it’s in our face daily and people know exactly what Frank Salt is really all about. Everyone knows that Frank Salt Real Estate belongs to the Salts. TEU: Learning and ethics are at the heart of the Company philosophy. Your father spoke about corporate social responsibility and his contributions in that area. What would be your views if you had to share them about a radically changing of environment within your industry and the brand you represent?

DS: I have two roles in that; my role within Frank Salt Real Estate for its growth and my role as a representative of a leading agent involved in the industry in general. Probably, I am the most active agent in representing the industry, you are talking about the macro-environment where I was also responsible for the development of the Chinese and emerging markets. I was also the secretary of the former Association of Estate Agents and following its demise, in November 2005, I successfully founded the Federation Of Estate Agents, of which today

most agencies are members, and of which I am Founder President. So in that respect there is a continuity of where my father left and I pursue to run with the baton handed to me in a positive direction. TEU

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Accomplishments: ● Secretary of the former Association of Estate Agents ● Founder of the Federation Of Estate Agents, of which most agencies are members and of which he is Founder President. Through this post, in conjunction with the Malta Institute of Management, he introduced Malta’s primary national course for property consultants. ● Founder Member of the Rotary Club La Valette, founder secretary for three years, and past president; ● Member of the Board of Governers of the Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018 Foundation ● Member of the BICC (Building Industry Consultative Committee) Main Committee and sub committees for the Regeneration of Property and the Property Market ● Member of the Malta Property Value Index Committee ● Sits on the Joint Committee of the FIAU Editor’s Note Mr. Douglas Salt, is the eldest son of Mr Frank Salt, a share holder of the company and also a Board Member of Directors. He has graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Malta in Management and Public Policy. He has been working with the company for the past 20 years and is one of the top sales consultants. Douglas speaks English, Maltese and Italian. He became Branch Manager of Balzan Office in 1997 and later in 2004 also San Gwann Branch Manager. Following the expansion plans for the St Julians branch, earlier in 2010 he relinquished his post as Branch Manager in these two offices and took on the management of the St Julian’s and Spinola branches. Besides selling property, he also has vast organisational, managerial and motivational skills, and is overall responsible for Branch Operations and Property Registrations. Douglas is the key person who liaises with developers giving advise on property developments and making sure that Frank salt Real Estate will be one of the first agents to know of any developments that come on the market. Douglas Salt is also responsible for the development of the Chinese and emerging market. Douglas was the secretary of the former Association of Estate Agents and following it’s demise, in November 2005 successfully founded a Federation Of Estate Agents, of which most agencies are members and of which he is Founder President. Through this post, in conjunction with the Malta Institute of Management, he introduced Malta’s primary national course for property consultants.


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Core Values

By Martin Vella

When Anita Aloisio is looking ahead, which is most of the time anyway, she is also considering her achievements, as she believes that it is her responsibility to see that what has successfully worked for the firm and been achieved is sustained within the organisation. Looking back, Anita realises that she has never departed from the work ethic that she so strongly believes in and this is what the Specialist Advisory Partner, has instilled in her team. Anita Aloisio, participation in the women’s business breakfast, Corinthia Palace, Attard

TEU: How did your career evolve to where you are today? AA: I started my career in auditing followed by a taste of industry when I took up a financial controller position in a private company. This was a most enriching experience from an operational aspect since I was directly dealing with suppliers and various stakeholders including trade unions. I then went back to the big four firm with whom I started my career and joined their advisory team. At the time, advisory in Malta was in its early developmental stage and I had the opportunity to work across a vast array of projects with various project leaders in diverse advisory fields. During this period I started reading and successfully obtained a Certificate in International Business and Executive Masters in Business Administration from ENPC, Paris and the University of Edinburgh, Business School. When the Communications industry was being opened to competition, for 34 |

a number of years I specialised in cost modelling. I was then engaged by the regulator to build a bottom-up cost model for an NGN network. This project was a first of its kind in Europe. Prior to joining Nexia BT, I spent three and half years at the University of Malta spearheading the restructuring of the finance function which incorporated the financial control of numerous EU funded projects, payroll, procurement, budgeting and planning, revenue assurance, financial reporting and day-to-day financial matters. Having been directly involved in a range of projects, I then sought an opportunity where I could combine all my experiences in the capacity of an advisor within the structure of a mid-tier firm with the potential for growth. TEU: What is your outlook for growth for the Nexia BT brand and where will the growth come from? AA: Whether a start-up, an established business or a public entity, making the

right decisions at the right time should always be driven by planning and strategy. Effective structuring together with sound financial and operational planning will secure the achievement of an entrepreneur’s goal and aspiration. The same applies to the public sector where limited resources are to be allocated efficiently and effectively in order to achieve the entity’s strategic objectives. The ultimate delivery of services that our team offers to clients in a consistent and conducive manner and the successful closure of projects underpins the growth prospects of the Nexia BT brand. Therefore the growth will come from increasing our client base by filling a market gap where clients are more actively involved in our advisory processes and most importantly where clients are not left to their own devices after the delivery of reports. TEU: Would you talk about your work with Nexia BT?


AA: Of course I will. My remit was to set up the advisory services company of Nexia BT and introduce this new service line. In the initial two years, as new engagements came in, I was very much hands on and invested in designing and building the appropriate templates and work programmes. I believe in having a great idea and assembling a team to bring that concept to life. So, naturally, the next phase was to invest in professional staff. Whilst I am still very much involved in coaching and mentoring staff and providing them with on-thejob training and guidance, I invest also a lot of time listening to clients. This is a prerequisite skill in this field. It is only then and after much thought that a workable solution is recommended. Over the years I have also learnt that being flexible in one’s ideas and open to further inputs that emerge from indepth discussions held with clients or in other fora also takes us much further in finding optimal solutions. Having set the scene, built the structure and the team, I can now dedicate more time to business development. Our Managing Partner has always been an excellent mentor in this area and undoubtedly with this holistic approach we will definitely reach new heights.

I believe in having a great idea and assembling a team to bring that concept to life TEU: Do you have a vision for where you want Nexia BT to be? AA: My vision is that Nexia BT delivers dedicated, quality and value adding services and to provide clients with an alternative approach to finding solutions with reasonable investments from their end. Our aim is to be amongst the top tier advisory firms offering a personalised approach. TEU: How did your interests come about in the different areas you support? Do you look at philanthropy in the same way you look at the business? AA: Practically my interests came about from my various experiences within different contexts. However, I am a very versatile and observant person and whilst enjoy leading a team, I also relish working in a team. It is therefore natural

that I did not wish to limit myself to one specific area and at the same time, evolve an all-round discipline within Nexia. Whilst a philanthropic organisation can be run similarly to a business organisation, its role and mission must remain at the forefront, at times with the consequence of supporting a venture that might not make much business sense, however, which fulfils that particular organisations’ commitment to a particular value. On a personal note, whilst there should be a clear distinction between the promotions of a business and philanthropic commitments in own time, I believe that the values that one upholds are also carried at the place of work, thereby benefitting also the firm. TEU: How can we imagine and broaden opportunities for the future?

AA: We have actually had a number of successes in converting potential opportunities to achievable projects which have actually been implemented. By remaining abreast on various fronts and also developing and nurturing the team, whilst at the same time creating different contexts and being brave enough to introduce amendments and tweak the original ideas of clients to make them more financially feasible or more practical and therefore, doable. While finding a new and unique idea is rare enough: the ability to successfully execute this idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs. I believe that Nexia can be a catalyst in removing boundaries that curtail an opportunity from being realised. TEU: What do you see as Nexia BT’s greatest advantages as it responds to challenging unforeseen events?

AA: Whilst Nexia BT is growing, internally, we still have a strong family/ informal culture. Just as what happens in a tight knit family, when one of its members faces a challenging situation, the other family members help out to overcome a particular situation within the shortest possible timeframe. Our relationships and flexible teams are deployed on a challenging engagement to ensure that obstacles are surmounted. Over the years we have also forged a number of collaborations with other external entities and individuals and it is not the first time that we joined forces to take on challenging projects.

TEU: What would you say to companies that think this is too risky?

AA: No pain, no gain! Whilst it is indeed risky or rather carries a high degree of responsibility, a robust plan, a contingent plan, threading carefully whilst amending the plan in reaction to market situations and client experiences definitely mitigate the risks. Ultimately, one should not take on an engagement for which they are not sufficiently qualified. TEU: What is the secret to the consistent success of a top entrepreneur?

AA: My secret? Well….one must learn from one’s own mistakes. Never do the same mistake twice and learn from the mistakes of others. Whilst remaining involved in the business, an entrepreneur must take time to step back, think and redesign a way forward. If something is not going right, the entrepreneur must realise on his own or through a structure that there is a fault somewhere. The top entrepreneur would have the courage to change and rectify the fault within a short time span, ensuring that what is working properly is not dismantled but developed even further. Lastly a good dose of determination, vision, flexibility, hard work and passion aboutwhat one does, does come in very handy. As Jack Welsh once said ‘Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others’ and I have made this my motto in life. TEU

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Eat today Company name: Good Morning Malta - EatToday Top exeCuTive: Michael Steen Pedersen & Kris Petersen exeCuTive Summary: Basically we where tired of not having an overview of the takeaway market in Malta. There are so many restaurants with delivery and takeaway options, but how do you find them? We wanted to make it convenient for people to find and order food directly from one web platform. Company deSCripTion: The company behind is Good morning Malta Ltd. Which among other projects also created DealToday aChievemenTS: Best ecommerce website in Malta 2013 (Dealtoday). Innovative Idea and Business Model Being Proposed: In my opinion it’s a very innovative business model. It benefits the comsumer and the businesses. No more Communication issues with phones in noisy restaurants. When

a consumer makes an order from a restaurant the restaurant receive the order directly in the kitchen via our EatToday printers. The Idea is to make EatToday an international brand that become market leading in online food ordering market STraTegiC viSion and markeT viabiliTy of The idea: I believe that this concept is the future, when ordering takeaway food. Regardless of it’s from a laptop, tablet or smart phone. abiliTy of The parTiCipanT To CreaTe and exeCuTe on The buSineSS idea: Online food ordering system where you can find local restaurants that offer delivery and takeaway. WhaT’S your philoSophy on enTrepreneurShip in 10 WordS or leSS: Just do it! TEU

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FrEElancE BusinEss Journalist Company name: Freelance Journalist/ Communications specialist

interviews on Factual documentary.

Top exeCuTive: Patrick J O’Brien

STraTegiC viSion and markeT viabiliTy of The idea: In any democratic country like Malta the media plays a vital role in creating, moulding and reflecting public opinion. As Thomas Jefferson who was the third US president said, “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. In fact, the media touches almost every aspect of our public life.

exeCuTive Summary: Patrick J O’ Brien is a wellrespected European media journalist. Having received numerous awards for his work Patrick is a highly sought after journalist for many International leading magazines. Recently covering the Syrian conflict he was at the forefront of covering the financial crisis in Europe Company deSCripTion: Freelance Journalist, Features writer- Malta Now- Monthly newspaper. Hong Kong Business PostContributor. Contributed on The Times and The Mail and other European media aChievemenTS: Contributor for leading financial media. His work has featured on CNBC, Forbes and Financial Times to name but a few. Winner of New York Film Festival Award for 36 |

Promoted Malta through International articles.

abiliTy of The parTiCipanT To CreaTe and exeCuTe on The buSineSS idea: The press plays an important role in the development of Malta’s economy and culture. WhaT’S your philoSophy on enTrepreneurShip in 10 WordS or leSS: Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice! TEU

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Resilience, Patience, DeteRmination By Martin Vella

Maurice Mizzi can best be defined as a hugely inspiring businessman who has served as a beacon for different generations. He has never regarded himself as a beacon for anyone, just another one of us who got on with his work. However, in a short interview, if he had to give a word of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs Maurice would advise them to look after their health and exercise. In his own words, “A sick leader cannot work and take the right decisions and sooner or later will have to quit.”

TEU: As an iconic thought leader, who served as role model to local aspiring entrepreneurs, can you demonstrate how you have achieved business excellence, innovation and profitability?

MM: I spent several years as a boarder In St Aloysius College experiencing the traditional Jesuit discipline during World war 11. The first years of our lives are important and give an indication of our future character and therefore the discipline and time spent in the college stood me in good stead in my future life and career. Four years reading law in the University where I obtained the diploma of Legal Procurator provided me with a legal background which has been useful for Mizzi Organisation. From the benches of the University 58 years ago I threw myself into establishing Mizzi Ltd, a completely new branch of Mizzi Organisation (now Zanussi Centre). Having just five employees (two delivery men, one technician, one salesman and a secretary) I obviously had to work long hours and perform a great deal of work. This is where I learnt my first lesson in business namely that “Genius is one per cent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”. Therefore, if aspiring entrepreneurs think that they can start companies and move them forward by remote control while enjoying themselves in far off countries they are heading for disaster. TEU: How do you view philanthropic investment and in what ways have you dedicated your investments to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives? MM: At an early stage of my life I had been taught by my father that we should help financially and morally those who are worse off than we. He was an honest, generous and religious man and was a good example for everyone and for me. I set up my foundation named after my father “Spiro Mizzi Foundation” to try and improve the schooling of the children of the Three Cities; Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea.

Out of the thousands of students in our University there are only around 140 hailing from this area. The aim of the foundation is eventually to increase seriously this number. Five years ago I donated a sum of money to this Foundation and each year I contribute more funds. This sum is invested mainly in bonds so that each year it provides annually between E5000 to E8000 which are used to buy computers and pay teachers. It is hoped that as the funds of the foundation increases it will provide greater support

to these and other children. I would like to thank those who made donations in exchange for my CD. All the funds collected went to help the children. All the proceeds of a book on gardening which I am writing will also go towards my Foundation.

This is where I learnt my first lesson in business namely that “Genius is one per cent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration” TEU: Can you highlight how the importance of experience, insights and ethics as a business leader are an excellent resource for all entrepreneurs? MM: I have always regarded ethics in business as an important aspect which must be safeguarded. Businesses sacrificing ethics for greed are a disgrace to any society. Besides schooling in Colleges and in Universities in Malta and abroad there is the most important University of all “the University of Experience” where our successes and above all our failures will indicate the way forward and the pitfalls to avoid the second time around. TEU: The story of your life is a powerful reminder of the fact that for the entrepreneur, there are always opportunities, even when others might only see challenges. Do you believe your life is testimony to the resilience, patience, determination and focus that makes a good entrepreneur? MM: There are always opportunities. For some strange reason Governments and the EU are favouring and helping financially small units with three or four employees and ignoring conglomerates employing thousands. Therefore in this modern business world there are plenty of opportunities for start ups given that financial help is not difficult to obtain. I like to remember the time when I took over the helm at our assembly plant “Car Assembly”. At the time our employees were producing four Cars a day. A few rounds of friendly discussion with the Metal Workers secretary of the GWU and a well thought out incentive scheme, and production was doubled without an increase of the work force. The opportunity was there and I together with my management took it. Similar situations will occur and I am sure that a good entrepreneur will make the most of them. TEU

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TAP Knowledge neTworK TeAms-uP wiTh ProPerTy & life mAgAzine To bring ToP execuTives TogeTher for A b2b neTworKing evenT By Anamaria Magri Pantea

More and more often we realise nowadays that pooling capabilities and efforts is no longer a choice but an imperative in the current economic environment. The increasing global competition in all fields and from all perspectives (human resources, capital, companies, organisations, countries, etc.) requires in-depth specialisation and a narrow focus. At the same time, the clients are becoming more demanding for seamlessly integrated services and one-stop-shop solutions. So how can these opposite trends be reconciled? Definitely by proactively building relations and collaborating with other relevant market players to reach beyond individual boundaries!

As a strong believer in and supporter of such approach, TAP Knowledge Network - a collaborative network of independent professional service providers - teamed up with Property & Life Magazine to co-organise the business-to-business networking event that took place on Friday 11th April 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, St. Julian’s. The Network’s involvement in this event was driven by its mission to contribute to the development of a smarter, more sustainable and inclusive global society through the integrated application of specialist knowledge. Ofcourse, starting with Malta first! Against the backdrop topic of “Malta – gateway to doing business in the 21st century”, the overall framework of discussion was focused on Malta’s strategic opportunity to act as a bridge between the EU and North Africa to address green issues, IT Security, trade development and business exchange, whilst simultaneously supporting SMEs and start-ups. In this context, the programme included two open panel discussions, one on Malta as a hub and catalyst for international trade, technology transfer and competence integration, and another looking into the importance of engineering optimum financing structures and harnessing the power of pervasive ICT for delivering such potential. The Hon. Dr George Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs, opened the discussions 38 |

by emphasizing how both Europe and North Africa are seeking to expand and strengthen their economic and commercial ties by building on the strong political relations that Malta has had with both these regions over the years. These then translated into the establishment of robust economic links, including Bilateral Double Taxation and Air Service Agreements, hence facilitating the exchange of people and the movement of capital. A number of TAP Knowledge Network members and other distinguished speakers contributed their insights to the discussion. In a first instance, the focus has been placed on what exactly are the potentialities of Malta as the gateway and linking-pin between Europe and North Africa. The geostrategic positioning , the cultural ties and similarities, the beauty of being small, flexible and innovative, were all brought forward and discussed in a constructive fashion, specifically looking into highlighting areas where more needs to be done. The importance of collaboration and integration for servicing clients operating in a global environment and the emergence of a new approach to outsourcing has been highlighted by Dr. Tonio Fenech. As the Chairman of the TAP Knowledge Network and Joint Managing Partner of Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal, he explained the concept and values around which some 15 different professional service providers - from legal,

accounting, advisory, assurance, corporate finance and EU funding, up to project management, marine, ICT, marketing, property-related, management and infrastructure outsourcing - are collaborating for offering their clients customised integrated knowledge-based solutions. Other Network members also added their perspectives to the discussion on the challenge of delivering Malta’s potential and the importance of making best and most innovative use of resources so much governed by the scarcity principle. As such, innovation, customisation, client relationship, sustainability and the adoption of new business models to deliver value to clients are becoming most relevant competitive advantages nowadays, be it at an individual, a company or even at the level of nations in general. With financing and ICT identified as enabling resources needed to make best use of the more traditional economic inputs (people, capital and land), the importance of leveraging and optimum engineering of various sources of funding (grants, credit, equity) according to the requirements and strategies of the bodies making use of them (companies, public organisations, NGOs, communities) has been stressed. The EU funding opportunities available, particularly the recently launched SME Instrument but also other streams of the Horizon 2020 targeted at pan-European and international collaborative projects,


as well as the EUROMED and European Neighbourhood Instrument for CrossBorder Cooperation in the Mediterranean Sea Programme are very relevant sources of support for initiatives aiming to further build bridges between Europe and NorthAfrica and strengthen Malta’s role as a facilitator and stepping-stone. However attractive though, grants cannot be the only source of finance of any organisation and as Adrian Spiteri, RG Capital Advisors Managing Director explained, it is extremely encouraging to see the current trend towards blending EU funding with bank finance as a more sustainable way of facilitating access to finance. This is particularly relevant for SMEs, micro-enterprises and start-ups that have limited ability to satisfy the security requirements of the banks. Whilst there are a number of forms of bank finance which are less dependent on the traditional security and could be well structured for international trade and investment initiatives, like for example documentary credit, forfaiting, factoring and warehousing, project finance, there is one thing that a bank will always require, that is a certain degree of equity contribution. Unfortunately, this is not at all easy in Malta, or in North Africa, where the presence of business angels and venture capital is limited, to say the least.

Malta could attain a first-mover advantage in the alternative funding sector by regulating the fast emerging area of crowd-funding The challenge of access to equity, but also to the other forms of finance in general, could in fact be an opportunity for Malta, as highlighted by David Borg, the Tax and Business Advisory Director of Capstone Group. Building on our previous experience in jurisdictional innovation (like for example in i-gaming), Malta could attain a first-mover advantage in the alternative funding sector by regulating the fast emerging area of crowdfunding. With the banks increasingly more risk averse and property collateral being often insufficient or no longer welcome following the recent financial meltdown, a gap has been created on the market that companies such as Kick-Start, Crowdcube, Seedrs, Funding Circle, MarketInvoice, have quickly moved in to fill. With the assistance of internet technologies they are now providing crowdfunding platforms for raising equity, debt and even auctioning invoices. Whilst opening

Elaine and Martin Zammit manning their stand at The Tap K B2B event

up a completely new type of asset class to a wider investor profile, at the moment there is very little regulation with regards to crowd-funding, but more and more financial regulators are looking and being heavily lobbied to create some infrastructure. This is where there is an opportunity for Malta to come up with a dedicated regulatory and legislative framework. And the advantages would be not only for the local market but also for overseas, especially with the banking sector in Malta being relatively unscathed by the recent financial crisis and continuing in their support for SMEs. Numerous other interesting insights were provided by other speakers like: Mr. KlausPeter Brandes, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Malta; Mr Werner E Jung, Flexible Factory Institute, Germany; Ms. Rita Dulci Rahman, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Mr. Emile Elewaut, Director International Affairs Energy at TNO Utrecht Area, Netherlands; Mr. Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman, Finance Malta; Ranier Fsadni, Lecturer Anthropological Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta; David Dingli, Maastricht University Lecturer; Stephanie Cutajar, Researcher, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation, University of Malta; as well as Mr. Pierre Mallia, Managing Director, iMovo Ltd; Mr. Alex Grech, Managing Partner, StrategyWorks and Jean Paul Barthet, Operations Manager, GoBeyond. It was definitely a very enticing and rewarding experience for me to moderate such an interesting discussion on how we can actually move closer to grabbing the

opportunity of establishing Malta as a unique hub for innovation and collaboration across the whole Mediterranean region. Looking forward to more networking and concrete collaborative initiatives that will get us moving steadier along this way! TEU

Anamaria Magri Pantea is an EU funding, innovation management and business development specialist. She is part of the TAP Knowledge Network though Ascend Consulting. For further information please see www.tapknowledge. net and

Editor’s Note Anamaria Magri Pantea is a specialist in EU funding, innovation management and business development. Holding an Honours Degree in Economics with specialisation in finance and a Master in Business Administration with Distinction, she has over twelve years of experience in projects structuring and funding sourcing, their initiation, coordination, supervision and evaluation. Anamaria has accumulated extensive expertise in EU funding in various roles - facilitating access to, applying for, managing it and monitoring its implementation - particularly in areas related to innovation, enterprise competitiveness, entrepreneurship, ICT, energy and sustainability. Anamaria previously worked with Malta Investment Management Co. Ltd (MIMCOL), where she managed the Malta National Contact Point for the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. She also worked directly with the European Commission within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) where she supported the development of the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities large pioneering projects bringing together in a long-term collaborative framework business, research and education organisations from across Europe to address current societal challenges (e.g. the use of ICT as an enabler, energy sustainability, climate change).


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EmErging EntrEprEnEur

Cultivating a Winning Personality By Martin Vella

The beauty of diversity is recognising the individual differences and understanding that each individual is unique. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. We interview Semira Grech, an emerging young female entrepreneur who has been groomed to embody these values and much more. TEU: Your mother has achieved great success and is guided by CSR values. Would you provide an overview of how you correlate with her career? SG: We are in the business of innovation and fostering relationships. It is essential to be focused and continuously achieve higher targets and goals. Our Corporate social responsibility (CSR) values are very clear to me and our staff, because we all believe that each successful business is responsible to create value while having a positive impact on the community in where they work. Professional behaviour is driven by our corporate vision and values. Our company formed the Service Dogs Malta Foundation (SDMF) to help the visually impaired gain independence through a guide dog. We have a long term strategic plan for the foundation and all our staff are involved to help make this happen. My mother has given me access to her extensive knowledge, beautiful experiences and strong values that excellent companies are, above all, brilliant on the basics, we should work to make things simple in a complex world, while 40 |

maintaining respect for the individual, have a hands on approach yet able to take quick action. You cannot get these without virtually everyone’s commitment; this enables me to build on her legacy.

If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success TEU: Sara Grech is known as a leading entrepreneur, businesswoman, and philanthropist. How do you blend these traits together within your life? SG: Life is a journey and it is important to enjoy what you do, then you will never have to work a day in your life. I have been influenced by my mother’s compassion, achievements and leadership. I am able to apply what I learn, to the way in which I conduct my everyday business, in my personal life and career. Having a creative background in Fine Art and Textiles allows me to apply my knowledge to generate new ideas and search for inspiration to develop

new concepts and build on creative content within the HR Department. TEU: What is the function of the Human Resources Department within your company and what is your role? SG: Human resources plays an essential role in the continuous development of our corporate strategy. Having an in-house HR function is important. I hold the position of the HR Director, my motive is to manage the overall provisions of the Human Resources services within the company and implement policies. I guide my team through practices, procedures and objectives and implement a high performance culture that emphasises empowerment, productivity, quality and the recruitment / ongoing development of our workforce. The HR team works together to attract, develop and retain a powerful workforce. We focus on the importance on human capital, professional development & performance improvement of our team at Engel & VĂślkers Sara Grech. The HR Department implements & embraces our company culture & vision.


TEU: Semira, what is your area of focus?

SG: Challenges of succession have different shades of culture, logic and emotion. I ensure we attract the finest employees and help further their careers. Providing a strong foundation, successful platform and positive atmosphere is essential at Engel & Völkers Sara Grech. The implementation of a dynamic and resourceful environment enables us to provide an ongoing in-depth training programme which empowers our Agents to build and develop their knowledge on Residential and Commercial Real Estate and Yachting brokerage. We build a global network on behalf of our Clients and fill it with life. Our employees live the spirit of our brand with true passion. TEU: How do you get ahead of the curve to provide for future consumer needs?

SG: By taking a long-term view in our dealings, whilst strengthening the Engel & Völkers brand, we are able to provide our clients with the same brand experience worldwide. We are serious about meeting the requirements of discerning customers, and we offer a first-class service. We link together the aspirations of individuals around the world, be it in private or a business context. TEU: What makes Engel & Völkers Sara Grech special with regards to diversity?

SG: The beauty of diversity is recognising the individual differences and understanding that each individual is unique. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. We value and cultivate our core values of competence, exclusivity and passion; we feel the spirit of the brand within our fantastic team. Thanks to our unique and constantly expanding network and the strength of our brand, we have access to an exclusive client base. We feel most at home among discerning individuals. There is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success. However, the best person for the job doesn’t always walk right through your door. The first thing I look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits our company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. We look for people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, just like we do. Some

HR managers get hung up on qualifications. I only look at them after everything else. If somebody has plenty of degrees it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with a winning personality. TEU: Semira, why did you choose to build your career within the Real Estate Sector? SG: Working within the Real Estate Industry involves an element of skill, self- motivation & goal orientation. Having been influenced by a number of cultures has allowed me to channel my creativity and focus into this industry. I am able to translate my love of being surrounded by people into my work, which is the spice of life. Initially, working within Real Estate allows an individual to create their own business within a business. The tools and support which is provided is of the upmost importance, as you are able to manage your business with the support of a large workforce. I am attracted to the fact that I am able to offer my ongoing support towards the team.

There is no one universal standard for the perfect employee, right for you may be very different than right for me

Africa, South East Asia, the USA and the United Arab Emirates. ENGEL & VÖLKERS currently employs over 3,800 qualified staff and trains its employees in seminars on relevant property subjects taught in theory and in practice in the in-house property academy and offers extensive vocational and further training opportunities. ENGEL & VÖLKERS advises over 750,000 international clients in the active search for properties and we offer a professional and personal consultancy services from our employees in individual submarkets respectively – reliability and discretion are a matter of course for us. ENGEL & VÖLKERS refers your property to a selected group of clients and exploits all synergies within the group to acquire new target groups. We provide a comprehensive overview of the property market and current property offers, as well as assessing the demand on the market and the corresponding price developments. We also publishes the in-house architecture and lifestyle GG magazine in German, English, Spanish and French in which the world’s most beautiful properties are being presented to a selected target group for their perusal and purchase. TEU

All rights reserved | Copyrighted

TEU: How important has it been in attracting talent to get the message out about how the company has evolved and what is your role in all of this? SG: Everyone has talent, and talent magnetism is about attracting the right people to our company by being clear on traits and competencies. There is no one universal standard for the perfect employee, right for you may be very different than right for me. We are a globally operational service provision company specialised in the brokerage of Premium Residential Property, Commercial Real Estate & Yachts. Our employees live out the spirit of our brand with enthusiasm and conviction. The continuous expansion of our network and the renowned reputation of our brand give us access to an exclusive client base. We feel fully at home within the social and professional circles of discerning and sophisticated individuals. Our employees live out the spirit of our brand with enthusiasm and conviction. The ENGEL & VÖLKERS group currently has over 520 residential and commercial offices and is represented in the majority of European countries such as in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Italy, as well as South

Editor’s Note Born in Malta in 1991, at the age of eleven attended Edge Grove School, Hertfordshire, UK. Semira then went on to study at Woldingham School for Girls, Surrey, UK , where she completed her secondary education. Semira then moved to London to peruse her passion for Fine Art + Textiles and Attended the University of the arts London & specialized in Fine Art painting, her creative paths allows her to constantly develop concepts & ideas. Semira gained her professional experience working in Real Estate in London, Foxtons, Mayfair where she fell in love with the business. She carries out her passion for life through her every day work which influences the people in surrounding environments.


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success for TAP Knowledge b2b neTworKing evenT Top Level Executives and CEOs meet to network, share best practices and ideas

TAP Knowledge Network sponsored and co-organised a business-to-business networking event on Friday 11th April 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, St. Julian’s – centred on the primary focus of Malta as a gateway to doing business in the 21st century. Some of the VIP guests and delegates attending the event

Event Organiser Martin Vella leading Dr George Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs on tour of the exhibitors

The overall framework of discussion was focused on Malta’s strategic opportunity to act as a bridge between the EU and North Africa to address green issues, IT Security, trade development and business exchange, whilst simultaneously supporting SMEs and Start-ups. In this context, the programme of events included two open panel discussions on Malta as a hub and catalyst for international trade, technology transfer and competence integration, and the importance of engineering optimum financing structures and harnessing the power of pervasive ICT for delivering such potential. During his opening speech, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Dr George Vella, explained how both Europe and North Africa seek to expand and strengthen their economic and commercial ties. In the past, these strong political relations have facilitated the establishment of robust economic links with the region, including Bilateral Double Taxation and Air Service Agreements, facilitating the exchange of people and the movement of capital. Dr. Tonio Fenech introduced the TAP Knowledge Network concept to the 400 guests attending the B2B event. During his presentation, Dr. Fenech said: “The fact that networking and collaboration plays a predominant role in business will definitely not make the headlines, but this is the bare truth and we strongly believe in it. Thus, 42 |

what we wanted to bring-out in this B2B Networking Event is a cross-section of forward-thinking ideas that will spur us into coming together and pooling forces to strengthen our positioning as a strategic hub”. “Our support and involvement in this event was driven by the mission behind the TAP Knowledge Network, that is to contribute to the development of a smarter, more sustainable and inclusive global society through the integrated application of specialist knowledge”. Other speakers during the event included Mr. Klaus-Peter Brandes, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Malta; Mr Werner E Jung, Flexible Factory Institute, Germany; HE Rita Dulci Rahman, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Mr. Emile Elewaut, Director International Affairs Energy at TNO Utrecht Area, Netherlands (Oil & Energy); Mr. Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman, Finance Malta; Ranier Fsadni, Lecturer Anthropolgical Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta; David J Dingli, Maastricht University Lecturer; Stephanie Cutajar, Rsearcher, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation, University of Malta, as well as Mr. Adrian Spiteri, Managing Director, RG Capital Advisors Ltd; Mr. David Borg, Director Tax and Business Advisory, Capstone Group; Mr. Pierre Mallia, Managing Director, iMovo Ltd; Mr. Alex Grech, Managing Partner,

StrategyWorks and Ms. Anamaria Magri Pantea, Business Development Manager, TAP K Resources Ltd. who also moderated the second open panel discussion. This hugely successful event was organised and hosted by Martin Vella, Events Coordinator for PLM Events and was attended by over 380 delegates. Several exhibitors co-sponsored the event including Bajada New Energy, Citadel Insurance, DHL, Dical Foods, Global College, PBS, Regus, Richard Geres, Shakinah Restaurant, Smart Light Systems, and Union Print. This event was also supported by Finance Malta. TEU

Editor’s Note TAP Knowledge Network is a collaborative platform for independent professional services providers to: - Offer more integrated and comprehensive solutions through multi-disciplinary collaboration; - Support each other in a non-exclusive manner, by making available their own expertise; - Develop collaborative knowledge-based initiatives that assist in the development of a knowledge society on an EU-wide basis and beyond; and - Share management support resources as well as facilities. The TAP Knowledge members’ vision is that of taking an integrated view to issues, favouring approaches which are not only trans-sectoral in terms of the professional disciplines involved, but also layered, in terms of depth of approach and intervention.









Are you a Business Owner, Director or Property Developer? MSV Life p.l.c. in collaboration with PwC and Micallef & Associates invites you to

A Guide to Estate Planning Seminar on Thursday 29th May 2014 at the Malta Chamber of Commerce between 16.00 and 18.00hrs Participation Fee: â‚Ź20 For more information or to register for this event contact Joanna Azzopardi on (+356) 2590 9237 or email

Registered Address: MSV Life p.l.c., Level 7, The Mall, Floriana. FRN 1470 Telephone: +356 2590 9000 Freephone: 8007 2220 Email: Website: MSV Life p.l.c. is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to carry on long term business under the Insurance Business Act, 1998. COM280414

ICT Programme

You want Your child to be an even greater success than You are. here’s how

MySucceSS DiScovery PrograMMe excluSively at ice Malta By George Carol

ICE Malta, Innovative Entrepreneurs 2013 together with educational partners Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco & Microsoft and a number of leading industry leaders have recently launched Malta’s first MySuccess Discovery Programme designed specifically for young teens.

TEU: What does the MySuccess Discovery Programme consist of? NS: The MySuccess Discovery Programme is a seven week Summer study programme designed to help young minds discover their innate ICT talents under the guidance of Malta’s finest educators and mentors. Students between the age of 13 and 16 will be given the opportunity to attend coding, technical, creative and games workshops on a daily basis, visit the island’s most prestigious ICT projects, attend FAQ sessions with MySuccess ambassadors and get a better understanding of these 4 multi-billion euro industries which are presently dominating the business world. During this study path, students will be able to study what they love and design a career path based on their talents, capabilities and new found skills. All students will receive a personalized academic report and will be invited to a graduation ceremony at the end of the study programme.

- coding, technical, creative and gaming study paths and show students that they have an endless list of career options for them to choose from. Our young teens do not necessarily have to have the same academic talents – they could be Malta’s next future ICT stars yet feel demotivated because of the lack of information as regards to the true potential of ICT studies and careers locally and all over the globe. This certainly is part of why a substantial percentage of Form 5 students are not even sitting for their SEC exams. Our message is simple: all young teens have potential and not necessarily in the same fields – it is our job to find out what their talents are and help them design career paths which are based on their strengths.

Our young teens do not necessarily have to have the same academic talents – they could be Malta’s next future ICT stars

TEU: Why is this study programme essential? NS: During the last academic years we’ve visited most private, church and government secondary schools. During our interactive presentation we meet students and share the vast array of ICT career paths, in particular

NS: Certainly. The industry plays a very important role in the MySuccess Discovery Programme. Our team of academics has regular meetings with key industry players in various ICT sectors. We share our course

TEU: How can prospective students and their parents learn more about the MySuccess Discovery Programme? NS: 60students will be accepted for the MySuccess Discovery Programme starting this July. Parents together with their young teens are requested to send an email to the ICE Malta Admissions Team on info@ or call 21467787 to confirm their school visit. TEU

MySuccess Discovery Study Programme, starting in July every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 9.00am and 2.30pm All rights reserved | Copyrighted

Editor’s Note TEU: Has the industry been consulted on this study programme?

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content and design study programmes and campaigns based on the worldwide recognised certifications, skills and practical hands on experience the industry wants and needs their potential employees to have.

One of Malta’s most promising young entrepreneurs, Nikolai Sammut is Founder and Managing Director of Malta’s leading ICT institute, ICE Malta. Together with his team he is committed to ensure that local talent achieve worldwide recognised ICT certifications, achieve their career aspirations and enjoy a unique study experience.


Supporting local firmS to tranSform into digital enterpriSeS The Maltese Islands recently took a very important step in providing businesses in Malta with a greater chance of success, strengthening their competitiveness and make them more export-oriented – thanks to the launch of Digital Malta.

Digital Malta is the new, national digital strategy for 2014-2020 and it has been developed thanks to extensive consultation with key stakeholders and interested parties who all gave their time, knowledge and insight into this area. The strategy has been crafted to target specific industry issues, including the low female participation rate in the ICT labour market, the evident misalignment between the ICT education curriculum and actual ICT industry needs, and the lack of adequate schemes for business angel investors. Additionally, Digital Malta will also positively react to the World Economic Forum’s list of ‘problematic factors for doing business in Malta’, namely the island’s inefficient government bureaucracy, limited access to financing and the insufficient capacity to innovate.

In response to each of these challenges, as well as several others, there will now be clear goals and actions in place to combat them, including increased support for ICT entrepreneurial activities, as well as the alignment between the supply and demand of e-skills, and clear support for local businesses in the application of ICT. Moreover, this strategy will kick-start the establishment of ‘ICT Malta’, which will strive to attract ICT investment onto the island and ably assist local ICT businesses to penetrate the global market. Beyond that, a forum for the transformation of industries through ICT will be established locally, with the distinct aim of developing programmes to raise awareness about how ICT can help business sectors to transform themselves and become more profitable.

“Everybody needs to work together to make Digital Malta a success,” says Tony Sultana, MITA Executive Chairman. “This strategy will enable different bodies and organisations to achieve their objectives. It should be deemed as an integral part of their operations and will also involve all the relevant stakeholders, including Government, private enterprise and Malta’s citizens at large.” Several initiatives are already in place and will be launched over the course of this year. These include the development of an eCommerce Strategy to set out Government policies, launch of annual eBiz awards to promote ICT talent, launch the MITA Innovation Centre at SmartCity Malta, and increased free Wi-Fi accessibility around Malta and Gozo, to name but a few. TEU

For more information on Digital Malta, including details on its goals, guiding principles and initiatives, please visit


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WHAT’S IN THE CLOUD? By Dr. Stefan Balzan

The definition of the cloud and how it operates is fundamental to an exhaustive understanding of the technology behind it and consequently an understanding of how the laws are affected by this technology. Nevertheless in order to fully understand the true implication of the cloud we must investigate what is being put on the cloud and how it is being used. One could argue that the there are two types of data being put on the cloud: a) General Data (non personal data) - which attracts Intellectual Property rights, b) Personal Data - which attracts Data Protection rights

This mix of data involved within the cloud environment requires the application of two different types of laws, which can be at a conflict at many points in time especially in a cloud environment. One must therefore consider the implications of this interaction and find a balance between both rights. Should one enforce Intellectual Property rights by diminishing privacy? Whilst the right to privacy and the rights appertaining to copyright can be considered as branches of the same tree, nevertheless these two rights can reach a point of conflict if opposing parties are using them for different reasons. This discussion was also raised amidst the adoption of Electronic Copyright Management Systems operations, which allowed copyright owners to monitor and control a person’s use of copyrighted material and also when the Anti Counterfeiting Trade agreement (ACTA) was given the limelight in 2012. The argument for the Anti-Acta front was that by excessively increasing rights for copyright holders the legislators were jeopardising the privacy rights of individuals, and the internet service providers or cloud service provider in this case would end up ‘policing’ their users to catch any breaches of copyright at the expense of their privacy. Paul Edward Geller argues that in ‘case of conflict, priority must be given to privacy over copyright since the former is a human right, which is also connected to the right of freedom of expression’. In recital 21 of the Copyright Directive Proposal, the European Commission reiterates the fact that there must be a ‘fair balance’ between the rights of copyright holders and the users of these 46 |

protected objects. Nevertheless this ‘fair balance’ cannot be achieved in the same way it is achieved in the ‘analogue’ world.

The Cloud is essentially built and made up of the information which is put into it, thus one must understand that it is imperative for all users to have a clear understanding of the distinction between the rights and obligations they have vis-a-vis their personal data

certificate sheltering European companies from American laws on data transfers.’ Recently this thought has been reiterated by the European Parliament through a report published by the Directorate General for internal policies. This report said that, ‘The existing derogations must be dis-applied for Cloud because of the systemic risk of loss of data sovereignty,’ whilst also claiming, ‘The EU should open new negotiations with the US for recognition of a human right to privacy which grants Europeans equal protections in US courts.’ TEU

The Institute of Information law, in Amsterdam suggests that due to the peculiarities of the digital world, reaching an equilibrium might mean that there should be a shift towards one side or the other. The Cloud is essentially built and made up of the information which is put into it, thus one must understand that it is imperative for all users to have a clear understanding of the distinction between the rights and obligations they have vis-a-vis their personal data, other people’s personal data, and any material which attracts copyright protection and ownership of their ‘non personal’ data uploaded on the cloud. The growing concerns regarding the cloud are all interrelated and all have a negative impact on the expansion of the technology and may harm the business behind it. One of the major concerns related to cloud computing is the sovereignty of Data. Due to the lack of a general international legislation treating the matter, European companies are afraid of having the slightest presence in the US, since this would mean falling under US jurisdiction. There have been companies such as ‘Deutsche Telekom’, which have publicly declared that they ‘want an official

Editor’s Note Dr. Stefan Balzan has recently graduated as a lawyer after successfully presenting a thesis discussing the legal challenges the Cloud Computing technology has brought about, and has also recently obtained his warrant to practice as an advocate in Malta. His main area of expertise lies within IT and Intellectual property law and offers a number of consultancy services in those fields.

Tech News

Mitsubishi ElEctric and Panta lEsco launch nEw ‘cloud-basEd’ aPPs February 2014 saw Mitsubishi Electric introduce a revolutionary new air-conditioning product line-up at its Milan-based Head Quarters to its top European and Mediterranean partners. Panta Lesco ‘s General Manager Reuben Portanier and Daniel Mifsud from the Technical Sales Team, were invited by Mitsubishi Electric to preview this line-up before the official launch to the Maltese market. Mitsubishi Electric unveiled its new range of products, most of which will be available in 2014, and some will be launched in 2015. Focus was placed on Mitsubishi Electric’s premium quality at competitive prices, whilst also introducing further customer value, especially on energy efficiency, with Mitsubishi’s new air conditioning systems, heating systems, dehumidifiers and jet towels probably being the most energy efficient and high performing products on the European market today.

Veronese stated that “Panta Lesco is one of the longest standing Mitsubishi Electric partners across Europe and we will continue to provide Panta Lesco with additional engineering and technology support for the years to come, which will surely reinforce Panta Lesco’s position as the leader in this sector in Malta”. Panta Lesco, through its subsidiary Panta Marketing and Services Ltd, is the exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi’s product range including Airconditioners, Dehumidifiers and Jet Towels in Malta. TEU

During his visit to Milan Mr Portanier held talks with Mitsubishi’s top executives, Andrea Veronese and Stefano Malago’ in order to secure the 2014 and 2015 high performing Mitsubishi range. Mr Portanier also agreed on a plan which will see Panta Lesco launch and roll-out Mitsubishi’s new technology for remote management of air-conditioning systems using Mitsubishi’s propriety cloud based solutions which can be managed by the user through Mitsubishi’s apps. The applications can run on both on Android and IOS smart phones as well as tablets and PCs. Mr Portanier commented that Panta Lesco’s refreshed outlook on new technologies coincides perfectly with Mitsubishi’s new line up and the Company will be working closely with the Milan HQ in order to introduce Mitsubishi’s web based and app based MRI and MELCloud solutions for airconditioning systems. Mr Andrea

Stefano Malago’ Mitsubishi Electric, Reuben Portanier, Panta Lesco, and Andrea Veronese, Mistubishi Electric.

Welcome to the Airconditioned World that is Beautifully Elegant With a sleek and polished design that would suit any contemporary commercial or domestic space, the Mitsubishi Electric ZEN wall mounted airconditioners seamlessly blend energy efficiency with sophisticated high end design. Three finishes are available, in either high-gloss black silver or white.


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365 days in the european parliament By Martin Vella

It has been little more than a year since 35-year old lawyer, Roberta Metsola replaced Simon Busuttil as a Maltese Member of the European Parliament. As Simon Busuttil himself put it “with all she has achieved and the work she has done, you would think she had been there for years”. Hitting the ground running was a promise that MEP Metsola had made to her constituents and one that she kept.

Her one-year track record is impressive to say the least, whether it is insisting that everyone’s fundamental rights must be protected or ensuring that SME’s are not over-burdened with EU regulations, Dr Metsola has been making waves in Brussels and Strasbourg. In May 2013 days after being elected, Roberta Metsola became the first elected Maltese woman to address the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg. She has worked tirelessly on issues related to immigration and asylum and has pushed hard for a holistic all-encompassing soltuion to the issue that looks at every aspect. In July 2013, MEP Metsola supported the efforts of NGOs in Malta to halt the Government’s attempt to flout international law and attempt an illegal push-back of people who had just been rescued and brought to Malta. MEP Metsola urged the Government to reconsider and underlined that fundamental rights must be respected across the board. In October 2013, MEP Metsola was deeply involved in the negotations for a European Parliament resolution following the tragedy off Lampedusa that expressly made reference to the efforts of the people and NGOs of Malta when dealing with immigration and called for the revision of the Dublin regulation that places disproportionate pressure on Malta’s systems. The resolution contained a plan for dealing with every aspect of migration. In a first for a newly elected MEP, February 2014, MEP Metsola was appointed as the European Parliament’s official rapportuer on four different reports related to asylum. In November and December 2013, Dr Metsola was voicifous in her opposition to the Government’s proposed sale of Maltese

passports and citizenship. She joined with civil society and NGOs and the Government made a number of changes to its proposed scheme. In November 2013, Dr Metsola submitted a Parliamentary question to the European Commission asking them to look into the matter urgently. In January 2014, the 91% of the European Parliament, including the EPP and Socialist groups in the EP, passed a resolution that called on Malta to bring its sale of citizenship in line with European values and that underlined that citizenship is not a commodity that can be bought and sold. This forced the Government into talks with the European Commission and forced them to subsequently amend the scheme for the fouth time. In March 2014, as the Maltese MEP on the Committee of Petitions Roberta Metsola led a petition signed by thousands of concerend Maltese citizens to the European Parliament in order to trigger an EU investigation of the safety aspects of the project. When it came to consumer protection, in October 2013, Roberta Metsola gave a speech in the European plenary urging the end to unjustied mobile phone roaming rates that we are all charged when using our mobile phones in different EU Member States. Following months of negotiations, in April 2014, MEP Metsola joined a huge majority of MEPs in voting for the end to mobile phone roaming charges by 15 December 2015. Throughout the last 12 months, Dr Metsola has been at the forefront of making sure citizens’ rights as EU citizens are protected. In particular, in June 2013, Roberta Metsola led the effort calling for the European Commission to investigate the removal on

Malta’s Communication Authority (MCA) chairman, Antonio Ghio following the change of Government in 2013. While a lot has been done, Roberta herself concedes that there is still a lot left to do “I have been a MEP for almost a year now, which was also the last year of the legislature which meant that many dossiers had already been negotiated in committee stage and my ability to influence certain legislation was hampered by the fact that I got there in the middle. So if there is one thing I have learnt it is that we can take nothing for granted, whoever is elected needs to be able to hit the ground running, capitalise on the networks that we have built and make sure that Maltese MEPs are able to influence the direction of legislation before from the very early stages.” TEU

Roberta Metsola’s activities can be followed on twitter @ RobertaMetsola or on All rights reserved | Copyrighted

Editor’s Note Roberta Metsola is a 35-year old lawyer specialised in EU law and politics. Prior to becoming a Member of the European Parliament, she has served as the Judicial Attaché of Malta in Brussels and was the legal advisor to the EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton. Dr Eddie Fenech Adami describes her as “a person who assures you that she can deliver and someone who is always prepared and who always does things seriously”


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30 Days to go anD 1,100 people alreaDy registereD for the 2014 JCi european ConferenCe The group of 7 volunteers taking care of organizing a 1,100 delegate-strong conference are in their final stages of preparation for this year’s JCI European Conference taking place on in Malta between the 11th and 14th June. In 2 months’ time, our islands will host people of several different nationalities, mostly from Europe, delegates will stay in Malta about a week availing themselves of over 30 trainings and workshops, global key note speakers, discussion foras, public debate contests, company visits, business networking and also enjoy the beauty of our country. The scope of JCI conferences are to bring together different JCI members who are mostly young professionals and entrepreneurs from across the globe, to network, collaborate and benefit from a multitude of opportunities to develop themselves both on a professional and

on a personal level and become better leaders as a result. JCI Malta is a voluntary organisation but has bridged with organisations from the public and private sector in order to make this conference a reality. The Government of Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority have been very supportive of this initiative since the bidding stage of this conference in 2011. Furthermore several other companies are involved as partners for this conference including KPMG, The Concept Stadium, MSV Life, MISCO, Air Malta, Dive Systems & Easy School of Languages.

conferences because it is not simply conference where one has to sit and listen. We are offering 4 days packed with 30 high quality trainings to choose from, a business networking event, a trade show, international nights on each day and a community event. Our conference is a myriad of activities and events that will leave participants with new insights, inspired, energised and motivated”. TEU

Companies wishing to be partners, interested in sending their employees to participate or for more information on the conference visit: or email:

For the first time, the European Conference is also open to Non-JCI members giving a unique opportunity to local interested young leaders to participate in this four day conference. “We see a high ‘return on investment’ when people attend these

11-14 11-14June June

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It wIll never happen to me By Antoinette Camilleri

These famous last words uttered by Captain of the ill-fated Titanic EJ Smith can come back to haunt any company that takes the all important aspect of health and safety for granted. In today’s heavily connected world, issues such as this can be a game changer for a company if things go wrong and the necessary safety precautions are not in place.

Whilst the effect on company reputation is relatively obvious when things do go wrong, the lasting effect on staff motivation and productivity if health and safety issues are disregarded are possibly less obvious. Yet there are a plethora of studies as to how Health and Safety are fundamental to achieving productive work and high quality working lives.


Recent studies show a number of potential benefits from linking health and safety to productivity including: a) Fewer injuries meaning more people keep working; b) Designing safety into business as a source of increased innovation, improved quality and improved efficiencies; c) Safety at work enhances corporate reputations and improves staff recruitment and retention; As an international company with a strong reputation Vodafone is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its customers, employees and the communities in which it operate. The Responsibility for H&S is shared top down and everybody is encouraged to highlight and if necessary stop work if they see there is a H&S risk. We empower our people by providing information, instruction, training and supervision to enable them to perform their roles safely and help drive Vodafone’s HS&W performance. To this aim, Vodafone develops, implements and continuously reviews health, safety and wellbeing management systems and programs, consistent with, local operating conditions legislation and. Group HS&W policy standard. We also believe in the importance of building a robust and durable HS&W culture – besides the above, to keep the message fresh in everyone’s mind, by organising health weeks, creating posters messages and internal communications as well as yearly and quarterly H&S engagement activities led by Heads of Sections across the organisation. As from this year Vodafone is taking its H&S commitment a step further, by rolling out a plan to ensure that all its subcontractors also meet its H&S standards. A subcontractors capability to deliver against Vodafone Health, Safety & Wellbeing standards will now be included in the subcontractor’s review before awarding a contract. Vodafone is committed to H&S standards across the organisation and today also through all its subcontractors. The principles whilst basic are serious and do actually save lives and increase productivity in the company. Our company policies reflect our commitment to a zero-sum game when it comes to H&S in full recognition that ‘It could happen to us”!



1. We always drive safely and legally: we always wear a seatbelt

1. We never work under the influence of alcohol or drugs

2. Never carry out work on any electrical equipment unless you’re qualified

2. We always drive safely and legally: we always obey the speed limit

3. When working at height, always wear protective gear, attach a safety harness and use fall protection equipment

3. We always drive safely and legally: we never use a handheld mobile device when driving

Editor’s Note Antoinette Camilleri has worked with Vodafone Malta for seventeen years and has a solid background in Customer Operations. She was involved in the set up Vodafone’s state of the art call centre (the first of its kind in Malta) and the Customer Service in Vodafone’s retail shops. She also has two years experience in Credit and Revenue Control, and led the setting up of the first MVNO in Malta. She is now heading the Property and the HS&W section of Vodafone Malta.



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You don’t have to die of heart disease By Richard Geres

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the number one killer in the United States and in most westernised countries. In the US alone, nearly 600,000 people died from heart attack in 2011, narrowly beating cancer as the second most lethal killer. In the UK, about 179,000 people die each year from ‘diseases of the circulatory system’, which includes heart attacks, strokes and other related causes. Nearly 2.3 million people in the UK are living with coronary heart disease. In Malta, 35% of all deaths in 2010 were due to cardiovascular diseases. Those are mind-boggling numbers.

Yet research shows us that that a large percentage of these deaths are preventable. A study published by Foege and McGinnis in JAMA, 1993 and repeated again by German scientists in 2009 showed that a staggering 80% of all heart attacks could be avoided if the following four conditions could be met: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Healthy nutrition Regular exercise (at least 3.5 hours per week) Moderate alcohol intake Abstinence from smoking

I don’t know about you, but if I had an 80% chance of winning the lottery with a set of numbers, you can bet that I would play them. When it comes to our health however, somehow we lose sight of the dangers we are putting ourselves into by eating the wrong foods, neglecting exercise and smoking and drinking too much. And what about our children? We claim to love them more than anything, yet we are feeding them toxic foods that are making them overweight, obese and sick. Restaurants now serve special kid’s menus that consist of pure junk, full of processed ingredients and void of any nutrients. 34% or 1 in 3 children in Malta are overweight or obese, and yet we keep feeding these kids sweets, fast food and soft drinks without limit. We believe that giving in to our children’s wishes is always a good thing. It’s not. Foods that increase risk and foods that protect your heart Nutrition has a too much of an impact on our health, our resistance to disease and our life expectancy to be ignored. Depending on our eating habits, we can either be eating to protect our heart or setting ourself up for trouble in the future. Studies conducted in 16 countries have shown a close correlation between CHD and the amount of saturated fat consumed. Saturated fat intake comes mostly from fatty animal meats, processed meats and sausages and fatty dairy products, especially cheeses and creams. Foods rich in saturated fats also include cakes, biscuits and chocolate that use butter, margerine and hydrogenated vegetable oils. To see how much of these foods we eat on a daily basis, just take a look at the long lines of shelves in supermarkets displaying chocolates, biscuits and cakes. Someone is definitely eating them. Positive, inverse associations have been observed between CHD and the intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil, seed oils, avocados, seeds and nuts. Therefore it is important Editor’s Note Richard Geres is an internationally certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist specialising in weight-management and functional fitness. Over the last 18years he has helped thousands of individuals achieve slimmer, fitter and healthier bodies through lifestyle modifications and personalised exercise programmes. He can be contacted for seminars and individual consultations through his website on

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to note that not ALL fat is bad, and constantly shopping for ‘lowfat’ products is not necessarily always the right thing to do. It’s the type of fat that matters. Processed carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol also play a significant role in weight-control, blood-sugar control, and its effect on lipid metabolism and regulation. This includes the regulation of cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol levels, especially LDL, are a primary risk factor for developing heart disease. Foods that appear to be associated with low CHD risk include a high intake of vegetables, fruit , legumes, whole grains, fish and poultry. But are we eating enough of these? Government guidelines recommend 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but the majority to people do not get anywhere close to those recommendations. Vegetables are taboo in many families, especially amongst children. Habits not created during childhood are difficult to implement during adulthood, therefore if our kids or family members are not eating their veggies, we should make an effort to find ways to make their intake more tasty and appealing. The antioxidants founds in fruits and vegetables are not only heart protective, but also fight cancer and help to keep you looking younger and slimmer! Therefore if you don’t care too much about what goes on inside your body, eat your fruits and veggies to look great from the outside- it will reflect on your inside too and will protect your heart for many years to come! TEU


Air MAltA’s trAvel ArrAngeMents for MAltese AbroAd - Extra Flights announcEd As announced, Air Malta is making travel arrangements for eligible Maltese voters currently abroad to travel on its services to enable them to vote in the forthcoming MEP elections of the 24th May. Apart from offering seats on its scheduled services, the airline has also announced it will be operating 4 extra flights on Luxemburg, and Brussels as per the following schedule: (All times local) Luxemburg



Thursday 22 May






Sunday 25 May






Wednesday 21 May






Monday 26 May







These travel arrangements are available for: (a) eligible voters, including those married to foreigners, studying, working or undergoing medical treatment abroad; and (b) their dependents. A dependent means; 1)

the child or step-child of such person under the age of eighteen years;


the spouse of such a person.

Persons to whom this directive applies must be eligible voters whose name appears in the Electoral Register published within five days from the publication of the General Election Writ. Inbound travel to Malta is possible from 14th May to 24th May 2014 and return travel is from 24th May to 1st June 2014. Those persons who will opt for early voting on the 17th May can travel to Malta from 14th May and may return as of the 17th May and not later than 1st June 2014. Those voting early have to apply at the electoral commission by latest noon on Friday 16th May 2014. Reservations may not be changed and tickets are nonrefundable. All relevant details that include names and surnames as per passport, ID card, address on ID card, email addresses, credit cards details and contact phone numbers (including mobile number) will be required at the booking stage prior authorisation of any ticket issuance. Details for dependents should include age, followed by date of birth. Reservations may be made at the Air Malta Call Centre on this specific number (+356) 2599 1230. The centre will be open between Monday to Saturday from 0800-2100hrs and on Sunday from 0800-1700hrs. TEU

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AnitA Aloisio Company name: Nexia Advisory Services Limited


Top exeCuTive: Specialist Advisory Partner, Nexia BT exeCuTive Summary: Anita Aloisio B. Com., B.A. (Hons) Accountancy, CPA, EMBA (Edin. Paris), FIA, was recently appointed partner with Nexia BT to lead the advisory services area, a new service line of the business which she developed from scratch. She brings more than 18 years of experience in cost modelling, project management, strategic management systems, business planning and securing finance. Prior to joining Nexia BT, Anita held a number of senior management and advisory positions in the private sector, a big four firm and also in predominant public entities. Company deSCripTion: Corporate Finance and Risk Management Services to a wide cross-section of clients from medium sized organisations to larger ones extending also to public entities. aChievemenTS: Since joining Nexia BT in 2010, Anita has set-up the specialist advisory services unit, being a new service line for Nexia BT. She has been appointed Partner to lead the Advisory services. This entailed setting up a structure, internal systems and procedures, designed various templates for reporting and programmes of work, brought together a team of professional staff and successfully delivered numerous corporate finance projects to the satisfaction of clients.

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innovaTive idea and BuSineSS model Being propoSed: A value creating proposition to leverage the extensive experience of the reform and operational specialist, Anita Aloisio and the managing partner (Brian Tonna) and the newly developed team for the benefit of the clients. STraTegiC viSion and markeT viaBiliTy of The idea: Medium sized clients and larger clients with limited experience in certain specialised fields can have access to the team’s expertise. Services are delivered in a dedicated, efficient and professional manner and the client need not have to make massive investments or build own internal resources at the risk of failure due to inexperience. aBiliTy of The parTiCipanT To CreaTe and exeCuTe on The BuSineSS idea: Anita’s extensive experience in the provision of advisory services, key management positions in the private and the public sector, academic background, her strength in building structures and being a hands-on leader have proved crucial to effectively create the advisory service line and to successfully deliver various projects. BeST ComBined uSe of inveSTing, Trading and negoTiaTing: The partners of Nexia BT have believed in the capabilities of Anita, have invested and supported her initiatives, ideas and efforts by providing human and financial resources which Anita developed and will continue to develop to provide excellent services at marketable rates. Anita’s key negotiating skills are backed by integrity and transparency: presenting facts and consistent delivery of arguments backed by sound reasoning and action. TEU

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Banif Bank opens Branch in Mosta Banif Bank (Malta) plc has opened a new branch in the heart of Mosta. The new retail outlet is part of a network expansion programme that will enable the Bank to reach out to more clients in their locality, while attracting regional traffic. Offering better facilities and points of sales to customers is foremost on the Bank’s list, and having a wider geographical coverage will contribute further to the high standards of customer care the Bank already enjoys.

PM, Dr. Joseph Muscat during his welcome speech

The attractive Banif Bank branch in Mosta was officially inaugurated by The Hon. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, in the presence of the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, directors, heads of department and the team who will manage the branch, along with distinguished representatives of the Mosta community. The Prime Minister praised Banif Bank for its success in Malta and for opening a branch in a locality deemed one of the largest commercial centres in Malta. Acknowledging the significant results and achievements that have made the Bank what it is today, Mr Silva Pinto said that Banif is a core domestic Maltese bank now vying for a larger share of the local market. The Bank was an impressive accomplishment in a very short time, clearly uplifted by the trust and confidence the public continues to show in the Bank. In the meantime, as an important player in the financial sector Banif Bank uses its muscle to contribute to the resilient financial system in Malta and maintain the country’s reputation as an important hub for financial services. “We will continue giving our customers the high quality of service they expect, foreseeing their needs and strengthening our relationship with them,” said Mr Silva Pinto. “We will keep exploring how best to improve our product portfolio to their satisfaction, challenged by ever-changing trends and consumption patterns and a highly competitive market. Banif Bank is delivering a resilient business performance and, year in year out, we confirm the Bank has the fundamentals in place for long-term growth and a strong position in the market.” Mr Silva Pinto then thanked the dedicated team who worked to make the Mosta branch happen.

PM, Dr. Joseph Muscat inaugurating the new Banif Bank, Mosta branch

Interior view of the new Banif Bank, Mosta branch

Editor’s Note In 2013 Banif Bank (Malta) was named Best Banking Group for 2013 by world renowned World Finance. This is the third time that the Bank has been presented this award having already won it in 2010 and 2011, in recognition of good corporate governance, innovative financial solutions and sound financial performance.



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Supporting local firmS to tranSform into digital enterpriSeS The Maltese Islands recently took a very important step in providing businesses in Malta with a greater chance of success, strengthening their competitiveness and make them more export-oriented – thanks to the launch of Digital Malta.

Digital Malta is the new, national digital strategy for 2014-2020 and it has been developed thanks to extensive consultation with key stakeholders and interested parties who all gave their time, knowledge and insight into this area. The strategy has been crafted to target specific industry issues, including the low female participation rate in the ICT labour market, the evident misalignment between the ICT education curriculum and actual ICT industry needs, and the lack of adequate schemes for business angel investors. Additionally, Digital Malta will also positively react to the World Economic Forum’s list of ‘problematic factors for doing business in Malta’, namely the island’s inefficient government bureaucracy, limited access to financing and the insufficient capacity to innovate. In response to each of these challenges, as well as several others, there will now be clear goals and actions in place to combat them, including increased support for ICT entrepreneurial activities, as well as the alignment between the supply and demand of e-skills, and clear support for local businesses in the application of ICT.

raise awareness about how ICT can help business sectors to transform themselves and become more profitable. “Everybody needs to work together to make Digital Malta a success,” says Tony Sultana, MITA Executive Chairman. “This strategy will enable different bodies and organisations to achieve their objectives. It should be deemed as an integral part of their operations and will also involve all the relevant stakeholders, including Government, private enterprise and Malta’s citizens at large.” Several initiatives are already in place and will be launched over the course of this year. These include the development of an eCommerce Strategy to set out Government policies, launch of annual eBiz awards to promote ICT talent, launch the MITA Innovation Centre at SmartCity Malta, and increased free Wi-Fi accessibility around Malta and Gozo, to name but a few. TEU

For more information on Digital Malta, including details on its goals, guiding principles and initiatives, please visit

Moreover, this strategy will kick-start the establishment of ‘ICT Malta’, which will strive to attract ICT investment onto the island and ably assist local ICT businesses to penetrate the global market. Beyond that, a forum for the transformation of industries through ICT will be established locally, with the distinct aim of developing programmes to

Why opera 3 by pegaSuS for your buSineSS? A dilemma faced by anyone running a business is choosing an accounting and business solution that reflects what is happening within the company. One can find many business solutions in the market so what makes Opera 3 by Pegasus different?

Opera 3 is the ideal solution for growing businesses that need more power, more users or more flexibility and with that unified view a critical link between Financial and Operational data. Such a benefit is a strong incentive for any company to aspire to. Now, through the partnership between Pegasus UK and 6PM, such a goal is within reach for small to medium sized enterprises in Malta. Opera 3 is an accounting and business solution that can be fully integrated throughout your business for a unified view, eliminating the need for separate finance, payroll, CRM, supply chain or service systems. • It helps you make better business and informed business decisions with reports going directly into MS Excel. • It makes life easier since errors can be corrected with a user-friendly Rectify Allocation Wizard. • It gives you an accurate evaluation of your stocks with landed costs.

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• The scheduler allows you to run some of your Opera 3 tasks at times that suit you. • Gives you the option of keeping the nominal ledger open for posting transactions of the previous, current and up to the next three financial years. • Manages your customer debt and improves your cash flow with the credit management centre. • Uses Stocktake to keep track of your stock levels. 6PM is the local distributor of Pegasus’s financial solutions and ERP software ‘Opera 3′. Pegasus has this year been shortlisted in the “Software Provider - SMEs” category of the FDs’ Excellence Awards in association with the ICAEW. The FDs’ Excellence Awards are the most prestigious programme recognising the UK’s top finance directors and their service providers. TEU

Trade Finance Solutions engineered for business success

FIMBank is an international trade finance specialist with an established reputation as a dynamic and customer-driven provider of trade finance solutions. FIMBank is headquartered in Malta and benefits from a growing network of international offices.



Staying relevant in a changing world The world is constantly and rapidly changing. The market forces at play today are challenging our clients to find trusted, reliable and relevant advisors who can help them adapt and succeed in this world. Managing ‘big data’, understanding changing customer behaviours, dealing with competitive forces, complying with regulatory expectations and building a world-class internal audit function, are only some of the concerns that keep our clients awake at night. By addressing these challenges in a multi-disciplinary and holistic way, we can help you make a difference. With a team of professionals, supported by a wider global network, we are experienced in managing diverse issues including, but not limited to, regulatory compliance, risk and finance transformation, anti-money laundering, governance structures, and capital management. We welcome the opportunity to discuss what KPMG’s Risk Consulting Team can offer to you. Contact us Juanita Bencini Partner, Risk Consulting Advisory Services T: + 356 2563 1053

© 2014 KPMG, a Maltese civil partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.