What follows is the opening speech at a press conference held at the Hilton to mark the opening of “The Economist Business Roundtable” which was held in Malta between the 6th and 7th of March 2014.
“Good morning to you all.
I must thank our partners, especially Mr John Andrews from the Economist in the UK, for flying to Malta to be here with us this morning.
We are today delighted to launch a conference entitled “The Economist business roundtable with the Government of Malta: Invigorating investment and growth.” It will take place in Malta on the 6th and 7th of March.
We will welcome a plethora of world renowned politicians, academics and business leaders.
This conference will be a first of its kind in Malta, not least because of the collaboration with our prestigious partners, The Economist.
This Government has put enterprise at the core of its strategy for lifting the economy and the quality of people’s lives. Investors know Malta is a good place to do business.
We are continually looking at ways to make Malta as attractive as possible, and highlight the opportunities that exist for enterprise to flourish.
In November, the Government was approached by The Economist with the idea of holding their first ever international conference here in Malta. The idea was to provide Maltese entrepreneurs and buisness owners with an opportunity to hear international speakers map out their vision for the world economy and share tips and insights.
The insights offered should help participants with the knowledge they need as they seek regional and potentially even global buisness opportunities.
The proposal also included two other important elements, or tiers of debate; a discussion on the future of Europe and the Mediterranean, and the development of different innovative niches which will continue shaping the Maltese economy in the future.
It was a proposal that encapsulated our aims of Malta dealing with the best in their fields and promoting our economy so that the message is heard far and wide that Malta is a great place to invest.
So, today I am pleased to announce that one of the most influential global weekly magazines, The Economist, will be teaming up with the Government of Malta to organise its first ever international buisness conference here in Malta, next March.
The Government, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and the Office of the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat with the direct help of the organisers, has managed to secure some exciting high profile speakers:
Mario Monti, a heavyweight in the European political sphere, a former Italian Prime Minister and former EU Commissioner;
Jim O’Neil, former chariman of Goldman Sachs Asset Managment who is the creator of buisness acronyms such as BRIC for the newly advanced economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China;
Tony Hayward, the former CEO of British Petroleum;
And Lord Mandelson, better known as Peter Mandelson, the former EU Commissioner and a prominent power figure in the UK, hailing from the British Labour Party.
These A-listers will discuss the year ahead in the business world and explore economic trends, while expanding on The Economist’s own publication ‘The World in 2014’.
Alongside them we will have the pleasure to host:
Nabil El Araby, Secretary General of the Arab League and
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.
Who will head our discussion about the future of Europe and the Mediterranean Region.
A number of additional prominent international and local speakers will lead the discussions about the future of Malta’s main economic niches including tourism, ICT, financial services, aviation, transport, energy and oil exploration.
We will have high-profile moderators hosting panel sessions including Mr John Andrews himself, who will join us again March, and Mr John Peet who is the Euorpe Affairs editor of The Economist.
Supported by the private sector and the Government as a real business roundtable, this conference is truly something the likes of which we have never before seen in Malta, and it is something we are all looking forward to.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our other partners Country Profiler (who are representing The Economist here in Malta) and HSBC who have endorsed the event with their sponsorship.
Now may I pass you over to John Andrews, one of The Economist’s most senior editors, editor of “The World in 2014” who has come to join us today representing The Economist…”