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The Russian – Maltese connection

New contacts between Russian and Maltese businesses could contribute to the further development of mutually beneficial trade and economic bilateral relations, Patrick O’Brien says.


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Patrick O’Brien with Irina Prokhorova.

Since Russia and Malta established diplomatic relations 49 years ago, the relationship between the two countries has been growing in many areas which include political and diplomatic interaction, trade and economic cooperation as well as cultural ties.

Following the last general election in Malta, the new administration pledged to place Malta’s bilateral relations with Russia among the top priorities of its foreign policy. These mutual efforts brought about the signing of a double taxation agreement, which has served as an important tool to bring trade and economic relations between the two countries to a new level.

Malta continues to offer significant advantages to Russian entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals and investors seeking a safe yet attractive business environment. Wealthy Russians make up the majority of those who joined the queue to buy a Maltese passport since the investment scheme was launched by government. Over 800 people applied for Maltese citzenship with over 550 being Russian nationals.

The Embassy of Malta in Russia is committed to further strengthening the bilateral agreements framework between the two countries with the aim to facilitate Russian investment in Malta. Besides being of a direct benefit to some 400 companies with Russian shareholding registered in Malta, such an agreement paves the way for further investment opportunities.

“Besides being of a direct benefit to some 400 companies with Russian shareholding registered in Malta, such an agreement paves the way for further investment opportunities”

Economy Minister Cardona in Moscow.

Last year a delegation of the Moscow Association of Entrepreneurs, one of the oldest unions of Russian businessmen, visited Malta. The delegates held a number of networking meetings with their Maltese counterparts and visited several local enterprises to see how partnership could be formed. One of the results of the visit was the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the General Retailers and Traders Union of Malta.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Vladimir Malygin expressed hope that the visit would result in the development of new contacts between Russian and Maltese businesses, which would in its turn contribute to the further development of mutually beneficial trade and economic bilateral relations.

Recently the London School of Economics, one of the foremost social science universities in the world, hosted Russian Business Week and invited companies from all over Europe to participate. The LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence – in fact, 16 Nobel Prize winners have been LSE staff or alumni. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat gave a lecture on the future of the commonwealth at the LSE last year and praised the university for its research and teachings which span the full breadth of the social science.

Organised by LSE SU Russian Business Ssociety, the event created a platform for discussion on social and business-related issues while offering networking opportunities with policymakers, financiers and businessmen. Two of the main speakers were Evgeny Chichvarkin, an entrepreneur, millionaire, co-founder and former co-owner of Euroset and Irina Prokhorova, a literary historian and editor-in-chief of the New Literary Observer. The discussion was framed around the theme: Politics in Russia: Opportunities, Values, Ideals.

The foum discussed how Europe and Malta can benefit from Russian participation in all sectors and how this unity can help our ecomonies, a view shared earlier by Economy Minister Chris Cardona

Dr Cardona said that, “The framework for investment between the two countries is excellent. The good air link between the two countries facilitates travel both for those doing business and for the tourists visiting our islands.”

While inviting Russian tourists to visit Malta, Dr Cardona said that tourism is playing a big part in driving the Maltese economy, with visitor numbers reaching record levels and tourism to Malta growing at around twice the average rate of other EU members.

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