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Feisty president set to give Chamber much higher profile

By Miriam Dunn

The launch into the public eye of the newly-appointed president of the Chamber of Commerce has been far from low profile.

Almost as soon as he was appointed, Reginald Fava found himself in the spotlight when he answered HSBC Chief Executive Tom Robson’s criticism of the business world with a strongly-worded response of his own.

His reaction raised eyebrows and words of admiration within the sector, catching the attention of many since he had only just taken up his appointment at the helm of what has until now been perceived as one of Malta’s more traditional and low-profile constituted bodies.

Mr Fava stressed he was not concerned about creating ripples. In fact, he said that he believes it is high time that the Chamber and its work earned itself more attention.

"I am very determined to see this done," he said.

In fact, the speed at which he reacted to Mr Robson’s criticism of certain practices being used in the business community, showed that he was prepared to take the bull by the horns from the word go.

On this subject, the new president stressed that rather than shooting down Mr Robson’s allegations, he disagreed with the way the HSBC Chief Executive had generalised in his criticism of the business world at large.

"I am not saying that none of the accusations were unfounded, but Mr Robson should not have generalised and tarred everybody with the same brush," he said.

After his baptism of fire, so to speak, Mr Fava intends to continue in the same vein, with a number of ideas on the agenda.

High on his list is encouraging the constituted bodies to forge links on a number of issues, since this will, he believes, give them a stronger voice.

"In fact, the first meeting with the presidents of the other bodies representing the private sector was held with a view to seeing where we can present a unified position," he said.

But will this raise the concern of the unions, triggering an immediate ‘them and us’ situation, I venture.

Mr Fava doesn’t think so.

"At the end of the day, I believe the unions want the same things as us – we all want what’s best for the workers and we all recognise that an unhappy worker won’t give good results, so I don’t think we have to be at loggerheads nowadays," was his answer.

And is Mr Fava concerned that his public entry into the arena has apparently caused ripples among the other organisations?

"No, this is not the case. In fact it is a good indication that we take our work seriously and put in a joint effort to get things done," he said.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt