29 JANUARY 2003

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Malta Chamber of Commerce reacts to report on survey report in BT

The Malta Chamber of Commerce must voice its concern and disappointment with the manner in which the Malta Financial and Business Times (08/01/03) and the Malta Today (12/01.03) reported on the survey being organised by the Chamber.

Indeed, it is evident that the facts obtained from the Chamber were manipulated and distorted to the detriment of the Chamber and the truth. For the record, the Chamber would like to confirm that is currently conducting a survey amongst its members to assess the acceptability of the negotiated package for EU membership negotiated by Malta. The results of this survey are still being compiled and the feedback obtained from the survey will serve to guide the Chamber Council in taking its eventual stand on the negotiated package. The Chamber also confirms that the importance of this exercise justified the engagement of representatives to personally collect the relevant questionnaires from members. This, however, does not automatically imply that at any time the response to the survey was low or that the Chamber was dissatisfied with the response to this or any previous survey.

On the contrary, the Chamber has always been grateful to its members for offering their invaluable feedback. Indeed, this is not the first survey conducted by the Chamber to gauge the opinions of its members on numerous sensitive issues of national interest. Lately, these issues included the macro-economic performance, budget measures and indirect taxation, besides the European Union on which no less than four surveys have been conducted by the Chamber since 1998 to ensure that the Council is well in touch with the opinions of its grassroots. It is pertinent to consider that the Chamber published the results of all these surveys irrespective of their outcome.

With regards to the reservations on EU membership for Malta, referred to in the Newspapers’ articles, the Chamber has endeavoured to implement an active information and communication strategy to ensure that its members are well prepared to meet the costs, challenges, obligations and opportunities. In performing this duty, the Chamber ensured that the information given was both balanced and accurate carefully outlining the potential advantages and disadvantages to its members during information meetings, workshops, circulars and articles. Any reservations that ensued were taken up with the highest authorities both at the local and European Commission levels. The Chamber is proud to state that most of its representations were accepted and ironed-out by those concerned. The Chamber is also encouraged by the fact that the constructive criticism it offered throughout the screening and negotiation phases proved to be beneficial to Malta’s cause as it was taken on board by the local and foreign authorities to obtain the deserved conditions for the country.


Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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