15 October 2003

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Tomorrow’s Chamber annual conference to focus on single market scenario for SMEs

This year’s annual conference organised by the Malta Chamber of Commerce shall be entitled "The Single Market: Post Accession Risks and Opportunities for SMEs". The decision was made in the light of the country’s imminent EU accession and in view of the fact that the private sector sustaining the country’s economy is made up almost exclusively of micro and small enterprises.
In anticipation of the Chamber’s forthcoming annual event, Chamber President Reginald Fava, stated that, "The Malta Chamber of Commerce believes that our country should be adequately prepared for EU membership. Small and medium sized businesses are faced with positive and interesting prospects. In order to exploit them the commercial community must be ready to face the challenges that this step shall also bring about. Good preparation and planning are crucial but require time and resources which are not always at the disposal of people in business. The realisation of this economic dream requires the contribution of Government, the Opposition, Private Sector Organisations and the European Union. It is the Chamber’s intention to address these challenges during its conference with a view to formulate serious and concrete proposals in the national interest."
In expressing these thoughts, he augured that the conference will again prove to be a resounding success as was last year’s event entitled "A more efficient country in an ever changing world" and the conference organised on a grander scale last January about Malta’s negotiated package with the EU. On the latter occasion the Chamber invited the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and European Commissioner Gunther Verheugen to address members and other delegates.
This year’s conference will again be addressed by a number of high-profile keynote speakers. These are Dr Lawrence Gonzi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Policy; Dr Charles Mangion, Opposition Speaker for Finance and Economic Affairs; Vincent Fean, British High Commissioner; Ronald Gallimore, Ambassador of the Delegation of the Commission of European Communities; and Prof. E. P. Delia, leading economist.
In addition, the conference will also be addressed by two keynote speakers from the UK namely, Brian Morgan and John Collier.
Mr Morgan is the Director of the Small Firms Unit at Cardiff Business School. He is an experienced economist and has undertaken a number of policy advisory roles in Wales, the UK and in Europe. Recently, he has been involved in a number of high profile research and consultancy projects. He is also a successful entrepreneur in his own right. Brian Morgan is considered an authority in the field of research on business development and the needs of small businesses in the UK and his works are widely published. His most recent focus has centred on assessing the contribution of clusters and networks to SME growth and economic development. He also specialised in the analysis of the economic benefits of the EU Structural Funds programmes and related Economic Impact Assessments.
John Collier is Director of Operations of Exemplas Ltd. Under his management, Exemplas Ltd has built a world class portfolio of business services which are now being successfully delivered locally, nationally and internationally. In fact, it is now one of the UK’s leading business support organisations. In April 2000, it was licensed to be the Business Link Operator for Hertfordshire (with exemplary status). In his capacity as Founding Director of International Development Consortium (IDC), Mr. Collier has also built a unique international consultancy with an impressive range of skills and expertise and operating in 30 countries to provide training and advice to Governments and international agencies in the area of SME and economic development.
In the light the impressive line-up of speakers, the Chamber President expressed himself extremely excited about the forthcoming Conference. He stated that this would be of great inspiration to our members and other interested persons who attend the conference. "We firmly believe that with the right guidance, our business community can go a long way in establishing itself as a true force within the single market particularly if the right niches are found and pursued appropriately" he concluded.
The Chamber conference will take place tomorrow at The SAS Radisson Bay Point Resort, St Julian’s. It is being organised with the kind support of the British High Commission, and the Delegation of the Commission of European Communities in Malta. Reservations may be made by contacting Dorianne Bonanno at the Malta Chamber of Commerce on Tel. 21233873 or email: db@chamber.org.mt

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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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