15 December 2004

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Call for continued facilitation for SMEs, self employed

Finance Ministry Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and the Self Employed Edwin Vassallo on Friday warned that commercial activity in Malta will continue to increase and produce more employment only if government continues to facilitate business for small businesses and the self-employed.
During a visit to a number of small businesses Mr Vassallo commented that, “Increased commercial activity in Malta has led to an increase of 1,729 new [jobs]. In order to continue to grow in the European Union all those responsible for giving services to the commercial sector must understand that this sector will be able to continue to create more employment if it meets with efficient services and reduced bureaucracy.
“In the same way, the commercial sector must understand its obligations towards it neighbours, the environment and Fiscal Laws. If we want the commercial activity to continue to increase thanks to efficient services and reduced bureaucracy, the self-employed, owners of small businesses and all those involved in this sector must realise that a free market does not mean a free-for-all. On the contrary, a free market signifies an organised market where trade follows those regulations that regulate the commercial activity. For those traders who use these regulations as guidelines, they can be the best tools for an organised market that allows them to respond to consumer needs. Those traders who decide that these regulations are an added burden will be damaging their own commercial activity.
“In order to increase our commercial activity, all traders must recognise the importance of being ethical in all their dealings and decision-taking.”
He went on to explain how the majority of commercial activity in Malta is derived from small businesses, which consist mainly of self-employed and family businesses. Malta’s small businesses are spread across a spectrum of different commercial sectors and are mostly made up of businesses employing less than 10 persons. In fact, these small businesses, just like in the rest of the European Union, make up over 98 per cent of all commercial activity.
Vassallo adds how, “the primary message that emerged in the Budget is that the Government is going to be working hard to reduce illicit trading. This is because, once we reduce this kind of trading, which relies on the evasion of social and fiscal obligations, we will be able to strengthen competitiveness between legitimate traders. This is because one of the greatest difficulties faced by legitimate traders is unfair competition from illicit traders.”

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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