Tonio Borg | Wednesday, 09 December 2009

Maltese embassies handle record requests for Visas

Maltese Embassies abroad have handled more than 18,000 requests for assistance between January and November. This record figure registered over last year registered in Malta’s overseas diplomatic representations are separate from another encouraging fact, that 550 contacts were also made by foreign investors.
These numbers are a result of the continuous efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be in closer contact with Maltese citizens, even those living abroad. During this current legislature, this Ministry emphasised the importance of its embassies abroad, and gave clear directions to diplomats to serve as a showcase for attracting direct foreign investment and tourism.
The requests received by embassies mainly consist of reports of lost passports, documentation, lost money during holidays, and other problems which might arise requesting consular assistance.
These results are part of a wider policy adopted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the first 18 months of the current legislature, the Ministry already signed 14 Double Taxation Agreements; such agreements will increase interest in Malta as a destination country for investment.
During this legislature, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it a must to use its diplomatic resources, mainly Embassies and Consulates abroad to attract more investors to Malta. A case in point has been the vital work carried out by the Malta High Commission in London in helping to secure the investment by SR Technics in Malta, which is planned to generate more than 350 new employment opportunities.
This collaboration and synergy between the Maltese Embassies and the government entities that work in the promotion and investment area is bearing fruit.
During 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strengthened its role as a means to help local and foreign investor venture into new opportunities locally and abroad. For this purpose, the Ministry organised a number of business delegation for local business people hand in hand with Malta Enterprise during Presidential State Visits in Ukraine, Portugal, Poland and Qatar during the past 18 months. For this reason, the Ministry is working in synergy also with Finance Malta and the Chamber of Commerce.
This year saw also a number of important events happening in Malta, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs played an important role in them. A case in point is the inauguration of the European Commission-League of Arab states Office in Floriana in October. The opening ceremony was attended by EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Amre Moussa.
Another achievement this year, in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs played an important role, is the important announcement made earlier this week that Malta won the bid to host the European Asylum Support Office. Malta has been chosen from a total of 3 countries that have shown interest to hold this office in their respective countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a good use of its diplomatic representations to put the message forward. A vital role was also played by the Maltese Permanent Representative in Brussels Ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana as a coordinator of the Malta bid.
This year another two conferences have been organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one in March in which a total number of 80 Honorary Consuls met in Malta. A total of 400 one-to-one meetings were arranged between the Consuls and local business man.
During summer, the Ministry organised the Ambassadors High Level Meeting in which the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tonio Borg sent a clear message to the Ambassadors to serve as a showcase for investment and tourism.
More information about the work being carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for information regarding Maltese Embassies Abroad, can be accessed on the Ministry’s website:

Tonio Borg
Deputy Prime Minister,
Minister for Foreign Affairs


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09 December 2009


Malta Today


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