“Our approach as a country is to offer Malta as a co-location jurisdiction rather than outright re-location possibility. We are an ideal place for companies with presence in the UK and which want to have a new foothold in the European Union to co-locate. This is the way we are positioning ourselves irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations, and industry players are reacting positively to such an attitude.”
Speaking at UK’s Guildhall Art Gallery in a lunch hosted by the City of London, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told UK business leaders and policymakers that he does not subscribe to the idea that businesses will simply run off from the City because of Brexit. Instead, he believes that what will happen is that the City will remain a very important global player, but companies are making plans to be able to have part of their business co-located in a European Union jurisdiction.
The Prime Minister said that with Brexit, the EU, particularly smaller Member States, have lost an important voice of a state that has a liberal approach to economic management. That changes the rules of the game for those who are still part of the EU, but also changes the rules for all those who want to engage with the new EU.
Dr Muscat said that as the smallest Member State and with the tradition of an open economy and a natural partner of the UK, we are taking an approach which is proactive. He opined that predatory approaches to taking business out of the UK is short-sighted.
Joseph Muscat also referred to the regulation when it comes to the financial services industry and insisted that transparency and financial services should not be mutually exclusive. On the contrary, transparency in this industry has to become the name of the game. He said that transparency in Malta’s financial services and company registration will be more than ever one of Malta’s competitive advantages. Malta might be losing some business because of this, but it will still attract the right kind of business, said Dr Muscat. The Prime Minister said that Malta’s tax system is competitive, but it does not offer tax solutions according to individual businesses.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the recent events in Malta with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and said that Malta showed outrage as such a brutal murder. The reaction of the country to this murder shows that this is not what we stand for and reaffirmed his commitment to solve this case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The event was organised by the Chairman of the UK-Malta Business Task Force Joseph Zammit Tabona in collaboration with the City of London.