“The excellent relations that exist between Malta and the United Kingdom are not limited to the political and economic spheres but are also amply reflected in the strong bond of friendship that has developed during the past decades between the peoples of both countries. This has immensely facilitated the further enhancement of bilateral ties and I am proud that this close cooperation is manifested and reflected in our closeness within the international fora especially the European Union.”
Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Tonio Borg said this while addressing a press conference on the outcome of a bilateral meeting held in Valletta with the Rt Hon David Lidington, the Minister for Europe of the United Kingdom. Both sides agreed that Malta and the United Kingdom can work together in European and International fora to face the current economic situation across Europe.
Dr Tonio Borg made reference to the recent visit by the UK Foreign Secretary to Malta. Another important event was the visit by Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi to London’s famous department store Harrods, which was adorned from head to toe with touristic promotion about Malta. This successful campaign was aimed to attract high-end tourists to Malta, depicting it as a destination rich in culture, history and luxury – as seen with the promotion of yachting. Having dropped by 13% in 2009 to the lowest level ever, the number of British tourists visiting Malta rose by 4 percent in 2010 to regain the 400,000 and a further 6 per cent last year or 24,597 to reach the 440,000 mark.
Last year a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded between our Ministry of Health, the Elderly and Community Care and the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations. The arrangement enables Malta to cooperate closely with the Four Surgical Royal Colleges of Great Britain and Ireland and provides access for Maltese surgical trainees to Colleges Intercollegiate Speciality Examinations.
There are currently 1,449 companies registered in Malta with British shareholding. There are around 20 manufacturing and service companies that are wholly or partially British owned operating in Malta, employing over 3000 persons.
After two years of decline, imports rose by €34 million or 10.6% to €354.4 million. The most important product categories were mineral fuels (17%), paper and paper board (8%), pharmaceutical products (7%), electrical machinery (7%), vehicles and parts thereof (6%), printed books and materials (4%), plastics and articles thereof (3%), and ships and boats (3%).
Exports continued to grow following the slide in 2009. In 2011, they rose by almost €20 million or 15 per cent to €146.4 million. The most important product categories were printed books and materials (40%), aircraft and parts thereof (8%), pharmaceutical products (7%), articles of iron or steel (6%), precious metals and stones (6%), plastics and articles thereof (2%), rubber and articles thereof (2%),
During recent academic years over 800 Maltese students attended Universities in the UK and the trend is for this number to grow in the future. Since Malta joined the EU, students are entitled to study in the UK for the same fees as British ones and undergraduate courses are particularly appealing to Maltese students because there are many diverse ones on offer, as well as cross-disciplinary options in the UK.
Number of merchant marine vessels listed with the Malta Maritime Authority: 16
Number of firms registered with MFSA with British shareholding: 1,449