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Malta to open consulate in Dubai by year-end

posted on 05/06/2003: 745 views

Malta is going to open a full fledged consulate in Dubai by the end of this year in its bid to support the increasing trade and services activities between the two countries. Dr. Saviour P.Gauci, the Maltese ambassador in Saudi Arabia accredited to the UAE, who was in Dubai yesterday, said the government of Malta is taking various initiatives to enhance the economic relations between the countries in the region and Malta. The decision to open a consulate within a year of opening a trade centre in Dubai is an indication of the increased participation of the Maltese professionals and its commercial sectors in the UAE, he added, according to a report in "Khaleej Times."

Malta, which recently signed to become a full member of the European Union, is also talking to the UAE in a number areas, including a double taxation agreement. Gauci said that Malta has already signed a double taxation avoidance treaty with Kuwait in the region. He said that there are talks with the UAE tax authorities also in this regard and the Maltese government has given an invitation to the UAE's tax authorities to visit Malta in the third week of this month.

Malta is also about to sign a civil defence cooperation agreement with the UAE in the coming weeks and it is also in talks for signing a general agreement that would enhance bilateral relations in the areas of education and training, according to the ambassador.

He said that Malta has double taxation agreements already with about 40 countries and a similar agreement with the UAE would help the UAE-based companies to take advantage of these "agreements" if they operate from Malta. He also said that the fact that Malta will be part of the European Union from May 1, 2004, it would also provide the UAE-based companies trading through Malta access to the European markets in a big way. Gauci said that the Maltese economy is currently doing well in the manufacturing sector, which account for employment of 23 per cent of the total workforce in Malta.

The financial services industry is expanding rapidly providing lots of opportunities. Companies in the UAE should look at this sector, he added. Tourism is also another area that needs to looked at by the travel trade in the region and the UAE as Malta already receives 1.2 million tourists every year, but travellers from the region form a very small constituent of this number, he added.

He also pointed out that Malta's global exports are expanding and rose 2.8 per cent to reach $2.09 billion in 2001-2002 compared to the previous year. In the context of the UAE, he said that the number of trade missions to the country has also risen in this period, while UAE's exports to Malta between 2001 to 2002 increased 9.5 per cent and imports into the UAE from Malta rose 4.9 per cent.

The Director of the Malta Trade Centre in Dubai yesterday said that Malta has adopted a programme to consolidate relations with the Gulf Region via Dubai. As part of this programme, Malta is also participating in three international exhibitions to be held in Dubai before the end of this year, as well as organising delegations of businessmen.

In fact, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hosting a seminar on Malta today The seminar aims to consolidate economic relations between the two countries. This seminar is being organised following the opening of the Maltese Trade centre last April. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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