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Commissioner Michel Barnier to meet Maltese commercial community

European Commissioner Michel Barnier (second, right) with the MBB’s Omar Cutajar, Joe Tanti and George Vella in Strasbourg last week. He will travel to Malta later this year. Photo: European Union

European Commissioner Michel Barnier (second, right) with the MBB’s Omar Cutajar, Joe Tanti and George Vella in Strasbourg last week. He will travel to Malta later this year. Photo: European Union

Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, is to meet the business community in Malta later this year after accepted an invitation by the Malta Business Bureau during a meeting in Strasbourg last week.

Commissioner Barnier’s visit to Malta will include a debate with representatives of the business community on key Single Market developments. It follows on the MBB’s event last year with Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani.

MBB president George Vella, chief executive Joe Tanti and permanent Brussels delegate Omar Cutajar met Commissioner Barnier to present the results of an MBB study on Maltese businesses’ experience in the European Single Market.

The meeting was part of a series of meetings the MBB is holding with key EU institutional stakeholders within the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Discussions focused on the urgency of improving access to finance, increasing accessibility to cross-border public procurement opportunities for SMEs and the need for timely and correct transposition of EU legislation across all member-states.

Mr Vella emphasised how access to finance is a major concern for Malta’s small businesses, saying “the MBB is seeking other financial products available in foreign markets which could help Maltese entrepreneurs tap into a wider range of credit instruments.”

The MBB is currently conducting an assessment to identify the right credit and financial engineering instruments available in the EU27 and exploring which would be viable in Malta for SMEs at various stages in their lifecycle.

Commissioner Barnier commended the MBB’s efforts on better connecting Maltese SMEs to the European legislative agenda. He explained how such exercises provided the Commission with invaluable feedback which allowed it to better develop internal market policy.

Commissioner Barnier also acknowledged the work of MEP Louis Grech, who served as rapporteur for the European Parliament in producing the widely-backed report on Delivering a Single Market to Consumers and Citizens.

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