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  • Preventing theft of trade secrets

    As part of its wider Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission has undertaken to create an Innovation Union. It aims at achieving this by improving the conditions for innovative business activity, offering incentives to innovation, and...

  • Investing in ETFs

    There have been few financial innovations which have had as dramatic an impact on the global investment landscapes as have Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). When the first ETF came to market some 20 years ago, few expected that today there would be...

  • Crowdfunding for growth

    The European Commission launched a consultation programme until December 31 to explore the costs and benefits of ‘crowdfunding’ as an alternative form of finance. Contributions are sought from competent authorities, crowdfunding platforms,...

  • Manage Malta plc more like a business

    I was very disappointed last month to witness the government and Opposi­tion, not even one year into the new Parliament, take such extreme positions on the Individual Investor Prog­ramme. The cross-party political consensus, which had existed...

  • Coping with retirement as time keeps rolling on

    As a young student I always found Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Men taken from his play As You Like It amusing, if not outright funny. I had a much simpler concept of life. The world was made up of young people eager to find their place in society,...

  • Fresh efforts against evasion

    Evasion has been the bane of public finance practically since income tax was introduced in the late 1940s. It is not restricted to that. Customs and excise duties are evaded. So is Value Added Tax. Evasion is to be found wherever there is...

  • State aid to the film industry

    EU member states now enjoy greater leeway when launching certain support schemes aimed at the film industry. The good news is that they can do this without the risk of falling foul of EU State Aid rules. The European Commission acts as a watchdog...

  • Modernising trade marks: more affordable and accessible for SMEs

    At a time when the Europ-ean Parliament is fast approaching the end of its mandate, there are a number of new laws being deliberated with the intent of attaining political agreement before the finalisation of the legislative work programme of the...

  • SPEAKING WITH FORKED TONGUE

    Mr John Dalli, ersatz Minister of Health appointed by Labour PM Joseph Muscat, former Minister of Health under a Nationalist Government, has let it be known, ex cathedra as it were, that he has no trust in Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil...

  • Culture and national competitiveness

    The quest for improving competitiveness has become the Holy Grail of countries seeking to accelerate economic growth and improve their prospects for creating wealth. The factors that affect competitiveness are often discussed in business schools,...

  • Understanding tax and taxation

    Part of the predictable disagreement in the debate on the Budget for 2014 concerned taxation. In presenting the Budget the Minister for Finance said as an aside that it contained no new taxes. On their part Opposition spokespersons emphasised that...

  • Focus on maritime passenger rights

    The European Union has historically given greater focus to the legal rights of passengers and tourists travelling by air and railroad, whereas the rights of passengers travelling by sea and inland waterways have received comparatively little...

  • Innovation, the new average

    Innovation is an overused and abused term. From political figures to businessmen, innovation, as a word, is thrown in as part of their remit or mission statement. This has led this term to have a negative effect or, worse still, mean nothing more...

  • Budgeting for fairness and industriousness

    The 2014 Budget is characterised by a determination to instil a sense of fairness in Maltese society while at the same time to encourage industriousness. In the context of a tough fiscal management scenario, achieving these aims is going to be...

  • Budget Document 2014: another bible

    One rather widespread criticism of the Budget Speech for 2014 was that it was too long. It was verbose. The second part of the speech detailed items of revenue and expenditure which needn’t have been included. Perhaps in the process the Minister...

  • Non-discriminatory recruitment policies

    It is up to employers to prove that there has been no breach of the equal treatment principle enshrined in both EU and national law when they are faced with facts from which discrimination can be presumed, the Court of Justice of the European...

  • Budget 2014: further and higher education

    It is unfortunate that in the debate following the 2014 Budget, very few touched upon the proposals for further and higher education. This sector is critically important for the Maltese economy with the modernisation of higher education (and...

  • Charities: the jewel in our crown

    In a few weeks’ time various charities will be appealing to the Maltese people for support to help them overcome the big financial challenges they face in their quest to promote their causes. The leaders of these charities often remark that the...

  • Putting job creation first

    The levels of employment and unemployment are of great interest not only at budget time. They are a main indicator of the well-being or otherwise of the economy, with great social ramifications. Unemployment breeds poverty and misery, especially...

  • Can a vertical agreement be restrictive?

    In competition law, agreements between different suppliers on the market fall mainly into two categories: vertical agreements are concluded between traders at different levels of the supply chain such as those between a manufacturer and a retailer.

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