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From humble beginnings

EY's Malta Attractiveness Survey and conference have developed into Malta’s leading and largest business and investment forum.

The conference attracts over 500 top level delegates and world-famous speakers for a series of plenary and thematic breakout sessions on factors that drive Malta's attractiveness as a destination for investment.

Originally meant solely as a platform for the results of a survey carried out among existing FDI companies in Malta, the conference has today flourished into a high-level conversation with leading private and public stakeholders debating current issues and formulating both short-term and longer-term future policies.

A local conference which a few years back was a two-hour event attracting 50 delegates has now become a national benchmark and annual checkpoint for the nation.

The survey itself forms part of a wider international EY initiative aiming to provide stakeholders as well as current and prospective investors with up-to-date independent information on Malta's investment attractiveness on both national and sectoral levels.

EY's Attractiveness surveys offer analysis by executives, government officials, companies, and the academic world, and provide first-hand information on the growth potential of a country or region.

The reports are widely recognised by our clients, the media and major public stakeholders as a key source of insight on foreign direct investment (FDI). The survey explores both developed and emerging markets, helping public sector and business leaders to make economically sound strategy and policy decisions.

In the aftermath of the conference, several proposals were discussed with stakeholders and there are now a number of concrete recommended actions which have been passed on to the authorities for consideration

Over the last couple of years the conference, EY has turned it into a platform to put forward concrete policy proposals to government and stakeholder. Last year EY Malta put forward policy initiatives in five different sectors - FinTech, commodity trading, Malta as a gateway for Asian e-commerce, logistics and re-skilling regular immigrants.

In the aftermath of the conference, several proposals were discussed with stakeholders and there are now a number of concrete recommended actions which have been passed on to the authorities for consideration, follow-up action and implementation.

The annual EY conference is also unique in terms of the calibre of speakers it attracts. Apart from our prime ministers, opposition leaders and ministers, the plenary is addressed by key stakeholders from regulatory authorities, the private sector and top representatives from the international business world and academia.

EY has also been privileged to welcome esteemed international speakers such as former Dutch Prime Minister Peter Balkenende, former EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell (Tony Blair’s ex-Director of Communications) and former Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz. By sharing their global insights and adapting them to suit Malta’s outlook, these world-renowned speakers spearhead a path breaking and inspiring debate.

The keynote speaker of this year's conference is Jeremy Paxman, the renowned author, broadcaster and journalist who presented the BBC's Newsnight programme for 25 years. He will be joined by over 60 other leading speakers from Malta and overseas.

The Future is Today is the chosen theme for this year’s conference. Discussion will focus on decisions which have to be taken to sustain economic growth today and in the future - from taxation to stability, from transport to environmental sustainability, Malta and its place in the global marketplace, and more.

The conference will also examine policy actions to sustain future growth in a world in which the fundamentals of economic success are regularly being questioned and disrupted.

The 2016 edition will also feature eight themed breakout sessions, aimed at delving deeper into the respective needs and futures of the various sectors. The sessions are in themselves a reflection of Malta’s increasingly multifaceted economy.

The event's standing among local and foreign stakeholders has given rise to various other networking meetings and additional events on the fringes of the main event. Some of these target very specific cohorts and interests where knowledge sharing and networking is key. This is leading to a veritable matrix of learning, business and networking opportunities for Malta. Further information and registration is available at www.eymaltaattractiveness.com

Simon Lee Barberi is leader of EY Malta’s EU Advisory Unit and the Malta Attractiveness Survey (MAS) initiative

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