MBB presented report to Commissioner Barnier
President George Vella, CEO Joe Tanti and Permanent Delegate in Brussels, Omar Cutajar have this morning met European Commissioner for Internal Market, Michel Barnier in Strasbourg to present to the Commissioner the results of a study conducted by the MBB on the experience of Maltese businesses in the European Single Market.
The meeting was held in the context of a series of political meetings the MBB is holding with key EU institutional stakeholders within the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The parties discussed a number of key issues raised within the study including the urgency of improving access to finance, improving the accessibility to cross-border public procurement opportunities for local SMEs and the need to maintain a level playing field in terms of timely and correct transposition of EU legislation across all member-states.
MBB President George Vella explained to Commission Vice-President Barnier how access to finance is a major concern for businesses, in particular SMEs. “The MBB is actively seeking other financial products available in foreign markets which could help current and prospective Maltese entrepreneurs to tap into a wider range of credit instruments,” commented Mr Vella. In this regard, the MBB President mentioned that the MBB is currently conducting an assessment study, to identify the right credit and financial engineering instruments available in the EU27 member states, and exploring which of these would be viable in Malta for SMEs at various stages of their lifecycle.
Commissioner Barnier expressed his satisfaction at the study being undertaken by the MBB and commended the MBB’s efforts on better connecting Maltese SMEs to the European legislative agenda. Mr Barnier stated that such exercises provide the European Commission with invaluable feedback from economic operators present in different member states, allowing it to better develop internal market policy. Commissioner Barnier also acknowledged the creditable work performed by 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’.
At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Barnier was pleased to accept an invitation extended by MBB President George Vella to a debate with representatives of the Maltese business community in an event to be held later this year to further elaborate on key Single Market developments