On June 28th, 2016, the Maltese Government entered into an agreement in the field of maritime transport with the Saudi Arabian Government. The scope of the agreement is the promote cooperation in this field. The Maltese Government was represented by Hon. Joe Mizzi – the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, and the Saudi Arabian Government was represented by Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan – the Minister for Transport.
The agreement will facilitate the transport of goods and people, while also strengthening the economic and trade relations between Malta and Saudi Arabia. When commenting on the agreement, Hon. Mizzi said that the deal seeks to promote development of the movement of commercial vessels passing between the two countries. The agreement also seeks to achieve the following:
- Better coordination of the commercial marine traffic between the two countries;
- The development of technical and training cooperation;
- Information exchange in the field of maritime transport;
- Coordination of the positions of the two countries in international organizations and forums in the field of maritime transport;
- Encourage studies and maritime training;
- Offer scholarships for maritime staff.
Saudi Arabia shares a common position with Malta on various international issues, and enjoys friendly ties in multiple fields, such as trade, tourism and culture. Malta exports to Saudi Arabia a total of 21 million euros annually, half of which relate to food products. Malta imports a total of 16.3 million euros worth of goods per year, the majority of which are organic chemicals.
This agreement continues to show how important Malta’s position in the Mediterranean Sea is, acting as the link between Asia, Africa, and Europe.