Dr Chris Cardona – the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business – addressed a Korea-Malta Business Forum which was organised by Malta Enterprise in collaboration with the Korea Trade-Investment promotion agency (KOTRA) and the Korean Embassy to Italy. This Forum was also addressed by Ambassador Lee from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Malta, the Director General of KOTRA, Malta’s Ambassador for Korea and the Principal Chief Officer at Malta Enterprise, among which Ambassador Lee announced that KOTRA will be setting up a presence in Malta as an extension of their Milano Office. Minister Cardona pledged the full support of the Maltese government and of Malta Enterprise to this initiative.
Minister Cardona said that Malta has a flourishing economy with a real economic growth of 3.6% in 2014. He also held “the figures for the first six months of 2015 indicate that this growth will be repeated again this year.” He said that although Malta’s currency is the Euro, Malta is still open for business with each and every country in the world and this has been a traditional vocation of Malta, the most prominent being that of trading and manufacturing for countries and communities across the globe. In effect, he emphasised that “it is no coincidence that Malta has one of the highest exports per capita among the 28 EU States for exports that go outside of the European Community”.
During this Business Forum, Minister Cardona said that Malta can provide a good base for goods and services deriving from Korea that are destined for Europe or Africa. Simultaneously, as Korea is an economic giant in East Asia, it can offer selected niches of business opportunities for Maltese companies. Korea is the seventh larger exporter in the world with a very strong presence in the Mediterranean. Moreover, a significant number of Maltese companies already represent Korean companies in Malta and the region.
As stated by Dr Cardona, the Maltese Government is keen on continuing to enhance relationships with South Korea. Thus, he suggested that Malta Enterprise and KOTRA set up a working group to formulate a long-term plan of collaborative action between the two institutions in support of Korean and Maltese companies.