The 2021 Renewable Energy System Scheme

As promised on the occasion of the presentation of the 2021 Budget, the Maltese Government has launched the Renewable Energy System (RES) Scheme, which is administered by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services to further encourage the better use of the renewable energy being generated by the country.

This scheme is funded through national funds and applies to private individuals (natural persons) for use on their residential properties, and for organisations that are not carrying out an economic activity, provided that photovoltaic installation should have no active feed-in tariff allocation. If the photovoltaic installation was allocated a feed-in tariff, the guaranteed period should be expired.

This scheme was launched by means of Government Notice 298 of 2021.

The 2021 RES scheme is slightly different form past PV schemes as it will be incorporating different technologies under one scheme. Basically, the scheme will be split into the following options:

Option A – PV system with standard solar inverter.
Option B – PV system with hybrid inverter.
Option C – Hybrid/battery inverter and battery.
Option D – Battery storage only.

Applicants can only apply for one option with the exception of Option B whereby an applicant may also apply for Option D.

For option C only (Inverter plus battery), the inverter must be rated for the size of total kWp of the existing photovoltaic modules. As such systems where the ratio of inverter nominal ac power at standard testing conditions (STC) is lower than 0.8 times the array nominal power shall not be eligible for the grant.

For options A and B, the minimum system size is 1kWp and for Options C and D the minimum storage size is 2kWh.

In addition to the above, a standard minimum of 10 years warranty will be requested on all options.

As you may be aware, prior to submission of applications, all equipment has to be registered with REWS. In this regard, please note that Government Notice 52 of 2010 was amended to cater for the registration of Energy Storage Systems and now REWS is accepting applications for registration of equipment that meets the following standards:

– Lead Acid Batteries shall be certified to EN 61056-1-2, BS EN 60896-11, 21 and 22 as applicable or an equivalent thereof when so considered by the Standards and Metrology Institute within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority;

– The lithium-ion shall be certified to IEC 62619 as applicable or an equivalent thereof when so considered by the Standards and Metrology Institute within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority;

– Flow batteries shall be certified to BS EN 62932-1-2 as applicable, or an equivalent thereof when so considered by the Standards and Metrology Institute within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority;

Applications for registration of technology can be accepted prior to the launch of the scheme. To access the funds ask the Malta Business Agency team for support by filling in the following contact form.

Communications on beneficial owners: increasingly severe sanctions for offenders


For almost three years, Maltese law has obliged companies to keep and transmit adequate, accurate and up-to-date information on their beneficial owners. Since its entry into force, this duty has become so established and entrenched that company owners (direct or indirect, foreign or local) or their officials who do not comply with these measures risk incurring heavy penalties, aggravated by factors such as intentionality and premeditated deception. In the most serious cases, the penalty may even be imprisonment.

Unless all shareholders of a company are natural persons acting in their own name and appearing on the Malta Companies Register (MBR) lists, or the Maltese company itself is listed on a regulated market as described in the law, compliance with the Beneficiaries Act is a must.

But let’s see what the latest news in this regard. Since June 2020, companies are also required to pay an annual fee to contribute to the collection of data and supervisory operations by the public body.

The maximum penalties provided for by law for non-compliance, moreover, after having been contained in an initial phase, have gradually increased, now reaching completely relevant thresholds. The maximum daily penalty for each day of delay, until the non-compliance is remedied, has risen from 10 to 100 euros. While an unintentional delay in filing a form for a fortnight could cost the company up to 6,300 euros.

There is also the sanction that could be imposed by the Malta Registrar of Companies if it finds a discrepancy between the records on beneficiaries transmitted by a company and those kept internally by the company itself. In this case the factor of voluntariness emerges, and the maximum threshold set for this sanction has increased from 10,000 to 100,000 euros.

Companies that existed before the entry into force of these rules (before 2018), which did not comply with the new rules when the initial moratorium expired, and which are still in default, are subject to a daily penalty of up to €500, plus a maximum of €10,000.

Finally, the maximum lump sum penalty for late filing and failure to keep documents has increased from 1,000 to 5,000 euros.

It is hoped that these penalties will discourage those who want to deceive or mislead the public administration on this front. And that they can enhance Malta’s image of legality in the eyes of the world after difficult years.

But there is also the problem of excessive sanctions compared to what could be mere oversight. For this reason it is advisable not to take these obligations under advisement and, in case of doubts or difficulties, to rely on the advice of a professional. The Malta Business Agency staff is also at your complete disposal on this matter.

  • Liz Barbaro Sant urges businesses to look beyond Malta


    Liz Barbaro Sant, vice president of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, has been named TradeMalta’s new president in early 2021. In a recent interview with Malta Business Weekly, she spoke about her new role and how Maltese companies can become “international” by capitalizing on trade and investment opportunities that come from abroad.

    The goal outlined by the new president is to create new and ambitious partnerships with players in the most promising markets. According to the president, Maltese exports are still below their potential, and for this reason it must look with determination particularly towards East and West Africa, both regions with considerable untapped potential in trade, and towards Libya, a strategic country for Maltese companies.

    My experience to date has been positive despite an ongoing difficult situation. Today we still perceive trade as a window of opportunity for the diversification and growth of Maltese companies,” said Liz Barbaro Sant. And further, “It may seem counterintuitive to talk about expanding abroad when local businesses are struggling with the pandemic, but for the many businesses venturing abroad it seems there is no better time. The pandemic has led to certain limitations, especially on cross-border travel, but it has also given rise to new ways of doing business. And support for internationalization, both from government and industry partners, is more present than ever. That said, we know that looking across borders can still seem daunting, which is why we’re here to help navigate a business environment that is dynamic and ever-changing. Access to financing, lack of working capital, and hedging the financial risks of exporting and payments always remains a big challenge.

    The President then expressed some doubts about the possible negative effect of Malta’s inclusion in the FATF-GAFI grey list and illustrated some aspects to keep in mind when starting to export: one needs to pay attention to the choice of the right destination market, logistics, product adaptation in the identified country, prices, customs procedures, marketing and business structure.

    The long list of challenges may seem intimidating – concluded Sant – but it is possible to face them by planning an appropriate strategy, always after having thoroughly evaluated whether an expansion is really advantageous, or if it can take the company away from its core business. Better to serve one country well than to serve several countries poorly. Then take a look at the finances and ask yourself honestly if you have the funds to support the initial investment for success that will come in the long run anyway.

    Are you ready to internationalize your company from Malta? Find out with a pre-feasibility analysis and ad hoc support service provided by the Malta Business Agency team. Contact us through the following form.

    MFSA introduces new application to license Crowdfunding Service Providers


    European Crowdfunding Service Providers are now able to provide crowdfunding services on a cross-border basis throughout the EU without needing to obtain separate authorisation in each Member State. This development is part of the EU’s Capital Markets Union economic policy initiative.

    The Regulation on Crowdfunding lays down uniform rules across the EU for the provision of investment-based and lending-based crowdfunding services related to business financing. Said platforms will need to be authorised by the national competent authority (NCA) in the EU Member State in which they are established. In line with this, the Malta Financial Services Authority has introduced a new application to start the authorisation process for crowdfunding service providers.

    Start-ups, small and medium enterprises, and innovative companies often have difficulty accessing funds via traditional means such as bank loans, or through the capital markets, which can be both time-consuming as well as costly. Crowdfunding service providers enable them to connect to and raise funds from multiple investors, usually via digital platforms.

    In many respects, this is a very welcome development for the sector, bringing about much-needed clarity. This new legislation benefits the businesses that need to raise funds, the investors, through appropriate safeguards for consumer protection and ultimately stimulates the wider economy. It also facilitates the cross-border provision of crowdfunding services in the EU, which has been one of the biggest hurdles faced by crowdfunding platforms, leading to high compliance and operational costs. We believe that Malta is well placed to host such platforms, being a jurisdiction which is predominantly composed of SMEs and inclined towards FinTech driven entities,” says Doreen Balzan, MFSA’s Head of Securities and Markets Supervision.

    The new Crowdfunding Regulation only applies to investment-based and lending-based crowdfunding services. Other types of crowdfunding, such as reward and donation-based crowdfunding, do not fall within the scope of this legislation.

    For more information or advice contact the Malta Business Agency team.

    Reverse Vending Machines: BCRS Malta signs new agreement

    BCRS Malta Ltd., the licensed operator of Malta’s Beverage Container Refund Scheme, incorporated in 2020 by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, the Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association, has signed an agreement with Envipco for the supply, installation and servicing of Reverse Vending Machines (RVM). The installation of the machines will be instrumental in the operation of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme and the collection of empty single-use beverage containers, which scheme will commence in April 2022.

    Reverse Vending Machines shall be deployed across Malta and Gozo early next year by BCRS Malta Ltd. to receive empty single-use beverage containers from consumers, in return of a deposit refund. Powered by the latest Internet of Things technology, Reverse Vending Machines comprise the high-tech front-end of this new Scheme that aims to collect and recycle 85% of all single-use beverage containers placed on the market by 2026.

    Commenting ahead of the signing of the agreement, BCRS Malta chairperson Mr Pierre Fava noted how the signing was an important milestone for the country as it sought to protect the environment in the battle against climate change.

    Having led this initiative over the last three and a half years, it now gives me great pride to make such a significant step forward towards delivering a very tangible environmental initiative for our country that will have a lasting impact for generations to come” Mr Fava said.

    The contract is expected to provide initially for the installation of around 300 RVMs across Malta and Gozo. Initial RVM deployment will commence by the end of 2021 with rapid expansion in support of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme Go-Live date of 1st April 2022.

    Key to this award is Envipco’s understanding of our program needs along with their extensive experience of global Deposit Refund Schemes (DRS). Envipco’s RVM product range combined with their strong service attitude and commitment is especially well suited for the Malta DRS. We look forward to working with Envipco and their local partner Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd (JCS) as we embark on this important circular economy initiative for Malta” said Ing Edward Chetcuti, CEO of BCRS Malta Ltd.

    Mr. Simon Bolton, CEO Envipco added “We are privileged to have the opportunity to support BCRS as they implement a deposit scheme in Malta. It shows the strength of our technology platform and our focus on partnering with customers to offer an excellent solution. With an exceptional local partner in Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd., we look forward to delivering this system and supporting Malta as they make another important step to a circular economy.”

    Malta to have EU’s fastest-growing EU economy in 2022


    The European Commission expects Malta to have the fastest growing economy among EU member states next year.

    According to the Autumn Economic Forecast issued last 11 November, Malta’s economy is set to see a robust recovery in 2021 and to continue on a stable growth path in 2022 and 2023. Growth is expected to be driven by a recovery in domestic demand with the contribution of net export turning positive in 2022 and 2023. Given the supportive fiscal policy stance, the general government deficit is projected to widen further in 2021 before decreasing in the next two years following robust economic growth and a winding-down of fiscal support measures.

    In 2021, real GDP growth is forecast to reach 5.0%, mainly driven by domestic consumption and investment. Tourism is set to gain some ground, but to remain well below the 2019 level. Robust government expenditure continues to support the economy, including via public investment. In the coming years, following the unfolding recovery in the world economy, the growth contributions of net exports and investment are projected to grow.

    Growth is set to peak at 6.2% in 2022 when the contribution of net exports is to become positive, counting on further relaxation of international travel requirements and a strong recovery in tourism. The economy is projected to reach the pre-crisis level in the second half of 2022. Further on, growth is forecast to decrease to a still robust 4.8% in 2023.

    With both exports and imports growing, the current account balance is expected to remain positive and increasing towards 2022 and 2023. Potential consequences of the June 2021 decision of the Financial Action Task Force (an intergovernmental body against money laundering) to add Malta to the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring represent a limited downside risk.

    The government deficit is expected to increase to over 11% of GDP in 2021. The increase in public expenditure related to pandemic-related stimulus measures is the main factor contributing to this increase in the deficit. In 2021 Malta maintained
    and extended a number of important measures, such as the wage support scheme, a voucher scheme to support the hospitality and retail sectors, utility and rent subsidies for businesses, and healthcare-related expenditures. After a decline in 2020, the tax revenues are set to increase again in 2021. On the back of the economic recovery, the corporate tax revenues improved. Supported by government measures and the relatively good performance of the labour market, revenue from social contributions continued to increase.

    As the economy continues to grow and economic support measures are wound down, the deficit is projected to decline to 5.8% of GDP in 2022 and 4.7% in 2023. As a result of ongoing primary deficits, the government debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to increase to 61.4% in 2021 and reach 63.6% in 2023. The forecast also incorporates
    expenditures financed by RRF grants for a cumulative amount of 1.2% of 2019 GDP over the forecast horizon.

    Business Start: the scheme to develop your ideas


    We have all had great ideas at some point in our lives, but most of them never see the light of day. Then there are those of us who have a lightbulb moment, devise a plan and run with it. If you are one of the latter, you know that creating something out of nothing and making it profitable is no mean feat. Finding someone to back you up financially can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks and could very well sound the death knell for your budding business venture.

    We can help with the new Business Start scheme.

    If your start-up is still in its early development phase but is not yet backed by a formal business plan, it might be eligible for a grant which you can use to develop your business proposal. 

    Pre-Business Plan Support is provided to start-ups and self-employed in their early development phase through an initial grant of up to €10,000 to develop their business concept, out of which €5,000 may be claimed as a reimbursement of 50% of costs incurred for mentoring and advisory services.

    On the other hand, if your start-up presents a Business Plan and is deemed to be economically viable by Malta Enterprise, it may be awarded a higher grant.

    Post-Business Plan Support is provided to start-up companies with a viable business plan. These may receive up to €20,000 per quarter linked to full time employment. Up to €5,000 of the grant can be disbursed to finance the procurement of assets required for the business operation.

    This incentive will be available until the 31st October 2023.

    To apply, contact the Malta Business Agency team. You will get the support you need to fund your idea and make it a success. Fill out the following form to request more information or specific advice.

    AI4Copernicus: 3rd call for AI and Earth observation-based experiments coming soon


    AI4Copernicus will launch its third Open Call in January 2022 that supports experiments that address the development and testing of technical solutions that address industrial challenges by leveraging Artificial Intelligence resources and Earth observation data.

    With this new call, 8 prototypes will be funded with 80,000 euros each. In addition, the selected experiments will benefit from a 16-month acceleration program.

    AI4Copernicus is a European H2020 project that aims to bridge Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Earth Observation (EO) world by making the already developed AI4EU AI-on-demand platform, the digital environment of choice for users of Copernicus data, for researchers and innovators.

    The program goals are:

    • Integrate resources and large EO data of existing providers, give access to training material and expertise and enrich the AI4EU resources catalogue.
    • Incentivise diverse AI4EU and Copernicus communities to solve real problems of business and societal value, through 4 Open Calls.
    • Drive the evolution, uptake, and impact of all involved platforms: AI4EU and the DIAS platforms, especially WEkEO, CREODIAS and MUNDI.

    A series of 4 open calls have been planned, leading to: 8 small-scale experiments (smaller, single-beneficiary experimental projects targeting technology-advanced users) and 9 use-cases (larger-budget projects, involving at least one non-technology user). The open calls will necessitate the utilisation of DIAS platforms, Copernicus data, the AI4EU platform and the services and resources that will be provided by the AI4Copernicus project. Through organising, facilitating and mentoring these Open Calls, AI4Copernicus aims to reach out to new user domains and boost the use of the AI4EU platform.

    SMEs, startups and high-tech spin-offs can participate in the third call. The deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2022.

    To submit your application and apply for funding, rely on the strategic and operational support of the Malta Business Agency team. Request more information or a consultation by filling out the form below.

    Expo 2020: visiting the Malta Pavilion


    Dubai-based newspaper Khaleej Times visited the Malta Pavilion at Expo 2020 to explain what makes the tenth smallest country in the world an attractive vacation destination for UAE travelers.

    Malta’s chosen message for the World Expo is “Connecting cultures and generating opportunities,” a slogan that perfectly sums up the strategic role of this archipelago positioned in the center of the Mediterranean.

    In particular, ample space has been given to the tourism sector, which every year brings 2 million people to the two main islands inhabited by a total of 550 thousand inhabitants, and which even in times of pandemic has managed to attract 600 thousand tourists.

    Visiting the Malta Pavilion, the Khaleej Times envoy met Maria Camilleri Calleja, Maltese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, who explained that the Maltese language is a mix of Arabic, English and Italian in 60% of its lexicon: thus any person visiting Malta from the Emirates is immediately greeted by a language of the local Maltese population that immediately sounds familiar.

    Malta is also a Mediterranean island, where you can smell the water, and where you can admire wonderful seaside resorts that combine with small fortified towns,” said the Ambassador.

    Moreover, on July 14th last year, the Emirates airline concluded its first direct flight between Malta and Dubai, accelerating the tourist presence from one to the other country.

    The final invitation, therefore, is to visit the Malta Pavilion in Dubai, and above all to visit Malta from Dubai. 

    Israeli start-up specialists launch VentureRocket Malta


    VentureRocket Malta, an Israeli start-up ecosystem builder, focused on start-up scouting, financing and acceleration is set to be launched in Malta in the coming months.

    The initiative will scout innovative start-ups and companies both locally and globally, plan their introduction to the Maltese ecosystem, aid them with Malta government grants and support plans, and together with Malta Enterprise, build a specific case by case growth plan for them.

    VentureRocket is a part of Titanium Technologies Group that acts as a holistic start-up ecosystem management environment collaborating with governments, educational institutions, and innovative organisations.

    The company’s new management team covers over 20 years of experience in leading and managing complex tech projects worldwide, with a strong team of tech and business specialists from Israel, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan.

    VentureRocket offers different acceleration services, including a digital environment and tools to manage the ecosystem of startups and investors and help startups execute their fundraising campaigns, global startup scouting and investor outreach activities, customised acceleration and incubation programs, and other dedicated services, according to the partners’ needs.

    At VentureRocket, we see great potential in entering the Maltese market. Currently, it includes over 250 tech startups from different industries, and due to Malta’s great strategic location, strong human capital opportunities, and a friendly lifestyle, it creates favourable conditions for startup scouting and finding great investment opportunities in the region,” – shared Asaf Yosifov, the CEO at VentureRocket.

    The investment is being supported by the country’s key contact point for startups – Malta Enterprise – with an aim of further synergising the local start-up ecosystem.

    Over the last months Malta Enterprise has launched a number of incentives for start-ups and an enablement and visibility campaign built around the portal

    We are excited to partner with VentureRocket to bring more opportunities to Malta-based startups and help them realise their full potential by supporting them with ecosystem building services from VentureRocket. We are also confident that Venture Rocket Malta can be a great way for global start-ups to get access and grow in the Maltese and the European Union markets,” – said Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia.

    This announcement is another milestone in the momentum we have been building over the last months via agreements with local and international partners. These efforts are reaping results with 73 applications for start-up assistance received between January and June this year compared to 46 applications in the same period last year. “Also we are seeing that a good chunk of our incoming FDI’s are exciting startups coming from a myriad of fields – from aviation to cybersecurity, from fintech to digital games. Malta as a startup hub is a works in progress”, he concluded.

    Sustainable tourism: MAST selects new business ideas


    At the beginning of November was officially launched the project MAST (Mediterranean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism), funded by UfM for Employmen Promotion, and that has among its supporters our Maltese partner MACTT Ngo, along with other realities from Greece, Italy, Tunisia and Morocco.

    The project is aimed at companies, professionals, teachers, young people and students working in the world of tourism. All of them are asked to submit a new business idea based on sustainable tourism to be submitted by December 31, 2021.

    The works will then be evaluated by the MAST team during the month of January 2022, and the best work will receive a special prize, linked to the possibility of growth and development of the project.

    If you already have an idea in mind and want to get involved, simply register on the site, attend a free online course lasting one hour (available in English, Italian, Greek and French) and fill out a form to get in touch with the project partner identified as a reference for your country, which will guide you in the drafting of the project to be submitted by December 31.

    The reference partners of the MAST project, who are waiting for you to collect the business projects, are the following:

    Lowering VAT for tourism among the new proposals of the Malta Chamber


    The Tourism Operators Business Section at The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry with the support of Seed, presented Rediscover, its vision for Malta’s tourism industry.

    Generally, the document proposes its recommendations based on eight (8) key themes:

    1. Branding & Marketing
    2. Digital & Innovation
    3. Accommodation
    4. Sectoral Infrastructure
    5. Culture & Identity
    6. Governance & Institutions
    7. Human Capital
    8. Connectivity

    The document is rooted in a detailed analysis of the hurdles faced by Malta and its tourism operators in this sector. This analysis is contextualised within broader international industry trends and is enriched by consultation with more than 29 industry stakeholders, leading to a series of recommendations and key performance indicators geared at revitalising the Maltese tourism sector in a post COVID-19 future.

    Amongst its flagship recommendations, The Chamber is re-proposing lower VAT on all tourist services to 7%, unless the product or service being offered is already VAT exempt. Incremental income from VAT reduction should be diverted towards improvement in salaries.

    This Vision proposes a new focus on unique and varied events which are true to the local identity, a proposal which forms part of a broader approach to strengthen the Maltese tourism brand as well as the specific marketing of destinations such as Gozo and Valletta in their own right.

    Furthermore, The Chamber proposes carrying out a sectoral review to measure tourism operators’ digital readiness to identify all opportunities for digital transformation and include opportunities for funding.

    President Ms Marisa Xuereb said, “The Malta Chamber recognises the vital importance of Tourism as a pillar of the Maltese Economy, and we believe that this document is the blueprint to strengthening and future-proofing this sector for decades to come.

    In his remarks, the Chair of the Tourism Business Section, Mr Alan Arrigo said, “We’ve placed sustainable growth in the epicentre of our Vision. One that is built on improving customer journey, encouraging authentic quality customer experiences and building on our capabilities to make Malta a destination of choice.”

    Robotics4EU for responsible robotics in Europe


    Robotics4EU is the European Commission’s answer to the unprecedented importance of robotics in modern economy. Launched officially in January 2021 under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, Robotics4EU aims to take concrete steps to ensure a more widespread adoption of (AI-based) robots in the EU, particularly in the areas of Healthcare, Inspection and Maintenance of Infrastructure, Agri-Food, and Agile Production.

    The project’s goal also includes raising awareness about non-technological aspects of robotics, such as ethics, legal, socioeconomic, data, privacy and gender issues. To do so, it will gather a responsible robotics community, with representatives from companies and academia in the areas mentioned above, citizens, policy and decision-makers, and it will organise community-building and co-creation events while advocating for the cause of responsible robotics.

    In the first few months of the project, a series of interviews and online surveys were conducted in order to gain insight from stakeholders and members of the robotics community in topics such as the deployment of robotics, current practices, shortcomings and other needs of the community. The issues pointed by the surveyed include labour force concerns, the consequences of robotics on overall human well-being, among others, and are available on the project’s website. This report also includes information regarding good practices from other projects, robotics community readiness and robots’ acceptability, cooperation between policy makers and the robotics community, among others.

    During the month of October 2021, Robotics4EU will also promote a GlobalSay – consultation that will engage approximately 700 citizens from 12 countries in deliberations about the societal and ethical impacts of robotics.

    A series of workshops starting in November 2021 and lasting until mid-2022 is also in the works. The goal is to broaden and empower the responsible robotics community and encourage the debate around cutting-edge issues and ideas for practical solutions that will support the responsible adoption of (AI-based) robotics.There will be a total of 20 workshops: four online and one presential for each of the projects’ areas (Healthcare, Inspection and Maintenance of Infrastructure, Agri-Food, and Agile Production).

    Robotics4EU is a €3 million coordination and support action comprising 7 organisations from 6 European countries with expertise in several technological domains. For more information on the project and future activities, visit Robotics4EU website at

    Medaweek: the Forum of the cultural, audiovisual and creative industries


    The opening day of Medaweek Barcelona, the week of the Mediterranean economic leaders, has finally arrived. In this 2021, Medaweek Barcelona will present itself to the public with the slogan “A common future” and will dedicate an unprecedented space to a sector that is becoming increasingly strategic for the revival of regional economies in the post-pandemic context: the creative, cultural and audiovisual industries.

    The conference dedicated to this sector, in presence and online, is scheduled this afternoon, Wednesday, November 17, at 15.00, and will be moderated by Caterina Passariello, Project Manager of Malta Business.

    The COVID-19 outbreak and the containment measures have led to closure of cinema theatres, standstill of productions and cancellation of audio-visual festivals. The impact on the economy and employment has been very severe and has affected the entire value chain of the audiovisual industry, from the creation of films and audiovisual works to their distribution. Even TV broadcasters, despite beating viewing records, have seen their advertising revenues decreasing due to the disruption of economic activities.

    Cinemas, festivals, producers, distributors, and creators are struggling to survive, risking bankruptcies and layoffs, especially for the many self-employed and freelancers of the sector. The whole industry of these small businesses that sustain our cultural diversity is at stake.

    The audiovisual sector is a key factor in the promotion of cultural diversity at local and international levels. Mediterranean audiovisual products currently suffer from a chronic lack of media coverage, with the general public of course, but above all with the professional public that could buy, distribute, broadcast and co-produce the programmes and films, which is encouraging the emergence and the networking of professional associations.

    At the time of the transition towards a mixed system in the audiovisual sector and in view of the creation of a common regional market and of a Euro-Mediterranean market, the role professional associations are able to play is becoming fundamental.

    The audiovisual sector, when seen from the angle of its production, is also traditionally an area of artistic collaboration and collective creativity combining sound, image and written material, and where, on a set, lighting technicians, set designers and make-up artists, for example, collaborate in the production of a film for television or the big screen. It is in essence an instrument of dialogue and communication that reaches beyond national and linguistic borders.

    Furthermore, the rapid growth of digital technology and the convergence of media have already led to obvious radical changes in our daily lives but, above all, they provide a unique opportunity to develop exchanges.

    The Mediterranean is an emerging region seeking international recognition. In this context, and given the post-COVID-19 unprecedented challenges, ASCAME takes the initiative to organise the ‘Mediterranean Creative Economy Forum’ in order to support the sector. The engagement of all stakeholders in the new strategy is key to its success and they need to play an active role. This forum will bring together the main Euro-Mediterranean radio and television stations, audiovisual and cultural operators, and institutional representatives of the region.

    Guest speakers at the forum will include:

    Víctor Francos Díaz General Secretary Ministry of Culture and Sports, Spanish government

    Jens Nymand Christensenformer Deputy Director General, European Commission

    Miquel Rutllant | President, Clúster Audiovisual de Catalunya

    María Carmen FernándezInnovation and New Business Manager, MEDIAPRO Group

    Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning | Founder and CEO, Creative Business Network (CBN)

    Rym AyadiPresident and Founder, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA)

    Sir Martin SorrellExecutive Chairman, S4 Capital

    Alia KhanFounder & Chairwoman, Islamic Fashion and Design Council

    Mohamed Zoghlami|Co-fondateur, d’Afric’Up et d’Africa in Colors

    For more information and to discover all the thematic fora, check the event’s programme here.

    The sport industry debuts at Medaweek Barcelona


    Malta Business will be protagonists on the third and last day of Medaweek Barcelona 2021, the great event dedicated to the world of business organized every year by ASCAME, Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce. The appointment to mark in the agenda is Friday, November 19, 2021 at 17.00 for the Mediterranean Sport Industry Conference, a conference dedicated to the sport sector that will be moderated by Caterina Passariello, Malta Business Agency‘s Project Manager and analyst of our news portal.

    Sport is a powerful force for cooperation and peace. It inspires and promotes the values of teamwork, non-violence, gender equality, social integration, tolerance and justice. Values that go beyond borders, cultures, races or religions.

    In a region with strong inequalities and deep unrest, sport facilitates social integration and economic development, and becomes a tool to address violence and insecurity, and provide better opportunities for young people.

    Mediterranean countries have much in common. A sea, a history, a culture, a food and values that remind us that it is possible to work together and create a new common destiny. These values are precisely those that sport conveys.

    Companies that focus their strategy, products or services around sport are growing and many sectors benefit from the associated cultural, economic or recreational activities, such as telecommunications, construction or tourism. The industry can increase the ability to acquire and produce knowledge, which is a key factor in competitiveness.

    However, the sport and recreation landscape is changing significantly in the Mediterranean region. The emergence of commercial events and properties in different countries in the region has meant that rights holders and established brands need to review and fine-tune their offerings, while the consumer leisure environment becomes increasingly competitive.

    In light of this, sport is being called upon to become a new growth driver through investment in infrastructure and job creation for young people. This will be discussed on Friday with distinguished guests such as Miquel Iceta, Minister of Culture and Sport of the Spanish Government; Ashraf Sobhy, Minister for Youth and Sport in Egypt; and Joan Laporta, President of Barcelona Football Club. he appointment is Friday, November 19 at 17.00, from Casa Llotja de Mar (Barcelona) and online.

    Medaweek: a talk for the relaunch of the cruise sector


    Malta Business and its partner Euromed International Trade will be protagonists on the third and last day of Medaweek Barcelona 2021, the great event dedicated to the world of business organized every year by ASCAME, Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce. The appointment to mark in your diary is Friday 19 November 2021 at 15.00 for the Mediterranean Cruise Industry Conference, a conference dedicated to the cruise sector which will be moderated by Caterina Passariello, Project Manager of Malta Business Agency and analyst of our information website.

    The cruise sector represents one of the most flourishing segments of the international tourism market in recent years, and sees the Mediterranean fully involved in this boom. The Mediterranean region is a very complete tourist destination as it offers a wide variety of landscapes and cultural and culinary activities, with a satisfactory quality-price ratio. Moreover, it can be enjoyed by all age groups throughout the year.

    Although the Mediterranean is the world’s second destination for cruise ships, after the Caribbean, it has the potential to become the first port of arrival due to its excellent climatic conditions that allow for a long cruise season, as well as the attractiveness of its diversity of cultures and differentiated itineraries. The world’s leading cruise operators and companies are aware of this promising and strategic growth space, and have already positioned themselves in the region to gain competitive advantages in this market.

    In fact, cruise travel is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry, with demand increasing by 20.5% over the past five years. Some 29 million people have chosen to go on a cruise in 2019. And as of today there are more than 150 cruise ports in the Mediterranean coasts and about 70 operators, Barcelona being the main hub for all cruises and itineraries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

    The cruise industry makes 45 billion euros a year and generates about 320,000 jobs. It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that this sector plays a very important role in both the shipping and tourism industries. And its impressive production chain of direct and indirect goods and services associated with this sector acts as a strong economic driver.

    However, the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected Mediterranean economies as never before, especially in the world of tourism. And after governments across the region focused on launching and implementing extraordinary measures focused primarily on those industries and production sectors, the time has come to plan for the recovery of key leisure sectors by combining sustainability and profitability.

    Among the speakers who will speak at the November 19 conference, live from Casa Llotia de Mar (Barcelona) and online, the presence of important names such as Mar Pérez, Head of the Cruise Department for the Port of Barcelona; Ukko Metsola, Director General of Cruise Lines International Association Europe; and Pino Musolino, President of the Port System Authority of the Central-Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, is already confirmed.

    AIBC Europe 2021: the day has finally come


    AIBC Europe 2021, the big event organized by Sigma that will attract thousands of people at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre in Ta’ Qali, officially kicks off.

    For the first time ever Sigma is  bringing its 4 leading shows together for the mother of all conferences. From the 15th to 19th November, AIBC, alongside AGS and  the World’s Gaming Festival – SiGMA, will bring the best in the business to a first-class meeting point at the MFCC, and with the partnership of Malta Business.

    Malta Week will also host the second edition of Med-Tech World, a digital health conference which will be held at the Hilton, Malta.

    The alignment of our super-shows allows investors to leverage the significant crossover potential for multi-faceted business deals and to double down on opportunities to connect with some of the leading affiliates, policy makers, thought leaders, suppliers, and operators in the industry.

    As Malta’s commitment to a new digital age becomes evident, this favourite in the global emerging technology event calendar is only set to grow. Malta Week is your chance to tap into the synergy between the emerging tech, digital marketing and gaming sectors, while making the most of what the islands have to offer.

    AIBC Malta


    A series of expert-led conferences will bring  emerging tech to the fore – revolutionising the way we look at technology and its ability to change the world. From cryptocurrency regulation to cutting-edge AI, the  industry’s most creative minds are leading the debate on the AIBC stage with an agenda of thought provoking keynotes and panels. 


    The AIBC expo floor brings a carefully curated display of the products and solutions leading the market. This high energy exposition offers a direct line to some of the top brands in the business – making it an ideal place for networking and deal-making opportunities.


    In line with a strong interest in  tech and the growing value for companies looking to move into up-and-coming gaming markets, Malta is a leading hub for digital innovation and business, and carries a long-standing reputation for pulling off excellent networking events. 

    English-speaking, with a rich cultural history, and plenty of leisure and entertainment choices, Malta has much to offer those seeking to inject a little fun into their stay, providing a stunning backdrop against which to forge lucrative deals.

    View the event agenda

    ITPIS: support for internationalisation from Malta


    International markets present countless opportunities for forward-thinking companies looking to grow their business. In the current economic climate, looking beyond the borders of the domestic market exponentially increases the opportunities to reach more customers, increase sales, revenues and prospects of a manufacturing or commercial activity. Especially in a small context like the Maltese one, internationalising one’s business is essential and strategic, also thanks to the support that local institutions provide to businesses and the excellent bilateral relations that the country is developing with many strategic areas of the world (Europe, Africa, Middle East, Arab countries, Russia, China, Japan, United States, Canada and South America). Companies that are able to look to international markets also tend to be more innovative in their product and service offerings and in their internal processes, boasting a higher level of competitiveness compared to their competitors.


    The International Trade Promotion Incentive Scheme (ITPIS) aims to support Maltese companies that want to internationalise their business, or that are already exporting and want to promote a product or service in a new market.


    This incentive scheme is administered by the government body TradeMalta Limited.

    Regulatory reference

    The Enterprise Incentives Regulations SL 463.04 (Malta Enterprise Act, Chapter 463 of the Laws of Malta) provide the legal basis for this incentive scheme.



    The scheme is currently valid for a period of three years ending on 31 December 2023. These Incentive Guidelines may be amended and updated regularly.

    Submission procedure

    The application for incentives is made through a detailed online form. Once the application is approved, companies can submit one or more applications using another specific form.


    This incentive is open to companies whose aim is to intensify their internationalisation activities with a view to increasing their exports. The beneficiary must be a company registered in one of the following categories.

    Type and amount of contribution

    The total contribution that can be granted to an individual enterprise is limited to EUR 30,000 per year. TradeMalta can reimburse small and medium-sized enterprises up to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs, and large enterprises up to a maximum of 40% of eligible costs.

    Per diem costs are reimbursed up to 40% of the official government rate.

    Support to a single enterprise may not exceed €200,000 over a period of three consecutive fiscal years.

    Eligibility criteria

    No support will be provided to defaulting enterprises in respect of value added tax (VAT), income tax and national insurance; public entities; commercial enterprises engaged exclusively in economic activity in direct competition with third parties and in which the government has a controlling interest are eligible; enterprises engaged in activities specifically excluded under applicable State aid regulations; enterprises involved in the production of and/or trade in arms, munitions, military equipment and hardware; and enterprises whose main activities fall within the following NACE code sections.

    Eligible costs

    The following categories of expenditure incurred by enterprises for internationalisation activities will be reimbursed by the government incentive.

    Agriculture and food: a new vision is needed


    Medaweek Barcelona 2021, the week of Mediterranean economic leaders, will dedicate one of its summits to the world of agriculture and food: the 1st Mediterranean meeting of Agriculture and Food is scheduled on November 17 from 17.00 to 18.30 at Casa Llotja de Mar, in Barcelona. It will be an opportunity to address important issues such as investment in sustainable agriculture, the construction of a food production always based on sustainability and typical Mediterranean and resistant to climatic factors, and the revival of the Mediterranean diet.

    Agricultural production is one of the pillars of the economy, representing 3% of world GDP and almost 30% of global employment. However, agricultural markets are unstable, reacting to speculative forecasts by operators, with price variations, as happened in 1986, 1996 or 2008. Strong price increases trigger riots and riots among consumers, as well as high income instability for producers: agro-food SMEs and farms.

    In 2020, this situation has even been more complicated by the closure of borders to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity, which already affects almost 40% of the world’s population due to lack of food or its poor quality, is much more compromised without the proper functioning of supply chains and public health.

    It is time for efficient approaches. Heritage diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet, must form the basis for the construction of regional food systems, based on proximity, solidarity and autonomy, and therefore, more resistant to economic and social, health or climate crises.

    In 2019, global agricultural startups invested nearly $ 20 billion in FoodTech. In the Mediterranean, the challenge is to promote modern, competitive, global and resource-sustainable agriculture in order to increase the attractiveness of the sector and offer employment opportunities to young people in a technology-dependent labour market.

    A new vision and association of the agricultural and food sector in the Mediterranean is urgent, based on joint development networks, which help to overcome current and future crises.

    It is urgent to promote measures to reactivate the agro-food sector and avoid its suffocation, but it is also imperative to lay the foundations for a new model of sustainable development. It is time, finally, to make courageous decisions.

    Malta Start-up Festival

    Malta Enterprise has unveiled the upcoming launch of the Startup Festival which is taking place between 11th-13th November 2021 at the Kordin Business Incubation Centre (KBIC).

    The Startup Festival, at which Malta Business will be present, is the culmination of Malta Enterprise’s efforts to support startups, as it brings together various experts in different workshops, focusing on three main pillars; sustainability, digitalisation and innovation.

    The festival hosts various workshops, inspirational talks, in a networking atmosphere.

    Commenting on the event, Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia stated that “Malta Enterprise’s role in relation to startups is getting noticed, as we have enhanced our financial incentives over the last year and today we have a very attractive package, and we also have consolidated the startup ecosystem in Malta through the launching of the national portal, in March 2021.

    Malta Enterprise will also be establishing the Blue Med Hub which will bring together startups and investment efforts in relation to the Blue Economy. 

    The Startup Festival is a celebration as this year is KBIC’s 20th Anniversary.

    The festival will highlight various success stories who had started from KBIC, or have received assistance in any way. 

    Interested startups and participants can view the programme and register for the workshops through this link.

    Want to develop your own startup? The Maltese ecosystem offers you a number of advantages, and the Malta Business Agency team will help you leverage them. Contact us by filling out the following form.

    Future tourism is sustainable: the MAST project has been launched


    The tourism sector has experienced an unprecedented crisis following the Covid-19 emergency. Finally, now we are beginning to see the first signs of recovery, but not everything will be the same as before. As in other economic sectors, tourism has been at the center of analysis and reflection on how it will have to re-propose, re-adapt and reinvent itself in the post-Covid era. The key word that will involve the sector for its future is: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

    Tourism operators are called to grow their projects with this vision, not only out of a sense of responsibility in the face of climate change, pollution and environmental protection. Sustainable development will in fact be a key to relaunch also in economic terms: national and European institutions are investing many billions of euros on this, which will go to sensitize consumers in their choices, and to support companies or associations that will believe in sustainability, updating themselves on new models of tourist offerings to be launched in the market and proposing their ideas.

    For these reasons has been launched the Mediterranean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (MAST), a project funded by UfM for Employmen Promotion that has among its promoters our partner MACTT Ngo, along with other partners from Greece, Italy, Tunisia and Morocco.

    The project is aimed at companies, professionals, teachers, young people and students working in the world of tourism. All of them are immediately offered a free one-hour online course to keep updated on the dynamics of the tourism sector in the post-Covid era.

    The course is already available, free of charge after registration, through this link.

    Click here to register for free

    The next steps of the project foresee the opportunity, for those who attended the course, to submit a project or a business idea related to sustainable tourism models to be relaunched in the near future: contributions can be submitted by December 31, 2021, and the best proposals will receive a special prize!

    The third and last step concerns the construction of a new community of entrepreneurs, professionals and tourism operators: a community aware of the importance of sustainable development and ready to benefit from it both economically and in terms of image.

    So let’s start with the course “Sustainable tourism post Covid 19”: at no cost, to update and grow together!

    Meda Start-up meeting: the challenges ahead

    Mediterranean Start-up & Entrepreneurship Meeting will connect already successful companies with new establish companies, which deliver innovative ideas and new approaches.
    The Mediterranean region is no exception, yet in recent years funding access has improved. Angel investment networks, venture capital funds and even several government-initiated funding programs have all come to the fore.

    As the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem gradually frees up more capital for young and growing enterprises it needs to take a more critical look at its entrepreneurs’ and investors’ specific needs to enhance investment conditions.

    Mediterranean Start-up Meeting will gather entrepreneurs, investors, and support institutions from key emerging start-ups ecosystems across the Europe and the Mediterranean region.

    Seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and experts will gather on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean to share experiences, insights, techniques, methods, and know-how, dishing out how-toss for newcomers, dos-and-don’ts for the up and coming, and inspiration for the rest.

    The startup and entrepreneurship culture is an encouraging development, but turning the trend into the norm could bring a series of challenges and policy questions for business, government and civil society to address.

    History has revealed a strong relationship between economic development and innovators and accelerators who can seize opportunities and take risks as well as provide a helpful boost in business education.

    While there are a growing number of funding opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs in Mediterranean region there are still significant constraints to obtaining capital including accessing larger funding sizes, diversifying funding sources, skills gaps and communicating with investors.

    This Forum adds to the larger conversation on the barriers and pathways to scale that entrepreneurs experience as they try to grow their companies in MEDA. It is a unique opportunity connecting startups with investors and companies successful in the Mediterranean region and globally.

    Mead Startups introduce a more critical assessment of funding conditions in the region’s ecosystem while also helping to highlight focus areas for improving these conditions.

    The forum will provide:

    • An opportunity for Mediterranean start-ups and entrepreneurs to display themselves to investors and the press.
    • Access to seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and experts from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean to share experiences, insights, techniques, methods, and know-how dishing out how-toss for newcomers, dos-and-don’ts for the up and coming as well as inspiration for the rest

    Medaweek Barcelona 2021: summits e forums