Improving business facilitation travel as a means of building up the financial services sector was one of the issues discussed when Malta’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Frendo, paid a courtesy call on this country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.
During the meeting at the ministry on Culloden Road, St. Michael, recently, she said the facilitation of business travel was one area that had been discussed at the CARICOM level within the context of Haiti.
“It is an issue that occupies us even within CARICOM, because for example, Haiti is a member of CARICOM and its population is bigger than all of us put together. Therefore, in our efforts to assist Haiti especially after the earthquake we had to facilitate in the first instance, business travel,” she said.
“In relation to the financial services sector, we [government], as recently as late last year, had taken to Parliament changes in our immigration legislation to facilitate special entry permits…,” McClean added.
The foreign minister said increasing business activity was one way to “demonstrate and concretise” being part of the Commonwealth and, therefore, addressing business facilitation was extremely important for Barbados and by extension, the region.
McClean also praised Malta for its collaboration with the island on information technology and the public sector.
In turn, Frendo, who was representing the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Shridath Ramphal Institute on recommendation 101 of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, said his country tried to maintain its excellence in information technology.
“In fact, Malta, has again this year, been certified by the European Commission as being No. 1 in e-government in Europe and that is a big achievement for a small country,” he emphasised.