As part of the programme of the current Presidential state visit, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca yesterday addressed the Maltese-Algerian Business Forum, attended by Maltese and Algerian businessmen, in the presence of Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.
The President said that her presence at the forum is a true testimony of the importance which Malta gives in continuing to build closer collaboration with Algeria and that it also testifies “the good will of both our countries to increase commercial interaction, collaboration, partnerships and joint ventures”.
The Maltese President also mentioned the long history of mutual friendship which the two countries have, dating back to the nineteenth century, when Algeria was the preferred destination of choice for Maltese migrants, resulting in some 10,000 Maltese people in Algeria in 1865.
The President said that she felt honoured to say that the relations between Malta and Algeria have reached an unprecedented peak during the last months and that “it is clear that both our countries have much more to offer each other”.
While speaking about her aspiration to find ways to establish new partnerships and to expand trade and investment opportunities between the businesses of Malta and Algeria, she mentioned that “friendly nations, peoples and businesses need connectivity between them”. The President praised a number of initiatives which have been taken as of recently, all of which were “a step in the right direction”.
These include the introduction of direct Air Malta flights in June 2013; the signing of the Air Services Agreement, the setting up of the Maltese Consulate in Algiers in 2014, and the recent appointment of a new Maltese Ambassador to Algeria, the last two being described by the Maltese President as the providers of “a solid framework for continued progress in all areas, particularly in bilateral trade and economic spheres, as well as tourism”.
The President said that the revival of the Mixed Commission, after an absence of 28 years, will also encourage a deepening of business links, and will lay the foundation for productive partnerships and ventures in new areas. The President added that she looks forward to the reconvening of the fifth session of the Maltese-Algerian Joint Mixed Commission later on this year, whilst looking forward to registering more significant process in the discussions which will lead to the signing of the Double Taxation Agreement.
“It is time to build a comprehensive and diversified business relationship with the growing recognition of our complementary strengths to the mutual benefit of our countries”. This was one of the President’s concluding remarks. She added that she strongly feels that her State visit to the Republic of Algeria should be instrumental towards the establishment of a Maltese-Algerian Business Council, which would help to provide an ongoing process which would contribute to more commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries.