The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Indepth: ‘Foreign brand managers needed help fix Malta’s reputation – Chamber president

INDEPTH online Saturday, 1 February 2020, 08:39 Last update: about 7 months ago

Foreign brand managers are needed to help identify and fix Malta’s reputation problems, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, David Xuereb, said on Indepth.

Interviewed by The Malta Independent Media Consultant Rachel Attard, Xuereb spoke about the need to improve Malta’s standing abroad and also went into detail about the good governance proposals put forward by the Chamber.

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One recommendation from the manifesto was to “start rebuilding Malta’s reputation on an international level by introducing reforms first, not the other way around.”

It calls on the government to “formulate a comprehensive memorandum prepared with the participation of pertinent bodies from public and private sectors, outlining an integrated and comprehensive action plan to repair Malta’s image and reputation internationally.”

Xuereb said that in order to repair a brand, Malta’s brand in this case, “you must identify the brand, have people help you – foreigners who specialise in the field – and work as one cohesive Maltese team.”

For this to happen, the chamber is in the process of setting up ‘Brand Malta, “a thematic committee consisting of people within the field of commerce which will come up with ideas on how to develop Brand Malta in a way that will both correct our current situation and regenerate Malta’s reputation to where it was before all this happened.”

 

Xuereb explained that this committee will require the help of the government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Maltese embassies. “We require foreign brand managers to understand the damage and see how we can fix it, not through the use of words and posters but by showing that we are making use of the right practices, practices that were introduced through the corrections we made and expose them in the best way possible – well enough to overcome the bad reputation that has been spread across the world in the past months.”

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Earlier

The Chamber of Commerce will be meeting with Home Affairs Ministry Byron Camilleri and Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat next week to start working on a redraft of Malta's citizenship scheme, the IIP, David Xuereb, President of the Chamber of Commerce said on Indepth.

The IIP scheme has long been a subject of controversy in Malta.

"This controversy came about because there wasn't enough explanation on what it was supposed to be exactly, what it should have attracted and what it actually did attract," Xuereb told The Malta Independent Media Consultant Rachel Attard.

"We understand that the fund's due diligence is very reliable, one of the most reliable when compared to most countries. However, our scheme was too focused on making sales, it was too 'in your face' and everything depended on money."

He said that Camilleri and Muscat invited the Chamber for a meeting after the presentation of its good governance manifesto, in order to help in the redrafting of the scheme. Meetings on the subject will take place over the coming weeks.

The Chamber has recently released a manifesto that promotes good governance under the name 'Ethical Business Calls for Change', in which it addresses the issues surrounding the IIP. The manifesto suggests the Government to "suspend temporarily the Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) to ascertain that any necessary investigations and due diligence is being carried out and ensure that the high standards and requirements imposed under the IIP and other residence/citizenship laws are fully adhered to."

Asked whether suspending the IIP would hurt those who live off it, Xuereb said the proposal to suspend the scheme was made by those same members who benefit from the scheme.

"They want to keep using the IIP scheme but one that is not weighed down by a problem that doesn't convince their clients or doesn't deliver because of it."


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