The Malta Independent 20 May 2024, Monday
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IFSP conference draws attention to importance the need for efficiency

Friday, 26 May 2023, 16:16 Last update: about 13 months ago

Packed house for the IFSP Annual Conference "Transforming Financial Services: The Time is Now!", held on 19 May in the Hilton Malta's Portomaso Suite. 

A very full programme was opened by the IFSP President, Tonio Zarb before a series of keynote addresses and panel discussions taking their cue from the 10 year Strategy for Financial Services launched by the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council launched earlier this year.

Highlights of the conference included an address by Z/Yen Group Chairman Prof Michael Mainelli titled Connecting to Prosper - Mutuality among Financial Centres, which led on to a discussion on bureaucracy, and the point at which it moves from enabler of complex business to a hinderance, in which Prof Mainelli, the Minister for Finance and Employment Hon Clyde Caruana, newly appointed MFSA CEO Kenneth Farrugia and other notable speakers participated fully. In common with other discussions, notably Gordon Cordina's keynote address challenging economic myths and the ensuing discussion on where we may take Malta's economy, the theme was very much about what it would take to improve the ease of doing business in Malta, while maintaining integrity.

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On a parallel track, the final discussion of the day covered the problems faced by businesses with banks in Malta, during which the challenges banks face, were analysed alongside the difficulties faced by practitioners seeking banking services for their clients, and indeed by companies in Malta in general.

In other sessions, IFSP Council member Stephen Attard discussed developments at the Malta Business Registry with Dr Geraldine Spiteri Lucas, MBR Registrar. Four of Malta's leading tax practitioners held a free-wheeling discussion on the way taxation is developing, and how that relates to the economy as a whole. Of particular note was an address from the Malta Financial Service's newly appointed CEO, Kenneth Farrugia in his first public outing in his new role.

Three breakout sessions took a look at more focussed issues, with one looking at developments in the European tax environment, another at developments in capital markets in Malta, while the third looked at AI and fintech. Participants also heard addresses from both the Minister for Finance and Employment, Hon Clyde Caruana and the Shadow Minister for Finance, Hon Jerome Caruana Cilia.

With over 250 practitioners participating, this year's IFSP Conference provided a welcome networking opportunity for participants, and a very useful forum within which to discuss the challenges to the industry and the economy, both in the industry itself and in the broader business environment.

The IFSP would like to thank the conference sponsors, platinum sponsors the Malta Stock Exchange and KPMG, and gold sponsors RSM, PKF, Ganado Advocates and Camilleri Preziosi Advocates. Their support was crucial to the success of the 2023 IFSP Conference.


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