Malta and France look­ing at health­care busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties

Malta Independent - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

The ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship be­tween France and Malta and the suc­cess en­joyed by French busi­nesses al­ready op­er­at­ing in Malta’s med­i­cal and health­care sec­tors, is en­cour­ag­ing all those who are show­ing an in­ter­est in in­vest­ing in Malta.

This was the most salient point that emerged from a half­day con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Mal­tese French Cham­ber of Com­merce themed ‘Health­care Busi­ness in the Mediter­ranean’. The event was ad­dressed by a num­ber of speak­ers who dealt with the op­por­tu­ni­ties that Malta can of­fer in the fields of med­i­cal re­search and de­vel­op­ment, med­i­cal train­ing and med­i­cal tourism.

In his open­ing ad­dress, Joseph Bugeja, pres­i­dent of the Malta French Cham­ber of Com­merce said: “Malta is de­vel­op­ing a lot in the field of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, gener­ics, phar­ma­col­ogy and this is cre­at­ing a lot of new op­por­tu­ni­ties when it comes to at­tract­ing more R&D, ex­perts and stu­dents for med­i­cal train­ing and med­i­cal tourists seek­ing well­ness pro­grammes in Malta. The Mal­tese French Cham­ber of Com­merce wants to as­sist French busi­nesses lever­age th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties for the ben­e­fit of both coun­tries.”

French Am­bas­sador to Malta Béa­trice le Fraper du Hellen had words of praise for Malta and its proac­tive ap­proach.

“In France, busi­nesses have started look­ing at Malta as a se­ri­ous hub for med­i­cal re­search and de­vel­op­ment, train­ing and lo­gis­tics hub and as a pos­si­ble plat­form for bridg­ing the busi­ness gap with North Africa and the Gulf re­gion. Malta’s strong dig­i­tal econ­omy, its well-ed­u­cated work­force and easy ac­cess to reg­u­lat­ing au­thor­i­ties are proof of the coun­try’s open­ness to busi­ness.”

The Am­bas­sador noted that French com­pa­nies had a ten­dency to view Malta as a small and lim­ited coun­try. “This idea is chang­ing be­cause Malta has a vi­sion and a strat­egy and busi­nesses can now com­mu­ni­cate with their Mal­tese coun­ter­parts and do busi­ness to­gether. We now know that it’s much eas­ier for a French com­pany to get an ex­port li­cence from Malta to op­er­ate out­side the EU, in some sec­tors or for some prod­ucts, than from France it­self. We need to re­think the way we sell Malta to France since both coun­tries can col­lab­o­rate a lot es­pe­cially in the med­i­cal field. The op­por­tu­ni­ties that Malta can of­fer are be­ing so well pre­sented that it makes it much eas­ier for me to sell Malta to the French busi­ness mar­ket.”

Chris Fearne, Min­is­ter for Health spoke about the coun­try’s vi­sion for the de­vel­op­ment of the health sec­tor in the com­ing years.

“Malta has al­ways had ex­cel­lent health ser­vices. To­day we have an ex­cess ca­pac­ity of beds, op­er­at­ing the­atres and hospi­tals. This brings an op­por­tu­nity to at­tract for­eign pa­tients to ben­e­fit from our health ser­vices. Malta will also look at be­com­ing an im­por­tant player in clin­i­cal re­search and tri­als. Malta also has a long his­tory in med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and this helps us at­tract for­eign stu­dents to spe­cialised schools and post-grad ed­u­ca­tion.”

Min­is­ter Fearne also men­tioned that in the even­tu­al­ity of Brexit, Malta will be lob­by­ing to host the Euro­pean Medicines Agency, cur­rently found in Lon­don, which will open up end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties for more in­vest­ment in the sec­tor.

Other speak­ers in­cluded Mar­got Pisani, Malta’s coun­try man­ager of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Sanofi, Dr Mar­cello Basile Cheru­bino, coun­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive of di­ag­nos­tics and lab equip­ment com­pany bioMérieux, Di­dier Bour­guignon, Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness France Italy and Malta, Sri Ram Tu­mu­luri, Di­rec­tor at Vi­tals Global Health­care, Prof. Niko­lai J. At­tard, Dean of the Fac­ulty of Den­tal Surgery at the Univer­sity of Malta, Clive Brock­dorff, Head of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion at Malta En­ter­prise and Dr Gilles Gu­tier­rez, Di­rec­tor at the In­sti­tute of Cel­lu­lar Phar­ma­col­ogy.

“Malta has a strong role in the in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of the French econ­omy, and Malta and its busi­ness com­mu­nity can gain from this by lev­er­ag­ing on the end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties that the health­care busi­ness in the Mediter­ranean has to of­fer,” con­cluded MFCC Pres­i­dent Joseph Bugeja.

French Am­bas­sador to Malta H.E. Ms Béa­trice le Fraper du Hellen

Min­is­ter for Health, Chris Fearne

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