Bank of Val­letta par­tic­i­pates ac­tively in Malta SME Week

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

The eight edi­tion of the Malta SME Week 2016 was brought to a close on Fri­day 28 Oc­to­ber. A se­ries of events was or­gan­ised dur­ing this event which is driven by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion across all mem­ber states. Ac­tiv­i­ties or­gan­ised dur­ing this pe­riod fo­cus on en­trepreneur­ship while gen­er­at­ing pub­lic aware­ness, es­pe­cially among those peo­ple who wish to start a busi­ness or are al­ready in busi­ness and wish to grow and ex­pand their busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties. In Malta the events are or­gan­ised by the Min­istry for the Econ­omy, In­vest­ment and Small Busi­ness.

Bank of Val­letta par­tic­i­pated in var­i­ous fora dur­ing the Malta SME Week, shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence it gains on an ev­ery­day ba­sis when en­gag­ing with SMEs.

In the Ac­cess to Fi­nance In­for­ma­tion Ses­sion or­gan­ised by the Cham­ber of Com­merce, En­ter­prise & In­dus­try in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Bank of Val­letta, the bank’s CEO Mario Mal­lia de­liv­ered the open­ing ad­dress.

Re­fer­ring to the Sur­vey on Ac­cess to Fi­nance (SAF1E) run by the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank, Mr Mal­lia high­lighted that two of the big­gest chal­lenges faced by Euro­pean SMEs were find­ing em­ploy­ees with the right skills sets, and ac­cess­ing bank fi­nance. He spoke of the bank’s fo­cus on SMEs which he de­scribed as the ‘back­bone’ of the Mal­tese econ­omy and re­ferred to the var­i­ous fi­nanc­ing pack­ages which BOV has un­der­taken in li­ai­son with the Euro­pean In­vest­ment Fund. He con­cluded by reaf­firm­ing the bank’s com­mit­ment to con­tinue pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions for the var­i­ous needs of lo­cal en­trepreneurs.

Chief Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer (Credit) Al­bert Frendo gave par­tic­i­pants an over­view of the banks SME fi­nanc­ing prod­uct suite with par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on the BOV JAIME Fi­nanc­ing Pack­age, high­light­ing the ben­e­fits that this EU-funded risk-shar­ing fi­nanc­ing tool of­fers to el­i­gi­ble ap­pli­cants. In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Mr Frendo also high­lighted the role of the six BOV Busi­ness Cen­tres that act as cen­tres of ex­per­tise for Mal­tese and Goz­i­tan SMEs.

A sim­i­lar event was or­gan­ised in Gozo in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Gozo Busi­ness Cham­ber. Bank of Val­letta was rep­re­sented by Victoria Az­zopardi from EU & In­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs, where the ben­e­fits of the BOV JAIME Fi­nanc­ing Pack­age to­gether with some prac­ti­cal SME ex­am­ples were pre­sented to Goz­i­tan SMEs.

Ivo Camil­leri Ex­ec­u­tive Elec­tronic Bank­ing ad­dressed the au­di­ence dur­ing the Cham­ber of Com­merce, En­ter­prise & In­dus­try Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion Do or Die? con­fer­ence at Xara Lodge. He gave an out­line of the man­ner in which the bank’s elec­tronic bank­ing ser­vices can be used by SMEs to reach new mar­kets, in­crease sales and de­rive in­ter­nal ef­fi­cien­cies to im­prove their com­pet­i­tive­ness lev­els.

The bank ac­tively par­tic­i­pates in such events be­cause they of­fer an op­por­tu­nity to bring the key play­ers in­volved in SME pol­icy to the dis­cus­sion ta­ble, giv­ing a voice to the chal­lenges faced by play­ers from this eco­nomic sec­tor, while creat­ing more aware­ness on the so­lu­tions avail­able to make their busi­ness grow.

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