ifs Malta or­gan­ises suc­cess­ful An­nual Din­ner

Malta Independent - - BUSINESS -

This year’s ifs Malta an­nual din­ner - a well-es­tab­lished and ex­pected event in the cal­en­dar of bankers and fi­nan­cial ser­vices prac­ti­tion­ers in Malta was held on Fri­day18 Novem­ber at the Hil­ton Malta.

As is now cus­tom­ary, at­ten­dees were ad­dressed by ifs Malta Pres­i­dent, the Gov­er­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Malta and the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance.

ifs Malta Pres­i­dent, Ken­neth Mi­callef, who presided over the event high­lighted the In­sti­tute’s main achieve­ments dur­ing the year and ex­plained how the In­sti­tute, just like fi­nan­cial ser­vices or­gan­i­sa­tions, had to adapt to the chal­lenges and new re­al­i­ties of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor. He ex­plained that, to re­main rel­e­vant, the In­sti­tute sought to form and main­tain var­i­ous strate­gic part­ner­ships with the Univer­sity of Malta and in­ter­na­tional pro­fes­sional bod­ies, in­clud­ing the Lon­don In­sti­tute of Bank­ing and Fi­nance, the Euro­pean Bank­ing & Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Train­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, the Char­tered Banker In­sti­tute, Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Fi­nan­cial An­a­lysts So­ci­eties, and the Global As­so­ci­a­tion of Risk Pro­fes­sion­als. In con­clu­sion, Mr Mi­callef thanked all Com­mit­tee mem­bers, the ifs staff and all stake­hold­ers for their con­tri­bu­tion and sup­port to­wards the In­sti­tute’s sus­tained suc­cess.

In his first ad­dress at this event, the newly ap­pointed Gov­er­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Malta and mem­ber of the Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank, Dr Mario Vella, com­mended ifs Malta on its var­i­ous achieve­ments through­out the year and for tak­ing a proac­tive stance to­wards rais­ing the pro­fes­sional stan­dards of fi­nan­cial ser­vices ed­u­ca­tion. Gov­er­nor Vella noted the suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Cen­tral Bank and the In­sti­tute, mak­ing spe­cific ref­er­ence to the ifs An­nual Sem­i­nar held ear­lier this year, which con­tin­ued the de­bate on lo­cal pen­sion re­form and to the ac­tiv­i­ties of Euro­pean Money Week to pro­mote fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy. He looked for­ward to even more co­op­er­a­tion in the fu­ture.

Gov­er­nor Vella pro­ceeded to give a de­tailed analysis of Malta’s re­cent ro­bust eco­nomic per­for­mance against a back­drop of weak growth in Europe as a whole. He delved into the con­di­tions that have made this per­for­mance pos­si­ble, namely ECB’s ac­com­moda­tive mon­e­tary pol­icy stance, strong gov­ern­ment spend­ing, po­ten­tial out­put, and hav­ing a sound and sta­ble fi­nan­cial sys­tem. Go­ing for­ward, eco­nomic growth is ex­pected to mod­er­ate, how­ever, still re­main well above the euro area av­er­age. Down­side risks re­late mostly to ex­ter­nal fac­tors as Malta has an open econ­omy to­gether with pos­si­ble in­fla­tion and wage pres­sures. He also high­lighted some chal­lenges that need to be mon­i­tored to en­sure the econ­omy ex­pands at a sus­tain­able pace be­fore propos­ing pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions to sus­tain eco­nomic growth and pro­vide a higher stan­dard of liv­ing and con­fi­dence for the fu­ture.

The fi­nal ad­dress of the evening was de­liv­ered by the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Pro­fes­sor Ed­ward Sci­cluna, who thanked ifs Malta for its on­go­ing en­deav­ours in pro­mot­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices ed­u­ca­tion lo­cally. Min­is­ter Sci­cluna stated that the Mal­tese Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union opens up a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity, as it will gen­er­ate a lot of in­ter­est to bet­ter un­der­stand Malta’s econ­omy, its his­tory and its peo­ple. This is, there­fore, a unique op­por­tu­nity for the Gov­ern­ment and en­ti­ties such as ifs Malta to make them­selves bet­ter known. Dur­ing Malta’s pres­i­dency, the main files un­der its re­spon­si­bil­ity that need to be tack­led are those re­gard­ing tax­a­tion, bank­ing and fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna high­lighted the good per­for­mance of var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors, in­clud­ing the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor. He noted the re­cent up­grad­ing of Malta’s credit rating by Stan­dard & Poor’s, its suc­cess at cut­ting both its debt and deficit in a grad­ual man­ner and the way the bud­get for 2017 has been deemed broadly com­pli­ant by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, as fac­tors the Mal­tese should be proud of. Min­is­ter Sci­cluna also spoke at length about the phe­nom­e­non of de-risk­ing by in­ter­na­tional banks which is af­fect­ing trade within the Mediter­ranean re­gion.

The suc­cess­ful event was very well-at­tended with a high pro­file at­ten­dance from the main fi­nan­cial ser­vices or­gan­i­sa­tions and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the wider econ­omy.

(left to right): ifs Malta Pres­i­dent Ken­neth B. Mi­callef, Gov­er­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Malta, Dr Mario Vella, Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Pro­fes­sor Ed­ward Sci­cluna, and ifs Malta Vice Pres­i­dent, Peter Cal­leya.

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