‘Malta’s unfortunate grey listing episode should serve as a lesson to all of us’ – SME Chamber

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June, 2022 at 8:58 pm by Andre Camilleri

Malta’s unfortunate grey listing episode should serve as a lesson to all of us for a very long time The Malta Chamber of SMEs has said.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs said that it is very pleased that Malta is no longer grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The news that Malta was no longer on the grey list broke on Wednesday. The official announcement is expected on Friday.

“The day that Malta was grey listed was a very sad day for the whole country. We are now overjoyed to have successfully closed this matter. Malta’s name has been officially cleared. While the repercussions of the grey listing in terms of Malta’s reputation will not be restored in the immediate and will take more work and goodwill from the government in general and all of us to rebuild, this is certainly the most important first step,” the Chamber of SMEs said.

“Businesses operating in Malta were always very proud to showcase the country they work in, carrying Malta’s name on their sleeve. Businesses and the SME Chamber, as their representative, can now do this without feeling the weight that being a grey listed country carries. The Malta Chamber of SMEs will continue working to rebuild Malta’s reputation and support any initiative in this regard. Malta’s unfortunate grey listing episode should serve as a lesson to all of us for a very long time. We augur that Malta will continue making strides in this regard and work to become a country of excellence for good governance, combating corruption and Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism.”

In a separate statement, The Gozo Business Chamber also said that it positively notes Malta being voted off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘s grey list.

“This means that Malta has substantially completed the required reforms and addressed the identified shortcomings. Though monitoring will continue, this is an important step for the country following last year’s decision. It is important, however, that the pace of reforms which has accelerated during the past months continues, and that the country as a jurisdiction does its utmost to combat financial crime at all levels.”

“Transparency is at the heart of any jurisdiction, and Malta’s greylisting has clearly impacted Malta’s name at various levels,” the Gozo chamber said. “Strategically, there is a long road ahead in order to place ourselves again in an advantageous position in the highly competitive financial services industry. Nonetheless, this shows that whenever there is a collaborative effort at all levels and a strategic direction to implement the required reforms, Malta can make a difference. The government had an important part to play during the Covid-19 pandemic, and is now playing an important part in combating the effects of the war in Ukraine. Malta being struck off the grey list means that if there is synergy between all the parts concerned, including the public and the private sector, the country can achieve the intended objectives. This should serve as a benchmark to achieve the challenges ahead in various areas.”

“Gozo as an island region faces substantial challenges, and it would be good if we could also see the financial services industry establish itself in Gozo in the near future. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for Gozo to diversify its economy, which is too much dependent on tourism, construction, and real estate. The establishment of the financial services industry in Gozo, and also other sectors, including new ones related to the green economy and digitalisation, would ensure the sustainability of the Gozitan economy, and its positioning as a net contributor to the national economy,” the Gozo chamber said.

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