The Financial Services Gozo Foundation was launched following a
collaborative agreement between the Ministry for Gozo and the
Ministry for Finance, and the private sector. Its role is to
promote Gozo as a destination for the setting-up of businesses
within the financial services sector.
The aim of the Foundation is to coordinate closely with players
in the industry, so that they can assist practitioners in the
market to consider Gozo when they are approached by investors,
particularly if they are more cost-conscious and would prefer to
work in a less-congested environment.
There are different financial sectors which can be attracted to
operate from Gozo, such as intra-group financing activities,
holding companies, overseas immovable property accounts, portfolio
management, call centres, back-office operations, fund
administration, and other investment services. The Foundation will
be geared towards raising Gozo's profile as a niche finance
In today's digital world, unlike manufacturing, financial
services companies working primarily online, can, in reality, set
up anywhere in the world. The island certainly lends itself to
small entities which, for one reason or another, want to work in an
environment that is quiet, peaceful, and more rural, yet
digitally-connected to the rest of the world. With the announcement
in the last budget of an investment of 3.2 million euro for a
second fibre optic cable for Gozo, the island will have fulfilled
the digital connectivity guarantee for investors who are wary of
the present single cable reality.
The founding members of the Foundation's Board of Directors
have significant standing in the financial services sector, and are
eager to provide their expertise in order to ensure that Gozo can
also benefit from Malta's growing financial services sector.
The Chairperson of the Board of Directors will be Joe Portelli, who
is also the Chair of the Malta Stock Exchange. The other members
are Max Ganado of GANADO Advocates; Chris Casapinta representing
the Malta Funds Industry Association; Kenneth Farrugia representing
FinanceMalta; Juanita Bencini representing the Institute of
Financial Services Practitioners; Pauliana Said, an accountant;
Rose Marie Azzopardi, an economist and lecturer at the University
of Malta, Director of Tourism and Economic Development (MGOZ)
Esther Bajada, and Director Financial Policy Analysis (MFIN) Efrem
Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna and Minister for Gozo Anton
Refalo were present to inaugurate this foundation. Afterwards,
there was the first meeting of the foundation's Board of
Minister Refalo thanked all those involved in the Foundation who
have worked in the past months to bring this to fruition, and who
are all working together for the benefit of Gozo. He understands
this may not be an easy road, but is sure that the Foundation will
work tirelessly to make it a success.
Minister Scicluna said, "This project, as a concept, has a
long history but only now has it been brought to fruition. The
enthusiasm shown, thanks to the excellent working relationship by a
number of financial practitioners who really believe in this
concept, was instrumental in setting up the foundation."
Source: PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE AND
THE MINISTRY FOR GOZO
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