During the Competitiveness Council meeting that took place in Brussels, EU ministers had their first discussion on the Single Market Strategy for goods, services and better regulation. During this meeting it came out that Malta is among the most successful EU states in foreign direct investment (FDI), service exports and extra-EU exports. The 'competitiveness check-up' and the Single Market Strategy were discussed.

Maltese minister for the economy, investment and small business Chris Cardona attended the meeting and shared his views, along with the other EU ministers about urgent matters in the real economy and issues surrounding the Single Market Strategy. The first part of the meeting addressed the 'competitiveness check-up', including the presentation of a report about mainstreaming competitiveness across the EU – a measure set in place to ensure that EU policies do not affect competitiveness negatively. This report was based on key indicators related to the integration and competitiveness of EU member states within the EU region.

The presentation given by Ms. Elzbieta Bienkowska, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, showed that the EU has good competitive advantage in high value activities across a wide spectrum of services, holds the highest export market share in high-value segments and is also maintaining the highest market shares in global export markets.

Moving along to the Single Market Strategy which was discussed in the second part of the meeting, minister Cardona said that it is important to encourage innovation and growth through this strategy as it provides much potential for employment and business growth. With regards to regulation, Cardona stated that targets should be identified, particularly for sectors such as SMEs. Malta's position with regards to the single market and further growth is mainly the need to address sector-specific requirements before designing and implementing tools.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.