Alison Mizzi, MBB President
This article featured on The Malta Chamber’s Annual Report 2021-2022
In 2021, the Malta Business Bureau celebrated a quarter of a century of service to the Maltese business community, providing a link between local enterprises and the European Union, while also representing the Malta Chamber and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association on a European level. Indeed, over the past 25 years, MBB, through its head offices in Valletta and representative office in Brussels, has kept members of its parent organisations abreast of developments taking place at EU-level.
The MBB has a crucial role in anticipating EU policy developments, communicating them, and working closely with the Malta Chamber to evaluate the possible outcomes. Substantial work is dedicated to gathering input from members to contribute to the various consultation processes to voice Maltese business concerns at an early stage on the implications of such developments for Malta. Over the past months, MBB has been highly active on policy developments related to the EU Green Deal, the gender pay gap, adequate minimum wages, the Digital Services Act, Corporate Sustainable Reporting and more.
The MBB collaborates with the Malta Chamber on several other EU initiatives. For instance, on delivering the Enterprise Europe Network services in Malta thanks to a national consortium that also includes Malta Enterprise and the Malta Council for Science and Technology. Together, we help local SMEs from all sectors make the most of the European marketplace by assisting them in going international, sourcing or licensing new technologies, accessing EU funding programmes, and much more.
There is also the WE MAKE project that is a collaboration with the Energy and Water Agency. Thanks to this initiative, businesses from the manufacturing sector benefit from energy audits and receive guidance on how to optimise their energy and water consumption to operate more efficiently. This project will also offer information on various financial investments, where a forum will be created so that businesses can discuss and present best practices in the sector.
In addition to this, the Malta Chamber and MBB are part of an international consortia including partners from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, and Ireland, as part of the TransFormWork project, which aims to implement the EU autonomous framework agreement on Digitalisation. This addresses issues such as Digital Skills, Modalities of Connecting and Disconnecting, Artificial Intelligence and the human in control principle, as well as surveillance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the working environment, increasing the importance of both remote working and soft skills. MBB was one of the first organisations to embark on a study looking into the implications of remote working for businesses and for the environment. This study identified some very pertinent measures that businesses and members of the Malta Chamber could efficiently introduce into their daily operations. Moreover, thanks to the LEADER project and the feedback received from select industry players, the MBB launched two innovative tools to support and promote in-company soft skills training sessions. These were later piloted during the end-of-year gathering of the Young Chambers Network.
More recently, as part of the commemoration of its 25th Anniversary, the MBB published a high-level Declaration on the Future of Europe. The Declaration, which integrates feedback from Maltese businesses was submitted to the EU’s Conference on the Future of Europe. This presents several proposals concerning the Single Market, Sustainability, the Future of Jobs, and European Democracy, with the aim of improving the functioning of the EU for businesses and citizens alike. In the coming months, we will continue engaging with decision-makers to ensure that these proposals made on behalf of Maltese businesses are heard.
The MBB looks forward to continuing working together with the Malta Chamber for the benefit of the Maltese business community. Moving forward, our priorities will centre on the themes set at EU level, including business competitiveness, environmental sustainability, digital transformation, and the future of work. Some specific topics include legislative proposals as part of the EU Fit for 55 Package, the Sustainable Products Initiative, Sustainable Corporate Governance, the Single Market Emergency Instrument, the Revision of the Package Travel Directive, and updating VAT for the Digital Age.
For more information about the Malta Business Bureau, please visit www.mbb.org.mt or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.