Malta Stand at the China International Import Expo aims to boost trade with Chinese investors

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Nov 11, 2019


“Malta has a lot to offer to Chinese investors and is open for business”. This was the message echoed in Shanghai by a Maltese delegation led by the Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela where Malta, for the first time, participated with a stand at the China International Import Expo organized by the Chinese Government for the second consecutive year.


This marked an important event for Malta as it participated with the setting-up of a Malta stand aimed at showcasing what the country can offer in a number of sectors. The delegation was comprised of members from Trade Malta, Malta Enterprise, MCAST and the Malta Chamber of Commerce. The chosen themes identified by the Maltese delegation for Malta promotion were investment, commerce, tourism, educational services and cultural heritage.


When addressing the expo conference entitled “Sharing new opportunities in Beijing’s Opening-up”, Minister Abela highlighted that Malta was working towards greater trade and investment opportunities with China. The sectors in focus are the financial services, distributed ledger technologies, aviation, artificial intelligence and robotics.


Throughout the stay in Shanghai, the Maltese delegation addressed two seminars on Malta’s vibrant economy, targeted towards different segments of Chinese investors. He underscored that Malta is ready for trade partnerships as there has never been a better time to do business in Malta.


Minister Abela remarked that in the year 2018 Malta witnessed around 25% increase of incoming tourists from the Chinese market over the previous year. The Maltese delegation visited two Chinese companies already present in Malta and that are looking at new horizons in terms of business growth. The first company was UnionPay, a Chinese financial services corporation in Shanghai that has become the largest card payment organization worldwide, offering mobile and online payment. Minister Abela met with Deputy Chairman Cai Jainbo who shared his vision of strengthening his company’s investment in Malta.


The second visit took place at the Headquarters of Shanghai Electric Power. Minister Abela and the Maltese delegation met with Chairman Mr Wang Yundan. They spoke about the successes of Malta’s energy project, shifting from heavy fuel oil to gas, leading to lower tariffs and cleaner air. This fruitful partnership bodes well for future areas of cooperation in other business avenues as strategic partners.


Throughout the three-day visit, Minister Abela also presided over the signing of a cooperation agreement in education signed between MCAST and Guangdong University of industry, commerce and technology.


At the expo, Carmelo Abela met with a Maltese company that was also participating in the fair as part of its internationalization strategy in the Chinese market. He was also invited and toured around the China stand and was briefed about emerging technologies behind new Chinese products on the market, that use for instance 5G technology and artificial intelligence.


During his speeches and interviews with Chinese media houses, Minister Abela emphasized the fact that the ties between the Republic of Malta and China have grown from strength to strength since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1972.


Over 160 countries participated at the second China International Import Expo. The opening ceremony was addressed by the President of People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping followed by several sub-for a, where Minister Abela attended the forum on World trade discussing the challenges of global commerce.


Minister Abela was accompanied by the Ambassador of Malta for China John Aquilina and Consul General for Shanghai Bernard Hamilton.