Economic and political relations between Malta and Turkey are high agenda items during a tw-day statal visit by President Marie Louise Coleiro to Turkey where she is leading a delegation that includes various Ministries as well as Maltese entrepreneurs. The visit began in Istanbul where among other matters on three separate occasions she spoke about investment opportunities between Malta and Turkey.
The two-day visit includes five Cabinet members.
During a business forum attended by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, President Coleiro Preca said that Turkish investment in Malta is in the banking sector, in marine affairs and the infrastructure of the Freeport’s container terminal, among others. She said Malta is acquiring greater success in the blockchain sector and maintained this may be of great interest to Turkish investors.
The President said “Malta is continuing to be proactive, and again is now, in the process of creating the necessary regulatory framework for Artificial Intelligence. In this context of continuing to strengthen our already excellent relations, by finding tangible ways of connecting, let me reaffirm my government’s support for the ongoing dialogue between Turkey and the European Union.”
The Minister for the Economy, Chris Cardona, maintained Malta will continue to support Turkey’s application to become an EU Member State. Foreign Affairs Minister, Carmelo Abela, said that besides political relations, Malta and Turkey have to continue strengthening their economic and commercial relations. Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius said Malta is committed to support Turkish investors wishing to invest in Malta.
Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay, said that previous commerce between Turkey and Malta had reached $1.2 billion but has now reduced to less than $0.5 billion and thus efforts were needed for this to increase once more.
President Coleiro Preca also attended a seminar organised by Malta Enterprise whose CEO Mario Galea spoke of investment in Turkey.
In the tourism forum, President Coleiro Preca said that Air Malta and Turkish Airlines are ensuring connections that offer greater opportunities for collaboration. She said in Malta there is a great opportunity for tourism education and medical training. Last year 6,600 Turkish tourists had visited Malta while Maltese tourists to Turkey numbered just over 3,500.
Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi, said discussions with Turkish Airlines have been initiated aimed at increasing greater collaboration with Air Malta.
The President’s state visit will reach its climax tomorrow in the Turkish capital Ankara when she will meet the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.