The Maltese government is seeking building space in Tokyo to open its first Maltese embassy in Japan, with which Malta has a positive trade balance of over 80 million euro a year.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said that the decision of having a Maltese diplomatic representation in Japan was the result of a solid political relationship and existing great trade opportunities.
Avifilm company is based at the San Ġwann industrial estate, with 40 workers employed in the manufacturing of material, including specialized and recycled labels used on various products that are exported to 14 countries, including Japan.
General Manager, Robert Cassar, said “Japan was a difficult market to penetrate; last year we were fortunate when Trade Malta organized a delegation in which we participated and we met Japanese stakeholders who were interested in our products and trade talks started”.
Avifilm is among 44 Maltese companies who export to Japan for a total of almost 150 million euro a year. Last year, Malta imported €66.8 million from Japan.
At the end of a meeting of the Maltese-Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Minister Carmelo Abela said that political and trade relations between Malta and Japan will be further strengthened in the coming weeks through an important political decision taken by the cabinet.
“The Maltese government decided to open an embassy in Tokyo which will give a new push in our relations that will be improved and provide space for other opportunities in trade. This is a strong statement, not only political and diplomatic but also in trade”.
The President of the Maltese-Japanese Chamber, Anthony Micallef said that he noticed a substantial increase in recent months by Japanese entrepreneurs in Malta and the presence of a permanent diplomatic mission will assist.
Minister Abela said that the Government took the decision due to the great potential in trade between the two countries following the entry into force of the agreement between the EU and Japan for the removal of tariffs.