Malta and Macedonia will continue to strengthen their political and economic relationship following talks held in the capital, Skopje, between the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Macedonian PM, Zoran Zaev. On his first official visit to Macedonia, PM Muscat announced the opening of a Consulate for Macedonia in Malta to service the needs of the 5000 Macedonian citizens working in Malta. Dr Muscat added that Malta will open trade opportunities with Macedonia, and for this reason a trade delegation from Malta will visit Macedonia next year to seek out opportunities for economic and commercial co-operation between the two countries.
Dr Muscat held a day of talks with the highest authorities in the country, both on their mutual relationship as well as on the process for Macedonia to join the European Union, and in this regard Malta will be offering technical support for the rigorous screening process.
Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who had visited Malta in May, declared that the fact that Dr Muscat was visiting his country was clear proof of the strong relations between both countries. The talks were also attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela. The Prime Minister added that he saw major opportunities, including in the trade sector, which can develop between both countries.
During the press conference PM Zaev said that he greatly appreciates the support of the Maltese Government in Macedonia’s process to became an EU member. He added that Macedonia wishes to continue strengthening their mutual relations while acknowledging that Malta had the greatest economic growth in the EU.
Dr Muscat said, “this is a country full of great possibilities for us as a Government and for trade. It is not so well-known and it is obvious that Maltese businessmen can do business here and invest, and in this way we will be opening up the doors for more opportunities, as this can serve as place where companies can expand to the Balkan region, and companies from Macedonia can come to Malta to expand their business interests in the Mediterranean.”
PM Zaev said that there are possibilities for expansion with Malta in the fields of health, education and tourism. Representatives from the American company Steward Healthcare also formed part of the delegation after the Macedonian Government expressed interest in the way they are operating in Malta.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said, “the idea for a Consulate came about after they saw how many Macedonian citizens there are living in Malta, and they realized there was this need for their citizens. There was an exchange of letters in which we accepted their request and we have also identified an office which can be used for this Consulate.”