PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION: Minister Carmelo Abela leads trade delegation to India

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela is leading a 26-strong trade delegation of Malta-based entrepreneurs in India to explore business and investment opportunities. The delegation, coordinated by Trade Malta, is made up of officials from companies with main export activities in manufacturing – including food and beverage, engineering, clean technologies and renewable energy, training and education, medical health services and life sciences, information communication technology (ICT), and logistics services.

In the Indian capital, New Delhi, Minister Abela also addressed the 4th India-Europe 29 Business Forum, organised by the Indian Ministry for External Affairs in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The Forum aims to promote strategic collaborations between Indian and European economies, hands on understanding of business opportunities existing in both regions, and building new partnerships while strengthening existing ones.

Minister Abela said that cooperation between India and the European Union now spans many areas, including foreign policy and security issues, trade and economics, sustainable development and modernisation, research and innovation, as well as people-to-people contacts. Pointing out that the EU is India’s largest trading partner, the Minister added that there is still much untapped potential in terms of EU-India trade.

Turning the spotlight on the relations between Malta and India, the Minister said that the two countries have, since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965, held strong ties not only bilaterally but also through their cooperation and involvement in international organisations such as the Commonwealth of Nations. Both countries now have a respective High Commission, with a permanent High Commissioner in each other’s capital. Over this half-century, several State and official visits have been exchanged, which further strengthened an already solid relationship. During these visits, a good number of cooperation agreements were signed in the political, economic, scientific, and cultural fields, amongst others.

Minister Abela focused on Malta’s ability to attract cutting-edge investments in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, IT, film production, and tourism. Malta is open for business, he remarked, this is attested by the good number of Malta-based companies and organisations that have travelled all the way to attend this forum. To the international entrepreneur’s present, I would like to convey the message that through your exchanges with the Maltese delegates during this visit, it shall emerge clearly that Malta’s business community is a very diverse and dynamic one. I extend my Ministry’s service in facilitating follow-up contacts that may result.

On the margins of the India-Europe 29 Business Forum, Minister Abela also took part in a roundtable discussion with Indian entrepreneurs from the pharmaceutical sector. Flanked by Malta Enterprise official Horatia Borg and Malta’s High Commissioner in New Delhi, Stephen Borg, the Minister explained that Malta’s combined capacity to offer high-quality facilities in terms of manufacturing and logistics, makes it particularly well-positioned to attract investment from Indian pharmaceutical companies wishing to manufacture and export in the region. Pharmaceutical companies would also benefit from the services of the Malta Medicines Authority to provide certification of the highest standard. Additionally, the Malta Life Sciences Park incorporates pharmaceutical and biotechnology laboratories, together with research facilities aimed at supporting knowledge-based companies.

Minister Abela and his trade delegation will also be traveling to Mumbai to participate in business fora organised by the All India Association of Industries and by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Source: Government of Malta