Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has held a series of meetings in Valletta exploring trade opportunities between Northern Ireland and Malta.
During the visit the Minister met with the Prime Minister of Malta the Hon Dr Joseph Muscat; Minister of the Economy, Investments & Small Businesses the Hon. Dr Christian Cardona and Minister for Tourism the Hon. Dr Edward Zammit Lewis as well as representatives of Malta Enterprise.
Speaking during the visit the Minster said: “As the Maltese Prime Minister is taking-up the EU Presidency in January 2017 for a period of six months, this was an opportune time to ensure the Prime Minister was fully briefed about Northern Ireland. We had a very constructive and useful discussion. I was encouraged by his understanding of Northern Ireland's circumstances and his willingness to visit Northern Ireland in due course.
"Growing our exports and expanding trade opportunities are central to making Northern Ireland a globally competitive economy. There are many similarities between Northern Ireland and Malta in terms of our economic size. While we already have an export relationship, I used this opportunity to maximise that and outline new opportunities. Malta already has a low rate of corporation tax. It was useful to learn more about their experience as we prepare to introduce a lower rate corporation tax here. Tourism is one of its main industries which increases the population of the island during the summer months."
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