Last week we started our new PR Series asking our partners around the world which industry is booming in their region at the moment and which companies are currently investing into PR. This week the GCPR-Blog team talked to Stephen P. D’Alessandro, Managing Director of CREDAL Business Consulting, partner of the international GlobalCom PR Network.*
1.Which industries/markets are booming at the moment in Malta?
For many years Malta had a resilient economy, which despite its size proved to be able to withstand the onslaughts of the international markets. Even in the financial crises of 2008 and 2009, most of the economic sectors in Malta were able to adapt and cope with the major changes being imposed. At this point, if one had to choose which sectors were booming, that is doing better than average, I would say that Malta continues to prosper in three key sectors, namely financial services, international back-office operations and ICT & gaming. All of which are very much dependent on the calibre of the people in the industry and the foresight of the local legislators to create a framework that allowed each of these sectors to compete in an international arena.
2. What makes Malta currently so interesting for these industries?
If one looks at the financial services sector, then Malta’s closely regulated but client-centric approach enables it to offer an attractive cost- and tax-efficient base for financial services’ operators looking for an EU-compliant, yet flexible domicile. In the context of international back-office operations, the broad spectrum of professional and support services including financial, legal, management, accounting, IT, office administration, etc make it particularly relevant to firms that seek an EU hub for their international operations. Within the ICT and gaming sector, projects such as SMART City and the magnitude and calibre of the gaming companies in Malta continue to drive demand for a local hub to service international clients in these sectors.
In addition, to these sectors, and greatly influencing other sectors such as the construction and tourism industries is Libya’s expected re-construction. Malta has long held very close ties with the Libyan people, and its early support of the rebels in winning back their country has helped to reinforce these ties. This has been recognized by the new authorities in Libya and Malta is expected to play a significant role in the re-construction of Libya. This is another reason why international firms are looking at the different possibilities of using Malta as a base for their own efforts to participate in the re-building of Libya.
3. Why should companies from these industries start doing Public Relations in Malta?
The importance of an effective PR campaign in Malta would of course be linked to the goals and objectives of such an international firm that sought to build a presence in Malta and benefit from the opportunities that such a local presence would open. Such firms need to build credibility and need to gain a following for their vision of the role of the local operation in their global operations. PR is not about a quick fix solution to a mishandled event or incident. It is an on-going long term commitment to build lines of communication between the organization and key stakeholder groups, be they clients or prospective clients, suppliers or prospective suppliers, employees and potential employees etc. Malta is a particularly small country with ca. 400,000 people, yet the complexities and sophistication of the internal operations should not be underestimated. It is a complex environment which needs to be addressed seriously and strong planning and PR efforts are essential to build for the future.