Closing speech by Minister Evarist Bartolo at The Malta Workshops 2021

Reference Number: 23042020, Press Release Issue Date: Apr 23, 2021
 
Excellencies, most esteemed partners, dear colleagues, distinguished guests,

Having personally followed several of this week’s presentations and debates of The Malta Workshops, and having been duly briefed on those that I regrettably couldn’t personally follow due to other obligations, I cannot but express my firm conviction and deep satisfaction that the key objectives of this initiative have been overwhelmingly fulfilled. 

The Malta Workshops initiative stemmed from the need to share experiences and perspectives in facing up to the challenges in the fight against money laundering and funding of terrorism, and the importance of embarking on capacity-building initiatives contributing towards the sustainable development of small international financial centres. The Malta Workshops emerged from the stark recognition that one’s own efforts, however wide-ranging and transformative they may be, can only reach fruition and be truly successful when they form part of, and when they operate within the framework of, the prevailing global context marked by a myriad of actors, players and stakeholders, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses. 

From the risks associated with High-Net-Worth Individuals and the trends in high net-worth migration and the standards being applied in servicing and mitigating such risks, to the prevention and detection of sanctions-evasion schemes, the discussions brought to the fore the impending need of exchanging both information and intelligence in a more effective manner.

It was truly heartening and enlightening to listen to the shared concerns and challenges expressed by the panellists and by online participants, underlining the basic tenet that these concerns and challenges are universal in nature and not unique to one territory, country, region or continent. Whether it is in the particularities of the TCSP sector, the challenges in due diligence and monitoring, the identification of beneficial ownership, the process of securing confiscations and convictions, or the risks related to licensing and supervision, this week’s presentations and discussions likewise highlighted the need for the development of shared standards and mechanisms, together with the establishment of a framework of enhanced cooperation and information sharing.

It is safe to say that the overriding conclusion of The Malta Workshops is that effective cooperation between all stakeholders is key in the fight against money laundering and funding of terrorism. In this regard, I am committed to ensure that those measures and proposals that have been put forward during the course of this week’s discussions shall be taken forward and given substance by the Government of Malta. To this effect, we will work with you, our international partners, to bring this about.

Indeed, I hereby undertake, before you all, to host a second session of The Malta Workshops during the course of next year, during which we will have the opportunity to continue to discuss the latest trends, risks and challenges, in our fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, and to report on the concrete results, successes and best practices we have registered and out in place. We owe it to our present and future generations to keep this process of partnership alive.

I take this opportunity to thank each and every distinguished panellist for your active participation and contribution, our esteemed partners who helped bring this initiative to fruition, and all participants whose attendance likewise contributed to the success of this first edition of The Malta Workshops.

Thank you.

Minister Evarist Bartolo delivering his speech 
 
Setup of the Malta Workshops Video Conference