Speaking at a joint press conference with President Petro Poroshenko during a state visit in Ukraine, President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca announced the establishment of a direct air travel link between Malta and Ukraine, following discussions which took place with the respective Maltese and Ukrainian delegations.
The President said that air travel will create a more conducive environment for commerce and trade, and will also compound the benefits derived from the recently signed EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Action Plan, as well as the Double Taxation Agreement between Malta and Ukraine.
“Connectivity is the next step for Malta and Ukraine to enhance their relationship. Connectivity will provide easy accessibility to the Ukrainian diaspora in Malta to visit their relatives in Ukraine. Connectivity will also make trade between Malta and Ukraine easier, and it will provide the opportunity for Maltese and Ukrainian tourists to choose our countries as their holiday destination, giving them the opportunity to learn more about our history and heritage”, President Coleiro Preca said.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was pleased to note that every meeting which he has had with President Coleiro Preca has borne tangible results, “with the latest one being the direct air link between Malta and Ukraine.”
The President stated that her state visit is an excellent opportunity for both countries to intensify their political, economic, and social relations, adding that Malta is not only a member of the European Union, but also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which brings together 53 other countries from across the world, and opens up a variety of opportunities for the mutual benefit of both Malta and Ukraine.
The President of Malta is also leading a business delegation which will participate in a Ukrainian-Maltese Business Forum. President Coleiro Preca stated that the presence of a large business delegation is evidence of the commitment and poltical will which both Malta and Ukraine feel towards developing collaborations and partnerships so as “to ensure prosperity for our peoples.”
“We come to Ukraine as collaborators, being two complementary hubs in our respective regions”, the President said, adding that “Malta’s position of geo-strategic importance in the Euro-Mediterranean region parallels Ukraine’s position in the Eastern European Region.”
Earlier, the President of Malta and the President of Ukraine presided over the signing of a programme of cooperation in the youth field, the field of physical culture, and sport. These agreements, together with the MoU on Bilateral Consultations signed in May 2017, and the prospective signing of an agreement between the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce later on today, are a perfect example of the closeness “being nurtured by our authorities”, adding that they are “essential in order to keep cultivating healthy social and economic links between our peoples.”
During their bilateral talks, President Coleiro Preca and President Poroshenko spoke about the possibility of collaboration in sectors which include the areas of financial services, digital games, education, and training in various sectors such as healthcare, transshipment and logistics, tourism, hospitality, and the teaching of English as a foreign language.
“Tourism, hospitality, and the teaching of English as a foreign language are not simply an economic operation, but also a means of bringing our peoples together so as to develop sustainable friendships”, the President said.
President Coleiro Preca stated that Malta looks forward to more cooperation between Malta and Ukraine.
The President also proposed the setting up of a joint commission or taskforce to facilitate the exploration of possibilities for trade and business between both countries, a proposal which is also going to be taken up.
“Let us continue to enhance peace, security, and prosperity across our regions as one united family, which includes all the peoples of Europe. Whether we come from the southern shores or the eastern areas of Europe, we must remain united by the essential values that we share in common”, concluded President Coleiro Preca.
During this state visit in Ukraine, the President is being accompanied by Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri, and Ambassador of Malta to Ukraine John Debono.