Malta Enterprise has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Milan Branch of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, paving the way for increased cooperation towards the development of industrial investment and trade between Malta and Japan.
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd is one of the five primary operating companies of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which is one of the world's largest and most diversified financial groups withtotal assets exceeding €2 trillion.
The Group also has the largest overseas network of any Japanese bank, comprising offices and subsidiaries in more than 40 countries and 500 offices around the world.
Through the MOU, Malta Enterprise and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd have agreed on a set of initiatives which amongst others comprise the establishment of a framework to discuss means of cooperation, as well as sharing of information on investment and trade opportunities and trends with a view to facilitating increased cooperation between the private sector of both Japan and Malta.
The agreement was signed by Malta Enterprise CEO Sue Vella and the General Manager of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (Milan Branch) Toru Yamaguchi, who was leading a delegation from the Bank to Malta that was also accompanied by representatives from the Embassy of Japan in Rome.
The signing of the MOU follows up on a previous visit to Malta organised by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Italy in November 2011.
Since then, Malta Enterprise has kept constant contact with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd with a view to signing this MOU as a means of consolidating business ties between Malta and Japan and highlighting the various opportunities for entrepreneurs in the respective markets.
The EU and Japanese economies together account for 40% of global GDP, nearly 30% of world trade and provide half of the world's outflow of foreign direct investment. Japan, which is the third largest economy worldwide, is a major destination for European foreign direct investment, as is Europe for Japanese investors.
Japan is one of Malta's major trading partners in Asia, with over €98 million worth of exports in 2011, mostly electrical machinery and equipment as well as fish, and €37.5 worth of imports, mostly vehicles as well as machinery and mechanical appliances.
While in Malta, the delegation was also briefed about the role of Malta Enterprise in promoting Malta as the ideal hub for trade and investment and how the Corporation could assist Japanese companies expand their business in the Euro-Med region.
Other presentations were also delivered by FinanceMalta, which focused on the financial services industry and was of particular interest for the Bank's representatives, and by Enemalta, which provided details on the smart grid system and the smart metres currently being rolled out in Malta.
The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the ongoing works at SmartCity Malta and learn more about the country's growing ICT industry.