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Managing Partner's Message

Joseph Gauci  -  24/January/2022

Dear Clients,

The past year offered the prospect of getting back to business and a return to normality, thanks to the support provided by the Maltese Government and the presumption that vaccinations would gain the upper hand against Covid-19.

The year has mostly been a continuation of 2020, made more challenging with problems of supply chain issues, unique cashflow challenges, rising costs, economic problems and staff shortages. This year will still be labelled as another Covid-19 year.

Now that we moved to 2022, there is a growing expectation that many of these temporary adaptations will become embedded in long-term business operations. This has resulted in the changing face of many business practices and a pivoting of services in order to survive. Certain sectors in Malta, like hospitality, cannot afford another poor year or an economic downturn.

 

The Maltese Economy in 2021

Despite such unprecedented obstacles, 2021 has given cause for optimism. Unemployment decreased and GDP grew, though the economy did not reach 2019 levels even if backed by several Government aid schemes.

It seems, however, that to arrive at pre-2020 economic levels, businesses will have to go through several obstacles. These include a slowdown in business because of the election, and also the additional bureaucracy from banks, authorities and government departments because of the greylisting. Covid-19 also reduced tourist arrivals and one hopes arrivals increase during 2022, as tourism is crucial for our economy. The biggest challenge will be for businesses to cope without government aid.

 

Taxes, assistance, and liquidity

The Covid-19 crisis led the Government to go into further debt and expenditure, while also constraining it from offering businesses assistance and aid. In my opinion, the Government will have no option but to be more stringent in collecting taxes.

With all the controls introduced by banks and government authorities, tax evasion will become a big issue in the coming months or years. It will affect all walks of life, including politics. The cost will increase as businesses will have to organize their internal controls better and maintain better organised books of accounts. Good management will be the rule of the day and those businesses which do not adhere to the new reality will face significant problems, including bankruptcy.

 

Our firm

As a firm, we continued to offer flexible working schedules to employees. This was possible with the heavy investment in technology that the firm continuously makes. We also offer constant training to employees to improve their skills and hence enhance the services we offer you.

This year we will move to our new office in Valley Road, Msida. The office, spread over 2,500 square metres, will offer better working conditions for employees and more services to clients, including office space for them to hold meetings or work from. We will also utilise more digital and technological solutions in our work to improve our service.

The firm will be one of the few that offers a comprehensive range of services including corporate services, anti-money laundering compliance, legal, residency, payroll, registration of ships/aircraft, assistance to list securities on the Malta Stock Exchange or with any other licensing requirement, and the usual audit, tax, accounting and advisory services.

Conclusion

Clients must become aware that the way to manage their business has changed, and with new regulations, doing business has become more challenging. Under these circumstances, they have to change practices and probably improve management. 

As a firm offering a diversified range of services, we continuously assist our staff to improve their skills and abilities to serve you better. We are confident that we can assist you professionally to beat all challenges and be more successful.

 

Joseph Gauci

Managing Partner

16th January 2022

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