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Work to set up a new agency to centralise due diligence processes and avoid the repetition of work, a key pledge in the Labour Party’s electoral platform, is due to begin next month, according to Minister for Economy Silvio Schembri, quoted in Times of Malta.

The agency, which will also run checks on foreign direct investment and investors, will first be “sandboxed” for Government use in vetting bidders for major tenders. Once any teething problems are resolved, the system will be used for all foreign direct investment entities, as well as for notaries, lawyers and other corporate services providers.

The new entity is expected to eliminate some of the red tape businesses currently face, removing the need of submitting the same documents to multiple regulators and entities.

“If one entity does due diligence, then it should be enough. If it is good for one entity, it should be good enough for the others,” the Minister said.

In September, the legislative changes required will begin to be drafted, although the Minister declined to provide a deadline for the reform, saying only that it is being treated as urgent.

Reforms introducing the right for businesses to open a bank account, and the set up of a tribunal to act as arbiter in cases where businesses have been refused a bank account, is also slated to get underway soon.

Minister Schembri said he had convened a meeting of the government’s consultative council on enterprise, during which a draft plan for the roll-out of the reforms was agreed on.

The consultative council is made up of the heads of regulatory bodies like the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).

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