Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ian Borg

Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg has called on the European Union to deepen trade relations with the United States, saying that Malta will support the strengthening of the EU’s free trade network.

“The EU must show the world that it is open for business and that is why the EU’s free trade agreements are now more important than ever,” he told the bloc’s foreign ministers as a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels which had trade as the main item on the agenda.

“We must ensure that the commercial relations of the European Union with the United States remain robust, ambitious, and mutually beneficial for both continents. Malta welcomes this renewed commitment and considers it important to continue working for stronger transatlantic cooperation,” he said.

Minister Borg claimed that it is essential to focus their work on the implementation of what was agreed upon in the Trade and Technology Council with the United States.

“There is a need for more results, particularly in ensuring secure supply chains, including in the semiconductor sector, the supply chains in the digital sectors, and SMEs.”

He continued: “Malta is in favour of strengthening the EU’s free trade network, improving market access and creating potential for growth and new jobs. The EU must show the world that it is open for business and that is why the EU’s free trade agreements are now more important than ever.”

This was stated by Minister Borg, whilst he urged for the rapid conclusion of pending EU trade agreements with Chile, Mexico, and Mercosur and to continue work on the agreement with Australia, adding that an FTA with India would also have significant potential.

During the discussion related to Ukraine, the Minister recalled that it remains crucial to continue to ensure that exports of critical products, such as grains and fuels, to the EU and to developing countries that require these products, are guaranteed.

Minister Borg reiterated Malta’s commitment towards a coordinated response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the EU’s efforts to support the economic sustainability of Ukraine through our commercial policy.

Finally, Minister Borg expressed Malta’s support to the EU’s commitment and leadership role in the reform of the World Trade Organisation.

“A strong WTO is essential for effective multilateral rules-based trading system,” he said.

The Foreign Minister has been on the road over the last week, meeting his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani and top Vatican officials, including the Pope. He also spoke at the 7th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean. On the margins of this meeting, Minister Borg also had bilateral meetings with United Nations Secretary General Nasser Kamel and the foreign ministers of Libya, Lebanon and Morocco.

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Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ian Borg

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