Attitudes and values are vital to doing business abroad. Conversely, ignorance of these important issues can result in a cultural barrier that may inhibit the communication process, thus having a negative effect on the success of activities in a given country.
How important is work-life balance for Maltese people? How do they value fairness in business? An understanding of these issues may prove invaluable when doing business. All too often these matters are neglected during the preparation phase, despite their importance for business success. The following section will introduce you to the essential attitudes and values shared among Maltese people and highlight their implications for business practice.
Corporate social responsibility
The environment is Malta’s most important resource and. there are many natural reserves and areas of ecological importance in the country.
Government, through the activities of the Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment, carries out policies for the promotion, protection, management and sustainable development of the environment.
To support the formulation of environmental policy, the Directorate of Environment Policy and Initiatives was created in September 2005.
The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) is the organisation responsible for the implementation of Government policies.
Scheduling an appointment before a business meeting is very important. You should phone to request the meeting at least two weeks in advance and establish the time and the place with your Maltese counterpart Punctuality is expected although it is not a rigid rule.
Small or symbolic gifts such as a corporate gift or something typical of your country are very much appreciated, in particular desserts, socks or beverages. However if you come to a meeting empty handed it is not a problem.
Business dress code
In Malta there are no specific dress rules, however it is advised to dress conservatively for business meetings.
Men should wear a suit or jacket and tie and women should wear an elegant, but not necessary conventional suit in a dark or subtle colour. Less formal clothing is acceptable in some business sectors such as advertising, public relations, IT or other creative industries .
Bribery and corruption
In Malta many organizations are involved in fighting corruption (Malta Police, the Security Service, the Auditor General’s Office, the National Audit Office and the Permanent Commission against Corruption) but there is no official body that coordinates all the anti-corruption activities.
In 2004 Malta signed all the Council of Europe conventions on corruption and has ratified the Council of Europe’s Civil Law Convention on Corruption.
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