Malta joins the International Solar Alliance
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Malta joins the International Solar Alliance

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Feb 26, 2024
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Mr. Christopher Cutajar participated at the second edition of the CII-India Europe Business and Sustainability Conclave. Mr. Cutajar addressed the opening of the Conference, which aimed to put forward the business perspectives and priorities and deliberating on the opportunities and challenges for businesses in India and Europe.

During the opening session, the need to have a Free Trade Agreement between India and the European Union (EU) was highlighted, together with other important aspects such as strong regulatory frameworks which give more confidence to investors and businesses alike.

During his intervention, Mr. Cutajar said that Malta already has Indian businesses which give a significant contribution to the pharmaceutical industry, not only to local markets, but also European markets as a result of the acquired certifications. Mr. Cutajar noted that we need to maintain existing trade corridors, including those passing through the Red Sea, while also exploring new trade avenues.

During his visit in New Delhi, Malta’s membership in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), was also signed. Malta became the 119th member of the alliance, which was created on the initiative of India and France.

The aim of the ISA, which was unveiled at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, is to promote the use of advanced solar technology in the energy sector. Thanks to ongoing cooperation between the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Regeneration of the Grand Harbour, and the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Malta has been striving to have more sources of renewable energy in the country. This was not only done through the calls for expression of interests to make use of its exclusive economic zone, but also through Memoranda of Understanding reached with neighbouring countries such as Libya and Egypt. These allow Malta to serve as an energy hub which meets the needs of the country and also the needs of neighbouring states.

Through its membership in the ISA, Malta has the opportunity to identify joint projects with other Members, for more countries to be able to benefit. The ISA is based in Gurugram, India, with the aim to promote projects using solar energy, by 2030 targeting the generation of 1000 GW of solar energy and USD1000 billion of investment.

Malta is situated in the Mediterranean region, which is severely impacted by climate change. It is estimated that the Mediterranean region is warming 20% faster than the world as a whole. Therefore, Malta is committed to maintain such efforts in this field, to combat climate change and ascertain clean energy supply.

Mr. Cutajar also held a courtesy meeting with H.E. Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India. Given that March 2025 will mark the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malta and India, ways how to enhance diplomatic relations for the benefit of both countries in areas such as trade, research in science and cultural initiatives were discussed.

The Permanent Secretary also attended the 9th edition of the Raisina Dialogue. The inaugural session was addressed by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as Chief Guest. This year’s edition is discussing several important geopolitical themes that the global community is facing. Mr. Cutajar intervened in the session on the role of the Global South in the G20. He stressed that it is crucial that there is clarity in the regulatory framework so that trade with Global South countries can take place with the least possible obstacles.

During his visit to India, Mr. Cutajar was accompanied by Malta’s High Commissioner in New Delhi, H.E. Reuben Gauci, and Director for Policy Development within the Ministry, Mr. Ryan Sciberras.

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