Malta: Foreign Relations

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last visited Malta; what recent steps he has taken to strengthen United Kingdom economic, commercial, cultural and educational links with Malta; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Europe)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary regularly meets with his Maltese counterpart at the General Affairs and External Relations Councils, which occur monthly. The last visit by a Foreign Secretary to Malta was by my right hon. Friend Mr. Straw in November 2005.

The UK is Malta's second largest trading partner after Italy (2008 first quarter provisional figures). British business therefore thrives in Malta. Thousands of British tourists visit Malta each year, contributing to Malta's tourism industry.

British culture features regularly in Malta, spanning a wide spectrum from the Globe Theatre group to Duran Duran. The most recent event was a poetry reading by Douglas Dunn earlier last month.

The UK continues to be the country of choice for Maltese post graduates and since Malta's entry into the EU the number of Maltese students choosing to do undergraduate degree courses in the UK has been increasing steadily.

We co-operate closely in other fields such as defence, with regular ships visits and training for the armed forces of Malta. A member of the armed forces of Malta is currently receiving training at Dartmouth and another will go to Sandhurst in September.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.