EuropeFides 2018 Malta
The EuropeFides AGM in Cologne was held at The Westin Dragonara Resort, located in the heart of downtown St. Julian’s and right on the Mediterranean Sea.
Friday started off with the presentation on Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Dr. Karl Sammut, who heads Sammut Legal and Steve Tendon, the strategic advisor to the Maltese Government on the National Blockchain Strategy gave a most interesting presentation on what will be the future. This is a new form of digital asset, a database that is universally accessible and extremely resistant to censorship.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that spreads the ownership of a ledger across multiple parties, each with their own copy, instead of being held centrally. Key features are propagation, permanence and programmability. It is a platform for accounting. The presentation raised some interesting interaction amongst the audience! The accountants were excited of the many opportunities but the lawyers were sceptical of the risks, security and regulation.
Then it was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation presentation by Maria Lancri of GGV Avocats a la Cour. This is a “reminder” session as most businesses, including WSM are on route to compliance for implementation date 25 May 2018.
Session two after lunch kicked off with a panel discussion on Investment in Private Real Property: Cross-border tax and legal aspects. The EuropeFides members of France, Portugal, Italy and Malta outlined the specifics of their national laws. The panel discussion cover all tax issues from purchasing, through holding, using, renting to disposing (by way of sale, gift or inheritance). It was interesting to know too that the average property price in the favourite expatriate areas like St. Julian’s is around €3,500 per square metre.
The coffee break is followed by a short presentation on the outsourcing of accounting services in Algeria. EuropFides is expanding to Africa!
We ended the day with Stefano Meani from ATAX, our Italian member on the expansion of their professional services in Dubai.
Saturday was the Annual General Assembly. This included exchanges between members on marketing and EuropeFides to Asia – mainly China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The possibility of holding the EuropeFides AGM 2019 in Shanghai is pondered upon.
There were presentations from potential new members from Bosnia, Portugal, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Indonesia and Spain and our members from China and Hong Kong.
The networking was most effective in marketing WSM, as the representative in the UK for members’ clients requiring tax and business advisory services. Brexit did not make any difference; most potential new members have British influence in their history, reflected in their laws and taxation system.
The 57 delegates were from 33 different organisations coming from 20 different countries. WSM have almost 20 new connections and have received referrals and enquiries from members from Hong Kong, Latvia and Portugal, for services for their clients with businesses in the UK. This is all very exciting and WSM is looking forward to explore more business opportunities with our EuropeFides friends!