John Dalli, the ACCA-trained finance minister of Malta, told AccountancyAge.com: ‘The Malta Institute of Accountants has based its standards on those of the UK and the IASB.’
Malta is expected to become a full member of the EU by 2003/2004, subject to a referendum on the issue, and the adoption of international accounting standards has placed Maltese companies in strong position.
But Dalli warned there could be some problems in adopting IASs and cited Italy, Malta’s nearest European trading partner, as a country that could find the transition difficult.
Fears have continued to grow that the 2005 deadline could result in Europe’s 7,000 listed companies adopting poor quality global accounting standards.
In July, representatives from eight of the world’s leading standard setting boards met with the IAS Board to prioritise topics and discuss working relationships.
At present, financial services in Malta account for 9% of the countries GDP and employs 5,000 Maltese. Last year the sector grew by 22%, making it the fastest-growing sector in the economy.
All the Big Five firms, as well as banking giant HSBC, have permanent operations set up on the island state.
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