Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

23 February 2009

Visit to Australia by Republic of Malta Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs The Hon Dr Tonio Borg

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta, the Hon Dr Tonio Borg will visit Australia from 21-24 February.

Dr Borg is accompanying the His Excellency Mr Edward Fenech Adami, President of Malta, and Mrs Fenech Adami on a State visit to Australia as Guest-of-Government. This is Dr Borg’s second visit to Australia, having visited in March 2007 to reinforce ties with the Maltese communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

Dr Borg and I will hold formal bilateral discussions in Canberra today, Monday, 23 February.

Dr Borg’s visit will be an important opportunity to deepen the long-standing and close relationship between Australia and Malta.

Australia and Malta enjoy a strong and productive friendship and partnership based on shared values and interests. We cooperate on a range on issues and have a range of important bilateral agreements in place including double taxation, health services, social security and air services.

We welcome the very recent boost to the commercial relationship between Australia and Malta, through the signing of a multi-million dollar contract between Perth shipbuilding company Austal and the Armed Forces of Malta for the supply of four inshore patrol craft.

The supply of these vessels will extend Malta’s range of operation and enhance its border surveillance capabilities.

Our relationship is also underpinned by strong people-to-people links. Australia and Malta have enjoyed a special friendship that has developed as a result of strong community ties, including through the Maltese community in my Perth electorate.

The Australian Maltese community makes a valuable contribution to the diversity of Australian life, its economy, culture and political thought.

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555