Author: Marc Villette representing the Ambassador of France

Your Excellency, the President of Malta,
Your Grace, the Archbishop,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am particularly happy to-day to address this Convention of Associations of Maltese Abroad.

In fact, France has been for the past a place of welcome for an important number of Maltese immigrants, often passing through North Africa, and the community of Maltese origin in our country, perfectly integrated and often remaining French for six or seven generations, is present in all the economical and cultural sectors of life where it plays a very important role. One can also distinguish some names of Maltese origin amongst former students of the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique, in the magistrature, in cultural life and in quite every field of activity.

The Embassy of France in Malta, in collaboration with the Embassy of Malta in Paris, wishes to exploit more this potential. That is why, in the first place, the Ambassador has launched a study on the Maltese diaspora in France, which we intend to carry on.

These concrete initiatives have already taken place with the collaboration of His Excellency, Mr Salvino Busuttil, Ambassador of Malta to France. A network of development of Maltese Honorary Consuls in France is envisaged, an Institute for Maltese culture, a private legal body financed by the French resident in Malta is also seeing the light.

The idea of the French-Maltese Chamber of Commerce, already launched several years ago, could also be materialised in the near future.

Finally, the idea of setting up an Alliance maltaise in France, which would federate in some way the existing French-Maltese associations, is being studied.

All these projects are the sign of the great interest which the Embassy and its counterpart in Paris show towards the improvements of the potential represented by the French of Maltese origin in the clear interest of bilateral relations.

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