Malta government takes up board seat in joint venture with New Silkroutes

SINGAPORE - The government of Malta has taken up a direct stake in a joint venture set up by a Singapore-listed company to engage in oil trading in Malta.

Mainboard-listed New Silkroutes Group, which was formerly known as Digiland, has a stake in IEG Malta which aims to transform Malta into a gas and oil trading hub that facilitates trade between Asia and Europe.

The stake in IEG Malta was initially owned by Malta Enterprise, a trade agency under the Maltese government. But on Nov 5, the Maltese government decided to transfer the 10 per cent stake to its Ministry for Energy and Health. 

At the same time, the Energy and Health Ministry's Permanent Secretary also now sits on the IEG Malta Board, said New Silkroutes.

New Silkroutes chief executive Dr Goh Jin Hian said on Tuesday (Nov 24) that the representation of the Maltese government on the board will help facilitate the liaison with government entities and organizations in its work there.

"This joint venture is an important key milestone in Malta's ambition to become the Mediterranean's preferred oil trading hub between Europe and Asia," said the Maltese government in a statement.

"The Maltese government has been an active player in the creation of the Euro Mediterranean Gas platform and has been on the forefront in raising the profile of the Mediterranean. Malta is often seen as an honest broker in this regard thanks to historically good links with its Mediterranean neighbours."