George Vella defends Sai Mizzi’s work
George Vella defends Sai Mizzi’s work
Sai Mizzi and her office

Based on Reports Published between Sat Jul 11 08:40:48 2015 and Tue Jul 14 12:50:47 2015

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Information from Sat Jul 11 08:40:48 2015 :

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Whoever believes the consular office in Shanghai was opened to accommodate the personal needs of the Energy Minister’s wife “has a pea brain”, according to Foreign Minister George Vella.

Defending the work of Sai Mizzi-Liang, whose appointment had sparked a controversy, Dr Vella could not remember who had put her name forward but he had not been the one to suggest her. In a frank interview just days before Opposition leader Simon Busuttil embarks on a visit to China, Dr Vella said that although Ms Mizzi-Liang had been in China for almost two years, she had never worked from the Embassy’s office in Beijing but operated from Shanghai. He admitted that he did not know where Ms Mizzi-Liang has been working from so far and directed this newspaper to Malta Enterprise and the Office of the Prime Minister. In March the government concluded a deal on the purchase of a €1.9 million EU-funded office in Shanghai to serve as a consulate.

Dr Vella said Ms Mizzi-Liang would eventually work from this office when it was ready later this summer.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 10:43:10 2015 :
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Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil will be meeting with the elusive Sai Mizzi Liang - M alta’s well remunerated special investment envoy to China and wife of Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, while in China next week, according to sources speaking with this newsroom. Asked to confirm the information yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella told this newsroom yesterday, “ Ask the Opposition Leader, they scheduled the meeting not me”. Dr Busuttil has asked Foreign Affairs Ministry for a brief on Malta-China relations, including any recommendations on issues he thinks might be raised by the Chinese authorities, the opportunity to visit the Maltese Embassy and to hold discussions with the Maltese ambassador, as well as the opportunity to visit the Consulate General in Shanghai and to hold discussions with Malta’s Consul General, a position also filled by Mrs Mizzi Liang. Dr Busuttil also requested from the ministry a document outlining points that should be raised with firms he might meet while on his trip, to help incentivise them to invest in Malta.

Mr Clifford Borg Marks was appointed Maltese Ambassador to China on 11 October 2013 and had the same contract terms as investment envoy Ms Sai Mizzi. His replacement has not yet been announced.

Mrs Mizzi Liang’s government appointment and her €13,000 a month salary has been a constant bone of contention for the government – and it is a bone that the opposition will not let go of.

In Parliament on 15 June, Dr Busuttil had said that he was going to China to see “what Konrad Mizzi’s wife is doing”.

In the lead-up to the showdown, earlier this week Mrs Mizzi Liang made a rare appearance on the Department of Information’s press release list, when the department reported how she and Minister Chris Cardona this week hosted a collaboration meeting with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai Foreign Investment Board. The Department of Information said in a statement that collaboration initiatives were discussed by the Maltese representatives with the Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce Sang Qi and senior representatives of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Board. Mrs Mizzi Liang will also act as the focal point for an initiative discussed at today's meeting: joint initiative between Malta and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce aimed at facilitating further collaboration and investment from interested Shanghai based companies.

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