Malta is ready to support Ukraine in its efforts for political and economic reform in conformity with EU agreed standards, President Edward Fenech Adami said, according to di-ve.

The President of Malta ends his official visit to Ukraine on Thursday. During the visit, Dr Fenech Adami met his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko.

Malta and Ukraine will be finalising a number of agreements in the coming months to regulate their bilateral relations. These include agreements on education, culture, science and technology, investment guarantees and double taxation.

President Yushchenko spoke of the number of years and the hard work Malta put in prior to EU accession and also referred to cooperation in financial services. President Yushchenko felt that Ukraine needed to learn more in these areas. Other topics included visa facilitation and cultural exchanges.

The Maltese President spoke of Malta’s experience in the process leading to and including EU membership: restructuring to conform to EU standards.

As part of its review process, Malta highlighted three niche areas which were meant to bolster further economic growth: financial services, the pharmaceutical industry and tourism, particularly the teaching of English to foreign students.

Later, President Fenech Adami and President Yushchenko accompanied by their spouses laid flowers at the monument in Mykhailivska Square, commemorating the victims of the 1932 and 1933 Great Famine (Holdomor) in Ukraine.

Mrs Fenech Adami and Mrs Yushchenko, who heads the Supervisory Board of the International Charity Fund Ukraine 3000 - a charity similar to the Malta Community Chest Fund, exchanged views on the workings of both funds. The ladies also visited the Museum of Historical Treasure of Ukraine, Scythian Gold.

In early afternoon, President Fenech Adami and President Yushchenko addressed a business forum, an opportunity for Maltese government entities and businessmen to seek prospects in the Ukrainian market and to attract business to Malta. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce of Ukraine also organised one-to-one meetings between businessmen from both countries. Joseph Zammit Tabona, chairman of Finance Malta, and Alan Camilleri, the chairman of Malta Enterprise, also addressed the Forum.