This Economic Group has several strategic priorities, including:
- Internationalisation: seeking overseas markets and expansion
- Clusters: Clustering and networking industry and Government
- R & D & I: Incentivizing the research, development and innovation capacity
The MEG's Immediate Priorities include:
- Ensuring that industry gets all the support available especially during the economic recession
- Encouraging our members to participate in any initiatives which are created for their benefit.
Issues Currently Being Tackled
- Energy Costs - Maximum Demand Meters
- Bank Charges
- Manufacturing research platform (MCST)
- Meetings with Malta Enterprise and other industry stakeholders
Mr. Matthias Fauser - Chairman
Mr. Charles Brincat - Deputy Chairman
Mr. Norman Aquilina
Mr. Anton Borg
Mr. William Wait
Ing. Noel Micallef
Mr. John B. Scicluna
The Business Sections that fall under this Economic Group are:
Initiatives and Recent News
MEG Discussion Seminar
A discussion seminar was held on the 26th March for members of the Manufacturing and other Industries Economic Group. During the seminar presentations were delivered by Prof Joseph Falzon, and Dr Frank H. Bezzina, Dean and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy. MEG Chairman Matthias Fauser opened the Seminar noting that the meeting could serve to share some interesting findings and recommendations for the Manufacturing sector, as well as to provide a thought-provoking opportunity for the priority factors effecting competitiveness.
Prof Falzon delivered a detailed presentation which outlined the Manufacturing sector’s economic contribution to the economy, and compared its performance and competitiveness with that of other countries. He pointed out that contrary to mistaken perception, Manufacturing remains an important and top contributor to the economy, whilst it faced a number of challenges to grow and catch up with the manufacturing sectors in other countries. He emphasised the importance of increasing the value generated by Manufacturing whilst improving efficiency and competitiveness. Statistics showed that Malta had been eroding its competitive edge in relation to other countries which had made efforts to keep innovating and growing whilst controlling costs.
Dr Bezzina presented a research study of the manufacturing sector which was conducted in September 2012, with the collaboration and participation of MEG members. The study investigated the opportunities and challenges encountered by manufacturing firms that were currently set up in Malta; and sought to identify the factors which reinforced competitive advantage, the effectiveness of existing incentives and future challenges for the sector. The study also investigated why existing manufacturing firms would or would not set up in Malta again and their expected expansion in the next five to ten years. Through the members’ feedback, the study also provided of nine feasible recommendations to Maltese policy makers to strengthen and further develop the manufacturing sector in Malta. These include the requirement for a well-defined industrial policy for Malta, the need to create a better link between academia and industry, reduction of bureaucracy, controlling the increase and stability of electricity prices, adequate impact analysis of planned new costs and policies, and a focal point for manufacturing at MEPA with a clear and timely process.
Matthias Fauser concluded the Seminar by saying that the conclusions of the study re-confirmed and substantiated the priorities which the Chamber had identified and put forward in providing feedback to Malta Enterprise for a future Industrial policy for Malta. He said that the MEG looked forward to further tackle these important issues which shaped the future success of Industry.
Representatives of Manufacturers Economic Group meet Strategic Policy Secretariat at the OPM
Manufacturers Economic Group officials Matthias Fauser, William Wait and Anton Borg along with Director General Kevin J. Borg attended a meeting with the Head of the Strategic Policy Secretariat Mikela Fenech Pace regarding a Research Manufacturing Strategy.
The discussion centered around the need for Malta to enhance its boundaries in terms of research and that this should follow a holistic approach. The Malta Chamber argued that the country's physical limitations were not conducive for ambitious results in the field of research especially because the necessary eco-system for research, technology development and innovation was not yet in place and the scarce resources at the country's disposal remained dispersed. It recommended a drive towards consolidating the resources and a number of niche areas in research that would be best suited for Malta to pursue in the light of its limitations.
Update on Factory Rents and Service Charges Issue
Over the past weeks, the Malta Chamber has been actively involved in meetings with Malta Enterprise/Malta Industrial Parks, to discuss the new provisions being proposed by the authorities for inclusion in the agreements for factory rents and service charges which have or are about to expire.
The Malta Chamber has created two committees, one focusing on the Rent Policy, while the other on the proposed Service Charge. Throughout the meetings held, the Malta Chamber has sought to sensitise the authorities to the needs of the manufacturing sector.
The Malta Chamber would like to point out that progress is being registered and this provides a good basis for a continued dialogue with the authorities which discussions will hopefully be concluded in the very near future. As was previously communicated it was agreed with the authorities that until such discussions are concluded the renewal of expired or about to expire contracts are for the moment suspended.
The Malta Chamber will be communicating directly with members once further conclusive progress is registered. In the meantime any questions or queries may be directed to Malta Chamber Director General Kevin J. Borg on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sectors Manager John B. Scicluna on email: email@example.com
2012 Conference: The Future of Manufacturing
The Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group (MEG) invites members to a morning half-day Conference on The Future of Manufacturing. The event targets all those members interested in the way forward for a competitive manufacturing sector and aims to delve into the issues being faced by both large and small enterprises.
The Conference seeks to address:
- The comparative competitive advantage for large companies to be based in Malta. What are the challenges?
- The efforts needed by SMEs to remain competitive. What should be the priorities of public support measures to assist SMEs in the sector?
- The Hon. Tonio Fenech, Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment
- The Hon. Chris Cardona, Labour Party Main Spokesperson for Industry, Self-Employed and Foreign Investment
- Mr. Andy Gatesy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Toly Products Limited
- Mr. Alfred Camilleri, Managing Director, Inspectra Limited
This will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Mr. Matthias Fauser, Chairman, Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group and Chief Operating Officer, Playmobil Malta Limited.
Panel Members include:
- Mr. Norman Aquilina, Group Chief Executive, Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc
- Mr. Sergio Vella, Managing Director, ArrowPharm (Malta) Ltd part of Watson Group
- Mr. Alfred Camilleri, Managing Director, Inspectra Ltd
- Mr. Andy Gatesy , Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Toly Products Ltd
- Malta Chamber Members Conference Registration €25 (inc. VAT)
- Non-Member Conference Registration €35 (inc. VAT)
The full Programme can be found here.
Interested Members may contact Ms Dorianne Bonanno on tel: 21 233873 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update Meeting on Factory Rents and Service Charges
The Malta Chamber held a very well attended Information Meeting for Members on Factory Rents and Service Charge on Tuesday 22nd November 2011. President Tancred Tabone opened the meeting and was followed by Matthias Fauser, Chairman of the Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group. Mr. Fauser provided background of what had happened to date and announced the names of the representatives of the Malta Chamber who would be participating in the two joint committees to be set up between ME/MIP and Malta Chamber. One Committee Rents – would discuss and decide on how the rents were going to be established, and one on the Service Charge – would be responsible to decide on what was to be included under the said charge. Following this presentation the President opened the floor for a general discussion. The main points that were made follow:
The President said that Malta Enterprise / MIP had given the Malta Chamber a presentation on how the rents were being worked out. The Malta Chamber had agreed on the parameters but had not agreed on the weightings. The Malta Chamber was in agreement that some rents, especially the old ones, needed to be revised. No Rents would be imposed and everything would be decided upon through mutual agreement in the Rents Committee.
The President said that the service charge would cover maintenance and upkeep but not capital charges. The Service Charge Committee was responsible to discuss and decide upon what was to be included under the service charge. Once again, everything would be arrived at through mutual agreement. The authorities would decide on the minimum standards and services to be applicable but the decisions on how to maintain these standards, and on what contractors to engage to do so, pertained to the associations. The rate of €3.50 per square meter was the maximum applicable. Funds earned from the service charge would be administered by the industrial estate associations and any balance not be spent in one year would be refunded or carried over in the budget for the following year, as decided by the association concerned.
The President said that it was now crucial for all estates to set up an association. Those factories not forming part of an association and those industrial estates without an association would have to pay the full €3.50 per square meter service charge.
Malta Chamber Vice President Mr. William Wait founder member of the Bulebel association, BIETA, invited members interested in setting up an association in their industrial estate to contact him and he would be prepared to pass on a copy of the BIETA statute, share his experience, and offer advice to get them started. Some members said that they were on the main road or were surrounded by public roads and queried why they should be made to pay a service charge. The reply was that the Service Charge committee still had to decide on what was to be included under the said charge but even factories on the periphery of industrial estates would benefit from common services such as signage, day care centres, medical/nursing centres etc. Once again, it would be up to the association concerned to decide on how much these peripheral factories were to pay.
Various members said that they had received contracts from MIP, some of them even in the last couple of weeks, with intimidatory deadlines to sign at the new rates. Mr. Fauser made it clear that there should be no increases until the committees finalized their work and that the old rates should remain applicable until such date. The President recommended that these members pass their cases onto the Malta Chamber for it to take up on their behalf through its representatives on the Malta Enterprise Board.
Members present said that they were finalizing contracts for new factories with high factory rents and €3.50 per square meter Service Charge and requested advice on how to proceed. The President advised them to insert a clause in the contract that the rent would be revised in line with the Rent Committee decisions and that the service charge would be based on the amount actually spent by the association of the industrial estate concerned with a maximum of €3.50 per square meter. The members asked whether the Malta Chamber lawyer could draft the said clause for them.
The President said that, overall, the Malta Chamber had made a sizeable achievement in its negotiations with the authorities to date. It was now important for the Rent and the Service Charge Committees to start their work and for the firms to start forming their industrial estate associations. The Malta Chamber would keep members informed of developments in due course.
Composition of Rent Committee
Mr. Stefano Mallia
(Malta Chamber, Deputy President)
Mr. Matthias Fauser (Playmobil, Hal Far)
Mr. Charles Brincat (Carlo Gavazzi, Bulebel), Mr. Joe Pace (Consolidated Biscuits, Mriehel)
Mr. Robert Abela (Traplas, Kordin), Mr. Kenneth Caruana (Thermoplastics, Marsa), Mr. Tonio Bugeja (Sputnik, San Gwann), Ing. Ray Muscat (Malta Chamber, Director General)
Composition of Service Charge Committee
Mr. Julian Mamo (Malta Chamber, Council Member)
Mr. Matthias Fauser (Playmobil, Hal Far), Mr. William Wait (Toly, Bulebel)
Ms. Marisa Xuereb (Raesch Quarz, Mosta),
Mr. Jason Cole (Colta Tipped Tools, Kordin), Mr. Joseph Gingell (Jaguar Industri, Marsa), Mr. Alexander Zammit (Zamco Caterware, San Gwann), Ing. Ray Muscat (Malta Chamber, Director General)
Rent and Service Charge Meeting
The Malta Chamber Manufacturing and Other Industries Economic Group (MEG), held an urgent meeting on 29th July on the issue of factory rents and service charges. The meeting was opened and chaired by Malta Chamber President Mr. Tancred Tabone. During this very well attended meeting of around 100 manufacturers MEG Chairman Mr. Matthias Fauser gave a brief outline of the ongoing efforts being made by the Malta Chamber in this regard, from September 2009 until the present day.
Agreement was sought from participants on the following principles:
- The Malta Chamber agrees that a service charge policy should only be put in place following discussions and agreement and the subsequent enactment of the appropriate legislation.
- The Malta Chamber strongly recommends that with immediate effect, MIP withdraws any renewal agreements that have been issued, which include any additional service charges compared to previously signed agreements until the whole mechanism is agreed.
- Before the service charge is introduced, the Malta Chamber emphasises that a thorough impact assessment is undertaken by Government that the proposed rent and service charge will have on the competitiveness of enterprises, which assessment would need to be seen in the context of the increasing operational costs (such as energy and environmental costs).
- The Malta Chamber stresses the important role of tenants’ associations in the management of industrial parks. A clear definition and agreement of realistic standards/criteria linked to the upkeep of the various industrial estates is crucial in the determination of an appropriate service charge.
- Finally, the Malta Chamber urges the authorities to be more sensitive to the consequences of introducing such additional costs on the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.
The Malta Chamber’s next course of action will be to include participants’ feedback in a letter to Minister Hon. Tonio Fenech and Malta Enterprise Executive Chairman, Mr. Alan Camilleri. Members will be duly informed of any further developments.
MEG meeting on Government rented premises
This week, a meeting was called by the Manufacturing Economic Group (MEG), for those manufacturing enterprises that are operating from Government rented factory premises. The meeting was led by Malta Chamber Director General Ing. Ray Muscat and MEG Chairman Mr William Wait.
The meeting was addressed by Mr Ronald Camilleri, Ernst & Young, who are being commissioned to conduct a survey about the situation on rents in industrial estates in Malta and abroad, to enable a comparative picture to be drawn up. Members will be kept informed of further developments.
MEG Chairman participates in Business Forum
In October, Manufacturing and Other Industries Economic Group Chairman Mr William Wait was invited to take part during a forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Malta, in collaboration with Junior Chamber International Malta. The forum, entitled ‘The Maltese Economy ... what’s next?’ included a panel discussion with representatives from a number of sectors, including real estate, tourism, financial services, gaming, and manufacturing.
MEG meets Malta Enterprise
In recent days, the Manufacturing Economic Group (MEG), led by Chairman Mr William Wait, met with Mr Alan Camilleri, Executive Chairman of Malta Enterprise. A number of issues concerning the sector were brought up, including new factory developments, and the rental rates being paid in this regard. Both parties agreed that the current rates need to be discussed further.
In the case of the renewal of current rental agreements, the MEG stated that while it appreciates that rates change on renewals, one should be cautious on the rate of change, taking into consideration that the renting of factory premises in Malta is seen as one of the primary FDI attraction incentives.
The MEG also described its current efforts for a manufacturing campaign, and it was agreed that the MEG would prepare a strategice document for Malta Enterprise, to identify points of collaboration in this initiative.
Deputy Chairman gives presentation on Maltese Economy
In a recent Council Meeting, MEG Deputy Chairman Mr Santo Portera gave a presentation on the Maltese Economy and the Manufacturing Sector. The full presentation can be accessed here.
Traineeship in Industrial Machine Setting Skills
This year, the ETC promoted its Traineeship scheme amongst employers with the aim of meeting labour market demands by providing unemployed job seekers with skills currently demanded by the market.
In this regard, the Malta Chamber Manufacturing and Other Industries Economic Group identified the need for skilled machine setters. A meeting was held with interested members and ETC to discuss issues pertaining to the scheme, followed by the opening of the Traineeship in Industrial Machine Setting, which consists of a combination of off-the-job training (provided by ETC once a week) and on-the-job training (provided by the company four days a week) over a period of 26 weeks.
A total of 6 companies applied, including Consolidated Biscuit Ltd, Fildan Accessories Ltd, Playmobil Malta Ltd, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, Toly Products Ltd, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Ltd. Employers requested a total of 34 trainees, which spaces were successfully filled.
June 2010: Visit from Orgalime
May 2010: Linking Enterprise at Toly Products Malta
Linking Enterprise at ST Microelectronics
On 3rd October 2009, the Malta Chamber Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group organised a Linking Enterprise event for its manufacturing membership base. This event was hosted by STMicroelectronics and was aimed at giving participants an overview of the work of the Malta Chamber, the main objectives of the Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group Executive Board, as well as giving participants the opportunity to voice their ideas and concerns.
The event was opened by Mr William Wait, Chairman of the Economic Group, who gave an introduction regarding the role of the economic pillar within the Malta Chamber. He was followed by Malta Chamber Director General, Ing Ray Muscat, who discussed the benefits of membership and the purpose of Business Sections within each Economic Group. This tied in with the Economic Group’s intentions for the formation and need of a number of manufacturing Business Sections. Ing Muscat argued that this will give members more value for membership as their sector-specific needs would be better addressed. Mr Santo S. Portera, Director of Facilities and Security at S T Microelectronics, followedby giving a detailed presentation on the overall status of the Malta Economy with special focus on the manufacturing sector, which the participants found to be extremely interesting.
The event was very well-attended by manufacturing members and the presentations were followed by an open discussion between the Executive Board, manufacturing members and the Malta Chamber Secretariat on the main business concerns and opportunities pertaining to the manufacturing industry. The event concluded with a guided visit on the shop floor of ST Microelectronics where participants had the opportunity to see how the largest manufacturer operator on the island operates.
The MEG is currently working on a Manufacturing Campaign to inform young people, their parents and educators of the rewarding career opportunities in manufacturing.
Mr William Wait - Chairman
Mr Santo S. Portera - Deputy Chairman
Mr Anton Borg - Vice Chairman
Mr Anthony J. Tabone
Mr Charles Brincat
Mr Noel Micallef
Mr John B. Scicluna