During the television program TVAM, The Malta Chamber President, Perit David Xuereb warned the country that although the rollout of vaccines is now well underway, achieving a pre-Covid economic situation will likely take longer than one might assume.
“As Malta’s largest business lobby group, it is our duty to share the true views of The Malta Chamber regarding the intense impact of the pandemic on Malta’s economy. The vaccine rollout is an incredibly crucial ingredient in order to move forward, but we’ll still feel the economic effects of the Covid-19 two years after achieving herd immunity,” said Xuereb.
The Chamber President explained that the country should not set up false hopes just because the vaccine is now available. “While the vaccine is a very positive development towards ‘business as usual’, it will take a while to return to a semblance of where we were in 2019. As a country, we still need to understand the true impact the pandemic had on profits, trade, customer spending behaviour and other vital commercial and economic elements,” said Xuereb.
When asked to comment on Prime Minister Robert Abela’s predictions that the economy will start recovering by March, The Chamber President noted that it will take longer and that the government should focus on designing an enhanced economic model that truly reflects the current and future realities.
“This pandemic has opened our eyes and made us realise how dependent Malta is on tourism. It would be foolish to think that tourism will reach 2019 figures during this year. Hence, it is essential to re-think our tourism strategy and focus on targeting a more intelligent type of tourism while attracting a wider variety of sectors to attain a higher level of economic equity,” concluded Perit Xuereb.