EIB report shows digital adoption rates by Maltese firms ‘below EU & US average’

20th April 2020

The European Investment Bank report highlights the unprecedented role digital technology is playing in daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings from a new European Investment Bank (EIB) report show that Malta’s adoption rate of single technologies is consistently below EU average, with the exception of the Internet of Things in the construction and services sector.

Malta is ranked among the 'moderate countries' in the EIB’s Investment Survey (EIBIS) Digitalisation Index. “Despite the high score on the digital environment index, digital adoption rates for firms in Malta are below EU and the US average for all sectors,” the report said.

Additionally, more than 75 per cent of digital firms report having increased the number of employees in the last three years, while median labour productivity is slightly higher among non-digital firms compared to digital firms in Malta.

However, wage per employee is almost 1.2 times higher for digital than non-digital firms. ‘Lack of availability of staff’ is the most widely cited obstacle to investment, especially by digital firms.

The report, titled ‘Who is prepared for the new digital age? Evidence from the EIB Investment Survey’, comes at a time when digital technology is playing a crucial role in day-to-day life, as well as economic and social activities, while people and businesses grapple with the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

In a statement, the EIB said “the Coronavirus pandemic is becoming a tipping point for digitalisation – the dawn of a new era – by accelerating the maturity of digital technology: what was once a ‘nice to have’ could now become a ‘crucial to have’. For businesses and organisations to thrive and become more resilient in the medium and longer term, it may be more relevant than before to revisit digital transformation plans in order to stay competitive in the new normal.”

The report also looks at the state of digitalisation in the EU and United States from a business perspective. “The report shows, based on a company-level survey, that EU firms in most sectors are falling behind the US,” the EIB said.

“It also spells out the key concerns of firms when it comes to the adoption of, and investment in, digital technologies. In particular, it highlights how access to management, skilled labour and the regulatory environment affect the digitalisation of European as well as US firms.”

Read the full report here

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EIB report shows digital adoption rates by Maltese firms ‘below EU & US average’