Good health imperative to sustain economy – Malta Chamber President

6th May 2020

“No economy is healthy without good health and there’s no good health without a good economy.”

“No economy is healthy without good health and there’s no good health without a good economy.” These were the words stated by Malta Chamber President Perit David Xuereb, who was interviewed by Jesmond Saliba on Newsbook Hour on the radio station 103 Malta’s Heart.

Are you a member of The Malta Chamber? There has never been a better time to join Malta's foremost business representative body! Make sure your voice is heard at this challenging time. Send an email on stefan.bajada@maltachamber.org.mt, to ascertain effective representation at this time.

The Chamber President said that “Normality today is definitely different from what we considered normal in the past. This is especially relevant moving forward, since there will come a day when people will realise that what will be deemed as normality in the future was all created during these tough times.”

Perit Xuereb stated that the control measures taken at the very beginning with regards to social distancing and closure of non-essential businesses, have proven to be beneficial at this point in time. “The Chamber was among the first to suggest this was the way to go,” he said.

“It was also the moment to start experimenting and analysing the way forward for when businesses start to open again. This seems to be good news for people in the world of business. The reality is that when re-opening the economy, while expenses will increase, revenue will surely not be the same as before. There is a high probability that consumers will still be burdened with some uncertainties on approaching a retail outlet,” he added.

“This is a test to prove how disciplined we are, as a country. If we show that we follow and understand the idea behind the new social distancing and hygiene measures taken with the opening of some outlets, one may then consider opening up other areas. If this test of discipline has a poor result, through another increase in COVID cases, this will bring about reconsiderations.”

Moreover, Mr Xuereb said that “Apart from a sense of optimism, one can also note a sense of realism. Everyone is realising that what we were before, we will never be again. Before a vaccine is created, and even after it is distributed, reality will not be the same, be it how businesses sell their products, how services are provided, how products are manufactured and the types of business we are seeing.”

The Chamber President said the he views this sense of realism among people in business, both employers and workers alike, as a positive outcome. He added that “The best persons in this situation are those which realise the adequate skills required to adapt to these new realities, and work on obtaining these skills in their workplace. Many people have already managed to find ways on adapting and being creative in the way they are working from home or providing deliveries, but some appear to keep resisting change.”

Perit Xuereb also explained how the Chamber is currently working hard on this issue, through its newly formed Post Pandemic Strategic Group, the Think Thank. This is a new horizontal thematic committee within The Malta Chamber, being set up to research and develop various scenarios of how the post-pandemic business and social landscape might look. The committee’s ultimate objective is to develop strategic initiatives which will need to be undertaken in the short, medium and long terms to address what many are calling the new normal.

“The biggest worry for the majority entrepreneurs in every economic sector remains to be the need to retain employees and workers. The worker has become a top priority. We are working with the Malta Enterprise in focusing on the €800 scheme and working on expanding scheme considerations to other sectors. Nonetheless, we are seeing a greater number of people looking beyond such issues. We need commerce and industry that adapt to the reality of COVID-19.”

“Another worry at the moment is that despite the challenges of having to adapt to circumstances, at the end of the year, the country still needs to pass the Moneyval test. The worry of people in business remains whether our country is prepared to address the results coming out of this report,” he concluded.

Are you a member of The Malta Chamber? There has never been a better time to join Malta's foremost business representative body! Make sure your voice is heard at this challenging time. Send an email on stefan.bajada@maltachamber.org.mt, to ascertain effective representation at this time.


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Good health imperative to sustain economy – Malta Chamber President