Economist Gordon Cordina said that income per capita will reach the European standard in three years’ time, well before the previously-stated target of 2030.
Dr Cordina was giving a presentation to the members of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), which includes a representative from the Malta Chamber of Commerce, as the Council prepares its pre-budget document. Dr Cordina stated that at this stage, Malta needed to work hard so that economic growth was constant and sustainable.
The same meeting was attended by the Minister for European Affairs and Gender Equality Helena Dalli, and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia. Mr Farrugia said that the budget surplus should put greater responsibility on Malta, and urged for the members of the MCESD to be prudent and cautious.
He said that the social partners should help devise a long-term economic strategy, in the context of the government's work program, regardless of who is in power. “It also means that there needs to be support for tough and important decisions we must take in the coming period,” Mr Farrugia said.
During the meeting, ten proposals were submitted by the working group within MCESD, on how traffic in Malta can be mitigated through a change in driver behaviour. Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia said that the topic of traffic congestion is a priority for Government, and an issue being strongly pushed forward by the European Commission in its European Semester report, as well as its country-specific recommendations. He praised the report and said that it should be submitted to Cabinet.
On the relationship between Malta and Italy, Mr Farrugia said that immigration should be a zero-sum game, but that the two nations had to be more united than ever before. Within the framework of international law, two overarching themes had to be addressed, namely obligatory burden sharing at EU level and root causes of migration.