Addressing a historical cabinet meeting which was held for the first time at the Exchange Buildings of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry, the Prime Minister of Malta The Hon Dr Robert Abela spoke about his economic ambitions for Malta for the coming years.
During his speech, the Prime Minister listed five main principles that would serve as an economic model for the future. These five points of principle were:
• Good Governance
• Economic growth for a better quality of life
• Education for a long-term healthy economy
• Improving Malta’s infrastructure
• Carbon neutral by 2050 with intermediate targets every ten years
The Prime Minister noted that the first point of basic principle was that good governance was empirical to a healthy economy. He added that with regards to commerce and business, having a level playing field could only be accomplished through a transparent governance. This was supported by the first result achieved during the past six months; a set of new laws based on the recommendations by the Venice Commission. Moreover, he added that after discussing with the Opposition, an agreement was achieved within the House of Representatives.
Economic growth for a better quality of life
As part of the second principle, Dr Abela stated “It is worthless to have economic growth, if society is not living better” and “it is vital that sustainable economic growth leads to quality work, more quality time for families and a more compassionate society to achieve overall equality.” The Prime Minister added that the Covid-19 pandemic provided the right opportunity to re-think and re-strategise in a more comprehensive manner. Hence, together with the Ministry of Tourism, focus would be shifted on attracting quality tourists who appreciate our country culturally and historically.
Education for a long-term healthy economy
A strong educational system was another pivotal element for an efficient economy. Dr Abela said that an educational reform would take place to prepare students in subjects such as Life Sciences, robotics, coding, IT infrastructure, software development, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Quantum, Cyber Security and Industry 4.0 which were the backbone of the Government’s vision for the economy. Dr Abela added that in order to modernise the educational infrastructure, support would also be given to educators as well as students.
Improving Malta’s infrastructure
“The fourth principle we are following as a government is the strengthening of infrastructure - the construction of roads in all of Malta and Gozo, better transport systems and digital infrastructure” said the Prime Minister. Dr Abela stated that serious discussions and studies need to be taken regarding efficient public transport systems.
The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed us to think outside the box when it comes to becoming more efficient in our day-to-day lives. Thus, the Prime Minister underlined the notion of bureaucracy aiding in preventing abuse rather than hindering business development. In addition to this, Dr Abela announced that a project to have a stronger second fiber-optic cable that connects Malta and Gozo was in its final stages with the end goal being that of attracting new industries to Mata’s sister island.
Carbon neutral by 2050 with intermediate targets every ten years
Although this might be the hardest challenge yet, Dr Abela stated that the final point of principal related to Malta becoming completely Carbon Neutral by 2050 (with intermediate goals in 2030 and 2040). He continued by saying that the environment was the most crucial element to achieve a better quality of life. Dr Abela emphasised the need to get the sharpest minds in Malta to work on such a project and added that this model would span over six legislatures.
Prime Minister Dr Abela also addressed the need to include more women within his economic vision. “I want to see more women within high economic roles making decisions. Not because they are women, but because they are women of competence who can give a different perspective to us all.”
Dr Abela concluded by stating that Covid-19 did not alter his views towards Malta’s economic future but merely strengthened this overall strategy that can only be achieved through better governance, a stronger social model, and a healthier environment.