Vodafone Malta CEO Sonia Hernandez urged Government to revise the taxation of telecommunication services and facilitate R&D in the sector.
Addressing the Parliament of Enterprises organised by the Malta Chamber, Ms Hernandez said telecommunications was a key sector for the further growth of Malta's economy.
“In today’s world, connectivity is paramount to economic growth. That is why, as one of the top telecommunications providers on the island, Vodafone is constantly investing in our infrastructure and services. After all, for Malta to continue on its path towards becoming a leader in the digital world, a top-quality network is a must.”
Ms Hernandez said that one of the main challenges Vodafone Malta faced was the size of the market. “Keeping up the investments to lead with all upcoming technological trends is very costly. In this regard, the four per cent excise tax on our services does not help at all. We therefore urge the Government to revise the taxation of telecommunication services and facilitate R&D in our sector, as it is a key sector for the further growth of our economy.”
Ms Hernandez said that the Internet of Things had taken hold of virtually all sectors, from healthcare to manufacturing. “Here too, we need to stay at the top of our game to ensure we do not lag behind. We therefore assist businesses in the implementation of a sound IoT strategy.”
Outlining some of the measures taken by Vodafone Malta, including the establishment of a framework for cooperation to help equip students in Malta with the knowledge and skills needed for a digital future, and the free coding training sessions offered annually to teenage girls, Ms Hernandez added that the company had strengthened its cooperation with the University of Malta’s Department of Artificial Intelligence to develop cutting-edge technology combining virtual reality with affective gaming.
“The result will be a game that will be able to read the emotions and physical state of young children suffering from various diseases, including cancer, and distract them accordingly.”
“This collaboration in innovative R&D proves that telecommunications and new technologies can even improve people’s quality of life, which, in turn, positively affects the economy through job creation in emerging fields.”