The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry met with a number of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries where it communicated the priorities for the economy of our country during this legislature.
This is the second time in this legislature that representatives from The Malta Chamber have met with the Government following a meeting with the Prime Minister a few days ago.
The Malta Chamber President, Marisa Xuereb, noted that the Chamber had no partisan interests, and considering the various economic sectors and diverse entrepreneurs it represented, it could not afford to be a single-issue lobbyist. In fact, she emphasised that over the past year alone, it had met with over 50 members of the diplomatic corps or representatives of international entities in a bid to improve Malta’s reputation abroad.
While re-presenting the document of recommendations, ‘Time to 5tep Up,’ President Xuereb said that the current problems the nation is facing must be addressed with urgency, and that the worse the Ukrainian conflict gets, the greater the economic, social, and political damage.
Highlighting one of The Malta Chamber’s main pillars, Xuereb said that the Chamber also called for good governance within business circles, urging everyone to pay their dues and abide by employment legislation. Xuereb said that practices which promote a culture of clientelism gives way for less transparency and inefficiency. She emphasized that there needs to be regular contact between the Chamber and the government to better help Maltese businesses, and a zero-tolerance policy for abuse from persons in political positions.
Regarding excessive development, she also called for respect for legal and regulatory frameworks and urged against taking advantage of loopholes. “We feel that there is a lack of political will at addressing excessive development. Developers do their utmost to stretch the limits of existing planning regulations,” she noted.
Xuereb addressed the price inflation which is primarily coming from importation and transport costs. “Transport is a substantial element in our consumption, production and exports, and we need to discuss it with more determination at European level. The Freeport also needs to continue to serve its strategic function which is likely to be undermined if cargo ship operators make purely commercial decisions that go beyond Malta on their routes,” Xuereb said.
Xuereb concluded her address by saying it was important to address the prejudice about Malta brought about by recent events. “The only way we can do this is by being more transparent with independent media and ensuring a more balanced public broadcaster,” she said.