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All hands on deck for a global Malta

PN candidate Claudio Grech writes: The readiness and flexibility of our labour market has not only welcomed foreign workers to settle in Malta, but has also prepared locals to be part of this knowledge-based industry

29 May 2017, 1:02pm
The competence and operational efficiency of our institutions have raised Malta to the level expected from the highly-demanding service-based industry
The competence and operational efficiency of our institutions have raised Malta to the level expected from the highly-demanding service-based industry
Jurisdictional standing plays a key role in the effectiveness of government administration. The perception of trust, fairness and security at a local and international level is paramount to the success of a nation that wants to develop into a leading service-based economy. 

Public institutions across all areas of public policy have a strong duty to inspire trust. The competence of public entities and the values of their intentions are an imperative in building a positive reputation of a country. 

The concerted efforts of successive PN-led governments and other public entities, has resulted in the building of a strong reputation for Malta being a hub for the service-based industry, notably for financial services, gaming, aviation and information and communication technologies. 

This is also the result of a clear and targeted economic policy backed by a highly responsive attitude from the bodies representing the business sector. We built all this out of nothing, defying our size and our connectivity disadvantages. 

Our incentive aid programmes together with the tax incentive measures have attracted high-value added services foreign businesses who despite strong competition from other jurisdictions have opted for Malta. The readiness and flexibility of our labour market has not only welcomed foreign workers to settle in Malta, but has also prepared locals to be part of this knowledge-based industry operating from Malta and offering excellent job conditions and opportunities. 

The competence and operational efficiency of our institutions have raised Malta to the level expected from the highly-demanding service-based industry. Our extensive legal, regulatory and compliance frameworks operated by the highly-competent employees working in public and private entities has positioned Malta as a regional hub for financial and gaming services. 

Operating in a highly competitive environment, these companies are capable of taking crucial decisions in a matter of days as we are currently witnessing with the onset of Brexit. Re-location of operations from one country to another started within days of the UK decision. The readiness of cities and their reputation is playing a crucial role in attracting this new business exiting the UK looking for another base to service the EU bloc. 

The values that guide the behaviours of political leaders and their persons of trust is another crucial factor in setting the image of a country. One can also argue that such is the importance of trust in intentions and the propensity of institutions to do what is right, that it can easily over-shadow any level of best practice competence and operational efficiency. 

Political leaders and people holding important high positions within the public administration are often the first catalysts in the promotion of the country to business leaders. Such is the importance of seizing opportunities to demonstrate integrity and lead by example, the absence of which leads to Malta not even being considered as an investment location in the very early stages when the need for re-location arises.

A new PN government will hit the ground running in order to restore the global reputation of our country. On 5 June the focus of the incoming PN government will be on stopping the reputational haemorrhage and place all hands on deck to reposition Malta as a trusted nation.  

We will ensure the maximum responsiveness to the guidance of the Council for the Economy which will advise the Prime Minister on key economic policy and actions needed to create the promised 30,000 quality jobs in the first term of the new legislature. 

We will engage directly with key stakeholders in the financial services industry to address the urgency of the current situation and devise a remedial course of action to wipe out the misnomers in the Malta Files chronicles. 

We will also launch a new incentive aid framework to attract new knowledge-based industries including financial technology, digital media, and social enterprise.  We will also leverage on our plan to upgrade our sports facilities to attract enterprise operating in this field and seek investment opportunities from the convergence of technology through the Internet of Things latest developments. 

It is sad to witness the denigration of our global standing which has rapidly tarnished Malta’s reputation at a European and international level. Only a clean, trustworthy Government administration can neutralise and reverse the negative perceptions on Malta’s business environment. 

We are committed to heal our local divisions and build a national effort to restore harmony in our economy and allow investors to get back to business rather than wait for what happens next. A vibrant, innovative and cutting-edge Malta lies ahead of us: it is just waiting on each one of us to choose it. Jien naghzel Malta.

Claudio Grech is a Nationalist MP and a candidate on the first district

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