Government trying to attract Far East business to transit through Malta

Maritime logistics constitute about 80% of all logistic activities in Malta

Parliamentary secretary Jose Herrera addressing an EY session on logistics, distribution and warehousing
Parliamentary secretary Jose Herrera addressing an EY session on logistics, distribution and warehousing

The Maltese government is trying to attract Far East business to transit through Malta with the possibility of added values operations, parliamentary secretary for competitiveness José Herrera revealed.

Addressing a discussion on logistics, distribution and warehousing in Malta organised by EY, Herrera said logistics has been identified by the government as a niche for potential growth.

“We are talking to various stakeholders to foster interest in developing further logistics skills and capabilities. We are exploring success stories in other countries and trying to attract Far East business to transit through Malta with the possibility of added value operations,” Herrera said. The development of free zones would boost this potential.

The government is currently reviewing legislation with a view to improving the Freeport Act, in line with the Union of Customs Codes adopted 12 months ago by the European Union.

This review is aimed at developing Free Zone as against the one area designated in the Freeport Act.

The review, Herrera explained, will also take into consideration the Freeport Corporation role in the context of the free zones regulation and will cover the airport to promote intermodal transport links.

“This is of particular interest for e-commerce logistics development as well as high value goods. The development of different geographically located free zones will require the introduction of technology for secure transfer between such zones,” he said.

Malta, with the third largest Freeport operation in the Mediterranean region, will see the re-organistation of the corporation to facilitate land operations. The government believes that this overhaul would lead to swifter procedures for complaints and trustworthy economic operators.

“We still have a long way to go to become a global or even regional logistics hub. The participation of stakeholders is vital as a one-stop shop in the industry needs more than just government efforts to improve processes. It also requires service providers to be efficient and effective.”

Maritime logistics constitute about 80% of all the logistic activities in Malta. In 2001, the EU launched the motorways of the sea concept, a concept that aims to introduce new intermodal maritime-based logistics chains in Europe. In 2004, a legal framework for funding this concept was created.

“The successful of motorways of the sea will create the opportunity to Malta to truly become a logistics hub,” Herrera added.

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