Government targets transport, health in planned PPP projects

Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi launches Projects Malta Ltd targeting public-private initiatives

Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi (Photo Ray Attard)
Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi (Photo Ray Attard)
Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi (Photo: Ray Attard)
Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi (Photo: Ray Attard)
Projects Malta Ltd launched • Video by Ray Attard

Through the setting up of Projects Malta Ltd, the government will be turning to the private sector to support initiatives in key economic sectors, including transport, health and Gozo.

Addressing a national conference during the launch of Projects Malta, Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi said the private and public sectors could collaborate and bring about projects that would otherwise be difficult for either party to do on its own.

Mizzi mentioned six projects that public-private partnerships (PPP) will be targeting: transport, economy, Gozo, health and sport as well as MCESD.

“This government believes in the private sector and in its capability to create more jobs, as initiatives already in place show,” Mizzi said.

Projects Malta chairman Adrian Said added that the private sector “tends to have more scope, but it sometimes needs an extra push for projects that may be risky”.

The half-day conference includes interventions by key economy stakeholders and economist Gordon Cordina.

Gozo chamber of commerce president Michael Grech said a PPP would be the perfect opportunity for the construction of a fixed link between Malta and Gozo.

“I am convinced that the creation of a tunnel would be possible through a PPP as there are people who want to invest, but have nowhere to. A public private investment would make this possible and would allow people to see the benefits of their funds,” he said.

The energy minister insisted that collaborating with the private sector would result in more efficient completion of projects.

“Projects Malta is also about reducing red tape and ensure increased collaboration among ministries who are in, one way or another, involved in a specific project,” Mizzi said.

It is expected that Projects Malta looks towards the yachting sector, cleansing projects and transport targeting Sliema, the Three Cities and Valletta.

Projects Malta is already in discussion with the Chamber of Commerce and the Yacht Club to seek the assistance of experts in the yachting field.

Said urged businessmen to get in touch with Projects Malta Ltd and learn more of planned initiatives.

Economist Gordon Cordina argued that PPPs are crucial in countries like Malta, where natural resources are scarce and the potential lies in human resources.

“We aim to increase wellbeing of people through better employment, investment and growth and macroeconomic stability,” he said, warning that excessive bureaucracy hindered the country’s competitiveness and attractiveness to foreign direct investment.

Cordina said monopolies in the private sector led to unfair distribution while investors would be reluctant to embark on new projects considered to “too risky” for Malta. On the other hand, the public sector on its own lacked the necessary access to human resources.

Businessmen present at the conference welcomed the setting up of Projects Malta, whose main aim is to focus on the delivery of services “in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner”.

During a panel discussion, GRTU president Paul Abela said the setting up of a specific entity to act as a coordinator between the private sector and the ministries was “very positive”.

Researcher, lecturer and architect Jacques Borg Barthet urged investors to appreciate the environment as part of the island’s competitiveness, both for tourism purposes and its inhabitants.

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