Muscat urges financial services industry to be innovative in the face of challenges

Prime minister Joseph Muscat encourages financial services industry to be innovative and nimble to face challenges

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has urged the financial services industry to out innovation at the heart of its approach to solving problems and facing  challenges they encounter in the sector.

Speaking at Finance Malta’s ninth annual conference, themed ‘Malta’s Financial  services industry- sustaining growth through innovation,’ Muscat spoke about the importance of the sector to the local economy, and he added that a new approach was necessary to ensure that the local industry remains competitive and relevant in the global context.

“For many countries, financial  services have a certain  reputation  because many don't  make a distinction  between one country and another,” he said pointing out that it was a legitimate  industry  regardless  of its reputation.

“We have to acknowledge  the fact that convincing people of this fact is an uphill struggle at the moment,” Muscat said, adding that regulators ought to be nimble in their approach.

Muscat added that although the country had been in favour of regulation  when the economic  crisis  struck Europe in 2008, the situation  had hanged greatly in recent years  and regulators ought to pay attention not to move towards over regulations.

“Such an excessive trade regulation as we are tending towards in Europe leads to investment  going elsewhere, “ he said adding that international  governments and businesses in Europe need to work together to find a solution.  

Muscat went on to reiterate his government’s pro business stance and its efforts to promote a stronger economy through strengthening human resources, both through things like tax incentives and through  initiatives such as free child care.

“It comes at a cost but it is having a tangible  effect,” he said, adding that the government was also looking towards new sectors like the aviation  industry to further cement and grow the economy.