Malta Enterprise approved 128 projects with forecast investment of €240 million in 2017

During 2017, Malta Enterprise approved 128 projects, contributing to a total forecast investment of €249.3 million and were envisaged to create 2,251 jobs

Minister for the Economy Chris Cardona
Minister for the Economy Chris Cardona

A total of 128 new projects were approved by Malta Enterprise in 2017, including 33 new projects, Economy minister Chris Cardona said on Monday. Another 95 projects were approved for expansion during the same period.

Cardona was speaking at a business breakfast during which the minister announced the highlights from Malta Enterprise's 2017 annual report. Malta Enterprise is the government's exclusive agency focused on attracting inward investment and supporting enterprise in Malta.

Together, these projects had a forecast investment of €249.3 million and were envisaged to create 2,251 jobs, the minister said. 

Foreign investors accounted for 19 new and 12 expansion projects, whilst local investors accounted for 14 new and 83 expansion projects.

Malta Enterprise approved projects 2013 – 2017
Malta Enterprise approved projects 2013 – 2017

The new projects carried out by foreign and local entrepreneurs had a forecast investment of €54.4 million and are envisaged to generate 573 additional jobs over the first three years from their respective year of approval.

The corresponding figures for local and foreign expansion projects stood at €194.9 million in terms of forecast investment and 1,678 for new jobs to be created.

"From the annual report published today," Cardona said, "the pivotal role that domestic start-ups and SMEs play within the local economy is unmistakable."

Referring to the local statistics, Cardona stressed that Malta's "indigenous business" are it's greatest generators of prosperity and employment.

Mario Galea, CEO of Malta Enterprise outlined how Malta Enterprise’s role is now not only synonymous to the attraction of foreign direct investment, but also in keeping it here and finding solutions to local market needs.

He argued that the statistics of the annual report were thanks to an introduction of new incentives designed to cater for the local market, including family business support services. An amendment to the Family Business Act was tabled in Parliament by Minister Cardona earlier this month. 

Under the 'Get Qualified' scheme, 1,054 were approved assistance according to Cardona, numbering monetary assistance of around €2.3 million. The scheme is an initiative that supports individuals in their achievement of qualifications required by industries. Upon successful completion the student will benefit from a tax credit enabling them to recover part of the costs incurred.

According to the Malta Enterprise report, manufacturing companies that have been approved assistance by Malta Enterprise between 2013 and 2017 contributed to circa 70% of the total non-mineral fuels exports, and employed circa 75% of the full-time employees in the sector.

Malta Enterprise said that in the last couple of months, it has shown increased interest in the areas of medical cannabis and blockchain. 

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