PN eyes the metaverse in €1 billion pledge to create new economic sectors

Nationalist leader Bernard Grech outlines the 10 ‘new’ sectors a PN government will invest in to create ‘tens of thousands' of jobs

PN Leader Bernard Grech
PN Leader Bernard Grech

Investing in the metaverse is one of the 10 new economic sectors a Nationalist Party in government will prioritise as part of its €1 billion funding pledge.

PN leader Bernard Grech on Monday put more flesh to the pledge made on the first day of the electoral campaign to invest €1 billion in the creation of new economic sectors.

Grech said a PN government would create the necessary legislation for a robust framework that will allow investment in the metaverse while ensuring it is not used for criminal purposes.

The metaverse will sit alongside sectors like compliance and due diligence, robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, e-sports, video game production, strengthening the sports industry by linking it to medical and tourism sectors, the energy sector and social enterprises.

Some of these sectors already exist in Malta, but Grech insisted that not enough “serious investment” had gone into sectors such as AI and sports.

“It’s not enough that the Labour government mentions a sector. The fact that the government mentions it does not mean it exists, so we are pledging a clear plan to encourage serious investment in these sectors,” Grech said.

He was addressing a press conference at PN headquarters in Pietà on the second day of the electoral campaign with party candidates sitting behind him.

Grech said half of the €1 billion funds would come from public funds by tapping into “deposits that are sleeping in several financial institutions,” and the rest will come from loans provided by domestic and foreign institutions.

Asked about the impact of this substantial spend on public debt, in view of the PN’s recent criticism of the government for having increased debt during the pandemic, Grech insisted his party never said it would not spend money when in government.

“We will spend money carefully for the good of the country. This government spends money not to generate wealth. Our proposal is to invest money into the seeds of growth. We will attract investors to come here and help start-up operations,” Grech said.

He said the new sectors would create “tens of thousands” of new jobs but insisted it is impossible to quantify how much. “I am sure that just like tens of thousands of jobs were created when a PN government, 20 years ago, invested in the gaming and financial services sectors, the same will happen with these new sectors,” Grech said.