[LIVE] Government kicks off public consultation on 10-year economic vision

Government’s economic vision for 2021-2031 is structured around five pillars: Sustainable economic growth, infrastructure and investment, education and employment, the environment, and high standards of accountability, governance and rule of law

Government is seeking feedback on its economic vision 2021-2031
Government is seeking feedback on its economic vision 2021-2031
Viżjoni Ekonomika tal-Gvern 2021-2031

📹 LIVE | GVERN GĦAN-NIES: Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela u l-Ministru għall-Ekonomija u l-Industrija Silvio Schembri jindirizzaw laqgħa bit-tema 'A Future-Proof Malta', jniedu l-Viżjoni Ekonomika tal-Gvern 2021-2031 għal konsultazzjoni nazzjonali. Ekonomija #GvernGħanNies 🇲🇹

Posted by MaltaToday on Thursday, June 10, 2021

Follow live as the government today launches a public consultation process on its economic vision for 2021 to 2031.

The government’s economic vision is set to be structured around five pillars: Sustainable economic growth, infrastructure and investment, education and employment, the environment, and high standards of accountability, governance and rule of law.

MIMCOL chairman Adrian Said was first to address the conference. He said that he is expecting solid economic growth in the coming years, with rating agencies giving a good sign of approval for Malta.

"The idea is to match economic needs with lifestyle needs - referring to the wellbeing of our nation. Wellbeing designed around offering families and people a nice future and a country that they want to work and live in," Said said.

Prime Minister Robert Abela was the second keynote speaker in the conference. He said that while he does not want to give the idea that Malta is completely out of the woods, the initial signs of post-pandemic growth are positive.

He said that unemployment levels are back to pre-pandemic levels, while GDP stands above that of the same quarter prior to the pandemic.

“We are pro-business, and more than that, pro-market. Some fear that we favour employees too much, while some fear that we favour employers. However, policy is about striking the right balance,” Abela said.

“We’re not just helping the owners of a business, but in turn the community in which that business operates, and the community that enjoys the wealth created. That is why we stand behind businesses.”

The Prime Minister maintained that government’s 10-year vision will see Malta become a centre of excellence both by EU standards but also in the global economy.

“We used to want to reach the average, but now we want to reach the top spot,” he said.

Abela elaborated on the five pillars that will be underpinning government’s economic strategy. On education, the Prime Minister emphasised that Malta needs skilled workers in order for wages to converge and exceed the average EU level. “With skilled workers, companies will be able to offer flexibility and good working conditions.”

He added that a larger economy would require governance systems with greater resources. “Weak regulators mean weak industries,” he said.

With regards to the environment, Abela said that he believes Malta is on the right track to tackle the issue, but admitted that more work needs to be carried out.

“If the pandemic was a major challenge, then we need to understand that climate change has the potential to be a much bigger challenge,” he warned.

Abela said that Malta is aiming to become a carbon-neutral society over the span of a single generation, and advised that environment and economy are two sides of the same coin.

“Now is the time to understand that the environment and economy are one, and they must converge. We cannot have a good economy if the environmental quality is not good enough, and we can’t have a high-quality environment if the economy is suffering,” he said.

Abela added that this serves as an opportunity to transform the way Malta generates energy, produces water, and tackles waste, while rethinking the construction and transport sectors.

On how government will finance such investments, Abela said that past economic success will allow for these investments to take place.

He also took the opportunity to defend the citizenship-by-investment scheme, after the European Commission announced that further infringement proceedings will take place against Malta with regards to this scheme.

“I believe that through necessary dialogue with the European Commission, we can preserve this programme,” he said.

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri delivered a presentation outlining the government’s vision for the economy for the coming 10 years. The strategy document will be open for public consultation as from Thursday (today), with feeback to be sent to [email protected].

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2021.

Leading global strategy advisor Dr Parag Khana will also address the meeting.

Three panel discussions, moderated by Saviour Balzan, will follow.

Panel 1 – Pillar 1 Sustainable Economic Growth and Pillar 3 Education and Employment

The panel will include: John Mahon – Lufthansa Tecknik Malta Ltd, CEO; Herald Rosch – MELITA PLC, CEO; Philip Von Brockdorff – UOM, Senior Lecturer FEMA; Marisa Xuereb – Malta Chamber, President; Giovanna Mirabile – Inspire (NGO), COO; Chris Meilak – EY – Associate Partner; and Stanley Mifsud – MIMCOL, CEO

Panel 2 – Pillar 2 Infrastructure and Investment and Pillar 4 Environment

The second panel discussion will include: Marie Briguglio – UOM – Senior Lecturer, FEMA; Mario Borg – Gozo Regional Development Authority, CEO; Michel Cordina – HSBC, Executive Director & Head of Business Development; Dr Deborah Schembri – MDA, CEO; Matthew Bianchi – Ganado, Partner; Jessica Camilleri – MIMCOL, Advisory Manager; and Raphael Aloisio – Deloitte, Financial Advisory Leader

Panel 3 – Pillar 5 High Standards of Accountability, Governance and Rule of Law

The last panel discussion will feature: Wayne Pisani – Grant Thorton, Partner; Prof Ian Refalo – Refalo Advocates, Founding Partner; Dr Simon Schembri – Ganado, Partner; George Gregory – RSM, Managing Partner; and Neville Gatt – PWC, Head of Tax

MIMCOL CEO Stanley Mifsud will close the business conference.