Developers lobby sounds warning on making enemy out of construction

MDA reacts to finance minister comments that Maltese economy should shift away from its dependency on construction

MDA director Deborah Schembri
MDA director Deborah Schembri

The Malta Developers Association (MDA) has fired a shot across the bows after finance minster Clyde Caruana said the Maltese economy should shift away from its dependence on construction and seek alternatives.

The MDA said that while it understood the sentiment against over-development, it warned that the solution was not making an enemy out of the industry, but introducing more environmentally-friendly laws and policies.

In a statement, MDA director-general Deborah Schembri said investors wanted clear laws, certainly and the removal of excess bureacracy. “We are ready for the new challenges from an economy built on environmental parameters, strategic planning, and long-term sustainable buildings, so as not to see the economy suffer, or those 40,000 people whose living is earned on this precious industry,” the MDA said.

Clyde Caruana said the Maltese have always seen construction as safe investment, but added that the general consensus was that the environment had been degraded and public spaces were becoming limited.

He validated the outcry by many that are fed up of the rampant construction and tower cranes all over the islands. Caruana said that recent administrations found construction to be the natural choice for boosting the economy, but pledged a shift from this mentality.

Caruana said the solution was to invest in people and their education, starting from the upcoming Budget. “No one wants the construction industry to come to a halt, and therefore alternative opportunities must be sought.”