PN announces eight economic proposals in 'Vision of Excellence for Malta' document

The document and its proposals mainly focus on the necessity for Malta to change its economic model

(Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

The Nationalist Party has announced its "Vision of Excellence for Malta," which comprises eight proposals with the final aim being to change the country's economic model. 

Addressing the media, PN Leader, Bernard Grech stated that his party's vision focuses on "rebuilding the trust in institutions which has been diminished." Grech stressed that Malta can no longer depend heavily on foreign workers.

Jerome Caruana Cilia, the PN's finance spokesperson, stated that the Budget should not just be an announcement of the government's revenue and expenditure, but also a political declaration. He also noted that the government should use this chance to examine the long-term economic vision of the nation.

In a press conference outlining the document, the PN's economy spokesperson, Ivan J Bartolo said that there is a consensus that Malta's economic model needs to change, adding that even finance minister, Clyde Caruana agrees with this statement. "The current economic model has burdened our country," Bartolo said, making reference to Malta's extraordinary population growth in the past decade. 

The first proposal in the document refers to "business continuity," as Bartolo stressed that one cannot "turn off" one economic model and turn on another. Bartolo said that this doesn't mean employers who need third-country nationals will have the rug swept from under their feet, as he noted that TCNs would continue to be employed if there is no one with the necessary skills for the job in question.

Secondly, the PN aims to restore the Maltese brand, making it synonymous with integrity, a good reputation, and a business-friendly environment. This, Bartolo said, would be done with respect to the relevant key performance indicators.

The third proposal concerns "A framework for start-ups," as Bartolo explained that the PN would expand the government aid to startups, by including marketing aid.

The fourth promise is stakeholder engagement, which calls for a change in mindset and a commitment from the government to act as a facilitator. According to Bartolo, government must work with stakeholders and social partners to identify answers through dialogue.

The fifth plan focuses on established industries in Malta, as Bartolo stated that government should discuss the industries' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The PN's sixth proposal involves the creation of new economic sectors. The party's document lists a number of potential new industries, including the metaverse, AI, 3D printing, and robotics, among others.

The seventh strategy, which Bartolo discussed, is marketing and Unique Selling Point (USP) development, which finds Malta's unique selling point for each industry and draws investors, employment, and a high standard of living.

The last proposal, focussing on workforce management, was then given by PN MP Ivan Castillo. This approach calls for the nation to decrease its reliance on "cheap imported labour." 

He argued that methods should be available to deal with overpopulation, as well as VISA tapering and assessments of skills gaps that would allow for the recruitment of foreign workers with the appropriate skill sets.

Castillo argued that methods should be available to deal with overpopulation, which includes VISA tapering that would only allow for the recruitment of foreign workers with the appropriate skill sets.

Castillo stated that there is a need for both financial and educational incentives, with the latter requiring that a worker complete a foundational Maltese course prior to having their work visa extended.