Approved projects by Malta Enterprise expected to generate 2,611 jobs

Record number of foreign direct investment projects approved in 2013 amount to three times the total of the previous three years brought together.

Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Malta Enterprise chairman Mario Vella.
Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Malta Enterprise chairman Mario Vella.

Provisional data for 2013 shows that Malta Enterprise approved 36 foreign direct investment projects, a figure that amounts to three times the total of the previous years together.

Data provided by the government investment arm showed that approved FDI projects in 2010 amounted to two, increased to nine in 2011 and down to two again in 2012.

Although the effect of last year's project approvals will not be instant, Malta Enterprise forecasts the creation of 2,611 new jobs with a total investment of €166.3 million.

These figures exclude projected investment and employment to be generated by other projects on which Malta Enterprise has been working since 2013 in energy, health and education.

Flanked by Malta Enterprise chairman Mario Vella, Economy Minister Chris Cardona described the record number of approved projects in line with government's pledge of create the required climate for investment.

"We are business friendly and we promote investment. We are creating a climate that allows the private sector to develop and expanding, creating more job opportunities," he said.

Creating the perfect climate, Cardona added, means that Malta has to provide a skilled workforce, address transportation costs that are considered "too high", avoid sending shockwaves among the industry and reduce energy and government-induced costs.

Confirming that the results of the FDI projects will not be immediate, Cardona said the government was already feeling there existed a lack of industrial space and was therefore working on ideas to provide the necessary space.

In terms of local investment, Malta Enterprise approved 50 new projects and 31 expansions. Both Cardona and Vella said the attraction and approval of new projects was down to an improvement in the performance of Malta Enterprise. "The entity was streamlined to focus on strategy, one that places on top investment and promotion, FDI, domestic investment and exports," Cardona said.

The minister announced Malta Enterprise was in the process of launching an industry policy, informed on Europe's renewed interest in industrialisation. A steering committee will be set up to coordinate a framework for the policy.

The employment opportunities forecasted to be generated by FDI projects is being seen as the largest since 2006.

Described by Vella as a "marginal phenomenon", a small number of projects are joint ventures - where Maltese and foreign companies come together.

A breakdown of the origin of FDI projects places the United Kingdom and Italy at the top of the list. At third place is Spain, a newcomer, whose projects are mostly related to ICT.

The two sectors that continue to attract FDI are manufacturing and the production of digital games.

Following the Prime Minister's visit to Israel, Vella said the country has started showing interest in investing in Malta. "It is important to keep in mind that not everyone knows about Malta, and such state visits and trade delegations help in attracting investment," he pointed out.

Echoing Vella's comments, Chris Cardona said the ministry was spending a lot of time meeting businesses, whom he described as the prime movers in setting up networks.


i live in the states and would love to ship using malta,but believe it or not it is more expensive to take a car from malta to libya than it is from miami to libya