Lidl to open international regional distribution centre in Malta

Economy minister Chris Cardona said the company is expected to increase the value of locally products for exportation from €3 million to €22 million

Economy minister Chris Cardona (centre) and Digital Economy minister Manuel Mallia (right) during Gvern Li Jisma'
Economy minister Chris Cardona (centre) and Digital Economy minister Manuel Mallia (right) during Gvern Li Jisma'

Malta Enterprise and Malta Industrial parks have reached an agreement with supermarket giant Lidl for the setting up of an International Regional Distribution Centre in Malta, announced Economy Minister Chris Cardona this evening.

Speaking during Monday’s edition of ‘Gvern li jisma’ Cardona said that Malta had managed to secure the direct investment despite harsh competition from neighbouring countries.

“The benefits of this centre aren’t limited to the more than 120 jobs that will be created,” said Cardona. ”It will also have a beneficial effect on exportation, where over a three year period Lidl will be increasing the value of products made locally from €3 million to €22 million.”

The minister said that the company would be manufacturing products, using local companies, and will export these products to different countries globally.

He said that this was a clear example of the great potential Malta has to tap into the logistics sector, adding that it augurs well for other international companies to follow Lidl’s footsteps by setting up similar operations.

Cardona stressed his belief that it is government’s role to “facilitate, incentivise and above to all to take decisions”, as it had done regularly throughout the last four years.

An example of this, he said, was the Maritime Centre on the site of the former Ship Building in Marsa, which, through the work of Malta Industrial Parks, will see a leading company in the Oil and Gas industry, invest €50 million in Malta while creating a number of good quality jobs.

Moreover, he said that since the start of 2016, 20 projects involving foreign investment were approved, including investment in big projects undertaken by Playmobil, Aurobindo, Crane Currency, Toly Products, Baxter and Pharmacare.

“These projects are expected to create at least 1,142 jobs, 854 of which are in the manufacturing industry,” said Cardona, underscoring the fact that the investment from these projects is expected to amount to more than €163 million.

Digital economy minister Manuel Mallia said that, through an agreement with the University announced earlier today, the government will be investing €100,000 for students to develop innovative ideas, adding that in many cases, funding is the biggest obstacle to the realisation of these ideas.

Turning to telecommunications, Mallia said the sector had been given great importance by the government and had been included in the priorities of Malta’s presidency of the Council of Europe.

“During the presidency, we will be closing a file that will be giving the digital single market more strength,” said Mallia. “We need better connectivity across Europe. You can have many factories but if there is no connectivity we are still isolated,” he said.

Mallia said that presently, work was underway to connect Malta to Marseilles through an underground cable, similar to that which exists between Malta and Sicily.

On the gaming sector, Mallia said that the sector was commonly attacked because people “see their failure in Malta’s success.”

He said that Malta had observed the rise of skill games in the US and introduced a legal notice that would allow the country to attract these companies to Malta.

“We have 15 pending applications and we have one company that has already moved to Malta from Boston. Not only have they moved to Malta, but they will be moving their regional offices here," he said.

While the EU was working to close the file enabling citizens to benefit from Wifi in public areas, said Mallia, Malta already had 300 Wifi hotspots, with the number expect to increase to 400 over the coming months.

Mallia said that on the basis of the results already achieved by the government, it was clear that the government deserved a second term.

“A lot has already been done by this government, but it has the potential to do a lot more.”

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