[WATCH] Malta can be springboard for artificial intelligence companies – Silvio Schembri

At the Malta AI and Blockchain Summit, the parliamentary secretary said the government was working to ensure as easy a transition for companies look to relocate to Malta  

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said Malta was working to diversify its economy by tapping into new innovative sectors
Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said Malta was working to diversify its economy by tapping into new innovative sectors

Malta hopes to be a jurisdiction that can help companies operating in Artificial Intelligence to grow and develop before going global, Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation Silvio Schembri said on Thursday.

The junior minister was speaking at the Malta AI and Blockchain summit, where he said that the country was working hard to see the industry grow in Malta.   

“Our ambition is to create models which would allow AI companies to come to Malta, grow and springboard into the world,” Schembri said.

Malta, he said, was also looking to explore the commercial aspect of outer space, as well as become a hub for video game development and eSports.

The government, he said, was fully aware of the stumbling blocks companies looking to move to Malta may face, insisting that it would continue working towards making the transition easier.

Schembri said that the human capital the country could call upon gave it a competitive edge.  

“It is not the authorities or the peace of mind [offered by its legal framework] that make Malta so good, its our diverse pool of talent,” Schembri said.

This, he said, was evidenced by the fact that 19 students from the University of Malta had already been awarded scholarships to read for a Master’s degree in blockchain technologies.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who also addressed the summit, stressed that Malta would continue to create an environment that allowed emerging technologies to flourish and grow.

Over the last year, he said Malta had truly cemented its reputation as Blockchain Island.

“The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act is just a small example of how, as a jurisdiction, our country is providing assurances in the distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence software industry,” Muscat said.

He explained that the law allowed companies in this sector to be recognised by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, adding that the legislative framework made it easier for companies in the emerging technologies sphere to relocate to Malta.

Turning to Artificial Intelligence, Muscat said that while the concept might seem “scary” to some, it made no sense to fear it.

Rather, he said the country needed to embrace these new technologies and allow them to flourish.

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