Prime Minister Robert Abela announced a new economic model for Malta during an extraordinary cabinet meeting held today at the Exchange Building in Valletta, home to the Malta Chamber of Commerce.
The model revolves around a better quality of life and is based on five key pillars: good governance, economic growth, education, infrastructure and making Malta carbon neutral by 2050 with 10-year goals.
Dr Abela said that the €2.25 billion package secured from the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for the next seven years will be crucial to fulfil this vision.
On good governance, the Prime Minister said “good governance is central for a strong economy. In six months, new laws were implemented based on the recommendations of the Venice Commission, which Government and the Opposition agreed on 100 per cent.”
“We are modernising our legal infrastructure and introducing new principles for transparency. As Prime Minister, I’ve removed various powers given to me by the Constitution,” he said.
On economic growth, Dr Abela shared strong words that “economic growth means nothing if the general public is not living a better life,” and cites “noise, a lack of public discipline, air pollution, lack of access to public spaces,” as some of Malta’s shortcomings. He insisted that Malta needs to shift its focus on the type of tourist it wants to attract, aiming for “a better-quality tourist”.
“The environment is central to all this. Waste management is a big challenge for our country, and I would like to see a cleaner Malta with less air pollution, more open spaces, and planning decisions based on principles that ultimately lead to a better quality of life for Maltese and Gozitan residents.”
On education, the Prime Minister said this would lead to a strong economy for the long term and students need to be prepared for non-traditional subjects such as life sciences, robotics, coding, AI, cloud computing and cyber security, alongside traditional subjects such as Maths and Science.
Expanding on the pillar of infrastructure, Dr Abela said “we cannot say we host the most sophisticated industries and then get stuck in traffic every morning. It is time to seriously discuss innovative modes of mass transport.” He also stressed the need for a better digital infrastructure, to reduce manual bureaucracy and have all government services for businesses available through one online portal.
The final pillar of carbon neutrality was addressed by the Prime Minister as “the greatest challenge” which needs to be sped up for Malta to achieve the target by 2050, with intermediate 10-year goals. This would mean that by 2050, there will be no net release of toxic carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
DOI / Jason Borg