The Malta Chamber today hosted the Prime Minister in what was a sell-out event attended by 150 members. “This is evidence to our business community’s genuine eagerness to dialogue with Government and contribute to the nation’s well-being” said the Chamber President, Mr David G Curmi, upon welcoming the Prime Minister.
Mr Curmi referred to the international economic climate and declared that Malta must aim for growth. He said that the Malta Chamber believed that national competitiveness was the only determinant to growth. “Growth is the ‘be all and end all’ of Malta’s path to future prosperity”, he said as he listed a number of factors which the country needed to get absolutely right in the context of maintaining national competitiveness. These included; to ensure a healthy, balanced economy within which the private sector is empowered to invest to maximize its output, to offer the investor a flexible labour market with the required skills at competitive wages and conditions, to consolidate public finances including the control of government-guaranteed debt and the sustainability of pensions and free healthcare system, to supplement the efforts of the private sector with a modern, well-resourced and efficient public sector, to support innovation, research and education, through the consolidation of efforts and scarce resources and to exploit lucrative opportunities in the international market because, ultimately, any growth in Malta must be export-led. In this context, the Chamber President maintained that political determination and leadership were essential.
He said, “there are decisions to be taken and reforms to be made - some of which, our country can no longer afford to postpone. The solutions we require are not of the ‘quick-fix’ kind. We need long-lasting, sustainable solutions.” Mr Curmi pledged the Malta Chamber’s commitment and eagerness to work closely with Government in order to find the necessary solutions in the interest of the country’s well-being and in order to mobilise investment, facilitate access to credit and focus on growth rather than austerity.
The Chamber acknowledged the projects and initiatives - for which “expressions of interest” were recently issued - as drivers for growth in the coming years and months. Government’s pro-activeness in re-instating the Global Residence Scheme was similarly acknowledged as a means to stimulate a wide range of business sectors which this scheme will impact in a more than positive way. On this occasion, Mr Curmi announced that the Chamber was in the process of mapping out an Economic Vision for Malta for the 2014-2018 period. To this end, it formed a “high profile think-tank” made up of a select group of entrepreneurs and CEOs from within its membership base to contribute towards the process which shall commence in the coming days and is expected to be finalised by October.
Mr Curmi concluded by highlighting the resilience and dynamism of the private sector which, given the necessary direction and the right impetus to invest, will create jobs and growth. Growth and job creation, he said, were a primary social, political and business priority. “Give us the right environment for business to invest and prosper and let us do the rest. Let us together give economic growth a chance. Our members will not let this country down” concluded the Chamber President. On this occasion, the Prime Minister was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs; the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business; the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth; and the Chairmen of Malta Enterprise and the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development.
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