Last Updated on Thursday, 8 July, 2021 at 10:48 am by Andre Camilleri
The government is committed towards affirming Malta as a trustworthy, transparent, and efficient economic partner in the global sphere
“Malta will continue to enhance and promote good governance across every sphere of public life and across its key institutions and decision-making authorities, affirming itself as a trustworthy, transparent, and efficient economic partner in the global sphere.” This was stated by Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri in one of a series of public consultation seminars which are discussing each of the five pillars described in the document of the Economic Vision 2021-2031 for Malta.
The session, organised by MIMCOL, addressed the 5th pillar, good governance, accountability and rule of law, with the participation of Minister for Justice and Governance Edward Zammit Lewis. Stakeholders hailing from government entities, civil society, and non-governmental organisations participated.
Minister Silvio Schembri remarked that good governance is essential for Malta to ensure a stable business environment, enhance consumer confidence, and to safeguard citizens’ quality of life. “The Maltese economy has made great strides since the change in administration. This was followed by huge investment in our institutions during the past two years, investment which was required and unfortunately lacking for the past 15 years. Today we have raised the bar when it comes to transparency and rule of law in Malta and, in view of recent developments, this consultation process comes at a significantly opportune time,” said Minister Schembri.
This consultation process not only comes at an opportune time but continues to further validate the need for this vision, determinedly seeking an even more co-ordinated effort to address and work towards a common goal, that of adopting further recommendations made by FATF.
In this regard, the Minister for the Economy said that existing regulatory practices are to be bolstered to ensure and enforce compliance, with the highest international standards through high levels of accountability and rule of law, which are the pre-requisites of a thriving entrepreneurial climate. Furthermore, the government must introduce new elements of attractiveness such as incentives that go beyond our effective tax rate advantage and delve deeper into innovative regimes. These include stock options, capital gain reinvestment schemes and IP-friendly regimes similar to those implemented by our European counterparts. The Minister also stated that in line with the country’s vision, that of being at the forefront of digital solutions, cybersecurity and privacy are to remain a main priority. This could be achieved by ensuring the procurement of solid investment in a cyber-security infrastructure that sustains a thriving and secure business environment.
In his comments, Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said, “Good governance and rule of law have always been a vital pillar of any economy. The importance of this fifth pillar of Malta’s economic vision is even more evident if one looks at the ratings of credit ranking agencies. These agencies often note that Malta has carried unprecedented institutional and constitutional reforms, which ultimately serve as a main building block for business and investors to trust Malta as a serious financial and economic jurisdiction. For this to happen we need to continue working toward ensuring due process—not only in the law courts but also in our public authorities. I believe that Malta has already taken great strides in favour of more investment, and this government will continue working further for Malta to be seen as a trustworthy jurisdiction.”
The economic vision document stresses that in order for Malta to become ‘future-proof’ in the high standards of accountability, good governance and rule of law sector by 2031, various measures must be implemented, namely:
• Enshrining rule of law, strengthening governance, and transparency and ensuring accountability;
• Strengthening the regulatory environment to ensure and enforce compliance with the highest international standards;
• Implementing the necessary reforms for a faster and fairer justice system;
• Prioritising data protection and privacy as fundamental prerequisites for a digital economy.
All those interested in participating in the national consultation process can visit https://economicvision.mimcol.com.mt/ to submit their comments. The consultation process will remain open until 31st July 2021.