Prime Minister fields questions from members of The Malta Chamber in exclusive meeting
Welcoming the Prime Minister of Malta Dr Robert Abela to The Malta Chamber on Wednesday morning, President Perit David Xuereb said that the Chamber and Government shared ample common ground in terms of their economic vision for the country. He said that the alignment was expected as both entities were after the optimal economic and healthy well-being of our people.
Dr Abela was attending an event organised by The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry on 2nd September, from the ‘Meet the Prime Minister’ series, whereby members of the Chamber are offered the exclusive opportunity to ask questions directly to the head of Government.
“In the current landscape of our country’s democratic and socio-economic development, we feel we have an even more important role to play of keeping our policy makers in check on behalf of our members and the business community at large” David Xuereb said.
Commenting on the subject of good governance, the Chamber President said that the reputation of brand Malta had suffered considerable damage to the extent that some companies were struggling to perform international business due to the manner in which business counterparts perceived the country.
“To this end, we shall continue to offer all our support to ensure the country is able to perform the necessary thorough and systematic clean-up of the whole system. Without this, we cannot hope for us to achieve our Economic Vision. Our immediate concern here is, of course, the impending Moneyval Report which we cannot afford to get wrong. Once again, as a Chamber we have offered our support to ensure we achieve this milestone”.
Moving to the subject of The Malta Chamber’s Economic Vision for Malta to be a Smart Sustainable Island by 2025, Perit Xuereb noted how this sought to increase economic growth while enhancing the quality of life of the people.
“Education and the adoption of technology is key towards attaining this vision. Our biggest challenge here of course is to ensure that the country is able to predict and deliver the education and training required by our workers of tomorrow to ensure that Malta has the drivers to take us to the economic destination we are aspiring to”
Perit Xuereb noted how The Chamber was concentrating its efforts in collaborating with Government and the other social partners in finding the most workable solutions for students to be able to return to their classrooms later this month.
“We deem it important to have some sort of routine in the new normal. This is not only crucial for the educational development of our children but also for the proper functioning of our labour force. We have every confidence in the Health Authorities and in the protocols that they are preparing to this end. We now insist that these protocols are published as soon as possible for the guidance of all respective stakeholders. It is our sincere hope that these protocols are agreed to and put into place, so that our educational structures can function with the appropriate risk mitigation measures to the benefit of all stakeholders concerned. It is also crucial that this happens to ensure that our labour market and upcoming generations alike do not suffer any long-lasting educational gaps that could jeopardise academic development on one hand, and HR capacities of the country on the other” the Chamber President remarked.
Perit Xuereb also spoke about another central issue: the continuation of the Wage Subsidy Scheme. While mindful of the problems and obvious constraints that the continuation of the scheme brought with it, The Malta Chamber was recommending an alteration, whereby the wage subsidy would be linked to Reskilling and/or Upskilling of employees to ensure they remained relevant to the economy.
“This recommendation is one in a series of many we shall soon be putting forward in anticipation of the 2021 National Budget with the theme Recover – Re-Invent – Re-Invest” Perit Xuereb concluded.