The Malta Maritime Forum appeals for a National Maritime Strategy

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 May, 2023 at 5:56 pm by Andre Camilleri

The articulation and implementation of a National Maritime Strategy has been identified as the first priority for the Malta Maritime Forum by the newly-nominated Chairman Godwin Xerri.

Addressing his first Annual General Assembly, Xerri said that this aim went beyond the mere drafting of a document but was “about consulting all stakeholders in our industry to understand their achievement, challenges and aspirations and together, formulating an action plan with specific objectives and target dates.”   

Mr Xerri cited the example of fellow EU member states in the Mediterranean where the maritime industry assumes systemic importance which have Cabinet ministers dedicated to maritime policy.  “The Maltese maritime industry was now calling out for a strategic plan which would be derived from a public-private endeavour” he said before adding that the MMF was prepared to contribute actively towards the articulation of this Strategy and was encouraged by the positive response that government has shown in this initiative.

Mr Xerri, himself a founding member of the MMF, paid tribute to his predecessors – Dr Joe Borg and Judge Joseph Zammit McKeon – and pledged to carry on their same mission of striving to consolidate the Forum’s position as the prime interlocutor for the maritime industry with all stakeholders particularly the policy makers and our regulators.

He acknowledged the climate of political maturity that exists in the country on all issues related to the maritime industry and saluted the protagonists – Hon Aaron Farrugia and Hon Ivan Castillo for managing to forge between them a positive chemistry and a healthy working relationship that brings about significant benefit to the industry and the rest of the economy.

Mr Xerri said that the MMF will continue to pursue unresolved matters with the Minister, the Shadow Minister and the Regulator.  Amongst such open priority matters, Xerri mentioned the establishment of a Specialised Maritime Court; the setting up of a dedicated Maritime Authority; the enactment of proposed draft Ship Agency Regulations and a proposal for the setting up of a Structured Consultation forum for the Industry.

In proposing the latter, Xerri outlined the MMF’s positive track-record in always engaging in consultation with a constructive mindset and approach, consistently offering the authorities its meaningful contributions and workable solutions which emerge from objective research and from the opinions and experiences of the captains of Industry that the MMF represents. 

“There can be little doubt that the professional people forming part of our Forum constitute our biggest resource as we strive to influence positively our policy makers towards creating new value in the evolving realities that await us” he said.

MMF scores a first with its new Annual Report publication

At this Annual General Assembly, the MMF launched its first ever Annual Report for 2022.

“This publication and its contents are testament to the commitment of our dynamic organisation” Xerri told fellow members upon launching the new attractively-designed publication. 

Besides providing a summary of its extensive work undertaken during the 2022 calendar year however, the Report is also meant to further consolidate linkages with the Forum’smembers and the wider stakeholders in the maritime industry.  “In the candid words of our members, some of which are reproduced in this publication, our Forum has continued to rise in relevance and clout over 2022” concluded Mr Xerri. 

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