4 - 10 April 2001
MDC sees in capital investments worth Lm20.6m in 57 projects last year
18 projects worth Lm3.4m registered so far this year
By David Lindsay
Last year the Malta Development Corporation approved 45 new projects and a dozen expansions of existing enterprises which, between them, are expected to account for a projected capital investment of Lm20.6 million and to create an additional 1,600 new jobs within three years.
Over last year, total investment in the manufacturing sector alone had nearly trebled from Lm23.4 million in 1998 to Lm74.7 million last year.
The sector has also registered an increase in employment of 600 over the same period, while exports by the sector rose markedly by almost Lm265 million last year to nearly Lm977 million and local sales increased by more than Lm2 million to Lm195 million.
Economic Services Minister Joseph Bonnici explains, "The drive for new projects, although not an easy task, is bearing fruit considering the fact that the number of projects approved last year was the highest in the past five years."
The minister also cited the fact that many companies have adopted lean manufacturing techniques, which enhance their ability to compete and prosper in the face of constant and ever changing challenges posed by today's international marketplace.
The MDC has approved 14 new projects and four expansions so far this year, which will account for a projected capital investment of Lm3.4 million and an additional 638 new jobs spread over a three-year period.
Noting that that interest from both foreign and local investors is very encouraging, Prof. Bonnici adds, "This government sincerely believes that Malta is a very profitable location to operate from. International companies that have decided to invest in Malta, have managed to reach their targets much faster than was initially planned.
"This is mainly due to the positive investment climate that exists in Malta and the willingness and ability of the Maltese worker to learn and adopt new technologies. These factors are ultimately reflected in companies' profitability and productivity.