4 July 2001

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Very positive reaction to BPA – Josef Bonnici

- Lm2.6 million spent on industrial estates last year

Economic Services Minister, Josef Bonnici, last Saturday highlighted the fact that the reaction to the new Business Promotion Act’s (BPA) has been very positive, as have been the manufacturing results from this year’s first quarter.

The updated BPA, Prof Bonnici explained while inaugurating the German UWT International at the Corradino Industrial Estate, provides a highly attractive incentives package that is bound to enhance Malta’s competitiveness and help engender more investment opportunities

The new incentives range include reduced income tax rates, investment tax credits, job creation, value added incentives and other measures that are part and parcel of a broader package than the now outdated Industrial Development Act.

Adding that the reaction to the new incentives package had been very positive, Prof Bonnici comments, "While incentives are fundamental in attracting further investment, government is also aware of the fact that investors want an organised, clean environment where to operate from.

"We are also working hard to achieve this objective, by establishing a distinct Estate Management Unit within the MDC and by embarking on an extensive upgrading exercise of a number of industrial estates. Over Lm2.6 million were spent on industrial estates last year alone."

Applauding the latest statistics for the first three months of the year, the minister explained that the results continue to show positive results – particularly within the manufacturing sector.

Total sales by large manufacturing enterprises have increased by Lm5.3 million - equivalent to a 2.1 per cent increase - an increase of nearly 170 in employment and an increase of nearly Lm3 million in the amount of wages and salaries paid by the manufacturing sector over the time frame.

Prof Bonnici did not hold back his words of praise on German investment in Malta either, explaining that German investors, which number approximately 50, have been amongst the pioneers in Malta’s industrialization, ever since the sixties and seventies and now constitute the largest segment of foreign direct investment in Malta.

Prof Bonnici explains, "Many of them have also actually made Malta a tangible part of their industrial strategy. Most of them have been a success story. Out of a total of 57 new projects and expansions approved by the Malta Development Corporation last year, 12, including one expansion, originated from Germany. These included electronic components, software development, toys, quartz glass components, plastic injection moulding and electronic assembly.

"German investors, like many others from other countries, have found Malta to be a highly profitable place to operate from and have managed to reach their targets much faster than was initially planned. Many a time, three-year projections have been achieved within just 18 months.

"Our strategic location between Europe and the potentially huge African market; the well-trained, highly skilled, multi-lingual labour force; competitive factory rates, coupled with a new incentive package provide the basis for Malta’s sound credentials as a viable location for foreign direct investment in manufacturing."

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt