19 November 2003

Search all issues

powered by FreeFind

Send Your Feedback!

Foundation for National Competitiveness launched

Yesterday saw the formal institution of the Foundation for National Competitiveness, the joining of forces of consultancy firm EMCS Ltd., the Malta Council for Science & Technology, Bank of Valletta, HSBC Bank Malta, Malta International Airport, VISET, Vodafone, Maltacom, Toly Products and Magro Bros.
Launching the Foundation yesterday, Competitive Malta President Dr John C. Grech commented, "National competitiveness, the ability to win and keep business in domestic and foreign markets, is the foundation of economic success. Maintaining and improving competitiveness will be the basis on which Malta will ensure that it maintains and improves the standard of living of all its citizens. The need to be more competitive is also exacerbated by the increased level of competition in areas such as FDI, tourism, and financial services from other countries that are following similar paths."
Dr Grech added, "Competitiveness is not solely about wage levels but also about the other factors that encapsulate the social and economic fibre of Malta. Some of these include: skills level of the workforce, attitude of both individuals and employers to ongoing training, the delivery of education and training, the strength of the culture of research and development, the quality of infrastructure, the regulation of markets, the efficiency and effectiveness of resource use, creativity and path breaking."
He explained how it is imperative that Malta improves its national competitiveness to meet the mounting challenges of an increasing competitive international economy. "This is in order to secure the long-term viability of the Maltese economy and therefore the standard of living of the Maltese," he explains.
"As part of this EMCS Ltd had started discussion with Wilfred Kenely CEO of the Malta Council for Science and Technology to identify how the issue of competitiveness could be promoted and addressed more systematically in our country. EMCS and MCST jointly came up with the concept of setting-up a foundation for national competitiveness. While EMCS undertook the responsibility to develop the mission, scope and programme of the foundation MCST established the necessary contacts with the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Programme."
As a result of this set-up the Foundation is strategically poised to shape the national economic agenda and to offer concrete recommendations to government and the private sector so as to ensure a stronger international competitive infrastructure for the country. An added advantage is that Competitive Malta is a Partner Institute of the World Economic Forum – meaning that the Foundation will now be responsible for the yearly collation of the executive opinion surveys for Malta to be featured on the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum on an annual basis."
Adrian Said (Director of EMCS Ltd and Chief Co-ordinator of Competitive Malta) delivered a presentation outlining the mission scope & programme of Competitive Malta.
He explained how the Foundation’s Mission Statement is: "To elevate national competitiveness to the forefront of national debate"
Beside other initiatives the scope of the Foundation is to:
• Benchmark & undertake research relating to National Competitiveness in conjunction with the World Economic Forum so as to ensure Malta's participation in the Global Competitiveness Report of the Word Economic Forum. He added that the foundation also aim unite the research bureaus of the member organisations so as to provide new data and analysis on Malta's competitiveness.
• Support national innovation & creativity and promote path-breaking initiatives by acting as a catalyst for the development of Industry/University R&D centres.
• Promote Intra and Inter industry/sector synergies through the direct involvement of corporate leaders.
• The Foundation shall therefore act as a co-ordinator for the development of synergies within industry sectors so as to:
• Encourage co-operation amongst different stakeholders in the tourism sector and other service sectors
• Assist in the development of clusters within the manufacturing industry
• Develop co-operation and Trans industry dialogue and joint initiatives
• Assist in the creating definitions of lines of business/industrial sectors
• Cultivate a World-Class Workforce.
As the economy becomes more knowledge-based, demand for knowledge workers is increasing. In this regards the scope of the Foundation is to:
• Encourage and propose policy initiatives to sharpen the competitive edge of Maltese workers in critical fields as science, engineering, maths, IT and language skills in primary and secondary schools
• Assist in the development of methods/structure of educational training systems
• To develop a national understanding of the need for national competitiveness and path breaking by: organising a yearly conference on national competitiveness; presenting original research to Cabinet & Parliament;
• publishing reports/papers and developing an interactive web-site.
Mr Said added that as a Partner Institute of the World Economic Forum the Foundation will be able to use the title 'Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness Programme of the World Economic Forum.' It will also avail from the following benefits:
• Access to the current years Global Competitiveness Report results, for use in the preparation of an annual conference in co-ordination with the World Economic Forum
• Access to the current year's Global Competitiveness Report data set, enabling further country specific analysis in co-ordination with either the World Economic Forum or the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness of the Harvard Business School
• Formal recognition in the printed version of the Global Competitiveness Report, published and distributed globally by Oxford University Press
• Access to the private area on the World Economic Forum website
Following the introduction by Dr Grech and the presentation by Adrian Said, the 10 founding members signed the statute of Competitive Malta - Foundation for National Competitiveness in the presence of Notary Marco Burlo and Dr Antonio Tufigno.
The founding members of the Foundation agreed that this is the start to a new and ambitious initiative that shall be looking at providing the government and the private sector with a basis by which Malta could enhance its competitiveness for an improved standard of living for all Maltese citizens.


Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | E-mail