09 August 2006

The Web
Business Today

Socio-economic strategy for Gozo

Karl Schembri

With a GDP at an estimated 69 per cent of the figure for Malta and up to 45 per cent of the Gozitan workforce employed with the government, as opposed to 11 per cent in Malta, government believes the ministry for Gozo should be given further powers.
Mostly generic in its objectives, government believes it can alleviate Gozo’s peripheral and insular nature through the use of IT; that it can boost the Gozitan economy through diversification, and that it can strengthen the Gozitan community through new opportunities for career training.
These objectives will be given at least 10 per cent of government’s available EU Cohesion Policy Funds, but they remain largely vague objectives without much specifics about how they will be reached.
In a bid to boost Gozo’s “distinctive economy”, the government proposes rehabilitating cultural sites like ic-Cittadella and Ggantija, creating crafts cooperatives and traditional crafts centres, promoting regional cuisine, developing niche sport tourism, and integrating workers’ research and training with the educational institutions present in Gozo.
Upgrading the road network as well as the electricity, water and sewerage networks should lead to enhanced economic efficiency, according to the report, while Gozo should get more jobs if it is marketed as a back-office operations centre, including for the public sector which employs up to 45 per cent of the Gozitan workforce, in comparison with Malta’s 11 per cent.
The proposals also set by the government include strengthening the Gozitan community sentiment by increasing social housing and improving welfare services through coordination with NGOs and the Church.
Solid and liquid waste treatment remains nonexistent in Gozo. In this document the government says it will be finalising the infrastructure required to set the Gozo waste management into action. Also included under government’s strategic vision for Gozo’s environment is the upgrading of Villa Rundle Gardens, Xlendi and Marsalforn Bays, transforming Mgarr Port into a waterfront promenade, an environmental conservation plan for Dwejra and general rubble-wall reconstruction.

Business Today is published weekly on Wednesdays.
Website is updated weekly on Thursdays
Copyright © MediaToday., Malta
Managing Editor - Saviour Balzan
Editor: Kurt Sansone
Business Today, MediaToday, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 2138 2741 | Fax: (356) 2138 5075 | E-mail