Editorial | Bold first steps... what needs to be done next

Prime Minister Abela has a tall order, and we need to grant him a short honeymoon as is expected from someone who has landed in this role


The first steps by the newly elected Labour Prime Minister Robert Abela cannot go unnoticed.

There is a very clear signal that Robert Abela wants change. He has addressed this by capitalising on competence, continuinity and new blood in his new line for the new cabinet.

Needless to say the most important change was his decision to move former economy minister Chris Cardona out of the economy portfolio and appoint in his place former parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri, a young assertive politician who has made a name for himself when serving as parliamentary secretary.

In his role as PS, Schembri oversaw the initiatives being taken in blockchain, artificial intelligence and other new economy industries.

Beyond the realm of good governance and addressing the reputational damage, Abela has to uplift the economy without sacrificing the basic tenets that have created such a bad image for Malta. But this has to be said in a climate which saw unprecedented economic growth.

As BusinessToday we have lifted a few considerations that should serve as priorities to ensure continous economic growth.

First and foremost we need to address the financial services and betting industry and those industries based on foreign investors/investment and companies.

We need to guarantee that foreign investors continue to look at Malta as a platform for their company formation without sacrificing our nation’s reputation.

Second, we need to continue attracting foreign direct investment with emphasis on the new economy and with an accent on project investment that looks at future generations.

Third, we need to ensure that our competivity is not eaten away and that we become less burocratic and encourage those changes that are needed to become more attractive to new businesses.

Fourth, the Maltese banking sector needs to be moulded to warrant new businesses old and new alike to invest and to back resourcefulness in business.

Fifth, we need to be innovative and creative to look to and at new business opportunities that will add value to our product called Malta.

Sixth, we need to invest in our connectivity and infrastructure to ensure that mobility is not hindered and that we become more efficient.

Last but not least, we need to invest in our tourism product to make Malta and Gozo more attractive to incoming visitors who seek our shores for entertainment or business. Coupled with this is the quality of our surroundings.

Prime Minister Abela has a tall order, and we need to grant him a short honeymoon as is expected from someone who has landed in this role.

Economic growth cannot be stunted or stalled and he will need to inject confidence in every sector.

He already has and by doing so he has set the right note for his first days as prime minister.

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