Shipping SME Chamber

Ahead of the Government Budget for the coming year, the industry body representing Malta’s maritime sector has called for funding support for “forward-looking” economic operators that adopt “tangible” initiatives to respond to the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities afforded by digitalisation.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Malta Maritime Forum (MMF) said it submitted a set of concrete proposals for consideration by the Minister for Finance in his preparation of the Budget for 2022, due to be presented to Parliament on 11th October.

The MMF proposed that the 2022 Budget earmarks specific funding support available to all forward-looking economic operators, including those in the maritime industry, that are willing to render their business models more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable; digitally prepared and orientated; and resilient to shocks.

Operators may achieve these goals through the adoption of tangible climate change or energy-efficiency initiatives, as well as through competitiveness-enhancing measures via concrete innovation and digitalisation initiatives.

The MMF also made proposals related to the promotion of skills and competences required in the maritime industry within the educational programmes of the country.

To this end, it recommended better alignment of the various initiatives in the education sector by local providers concerning maritime studies into one cohesive unit, with a view to build synergies and consolidation.

It also called for the accreditation of courses in the maritime sector to be aligned to the national EQS programme whilst rendering maritime studies eligible for sponsorship opportunities and grants, and inclusion within the MyJourney programme.

The Forum said these initiatives must be implemented within a framework of recognition of the role of private investors in the maritime industry – both local and foreign – and their economic contribution in the generation of prosperity, jobs, tax revenues and other economic multipliers.

The industry body said it deems it crucial for government “to recognise and offer support the development of the maritime industry to reflect its ranking and importance at a global level and its systemic strategic and economic importance”.

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