Minister for Economy Silvio Schembri on Wednesday (today) launched five strategies aimed at putting Malta ahead of the wave of rapid change towards digital economies and societies, described as the fourth industrial revolution.
Minister Schembri explained that in the previous industrial revolutions there was always a need for a natural resource, such as coal, fuel, or land to build large machines and plants, making Malta’s small size an obstacle to development.
“However, in this fourth revolution, because the focus is on the technological world, our small size is not a hindrance, and we can therefore ride on the opportunities this revolution offers,” he said.
The five strategies are:
This strategy will, among other things, expand research on innovative technologies to reflect the needs of today’s society. It will also support Government initiatives on regulation and compliance using innovative technology, and identify the risks associated with innovative technologies to reduce their impact on industry.
This strategy will promote an effective regulatory framework when it comes to ecommerce, for the benefit of businesses and consumers. It will involve an educational campaign on the benefits and risks of online shopping and incentives for local small and medium-sized businesses to establish a digital platform.
This strategy is divided into four main pillars: education, society, the labour market and ICT professionals. The main aims are to have more digital knowledge as a society, and to be more confident and productive in the use of digital technology, including a continuation of digital transformation ongoing in the public administration.
This strategy sees more businesses adopting digital transformation from the enterprise segment, enabling them to be more competitive in the digital world we are living in, while the education system needs to evolve at every level so that it can cope with today’s and tomorrow’s need in digital skills, as well as supporting the entry of more ICT professionals in the local market.
This strategy has been produced in collaboration with the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security and aims to ensure that Malta’s digital infrastructure is strong and protected. The strategy ensures that there is the necessary emphasis on cyber security from a business and economic point of view, as well as strengthening cooperation on cyber security at national, European and international level.
This strategy explains how Malta is expected to maintain the pace it has picked up by being at the forefront of this fourth industrial revolution. The main objectives are: to further strengthen Malta’s economy through digitalisation; accelerate digital and innovative research, making Malta the natural place for innovation; to reduce infrastructure, social and environmental pressure through technology; and to continue to overcome the digital divide while assisting the more vulnerable parts of society.
Malta Digital also aims to further increase talent and competences in digital areas in the human resources, to improve trust, security and resilience in digital services, and to prioritise investment in digital infrastructure
In a message sent by Roberto Viola, the European Commission’s Director General for Communication, Networks, Content and Telecommunications (CONNECT), he praised Malta’s initiative to create for the coming years a digital vision that is not only for the benefit, of Maltese citizens, but also for businesses, European citizens and everyone who visits the country.
Minister Schembri concluded that these strategies are key to Malta’s vision to be a centre of excellence when it comes to digitalisation and innovative technology, and encouraged all stakeholders to work together to achieve the ambitious goal.
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