Job opportunities, new economic niches, the sustainability of the maritime industry, and strengthening of the blue economy were at the centre of discussions held during a WestMED summit hosted by Malta.

During the summit, 10 western Mediterranean countries adopted a declaration that strengthens relations and prepares the industry for the coming years.

In the past few days, representative from 10 western Mediterranean countries were in Malta for a formal dialogue on strengthening the blue economy.

Currently the presidency of WestMED is held jointly by Malta and Mauritania.

The countries adopted a declaration binding them to collaborate and meet several significant milestones on 11 different pillars, ranging from increasing jobs and skills in the blue economy, sustainability, and the use of technology to improve the economy.

Malta was represented by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Godwin Mifsud.

The countries in attendance also agreed to expand their collaboration in six new areas, including sustainability, the promotion of new and emerging technologies that improve the sector, and maritime security.

Furthermore, this statement also extended an invitation to interested parties to participate in the EU’s Restore Our Oceans and Waters Mission and the Adaptation to Climate Change mission.

Minister Farrugia reaffirmed Malta’s commitment to this declaration whilst emphasising Malta’s commitment and investment in the maritime industry.

“As a country, we are investing in infrastructure that prepares our country for present and future challenges, and the transition we need to make to be more sustainable. As a testament to this, we’ve announced a €180 million, five-year plan for our Grand Harbour. Apart from welcoming this declaration, which will strengthen cooperation in the Mediterranean, Malta will further act as a catalyst to push forward and provide leadership and ensure the success of this summit,” concluded Minister Farrugia.

The summit was attended by representatives from France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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