Minister Borg said that the second edition of the Malta Maritime Summit will continue to consolidate the Government’s aim of establishing Malta as a centre of maritime excellence. He emphasised that through the ministry and Transport Malta, the Government will be wholly supporting this summit, and described it as an important event which will reconfirm our country as a leading maritime nation.
The Minister spoke about the strength of the Maltese maritime sector. He said that Malta has the best potential of being a Mediterranean centre of maritime excellence, both because of its geographical position and its natural ports, as well as because of the legal and fiscal regime of the country. He reminded those present of the added certainty achieved by this sector as the European Commission approved the Maltese tonnage tax scheme near the end of 2018; this approval gives more fiscal advantages and peace of mind to all those owners of vessels registered underneath the Maltese Flag, while it is also expected to draw more investors. The Minister also referred to the memorandum of understanding signed between Transport Malta and the Malta Maritime Forum to strengthen dialogue with the industry.
Minister Borg explained the positive achievements made by the maritime sector. In 2017, the register saw a growth of over 8%, which means that we now have over 75.2 million gross registered tons, while the Flag registered an increase of over 19.5% in super yachts. The Minister said that over the span of five years, more than 2000 merchant ships were registered underneath the same Flag.
He concluded by wishing every success to the organisers, so that we can have a summit which gives rise to important questions and fruitful discussions, while drawing to Maritime Malta more important investors from the international maritime industry.
John Gauci Maestre, the organiser of this summit, explained how the previous edition was substantially formative to the priorities of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He described the maritime industry as one which continuously evolves and therefore requires extensive consultation as well as continuous dialogue. Gauci Maestre said that this year’s summit will present a unique opportunity for important maritime executives from around to world to discuss and analyse EU maritime policy and its global impact, while giving due importance to the Valletta Declaration and its contribution to the industry. He also described Malta as a key participant in the maritime world and said that, with time, it is achieving more successes.
The theme of this summit, which will be held from 1 to 5 October 2018, will be ‘The Voice of the Industry’, and several important themes, such as logistics, security, finance, digitalisation, sustainability and Brexit, will be addressed. This year, the summit will also dedicate an entire day to the yachting and maritime tourism industry, an important theme for our country’s economy.
Source: Press Release by the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects
Photo: DOI - Pierre Sammut