Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that similar collaborations and partnerships will support Malta to gather the necessary assistance and to benefit from international expertise and know-how from true global leaders in the industry.
Dr Muscat remarked that Malta is already classified as the best in Europe for providing digital public services. “This is by no means a coincidence, we have worked tirelessly over the past few years to simplify and cut down on bureaucratic processes, making services more accessible to citizens. However, we want to go further and become ourselves global leaders in this field”, the Prime Minister said.
This collaboration is an opportunity to create a great impact on our society. Increasing efficiency in e-Government services, which has already come a long way, will allow citizens to access information faster in an even more transparent and effective manner. Enhancing digital literacy amongst the population will serve the business sector with human resources capable of transforming and growing their enterprises. It is - without a doubt - that the way forward is digital and there are only benefits of increasing citizens literacy, added Dr Muscat.
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri said that this is not just a testimonial of Microsoft’s continuous trust in Malta, in our vision, and in our resources. Most importantly it is a sign of the company’s commitment to keep a strategic role in being part of Malta’s journey.
Peggy Antonakou, General Manager for Microsoft Greece, Cyprus, and Malta, said that the agreement holds a series of initiatives aiming to support the Strategic Themes of the officially announced National Digital Strategy 2014-2020 of Malta. The agreement aims at empowering citizens and Malta itself. “We at Microsoft believe that this new technology is growing, thus it has to be developed in a responsible way while being of a benefit for citizens, businesses, and society as a whole”, said Peggy Antonakou whilst remarking that Malta is putting itself in the lead by investing in a strategy for this new technology.
The collaboration is aimed at covering various areas aimed to support the Strategic Themes as part of the National Digital Strategy 2014-2020 of Malta. The areas focus on Digital Citizen, that is increasing awareness on disruptive technologies to enhance Digital Literacy of the Maltese population. Another area is Digital Business, that is how to advocate and promote start-ups and business to transform, grow, and expand internationally leveraging on new technologies through worldwide initiatives like Microsoft for start-ups and attract new business. The third area on which the collaboration will be focusing on is Digital Government, that is how to increase efficiency and support innovative e-Government services.
Through this agreement Microsoft will introduce technology adoption acceleration programmes focusing on trainings and workshops for different audiences. It will establish local communities and the provision of networking, means, and facilities in the areas mentioned. Local businesses will be supported through resources, which will help them embrace the potential of disruptive technology, and further strengthen the ecosystem. Microsoft and the Government will collaborate in adopting new technology to drive efficiency and performance in the public sector.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri on behalf of the Government of Malta and Peggy Antonakou on behalf of Microsoft.
Source: Press Release by the Office of the Prime Minister