Manufacturing has an im­por­tant and grow­ing role in the econ­omy

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The Min­is­ter for the Econ­omy, In­vest­ment and Small Busi­ness Dr Chris Car­dona de­liv­ered a speech dur­ing a sem­i­nar on re­search re­lated to Multi-Ma­te­rial Mi­cro In­jec­tion Mould­ing, or­gan­ised by the Depart­ment of In­dus­trial & Manufacturing En­gi­neer­ing within the Univer­sity of Malta.

Min­is­ter Car­dona gave an over­view of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of the manufacturing sec­tor in Malta and stated how, since Jan­uary, the per­for­mance of this In­dus­trial Pro­duc­tion in­dex has im­proved dras­ti­cally. For the past eight months, monthly year-onyear com­par­isons have in­di­cated a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion. When com­par­ing Au­gust with Au­gust 2014, in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion in­creased by a con­sid­er­able 8.9%.

Dr Car­dona noted that dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of 2015 the Gross Value Added gen­er­ated from manufacturing in­creased by 4.7%, the high­est quar­terly Gross Value Added since the first quar­ter of 2013.

As at April, full-time em­ploy­ment in the manufacturing industry amounted to 20,611 em­ploy­ees. Com­pared to April 2014, full-time em­ploy­ment in this sec­tor in­creased by 204 full­timers, or 1%. When com­par­ing April with April 2013, full-time em­ploy­ment in the manufacturing sec­tor in­creased by 415 full­time em­ploy­ees, or 2%.

Min­is­ter Car­dona re­ferred to the re­cently pub­lished EY At­trac­tive­ness Sur­vey, which showed that Malta’s FDI at­trac­tive­ness among manufacturing re­spon­dents has in­creased from 23% to 46% from last year.

In re­cent times Malta En­ter­prise has been di­rect­ing its ef­forts to iden­tify and at­tract com­pa­nies in the area of ad­vanced manufacturing. He said that gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to con­tinue as­sist­ing the manufacturing industry and in fact dur­ing this year’s Bud­get, a scheme was launched to fa­cili- tate re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

“We have thriv­ing in­dus­tries in Malta, gen­er­at­ing wealth and em­ploy­ment. But we must al­ways work hard to keep th­ese com­pa­nies strong and work, where we can, to ex­pand the sec­tor even fur­ther,” con­cluded Dr Car­dona.

The sem­i­nar was also ad­dressed by the Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Re­search, In­no­va­tion, Youth and Sport Chris Agius.

Mr Agius re­ferred to gov­ern­ment's an­nounce­ment that en­ter­prises which em­ploy per­sons with a doc­tor­ate or study­ing for a doc­tor­ate in sci­ence, ICT or en­gi­neer­ing will be given a tax credit. This is be­ing done to fa­cil­i­tate fur­ther re­search and in­no­va­tion in the lo­cal sce­nario. While ac­knowl­edg­ing the im­por­tance of in­vest­ing in re­search and in­no­va­tion projects as they gen­er­ate eco­nomic wealth, the gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edges the im­por­tance of the for­ma­tion of con­sor­tia be­tween pub­lic and pri­vate en­ti­ties. Th­ese said con­sor­tia, con­tin­ued Mr Agius, will help in the trans­fer of knowl­edge that will lead to con­cretis­ing re­search that de­liv­ers so­lu­tions, not only within sci­ence, but also within eco­nomic growth and eco­nomic im­pact.

Dr Jef­frey Pul­li­cino Or­lando who serves as the ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of MCST opened the sem­i­nar by not­ing how the coun­cil has been in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing plat­forms for the strength­en­ing of Malta’s R&I pil­lar. Since 2004, the Coun­cil has dis­bursed some €10m as grants to fur­ther en­cour­age re­search lo­cally and ad­dress so­ci­etal and in­dus­trial chal­lenges.

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