Manufacturing has an important and growing role in the economy
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.