A Mediterranean hub for innovation
In the latest report from the European Centre for Policy Reform and Entrepreneurship (ECEPR), Malta is considered as the southern European hotbed for ‘brain businesses’ – companies that compete through their brain power and expertise. The new study, The Geography of Europe’s Brain Business Jobs, shows that 5.5 per cent of the working age population of Malta is employed in highly knowledge-intensive companies. This is higher than the European average of 5 per cent
Proud of our rankings
The report is aimed at businesses and investors making a strategic choice about where to locate and invest. The opening last week of Noovle Google new offices, a new and innovative investment in Gozo, is proof of such international interest.
We should all be proud of statements by such bodies as the ECEPR. This is what Labour’s long-term vision, sense of innovation and commitment to change is all about. The ability to keep abreast of current events and developments gives us the cutting edge when competing with other countries, regardless of our size. The country is fast making a name for itself in becoming a hub for blockchain, bitcoin and the latest artificial intelligence sector. This is something we should all be proud of and in no way inferior to any other nation, and certainly desisting from the concerted strategy by some to belittle our democratic credentials at every opportunity overseas.
Quite rightly, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has expressed optimism that Malta will continue to be eligible for EU Cohesion Funds, despite its economic progress. Speaking in Bratislava at a Friends of Cohesion conference this week, he said that progress needed to be sustained, rather than have support withdrawn, and he was confident that this view was gaining support in the European Commission. It is preferable for any member state to progress, with adequate EU funds, and there should be an acceptable level of EU funds to help sustain the progress that is being made.
A prosperous country
Another international report this week states that Malta is among the world’s richest, healthiest and most prosperous nations. A long-running international survey by the Legatum Institute’s Annual Prosperity Index considers more than 100 variables to determine the most prosperous countries among the 149 under review.
Malta is placed 19th, up from 22nd last year. Legatum, which has been carrying out the survey for 12 years, looked at per capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work, among other criteria. It also includes economic quality, business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, education, health and natural environment.
The government will not rest on such positive classifications and will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that the country’s prosperity reaches out to include all our families and social groups. It is, however, encouraging to note that the optimistic outlook and the feel-good factor all around is also recognised at European and international levels.
Family-run businesses are the pulse of our economy and not least in Gozo. It is estimated that these businesses directly employ about 40,000 people across both islands. Through new and innovative legislation, the Government aims to facilitate the transfer of businesses between generations to ensure continuity in