Author: Lawrence Zammit

In its document, Economic Vision 2020-2025, the Malta Chamber of Commerce had asked for a “smart and sustainable island”, where economic growth would lead to a better quality of life. This is probably one of the strongest statements that have been made in recent years about the future of our economy as it is not vague in the message it wants to project. It links sustainability to economic growth and to a better quality of life. Sustainability has been mentioned for around a decade. When the Prime Minister of Malta of the time had initially stated that as a country,…

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The European Central Bank last week announced its strategy for the years looking forward to 2025. It is a process that started at the beginning of 2020. The importance of such a strategy lies in the fact the ECB has the responsibility for monetary policy within the eurozone. This means that the strategy and the resulting decisions have a direct impact on our economy. One example is the rate of interest. For the last years, the ECB has implemented a low interest policy to stimulate economic growth, especially in the larger economies of the eurozone. Given our country’s economic growth,…

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A survey of the Malta Chamber of Commerce highlighted that 77 per cent of businesses reported having trouble finding workers, of varying skills, with operations being negatively affected as a result. Sixty-one per cent stated that hiring challenges are limiting their company’s ability to operate at full capacity. This newspaper reported that Malta’s businesses are currently grappling with a staffing crisis as a result of a large number of foreigners leaving the island because of the pandemic. A number of questions arise when trying to understand the implications of this data. Part of the answer is provided by the survey…

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As more restrictions due to the coronavirus are removed, we need to assess a number of factors. I have long contended that we will evolve into a new normal and there will be no going back to the normalcy we knew before the coronavirus. One particular aspect is employee wellness. The Commissioner for Mental Health has long been harping on the importance of mental health at the place of work. His efforts and those of the team he leads have made sure that, as a minimum, we discuss the issue, whereas before it was unmentionable. He has actually achieved more…

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We seem to be getting towards the end of most restrictions related to social interaction imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic. We have invariably used the term ‘lockdown’ to describe these restrictions as international travel was severely restricted if not abolished. Restaurants and certain types of shops remained closed for a number of weeks. The same rule was applied to faith events. Moreover, a not insignificant percentage of the population worked from home and schools were closed for a period of time. This explains the generic term ‘lockdown’. So the question I am posing is whether there are lessons to…

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It has often been said that Malta’s economy is very resilient. This is a view which I fully subscribe to and which data proves to be the case. The last severe recession we had was some 37 years ago, where the economy had slowed down significantly. Even then we did not experience negative growth rates, but we did experience high unemployment which was mitigated only through tadeonal public sector employment. Since then, we have had blips and we have been into what is referred to as technical recession because for two successive quarters, real gross domestic product had decreased. However,…

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