The Malta Chamber of SMEs welcomed what it deemed to be Malta’s positive results in the EU budget negotiations, and augured that the government would seize the opportunity to implement stronger support measures than have been seen so far.
In a statement, the chamber noted that Malta’s EU budget allocation had become cause for concern, since Malta’s strong economic performance suggested that EU funding may take a cut.
“The Malta Chamber of SMEs therefore greatly welcomes the news that Malta was successful in securing a record amount of funds as well as a strong top-up allocation due to of Covid-19 Pandemic,” it said.
But it augured that Malta would consequently boost the support to a struggling business sector, noting that its own recent survey confirmed that most businesses still operate at a level of less than half of the business they registered at the same time last year.
Malta should safeguard environment, move towards renewables
The chamber specifically welcomed funds for the agricultural sector and those directed towards environmental measures.
As for alternative energy, it encouraged the government to invest part of the allocation to find long-term solutions which would help Malta achieve a 32% target for the share of energy from renewable sources by 2030.
It lamented that different governments prioritised fossil fuel-fired electricity plants and the Malta-Sicily interconnector, which required the purchase of fuel and electricity from overseas to the detriment of the economy and the environment.
“By investing in renewable energy in Malta, this would leave more money in Maltese families’ pockets and better environment,” the chamber said.
It added that Malta now had the funds to strengthen its position in terms of sustainability, by driving the country and incentivising businesses towards this direction.
“Covid has thought us a number of lessons and has made everyone aware of the need to support what is Maltese first and foremost, take care of the environment around us and operate in a sustainable manner. Funds should be directed towards these aims now that business and the general public are more aware than ever,” the chamber concluded.