Prime Minister Robert Abela described COVID 19 as a wake-up call which resonated all around the world. Addressing the webinar organised by Newsbook.com.mt entitled “The Post-COVID economy”, he said that this is the time when countries look to prepare themselves for the future.
“Malta’s economy was well prepared and over 100,000 jobs were saved”, said Prime Minister Abela. However, the country, he said, needs to look beyond. In a pointed series of questions, PM Abela highlighted the challenges which the country will be facing: will it go back to work as it had before COVID? Is telework a solution or do our work practices need tweaking? Should we diversify? Should Malta remain focusing on tourism or should it make a big drive towards innovation?
The Prime Minister said that the small size of Malta should be used as leverage so that the flexibility of its workforce is used to the best advantage. He acknowledged that education needs heavy investment and IT and the internet need to be strengthened. Malta, he said, needs to spread its wings on the digital platforms, attracting FDI in this and other areas. Speed and efficiency in the public sector will be a basic requirement, warned the PM. “In Hong Kong, a graffito scrawled on a wall said that the known normality was the problem,” said the Prime Minister, adding that this will be a time for working together.
The well-attended webinar was also addressed by the Archbishop, The Leader of the Opposition as well as captains of industry and academics.