PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Minister Joe Mizzi meets the Board of Malta Maritime Forum

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi today met the Chairman and Board Members of the Malta Maritime Forum who, on their part, submitted proposals, of a maritime nature, for Government’s consideration for inclusion in Malta’s agenda for the Presidency of the EU Council.

The Minister welcomed the initiative of the Malta Maritime Forum (MMF) and reiterated his support to the Forum’s endeavour to promote the interests of the Maltese maritime industry. Mr Mizzi explained that the Government was in a process of consultation to ensure that all main areas of direct interest to Malta are included in the discussions that will be held throughout its EU Presidency period. The maritime sector is one of the priority areas for the Maltese Government.

Dr Joe Borg, Chairman of the MMF explained to the Minister that after receiving an invitation from Transport Malta to put forward proposals, the Forum extended this invitation, not only to its members, but also to those international entities, with which the members of the Forum are associated. The response was very positive and in fact, the ideas that the Forum presented to the Minister included contributions from the European Shortsea Network, the European Network of Maritime Clusters, the Comite Maritime International, as well as European short sea ship-owners and operators. These entities expressed appreciation for having been consulted by Malta in its build up to the EU Presidency agenda and were looking forward to also participate in the programme that Malta eventually draws up for the six month period between January and June 2017. The proposals that the Forum has put forward are of a maritime nature and a European dimension and address key issues that have to be discussed and acted upon to ensure that European transport, and particularly the maritime sector, is responsive to the changing demands of the European citizen and on an equal level as that available in other geographical regions beyond the EU.

The meeting which was also attended by senior officials of Transport Malta discussed the international developments that are affecting the Maltese maritime industry and particularly recent developments which lead to the sudden suspension of one of the leading container services which was serving also the Malta trade. Both parties agreed that the maritime sector was so essential; not only for the trade, but also for the local economy in general, that there was need for constant development of new business activities within the maritime sector to ensure that there is constant growth and expansion. The maritime industry is highly competitive and is an international sector by nature and Malta must remain at the forefront to attract new initiatives.

Source: Government of Malta