The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Government envisions Gozo as main economic contributor – Robert Abela

Karl Azzopardi Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 17:44 Last update: about 8 days ago

The government wants to see Gozo become the main contributor for the country's economy, Prime Minister Robert Abela said, while assuring that it will not lose its characteristic features.

He was speaking during a Cabinet meeting at Gozo's Innovation Hub in Xewkija with Gozitan entities, wherein the present state of Malta's sister island and the government's vision for its future were discussed.

The PM asked all agencies, including Malta Enterprise, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Malta Development Bank, to engage directly in the strategy for Gozo which should be implemented together with the new regional development agency the government has set up.  

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He said that since 2012, the amount of Gozitan residents working has increased by more than 4,100. Most of these people work in Gozo.  

"In fact, in the last six years, there has been an increase of 10 employees each week. This shows how the government is delivering on its promise for work in Gozo for Gozitans", Abela said.

He added that businesses operating in Gozo in the tourism sector have benefited greatly with the government's measures to boost domestic consumption. The PM also said that it is a priority to see Gozo's economy diversify, as it can no longer depend on the public and tourism sectors as it has under previous administrations. "Young Gozitans are the most likely to continue tertiary education and therefore the strategy adopted by previous governments was not only unfair but caused a huge waste of human resources."

"This government's vision for Gozo is for it to be a key driver of our country's economic growth. This does not mean that the island will lose those features that make it so particular and beautiful. Gozo's economic growth will be digitally and environmentally sustainable", Abela said. 

Abela added that Gozo provides the greatest opportunity to show how the economy and the environment complement each other.

"I see a future where Gozo is a leader in the use of renewable energy. A future where Gozitan businesses are pioneers in the adoption of new environmentally friendly technologies. A future where commercial and industrial spaces are dominated by greenery rather than greyness", he said.  

Abela also wants to see Gozo not depend on day trippers, but on quality tourism. 

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri said that Gozo is and will remain a priority for this government, picking on how a major boost is being given to infrastructure and capital projects with record investments.  

 


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