The Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Dr Emmanuel Mallia presided over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Malta Maritime Forum and Malta Marittima Agency on Friday 20th January 2017.

Malta has an active maritime industry and is home to a broad range of economic operators, which range from financial services to insurance, yachting and marina management, consulting and legal services, logistics, transportation and aquaculture. Malta acknowledges that there is nowadays more recognition for maritime industries to be involved in the national and regional economies by means of maritime clusters.

Dr Mallia emphasized, ‘we are here because we believe in building bonds and relationship for the benefit of the economy. This MoU is in fact in line with the Government’s philosophy to create and foster effective relations with the Private Sector and facilitate communication’

Malta Marittima Agency is still in its infancy, however, work has been underway since its establishment and in line with the European Union’s policy and Blue Growth Agenda, it is expected to be a catalyst in bringing together stakeholders from the public and private sector to further enhance the potential of our marine and maritime industries.

The Legal Notice bestows upon the Agency a number of functions and duties. The Agency is duty bound to promote maritime sectoral clusters and to encourage these sectors to focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and environmentally sustainable developments. Additionally, the Agency shall promote the beneficial aspects of the exchange of ideas between private and public entities and participation at EU and international meetings and conferences.

‘This MoU provides a good platform for the establishment of a long and stable relationship between the two entities. It is a known fact that this Government believes in the Private Sector, we hope that this Memorandum of Understanding contributes to this end. I encourage you to build on this promise for the benefit and growth of this important sector. I am confident that we will both benefit from this opportunity to enhance collaboration between us.’

Dr. Joe Borg, Chairman of the Malta Maritime Forum said, on his part, that during its first year of activities, the Forum has managed to go beyond its initial targets. Particular reference was made to the extent of recognition that the Forum has achieved, both locally as well as at an international level. During 2016, the Forum managed to gain the recognition and the support of the Maltese Government and of the various ministries it engaged with. On an international level, the Forum has been accepted as a member to the European Network of Maritime Clusters. The Forum has also been instrumental in submitting a number of proposals in relation to maritime aspects, for inclusion in Malta’s EU Presidency Agenda. Since its setting up, the Forum has carried out extensive work in relation to the Maritime Educational aspect and it is envisaged that initiatives in the educational field will be launched during early 2017. Dr. Borg also made reference to the extent of Corporate, Associate and Individual Members who have subscribed to the Malta Maritime Forum and who represent a very wide spectrum of the local and foreign maritime sector.

Dr. Joe Borg stated ‘the Malta Maritime Forum was pleased with the recognition being given to the Forum and looked forward to extended cooperation between the two parties, in the interest of the maritime sector.’

Dr. Joe Borg – Chairman and Mr Joseph Bugeja – Board Member & CEO signed the MoU on behalf of the Malta Maritime Forum, whereas Dr. Daniel Aquilina – Chairman and Mr Franco Schembri – Head signed for Malta Marittima Agency.

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