Fabian Demicoli

A concrete strategy for Gozo: Budget 2011

The problems Malta is experiencing are felt more acute in Gozo because Gozo suffers from lower employment levels and double insularity issues. This unavoidably creates a very negative attitude amongst the cross section of the Gozitan population and enterprise. Encouragement therefore to enterprise in Gozo plays an essential role. In order for Gozo to achieve the necessary success it needs for economic revival everyone has to contribute his part with a positive attitude. Training and education is key to achieve this aim and Government must focus its investment on Life Long Learning (LLL) within Gozitan entrepreneurs being aided and trained to grab opportunities that come their way and create new ones themselves.

 

Projects and Investments

GRTU would like Government to study and define possible investments and possibilities to attract more tourists to Gozo.

Educate people on the unlimited opportunities that large scale projects will bring to Gozo by highlighting factors such as change management, toolbox and a marketing mix.

Government must decide on a place to allocate for use of the Yacht Marina.

A serious investment plan is to be planned so that eco investment will be achieved, be it a winery, slaughter houses, Yacht Marina or any other investment that might be sustainable. Extra costs incurred for investments earmarked by Government need to be funded or part funded by Government so that there will be full achievement. Government must ensure this is carried out with the appropriate standards.

GRTU would like to see Malta Enterprise step up its efforts to encourage FDI to Gozo. The disadvantages of the double insularity have to be diminished. This can be achieved by giving more attractive incentives and packages than those offered in Malta. Surely something must be done since no action has been taken in these late years.

Funds have to be planned and directed to innovation and start-up centres in Gozo. This together with other positive initiatives such as training schools.

Identify what jobs we want created according to the need during the next 5 to 7 years and training to be done according to these requirements. Gozo currently is suffering from a brain drain. Reason mainly being, that opportunities in Gozo are becoming less, and much harder.

Creation of a fund so that part of the taxes paid from the Gozo businessman will be put here and utilized later on.

It is important that the Gozitan coast is taken care of. Investment is to be encouraged on the coast embellishment.  Most of the Gozitan coasts are looking shabby.

Purchasing incentives need to be included to keep businesses from closing down. Knowing that most of the young generation is moving permanently to Malta, something needs to be done to keep active the present business community. The cost of the Gozo channel fare for the Maltese Citizen is enormous. The ferries are the only way to bridge Malta with Gozo and it is too pricy.

Eco Gozo

Build up the full definition of Eco Gozo and also to emphasize the advances done on the project mentioned.  Eco Gozo must be further incentivized so as to achieve a fully Eco Island.

We do not only have to keep projects and developments constant to achieve the case of Eco Gozo but we have to use the dynamic side of Gozo so that we can achieve progress. A good factor that will help the business sector to reach its levels of competitiveness is continuous development. This will also help businesses in Gozo so as not to be beaten up by competitors.

Permanent connection

The possibilities for a permanent link between Malta and Gozo should be placed on Government's agenda and looked into.

Making Localities more accessible

Business in the upper part of Victoria is slowing down particularly because there is not enough parking in the area.  There are areas which contain such possibilities such the area under the playing field and Football ground. A shelved parking in the parking behind the bus Terminus is another possibility. There is an application from the Cathedral church which has been pending with MEPA for years. The idea of parking in the ditch has been dismissed following MEPA decision that it does not allow parking in such areas when in Malta Not only there is parking in the ditches but in the Bastion itself. Any alternative must create significant parking as otherwise the problem will not be solved.

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