Fabian Demicoli

GRTU President advocates for on the ground measures targeting SMEs

During a high level meeting with Commissioner Karmenu Vella and the European Commissioner Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, GRTU President Paul Abela called on the Commission to go beyond measures and assess what is really happening on the ground and how effective the measures really are.

During the event that focused on The Investment Plan for Europe, Mr Abela stated that policies are still not sufficiently targeting SMEs and that the think small first principle is still more a paper than a practical measure.

Mr Abela said that access to finance is still a problem for small businesses most especially. To encourage access to finance the European Commission should not stop at issuing the opportunity but should strive to make it as accessible as possible by providing it through a number of banks and adapt the requirements and terms and conditions for small companies. The event was held as part of the roadshow to promote the Investment Plan for Europe. Vice-President Katainen said: “As the Autumn approaches, we are starting to see the Investment Plan coming to life.

Already a number of large infrastructure projects across the EU have received the green light for financial backing and can start construction. And the European Investment Fund has signed more than a dozen agreements with intermediary banks which have the support of the EU guarantee meaning small businesses and start-ups can start to benefit from this extra line of finance.” Commissioner Vella said:”There are 29,000 SMEs in Malta. What they need to be successful is good access to financing and good infrastructure to deliver. The Investment Plan, as shown with the SME initiative agreed with the Maltese government in July, is designed to help achieve this.”

 

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