Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he had called on all agencies, including Malta Enterprise, the Tourism Authority and the Malta Development Bank to create a strategy for Gozo.
In a speech at the opening ceremony of cabinet in Gozo, which is being held at the Xewkija innovation centre, the Prime Minister spoke about his ambitions for Gozo. He said that the Government’s priority was for the Gozitan economy to continue to diversify and not depend on the public sector, as was the case under previous administrations.
Dr Abela said that the Government’s vision was for Gozo to be the country’s main economic driver, while not losing its unique characteristics. He mentioned how the economy should be based on digital and environmentally sustainable aspects and that this should be done with investment in infrastructure, among them with projects such as the second fibre optic cable which, he said, was crucial for Gozo to become a digital centre.
Apropos of the tunnel between Malta and Gozo, the PM said that what he saw were thousands of Gozitan parents who wanted their children to have a better future than they did. He added that Gozo provided an opportunity for the economy and the environment to complement each other, also by being at the forefront in terms of renewable energy.
On the issue of tourism, the Prime Minister spoke about how this needed to change to quality tourism and no longer focus on day trippers. He said that traditional aspects should be mixed with tourism opportunities for tourist to enjoy the genuine rustic experience that is characteristic of Gozo.
Dr Abela said that the Government’s ambition was for Gozo to be a ‘showcase’ of the new economic model of our country.
He gave an account of economic achievements in Gozo from 2013 onwards, among which the economic growth which grew by 12%, with Gozo’s wealth of Gozo increasing from 12 to 17 million euro. He said that in the last six years there had been an increase of 13 people a week who had found work, most of them (61%), in the private sector.