Government has certainly managed in stimulating a hype on the South of Malta through the investment that it has attracted and through the moves it has done. The American University of Malta is certainly the best ever clean investment attracted to this part of Malta. It seems it has also managed to attract a hospital to operate from smart city and it has plans for the dead film studios. Through its moves it also managed to give life to Smart City which prior to 2013 was nothing but a block of empty concrete.
Various pro business organisations who like a fair distribution of investment in the island have expressed their positive feelings on this. However, there seems to be a concern on a few points. Certain matters are being kept too secretive in order for businesses and other investors to plan thei moves for these upcoming projects.
These kinds of projects will not be a total success on their own. There needs to be structural investment that complements them so Government needs to plan and announce how it will improve this in the area. For example will the drainage system and other services as they are today sustain this influx of people? Given the type of investment will there be a new policy on the types of businesses and buildings that will be allowed in the area. We have heard nothing so far.
These are all considerations that businesses that wish to ride on this opportunity are asking and quite honestly not only them. One of the questions raised by a PN Councillor is whether licences for more entertainment places will be given and to what extent.
Knowing the details and the vision of the AUM for example will make businesses strategise on how to tap on this opportunity. For example how will they attract these people to their restaurants or grocers. If they know the type of markets the AUM will target then they can plan to cater for their needs, tastes and wants. The restaurants in both Cospicua and Marsaskala seem not to cater for the audience we have been indicated to date. It would be a pity and damaging to this unique investment if business around it develop sporadically in the way it developed in the University of Malta and Mater Dei area, which is a clear indication of no planning. Therefore one may say it is opportune that Government maybe through the South Regeneration Committee stimulates a discussion for all interested parties to build a strategic plan for business in the area.
Rather than stimulating such a discussion the Politicians are still debating and deliberating on what the projects are and whether they should be there. We hope that this scaremongering against business stops and the country starts discussing how both businesses and the community at large may benefit through the good work done on this front.