During a visit to Greece, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg inaugurated the Malta maritime office, which was established on the premises of the Maltese Embassy in Greece. Present for this occasion were the Ambassador of Malta in Greece, Mr Joseph Cuschieri, Chairman of Transport Malta Mr Joseph Bugeja, senior officials of Transport Malta and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.
The main objective of the maritime registry is to operate a regional office which will continue to attract more investment from this industry. This office will be focusing on the promotion of a maritime registry; a reference point for both Greek and Maltese stakeholders to also identify initiatives and niches that could further stimulate business activity in the maritime sector in Malta.
“We will continue to work, through this office to maintain an excellent rapport with the Greek maritime customers and thereby ensure that the service provided by Transport Malta is up to the desired level. This step will enable us to have a clearer vision of what the Greek ship owners want and need from our register, with the ultimate goal to continue to plan a strategy to meet the objectives of the registry. The maritime industry is already bearing great rewards – the register today can boast of being the first in Europe and sixth internationally, now contributing 12% of the GDP of our country and generating 23,000 jobs. But this only means that we must continue to work for more results,” reiterated Dr Borg.
In fact, by the end of September, the maritime registry of Malta had registered more than 8370 vessels with a gross tonnage of more than 82.5 million, an increase of more than 6% over last December and a growth of more than 60% in tonnage that flies the Maltese flag in the last five years.
“This initiative is another step for the register to continue to proactively move forward and therefore the coordinated operation between the two Ministries as well as the Embassy was important for the establishment of this office. Now as the Ministry responsible for transport, we shall continue to work together with the Transport Authority for our flag to continue to give certainty, stability and confidence to anyone wishing to invest in our country. We shall continue to boost the registry, which will result in further investment in our country and therefore more employment potential for the benefit of the Maltese and Gozitan people,” reiterated Minister Ian Borg.
Commenting from Malta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, said that a major objective of the Ministry is to make the best use of diplomatic networks, for the country to build relations with other countries and identify new opportunities, while promoting the country’s economy in order to further enhance the reputation of our country abroad.
“It is not by chance that the maritime register of Malta will open an office in Greece. The Maltese relationship with the Greek community goes back a few years, after the two countries established formal diplomatic relations,” noted Minister Abela. The Minister stressed that this new office will allow Malta to further strengthen the strong links we have with the Greek community and to further strengthen its presence within the Greek shipping market.
Minister Abela concluded by showing his appreciation for all the work done by Minister Ian Borg, by officials of the Maltese registry within Transport Malta as well as the Ambassador and staff of the Embassy in Greece.
The Ambassador of Malta in Greece, Mr Joseph Cuschieri reiterated, “This office will further strengthen the relationship between the Maltese maritime registry and the Greek owners – those who are already flying the Maltese flag and those who aspire to join the registry. Willingness and determination were key factors for this initiative to take shape, and it would not be possible without the ministries concerned.”
Minister Borg also participated in a maritime conference in Cyprus, attended by the most prominent people of the maritime industry. The Minister also held a number of meetings with various vessel operators, registered under the Maltese flag who discussed the challenges faced by the industry and how the Maltese registry can become more competitive in such a dynamic sector which is ever evolving.