PM insists Malta has to keep investing in financial services sector
Malta could become a victim of its own success if it stopped investing in its future workforce and allowed foreign workers to take over the financial services sector, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said today.
Addressing a business breakfast for social partners and other major economic players, Dr Gonzi warned that if the financial services sector became too dependent on foreign employees, wage costs would increase. This would lead to "trouble", said Dr Gonzi, because it would reduce Malta's competitiveness in the sector.
He said this was one of the reasons stipends were so important and he urged teachers, employers and unions to welcome reforms like the use of tablets in classrooms.
"We do not have time to waste... This is not the time for us to take reforms slowly," he said, highlighting the rapid global technological advancements underway.
Dr Gonzi also warned that although the financial services sector was doing very well, the economy could not move forward without value added manufacturing.
Listing a number of PN's electoral proposals, Dr Gonzi said the creation of 25,000 new jobs was the main thrust of the electoral programme.
He urged social partners not to forget the lessons learnt in the past five years, two of which were "disaster" years for the global economy.
Dr Gonzi urged employers to welcome PN's proposal to allow parents to use their sick leave when their children felt ill. Acknowledging that there was resistance to this proposal, he told employers that the final aim - that of bringing more women into the workforce - should be welcomed by all.
He also stressed the importance of a night tariff and said about the interconnector which will link Malta with the European electricity grid: "This is not an idea, this is being built as we speak."