The government is set to roll out significant economic measures to combat any adverse effects of the COVID-19 on Maltese businesses, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri has announced.
Schembri revealed that these would be dished out in three stages. The first would be short-term measures to address businesses with cash-flow problems.
Beyond that, medium-term measures and long-term measures will be introduced to address drops in supply and services due to a predicted global economic slowdown.
“It is challenging times like these that put the government to the test on the ability to devise and support effective economic measures. Malta stands at a strong economic position to do this,” Schembri said.
While Schembri was coy on specifics, he also said that the initiatives would also be targeted at improving the workforce and competitiveness.
Discussions are already underway with several stakeholders in the industry. After a meeting between Schembri and the Malta Bankers’ Association, HSBC, BOV, and Lombard Bank all launched their own initiatives.
The Tourism Industry is already experiencing a massive slowdown, with the government blocking all non-essential to Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and Switzerland.
Malta’s English Language schools have already predicted a €3.4 million economic loss, with a close to 40% cancellations.
An emergency economic committee has already been set up, following the business community’s rising concerns. With the virus now declared a pandemic, concerns for Malta’s economy will only grow.