The Nationalist Party has proposed the setting up of a €40 million fund aimed at helping the local business community deal with the large increase in the cost of transporting goods to and from Malta.
Addressing a press conference this morning, PN spokesperson on industry Jason Azzopardi stressed that Maltese businesses were at a disadvantage when compared to their European competitors because of logistical and transportation costs associated with it being an island.
“This is the most courageous, radical and bold proposal aimed at helping the manufacturing industry that any Maltese government has ever come up with,” Azzopardi said.
He said that transportation and logistics costs had increased by 500% since the start of the pandemic. “The cost of bringing a container down from China has increased from €2,000 to €11,000.”
This, he stressed, was placing Malta at a disadvantage when compared to other countries.
Azzopardi said that while transport costs made up 2% of expenses for business in Belgium, the same expenses made up 20% of the costs for Maltese businesses.
He noted that Malta had experienced a consistent increase in transportation costs since 2012. In fact, while Malta ranked 43rd in the World Bank transportation cost ranking in 2012, it has since fallen to 69th place.
Other European countries had not experienced similar changes, he said.
Azzopardi argued that Malta had a strong case to make with the European Commission for it to be allowed to provide companies with state aid to compensate for these increased costs.
The press conference was also addressed by PN candidates Stanley Zammit and Noel Muscat.
What do you make of the PN’s latest proposal?