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Online Forum - Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability | 6 -7 - 8 October 2021

Malta and the great reset: sectors and skills that will drive growth

The “Great Reset” will see the alignment of the economy with the most pressing social issues. How can Malta capitalise on this monumental change and make sure that its workforce will be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in this brave new world?

The “Great Reset” is the name given to 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which was held in June 2020. Several high-profile individuals and political leaders discussed a global pressing issue: How can countries rebuild their economies and societies in a sustainable way following the COVID-19 pandemic?

The “Great Reset” discussions revolved around three main components:

(i) constructing conditions to promote the creation of a ‘stakeholder economy’;

(ii) making use of environmental, social and governance metrics to better promote green infrastructure projects; and

(iii) harnessing the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

These components should help countries develop a forward-looking plan to revitalise their economies.

Economic forecasts show that the Maltese economy will reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. This rebuilding can only be sustainable if policy is geared towards addressing the above-identified components. Towards this end, three additional and complimentary factors are deemed to be crucial in the local context: the ability to attract foreign investment; the ability to expand the economy’s innovation capacity; and the agility with which we move towards a low-carbon economy.

The first factor is the country’s ability to attract foreign direct investment. In recent years, the island attracted investment across a wide range of economic activities, including financial services, digital gaming, high-end manufacturing, and aircraft maintenance. A determining factor for many of these investments is favourable taxation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this might not be enough. Digital skills are now, more than ever, needed to attract businesses.

Complementary to investment in digital skills is a second factor: investment in innovation. Innovation is an enabler of international competitiveness and economic growth; it leads to enhanced efficiency and productivity, lower costs, better-quality goods and services, and increased market efficiency. Hence, policies and strategies that aim to boost innovation capacity are key. Investing in education, offering better tax incentives on research and development, supporting skilled migration and on-the-job training would help Malta generate growth through a knowledge-driven economy.

Finally, the third factor is Malta’s ability to transition towards a greener and more low-carbon economy. During the pandemic, certain government restrictions mandated working from home where possible. In these instances, we saw an increase in induced emissions due to excess energy consumed at home compared to at work. However, most of the corporate carbon footprint relates to employee commute. The ability to reduce commuting down to zero, without significantly effecting productivity outputs was a major benefit. Seeing how the unintended effects of government restrictions could help policymakers better understand what type of policies could support this shift to a low-carbon economy whilst simultaneously support economic growth. The investment in renewable sources of energy, promotion of green jobs, decarbonisation of mobility and green public infrastructure projects will not only help the regeneration of the Maltese economy from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it would also lay out a plan moving forward for sustainable economic growth.

This drive towards investment in digital skills and innovation and transition towards a greener economy is of the utmost importance for countries to flourish in the future. Even though Malta has had very good economic performance in recent years, it is now more important than ever to shift our mindset and rethink or implement certain strategies and policies. Together with the creation of a ‘stakeholder economy’, these factors should not only help Malta’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but be the building blocks for a more sustainable economy.

“Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability” will run over the course of three days in October, and will feature themed panels and a line-up of prominent speakers both from the private and the public sectors.

Our online forum will address how sustainable development is key in order to reignite the Maltese economy momentum after COVID-19, what organisations learnt, how businesses can mitigate deficiencies brought to light by the pandemic and what sustainable safeguards can be introduced to prevent similar market disruptions in the future.

- Get valuable insights from over 30 local and foreign experts;

- Participate in the discussions by putting forward your questions;

- Take part in interactive polls;

- Network with other business professionals in our virtual lounges;

- Visit our virtual booth and book a meeting with our specialists.

Reserve your free place for "Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability"

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Event Agenda (click to expand)
6 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | The hybrid office: productivity, social dynamics and way forward

The pandemic forced many organisations to adopt a decentralised working model setting up remote teams. How has this affected productivity and what are the organizational and mental challenges faced by employees who are suddenly isolated from their peers? Is remote working a sustainable model in the long term?

 

3:30 - 4:15 pm | Embracing the digital revolution

While Covid-19 has projected the world toward an accelerated digitalization, new generations might have seen this coming. How do university students think this emphasis on technology may affect their careers and does this mean the end of "traditional" jobs?

 

4:30 - 5:15 pm | Governance strategies to drive business sustainability

Government incentives to increase digitisation for companies can pave the way towards corporate sustainability, however, organisations must be ready to adopt digital governance strategies. What are the key implications from a managerial perspective?

7 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | The evolution of corporate finance and digital economy

We will discuss how blockchain transforming corporate finance and the financial services industry as well as its impact on capital markets by gradually replacing stock agents and changing the way stocks are traded.

 

3:30 - 4:15 pm | Malta and the great reset: sectors and skills that will drive growth

The “Great Reset” will see the alignment of the economy with the most pressing social issues. How can Malta capitalize on this monumental change and make sure that its workforce will be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in this brave new world?

 

4:30  5:15 pm | Financing during and post Covid-19

A look inside the traditional forms of finance used during the pandemic. What mitigations are credit institutions using to safeguard against another financial crisis and what measures are being implemented to ensure that FDI is fully reignited? We will also delve into the impact that the pandemic had on capital markets. 

8 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | Championing risk management through sustainability

Internal risk management and control functions help to strengthen governance frameworks, but how can organizations ensure their compliance with the latest regulations and legislation requirements? We will discuss the role of the risk management specialist in identifying and mitigating internal risks.

 

3:30 - 4:15 pm | Malta's way forward: sustainable recovery, development and growth

What measures are private organisations putting in place in order to safeguard the environment? How is the public sector ensuring that its policies are up to date with the latest environmental regulations? How is Malta aligning its Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals? 

 

4:30 - 5:15 pm | Enabling a culture shift: Covid, FATF and an alternative outlook to GDP and beyond

Grant Thornton Malta Managing Partner Mark Bugeja will deliver a wrap-up session, discussing the road ahead for Malta and its financial institutions.

Event Partners