The National Productivity Board successfully hosted its highly anticipated annual conference. This impactful event focused on the theme of Research Development, and Innovation (RDI) as priority enablers to propel Malta’s productivity and competitiveness as long-term drivers.
The conference drew the attention of esteemed speakers including the Prime Minister of Malta, Hon. Robert Abela, the Minister for Finance and Employment, Hon. Clyde Caruana, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon. Andy Ellul and the Chairperson of the National Productivity Board, Perit David Xuereb. Notable attendees also included Members of Parliament from both sides, including the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research, and Innovation, Hon. Keith Azzopardi Tanti, and the Shadow Minister for Social Dialogue, Hon. Claudette Buttigieg. The Principle Permanent Secretary, Mr Tony Sultana was also present.
During the conference, the background and detailed recommendations of this latest National Productivity Report (NPR) took centre stage, with its authors (Prof Von Brockdorff, Dr Jonathan Spiteri and Dr Ian Cassar (who was excused) offering an insightful and comprehensive analysis of RDI in Malta and what needs to be done to improve its impact across various economic sectors. The NPR emphasised the importance of fostering innovation through collaboration of the private and public sectors, encompassing organisational, market, and input innovation. Furthermore, it shed light on the existing gaps in RDI spending and participation, while calling for the positioning of Malta as a bridge with its European counterparts.
In his address, the Prime Minister of Malta, Hon. Robert Abela, commended the collaborative efforts of social partners to produce a comprehensive report on Malta’s quest to improve productivity and competitiveness. He highlighted the indispensable role of social dialogue as a catalyst for progress and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to collaborate closely with all stakeholders through the Malta Council for Social and Economic Development (MCESD) in driving Malta’s economic development.
Driving the conference experience, a panel discussion brought together representatives from diverse sectors and perspectives. The panel comprised Mr. Wilfred Kenely, CEO of the Research, Innovation, and Development Trust; Mr. Ian Borg, a senior economist from the Central Bank of Malta; Ms. Riccarda Darmanin, representing the Trade Unions; and Mr. Silvan Mifsud, representing Employer Bodies. Engaging with a focused audience consisting of MCESD Social Partners, the Civil Service, representatives from various Maltese agencies and departments, local banks and advisory firms, the panel detailed priorities pertaining to the mainstreaming research and innovation in our economy. Topics such as productivity, competitiveness, and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in a new economy were also discussed.
The tangible insights and recommendations presented at the National Productivity Board conference and also during the important MCESD Council meetings are intended to support the development of a sustainable economic landscape and drive a regenerative and distributive economy focused on human development.
The full version of the National Productivity Report can be accessed here.
The abstract version of the National Productivity Report can be accessed here.