Updated: Feb 6, 2021
Philip Micallef, CEO of Enterprise Malta, has warned that the country faces a "big economic decline, with job losses and business closings that could affect our communities and country long after the virus is contained."
Philip advised businesses to focus on the "next normal, as there won’t be an old normal to return to. Shoppers, diners and tourists may choose to stay away from each other for a while. For a small country such as Malta, which has benefited in so many ways from an open world, those are significant challenges."
This comes as it was revealed Malta faced a major food shortage last year which highlighted its vulnerability to supply chain dynamics amid the pandemic. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said "My blood ran cold when we were discussing Malta’s food supply [between April and May 2020]. We import most of our food and a lot of it comes from Italy, but workers in the Port of Genoa were planning to go on strike because they were getting infected with COVID-19 and wanted a raise."
David Xuereb, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, reflected on the current mood of business owners, saying "the feeling on the ground was that sales had dropped 50 - 60% in 2020" but stressed the importance of "moving towards a zero-carbon economy" which should be incentivised.