Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna, in his capacity as Chairman of the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) Board of Governors, hosted the EIB President Dr. Werner Hoyer during a day-long visit to Malta on Monday, 28th April 2014.
Accompanied by Prof. Scicluna and an official EIB delegation, Dr Hoyer met with the Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muscat to discuss opportunities for future collaboration with Malta.
The EIB is the European Union’s bank non-profit long-term lending institution, established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome.
Dr. Hoyer’s visit to Malta was intended prior to the Annual Meeting of the EIB Board of Governors to the chaired by the Maltese Finance Minister in the coming days, as well as to visit ongoing projects supported by the EIB, and explore opportunities for further collaboration and investment between the EIB and the Maltese Government.
Among the locations toured by Prof. Scicluna and Dr. Hoyer were the Housing Estate in Tarxien with Minister for the Family and Social Security Dr. Michael Farrugia, the City Gate Project, and the Delimara Power Plant.
Dr. Hoyer also held joint meetings together with Minister for Finance Prof. Scicluna, Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Energy and Health Dr. Konrad Mizzi, Minister for the Family and Social Security Dr. Michael Farrugia, Bank of Valletta Mr John Cassar White, and Malita Chairman Kenneth Farrugia.
“Such visits and discussions are highly important, especially with institutions such as the EIB which is the European Union’s largest bilateral bank and which plays a crucial role in supporting developmental projects carried out by individual member states,” Prof. Scicluna said.
The Minister for Finance noted that during the visit, the Government had occasion to discuss various investment opportunities with the EIB delegation as well as develop and deeper relationship. These areas include social housing, which the Government is determined to address in order to meet rising demand, Prof. Scicluna stressed.
Prof. Scicluna also noted that one of the projects that the Government is exploring with the EIB is an education pilot-project intended to address the skills mismatch between those available jobs and those seeking work.
Minister for the Family and Social Security Dr. Michael Farrugia stressed that with regard to housing, the Government is looking towards regenerating older buildings owned both by the private sector and by the government, as opposed to building new units.
He added that the Government is also exploring ways, with the support of the EIB, to invest in energy efficiency in social housing units, in the interest of lower energy consumption and more a sustainable energy supply.
EIB President Dr Werner Hoyer remarked that “the visit to Malta has provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the role of the European Investment Bank across Europe and our specific relevance here in Malta with the Prime Minister and his colleagues.”
“We have discussed a number of sectors where the EIB can possibly play an increased role to support investment in Malta. This includes support for SMEs, transport, energy and urban infrastructure, and initiatives to finance research and innovation. We also shared views on possible EIB lending to back investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency projects, and telecommunications, as well as tourism, in recognition of the sector’s importance to the Maltese economy.”
Dr. Hoyer expressed pleasure in being able to say that the European Investment Bank is committed to looking at ways to broader and increase engagement with the Maltese Government and building on strong relationships with key public and private stakeholders in the country.
– Tuesday 29th April 2014