The Hon. Edward Scicluna, Minister for Finance welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board’s conclusions on Malta’s Country Report as further confirmation that the new Government’s policies are taking the country in the right direction.
“I am especially pleased to note that the IMF’s Executive Directors have reconfirmed the resilience of our economy, underpinned by solid macroeconomic and financial fundamentals, and the underlining soundness of our banking system,” Prof. Scicluna said.
“IMF RECOGNISES GOVERNMENT’S COMMITTMENT TO ADDRESS MALTA’S ECONOMIC PRIORITIES”
“It is also encouraging to note that the IMF has recognised the Government’s commitment to addressing those key priority issues that the IMF recommended be addressed in their own report,” Prof. Scicluna added, mostly notably energy planning, higher female labour participation, enhancing education attainment, and overall economic diversification.
In this regard, he welcomed the IMF’s remark that the Government is committed to return Enemalta to profitability, and “has embarked on a major reform program to reduce utility costs and diversify energy sources.”
He also underlined that the Government is already actively working towards addressing labour participation through the free child care centres initiative, addressing early school leaving, and exploring economic diversification through the nurturing of new markets, like the maritime industry.
Regarding the fiscal deficit, the IMF noted that the 2012 deterioration arose from the election cycle.
The Minister said that the IMF’s medium term recommendations for addressing the deficit, which include a clear rules-based budgetary frame work and an independent fiscal council, are among those measures that have been taken on board by the new Government.
Prof. Scicluna noted the IMF’s recommendations regarding the concentration of loans to the real estate and construction sectors.
– Saturday, 13th July, 2013