Minister of Finance, the Economy & Investment addresses pre-budget seminar on Gozo
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In the last of a series of five pre-budget consultation meetings that tackled issues related to Gozo, the Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment, Tonio Fenech said that Gozo deserved special attention as an island region with specific challanges that deserved to share the country’s successes. During his presentation, the Minister noted that Gozo has always been on top of Government’s agenda and a look at the last legislature shows extensive investment in every sector of concern.
With regards to work, a number of schemes were introduced, aimed at graduates, small businesses and IT invesment, agriculture and fisheries. Government itself created more work opportunities in Gozo by transfering there some of its departments. Students were encouraged to study further by having their stipend increased.
Tourism also benefited from the construction of the Imgarr terminal and the introduction of schemes such as Immorru Ghawdex, discounts for evening travel, as well as a marketing campaign in Malta and the introduction of transport between the airport and Cirkewwa. Moreover, the Good Causes Fund has allocated 116,000 euro for activities intended to attract tourism in Gozo.
The Minister looked at other investment that has taken place lately in Gozo, ranging from the construction or modernisation of numerous schools, the sports complex, various sections within the Gozo hospital and the building of new roads such as San Lawrenz – Victoria and Mgarr Road together with several residential roads.
The Minister insisted that Government’s vision is that Gozo becomes an ecological island, meaning that it is to be a model of sustainable development, generating energy from alternative sources, using organic agriculture and supporting eco-tourism and agro-tourism.
The Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, and the Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Investment, Dr. Jason Azzoppardi attended the seminar.
Various Gozitan stakeholders such as the Gozo Business Chamber, the Gozo Tourism Association and a number of Gozitan entrepreneurs and industrialists attended and expressed their opinions during this event.