Gozo cruise liner terminal EOI to be issued in coming weeks
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The Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced last night that “in the coming weeks the Government will be launching an international Expression of Interest for the development of a new cruise liner terminal in Gozo.
“We are certain that Gozo will provide not only an excellent business opportunity but also a vibrant new destination for the mainstream cruise-liner industry.”
The Prime Minister was speaking at a dinner at the Villa Francia, which he was hosting with his wife Michelle, on the occasion of European Maritime Day 2013.
Dr Muscat said that, “n view of the application of the Guidelines on State Aid to Maritime Transport and the carriage of passengers by sea, Malta latches importance to a safe, secure and sustainable cruise-liner industry.
“Malta has invested heavily in the cruise industry, creating direct and indirect job opportunities for the island. Throughout recent years, Malta has experienced a continuous growth in this sector, and the investment is now bearing its fruit. The Maltese government is committed to continue investing in the industry in line with its policy for economic growth.”
The Prime Minsiter continued, “I strongly believe that, for Europe’s blue economy to be successful, it is imperative that maritime transportation is seen as the nucleus of the whole blue growth agenda. Globalisation, inter-dependency, inter-connectivity, as well as safe and secure conditions are influential factors for the transport of goods and for the movement of people. Transportation is a key factor for social development and a necessity for the achievement of Europe’s economy in general.”
“Europe must ensure that any changes to the current legal framework do not threaten the livelihood of Member States’ shipping sectors, making them less competitive on a global level. Competition and the international dimension of shipping always poses the possibility that ship owners can out-flag their fleets.
“For Malta this is something we accept as being part of the normal business cycle, if decisions are based on a level playing field. We are very positive about the service we offer and if such competition is based on quality and not on artificial restrictions, we are sure we will not only survive, as we always have, but we will achieve even greater success,” he said.
“We ourselves and the European shipping industry generally, are faced with strong competition from third-country registers that continue to improve their product. This is why Europe must stand for competitiveness, and not bureaucracy,” the Prime Minister concluded.