Ministerial meeting on Ministry for Gozo implementation and planning
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The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, together with the Principal Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Cabinet Mr. Mario Cutajar, were at a Ministerial meeting on the implementation and planning for the Ministry for Gozo.
The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana said that although the Ministry for Gozo is considered as a small Ministry on a national scale, “the responsibility is a great one that directly affects the lives of every resident in Gozo, an island region with challenges, needs, and all its opportunities.
“Gozo today is not the Gozo of yesterday,” said Minister Caruana, explaining the Gozo region is attracting a large number of visitors every year and is experiencing strong growth which is enjoyed by Gozo and Gozitans, and with an economic growth which even surpassed that of Malta.
“With a clear plan, Gozo is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate and the greater participation of women and persons with disabilities in employment, this through the launch of a number of measures and incentives, said Dr Caruana.
“In addition to these incentives, the Ministry is working to ensure more facilities for SMEs, which are considered a pillar in the growth of the island,” stated the Minister for Gozo.
She explained that over the last year, the Ministry managed to attract more European funds to carry out new projects. “The biggest challenge Gozo will be facing is to sustain the momentum, and this can continue through the establishment of the Gozo Regional Development Authority, which will be focused on implementing the vision by 2030.
“Through this strategy, we see a more connected Gozo, with projects and initiatives to preserve the rurality and natural beauty, but also to gain a more vibrant and energetic Gozo,” said Minister Caruana.
The Minister concluded that therefore there is a need to restructure and strengthen the Ministry for Gozo so that it is prepared for the challenges of tomorrow, and enable it to provide a service to the people, as well as efficiency and accountability so that Gozo continues to enjoy moving forward.
Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar pointed out that the Gozo Ministry is not like the others. It works for an entire region and the Gozo Public Services must take care of everything needed for Gozo.
He pointed out that among others the Public Service must address the double insularity of the island and create an environment for Gozitan employees to work in Gozo.
He also mentioned that the Public Service is no longer a political issue, but has strengthened to become accessible to anyone from anywhere 24 hours a day.
Photograph: DOI/Jason Borg