The National Hub for Malta, in liaison with the National Coordinator (‘Malta Marittima’ Agency), is striving to work towards the attainment of the aims of the WestMed Initiative, namely to strengthen its relations with other partner countries to seek new opportunities for the sustainable development of the blue economy across the region. The National Hub seeks to create an open communication channel with the National Coordinator to facilitate the sharing of valuable knowledge and for the identification of potentially interested stakeholders in projects relating to the blue economy. This ongoing communication is vital for the National Hub to keep itself updated with developments in the sector, both on the national and regional levels, so to assist and accelerate the development and capitalisation of projects that are aligned with the WestMed Initiative priorities.
In general, the National Hub for Malta aims to contribute towards the common aims of the WestMed Initiative in a collective effort with the partner countries to generate blue growth and blue job opportunities within the entire West Mediterranean Region whilst protecting and securing the Mediterranean Seas. To this effect, the Maltese National Hub, in agreement with Malta Marittima, identified three main priority areas for Malta namely the development of maritime clusters, green transport and clean energy used in the maritime sector and sustainable blue tourism.
- Maritime Clusters Development: In creating maritime clusters within the WestMed Region, the aim is to enhance the networking amongst the existing and new clusters and to develop joint actions, policies and activities. Through the creation of clusters, the WestMed Region can benefit from enhanced coordination and networking amongst partners and relevant stakeholders both nationally and at the regional level, potentially facilitating the tapping of existing funding opportunities. Furthermore, this would boost transfer of knowledge, skills and education in the blue economy whilst increasing the innovative capacities for SMEs in a variety of business activities, job creation and blue growth.
- Green Transport and Clean Energy: As the Island is strategically located along main Mediterranean trade routes, Malta serves an important role in the logistics system within the Mediterranean region. In this context, Malta serves as a major logistics hub with the potential of providing higher quality services to the value and supply chains. Whilst the global maritime transport is facing volatility in terms of changing patterns in international trade, global logistics and supply chain, the competitiveness and long-term sustainability of the sector at the national level is increasingly pushed to the forefront of the national agenda. Furthermore, the global drive towards clean energy in the maritime sector, gives Malta the opportunity to explore new business ventures especially in two particular areas namely electrical shore supply and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering.
- Sustainable Blue Tourism: The attractiveness of the local tourism product is highly dependent on the quality of Malta’s surrounding Mediterranean Sea as well as the related facilities and infrastructure including marinas and ports which serve an important role in the tourism industry. The protection of bathing and diving sites remains an important national commitment from an environmental and ecological perspective, as well as from an underwater heritage point of view. To this effect, an integrated approach is sought to involve relevant stakeholders and hence manage the coastal and marine areas in innovative ways without impinging on other activities. The creation of synergies with relevant stakeholders is therefore necessary to maximise the potential use of shared resources and infrastructure, especially in a context where the sector faces challenges of growing anthropogenic pressure on the sea. Furthermore, Malta remains focused on exploiting opportunities of niche markets to minimise the challenges of seasonal tourism and optimise the socio-economic returns of the sector by increasing its long-term sustainability.
Last update: May 2019