Gatt sees Malta getting
by Times of Malta
The realisation of SmartCity Mala was the fruit of a dream and not simply a case of investment. It was a unique economic opportunity which would catalyse the change in Malta's economic base to one where services would be its backbone, Industry and IT Minister Austin Gatt said this morning.
He was speaking at the opening of the 2007 EMCS conference on the theme Working Smart in a Globalised World: SmartCity and participation in the ICT business.
Dr Gatt said Malta was enjoying a success story, with foreign companies relocating to it due to its infrastructure and the skills of its workforce.
"We have been smart enough to think of this area and make the necessary changes, establish the right policies in the right time and smart enough to translate them for the benefit of our economy."
Dr Gatt said that earlier this week he had a meeting with a foreign company involved in the business of a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNOs) which is seeking to relocate all its business to Malta. The competing destinations with Malta were the UK and the United States, underlining the strength of Malta's potential.
He referred to the consultation launched recently for the new ICT strategy, where, he said, Malta as a Smart Island would not simply be a centre of excellence in the region.
"Smart means that the whole economy and country becomes smart. Our people have what it takes to become smart and live up to the term. To really become smart our country needs a very clear cut vision from a government which does not mince words.
"It needs a government which rather than planning and planning and talking and talking, delivers. It is about setting 182 measures and targets to achieve in the next five years. Yes, Malta can be a smart island by 2010, by realizing the vision and the strategy as we have already done in the past years", he concluded.