Opposition leader visits Focal Maritime: the new realities of the maritime sector on the agenda

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The challenges and opportunities of the maritime industry in Malta were the key subject of discussions during a visit by Opposition Leader Dr Bernard Grech and Mr Ivan Castillo, Opposition Spokesperson for the Maritime Sector and Employment at the offices of Focal Maritime in Birżebbuġa.

Dr Grech and Mr Castillo were welcomed by Mr Godwin Xerri, Managing Director of Focal Maritime, a leading firm in the maritime and logistics sector in Malta, and by the Board of Directors of the same company.

During their visit, Dr Grech and Mr Castillo met with the Board of Directors of the company and with its employees. During the meeting, the discussion revolved around a number of issues relating to the maritime sector and the challenges that it is facing at the present time, particularly with regard to the sector’s competitiveness.

Mr Xerri explained that for companies such as Focal Maritime this is a time of significant change, as they seek to reform themselves to meet the requirements of today’s business world, particularly with regard to governance and the use of technology. He appealed for a greater national effort in supporting the maritime sector to develop further, particularly by being able to better sell its products and services at an international level, in the light of increasing competition.

During a presentation to the two guests by General Managers Silvan Fleri and Anton Xerri, it was highlighted how our country has a lot to offer through this sector, beyond Malta’s position as a hub in the Mediterranean. This includes the provision of services such as the Maltese flag for ship registration, out-of-port services such as the provision of bunker fuel, crew replacement and transhipment activitities, among others.

Judith Cilia, another member of the Board of Directors, explained how the company is undergoing an extensive reform of its governance structure to meet the expectations of the industry in today’s business world.

Godwin Xerri called on the relevant authorities to give the maritime sector its due importance as a fundamental part of the chain which makes up the logistics sector, which in turn has a significant impact on the Maltese economy. “In view of this, it is imperative that the educational system ensures the availability of human resources to ensure the further growth of this sector as a major contributor to the economic development of our country”, Mr Xerri argued.

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