Malta Maritime Forum 

The Maltese Maritime industry is deeply steeped in Malta's history which knows its origins to seafarers who settled on the island.  That reality, i.e. Malta's geographical location, is Malta's prime asset till the present day.

What Malta lacks in hinterland is compensated for by the water expanses that link Malta to the European mainland, the African continent and the Middle East.  Through this natural maritime tradition, today's maritime industry in Malta is characterised by:

1. Maritime hubbing:

  • A transhipment terminal (Malta Freeport Terminals) that handles 3 million teus (2015) and caters for the 18,000teus container vessel;

  • Cruise line terminals;

  • Oil storage and transhipment;

  • Offshore oil and gas support companies;

  • European shortsea shipping.

2. A Maritime Flag:

  • Sixth largest flag on worldwide level;

  • First European flag.

3. Maritime Facilities:

  • Ship repair;

  • Bunkering;

  • Yachting;

  • Warehousing and logistics.

4. Internationalisation:

  • Executive board member IMO;

  • Executive council Comité Maritime International;

  • International Maritime Law Institute.

It is estimated that more than 20,000 people are employed in Malta's maritime and marine industry.  This represents 10.6% of Malta's total labour force (187,000).  The contribution of this industry to the Gross Domestic Income is approximately 11% whereas recent studies have concluded that 15.4% of Malta's economy is dependent on the marine environment.

The Malta Maritime Forum was set up in October 2015 to serve as a common platform for those Malta based interests who are involved in the maritime, logistical and transport industry in Malta.  This platform will facilitate communication between the various sectors as well as with Government to assist and promote the development of this industry in general.  The Forum has been registered as a Non-Government Organisation under the laws of Malta.

The main objects of the Maritime Forum are:

  • To promote the interests of the Maltese maritime industry;

  • To assist in the development of new maritime activities;

  • To promote research, education and training within the Maltese maritime industry;

  • To act as a constituted body so as to consult and be consulted by government in the development of public policies that can have a bearing on the Maltese maritime industry.

The Malta Maritime Forum has forty members representing port terminals, ship repair yard, ship owners, unions (GRTU and Malta Dockers Union), shipping agents, port service providers and legal professionals.  Through its general assembly the Forum lays down an annual action plan and elects a board of directors which in turn appoints a chairman. The first and current chairman of the Malta Maritime Forum is Dr Joe Borg who was Malta's EU Commissioner Between 2004 and 2010.  As EU Commissioner Dr Borg was responsible for fisheries and maritime affairs. 

The Malta Maritime Forum is also recognised by the Maltese government as the representative body of the Maltese maritime industry and for this reason a working team has been set up between the Malta Maritime Forum and Transport Malta. This team meets once monthly and addresses issues that are relevant to the local maritime industry.  By way of conclusion, it should be noted that the concept of the setting up of the maritime cluster in Malta, emerged from the Malta Shortsea Promotion Center which is very active in the European Shortsea Network.

Malta is at present holding the chairmanship of the European Shortsea Network and is also involving itself in the preparations for Malta's EU presidency due in January 2017.  The Maltese government has declared the maritime industry and the economic benefits resulting therefrom, as one of the main themes that Malta will be proposing throughout its EU presidency period.

Malta Country Presentation

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