Minister Chris Cardona this morning was unable to take questions by the media due to what his press relations representative was a Cabinet meeting, leaving a press event soon after giving his speech.
Several journalists, including The Malta Independent, were waiting to ask Cardona questions following the publication of raw footage in which businessman Luke Chetcuti is heard mentioning Cardona’s name when speaking about a beach concession at St George’s Bay,
Chetcuti, head of the Hugo’s Group, was filmed by the crew of French TV programme Enquete Exclusive, and can be heard saying that he had gone to eat with Chris, “the minister”, which is understood that he meant Minister Chris Cardona. He continues: “he (Chris) told me that from that point he began messaging the Tourism Minister and he told him ‘that we need to help Hugos, they always help us, we need to help them and give them a piece of the bay. The other one told him ‘the Bay is a bit small but that we will see what we can see what we can do to grow the bay.’”
Standards Commissioner George Hyzler recently launched an investigation into the matter.
In his speech at the opening of SME Week, Cardona said that entrepreneurs are made, not born and the government is committed to their success and creating the right conditions for them to flourish.
“Start-ups and scale ups are the true drivers of economic growth, and they have the ability to deliver innovative ideas, products, and services that have and will continue to steadily transform Malta and their innovations,” Cardona said. He mentioned that currently Malta’s economy is beaming with positive statistics and that he wants to emphasise on the culture and mind-set of the country for entrepreneurs to thrive in. “Where people are allowed to propel themselves forward, the economy will propel itself forward too.”
He said that the government’s mission is to expose more people to the transformational power of more entrepreneurship. He said that the government has addressed this through regulations and taxations, the availability of credit, education and social mobility. He said that it also requires an individual’s willingness to assume an entrepreneurial challenge.
The Enterprise Incentives APP is a government initiative which collects all of the funds and other incentives offered to businesses operating in Malta. Cardona explained that the funds are categorized by type, and with a filter function, so an individual and simple search for funding specific to their situation. “So instead of spending hours searching for information, we provide you with that information with just three to four taps on your phone.”