As an island state, Malta and Gozo need the best means of connectivity both within and between the islands and also with other European countries.
Malta is heavily dependent on its maritime freight and passenger transport by sea. Therefore, investment in the improvement of this infrastructure is critical to ensure that Malta does not become further isolated and consequently lose out on important economic activity. For this reason necessary port infrastructures such as breakwaters and quays are being upgraded. These are being complemented by investment in the necessary infrastructure needed to attract more business to Gozo and improve connectivity between the two islands.
Establishing an efficient trans-European transport network (TEN-T) has been a key element in the re-launched Lisbon Strategy for competitiveness and employment in Europe and will play an equally central role in the attainment of the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives. For this reason, with the support of the Cohesion Fund, substantial investment is being made in order to ensure that the roads forming part of the TEN-T network are in line with the European standards.
Additionally, more than €17 million are being spent on the upgrading of other roads through the European Regional Development Fund. Internal accessibility and urban regeneration are also important factors for the Maltese islands and interventions of this kind further contribute to the strengthening of Malta’s economy while at the same time improving the citizens’ quality of life. The regeneration of the City and Harbour region is vital as it integrates the major services of the local economy: the maritime industry, the tourism industry, the building industry and also the transit and commercial services. An improved urban environment in these key areas will not only attract more business investment in the areas but also attract more home-seekers to establish residency in these localities which have, over the years, experienced dwindling populations.