+Malta's Junior Minister, Clayton Bartolo gives the opening keynote at the AIBC conference segment of SiGMA Asia Digital
In his opening keynote for the Emerging Tech by AIBC conference, the Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Parliamentary Secretary for financial services and digital economy said that Malta had been faced with a number of challenges, but that those difficulties had not deterred the government from pursuing its aims.
The Junior Minister who assumed office just 4 months ago following a cabinet reshuffle, emphasised that technology and digitisation economy were taking on added importance.
“We are looking for new niche sectors for our economy so that we can continue strengthening our gross domestic product. This means that we are also looking for innovation – both in already existing sectors, as well as new sectors where we are looking for new and innovative areas to expand,” he said.
The minister went on to say that this also included research and development, which is considered an important niche sector for the economy both ‘for today as well as for the future’ and that it would attract talent as well as creating new employment opportunities.
He continued by saying that the financial services are also very important for the local economy, which at the moment are also facing their challenges.
“I do acknowledge that as a country we have gone through a number of challenges, however, we are taking the necessary steps to address these challenges and turn them into opportunities for our country and for our institutions to enhance our due diligence and also to enhance our country’s reputation both on a local as well as on an international level.
“This means that we will continue creating employment opportunities for all those who are interested in seeking a career in the financial services sector.
“Companies that have invested in technology in the past years will continue striving forward, and now is the time for more companies to add technology to their portfolio. It is very important that digitisation becomes the heart of each decision that is taken. Every strategy needs to be based on digital strategies and also on digital innovation. This is the way forward for every company which is looking to continue increase and expand its market share.”
The minister believes that this strategy applies to Malta which as an island nation-state is looking to continue enhancing and diversifying various economic sectors. Included are quantum, high-performance computing, and big data. Cybersecurity and blockchain are also taking on added importance, said the Junior Minister.
“Artificial intelligence should become a part of our daily lives, together with IoTs and Digital Innovation Hubs where we can see a number of start-ups which will be starting their entrepreneurial life in our economy. eSports and video-game development are two new up and coming areas where Malta is looking to be a first mover and integrate them into our digital economy sector.”
He went on to close his keynote by saying: “I also encourage other governments to follow the Maltese government in including digitisation as part of their public sector strategy. This needs to be done in order to reduce bureaucracy and improve the service which all citizens deserve.”
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[WATCH] the full keynote below: