The Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change organised a conference titled ‘Paving the way towards a Sustainable Maltese Economy – Looking ahead to 2050’. Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera and Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna delivered the opening speeches at this conference, the first of a series of events organised as part of the process of developing the Malta Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050. These conferences will serve as a platform to engage the public first-hand in the process of building an effective Sustainable Development Framework.
Mr Rene Saliba, Chief Executive Officer Malta Development Bank, participated as a panel discussant in one of the workshops on the topic of ‘Financing Instruments and tools for sustainable growth’. Mr Saliba explained the promotional role of the MDB in collaborating with the banks and other stakeholders to improve the supply of investment finance in areas affected by market failures or sub-optimal investment situations. In this respect, the MDB places a lot of emphasis on supporting operations that contribute to sustainable development, particularly sectors that have a strong social dimension – especially health, education and affordable housing – as well as environment-friendly initiatives that foster the green economy and the circular economy. Such MDB support can take the form of: (i) indirect facilities intermediated via commercial banks such as SME loan guarantee schemes or co-financing or both, (ii) direct lending or syndicated lending for larger projects in line with the Bank’s public policy objectives, and (iii) leveraging EU resources in collaboration with the Managing Authority, including blending of structural funds with MDB financing to make projects more investible and bankable. Such leveraging of EU funds is expected to play an increasingly instrumental role in the context of the general shift in EU funding approaches, away from one-off grant finance towards the greater use of innovative financial instruments.