Malta offers to be ‘voice of yachting industry’ in Brussels in 2017 (March 24, 2016)

The small island nation will hold EU presidency in the first half of 2017
Malta is hoping to become the ‘voice of the yachting industry’ when it takes the EU presidency in the first half of 2017. The idea was suggested at the ‘Opportunities in Superyachts’ conference held in Malta last week by the island’s Minister of Transport & Infrastructure, Joe Mizzi.
“With Malta holding the EU presidency for the first six months of 2017, I would like to offer the superyacht market to be the voice for this industry during that period,” he said.
Such a move fits with Malta’s ambitions to further develop as a key superyacht hub in the centre of the Mediterranean. For an island with a population of just over 420,000, it has in recent years made significant strides towards fulfilling this goal.
Mizzi pointed to Malta building on the success already achieved for its superyacht registry, which now has over 500 yachts of 24m (78.5ft)-plus on it; its leasing scheme and the wide range of services in operation on the island to support superyachts, several of which homeport there.
The Malta Superyacht Industry Network has been active for several years and has a membership in excess of 20 companies providing a wide range of services. Malta is a major superyacht repair and refit centre with at least three major facilities for yachts up to 160m (525ft).
It was explained in the conference that this year the island’s refit and repair sector has been running close to full capacity and there is seen to be a need to expand in this area.
Malta is well served by marina capacity with berths for yachts up to more than 100m (328ft). Plans for a new marina with additional superyacht berths are understood by IBI to be announced shortly.
Mizzi also referred to the plans to develop the training of workers to participate in the island’s yacht sector. This includes plans for a maritime training academy that would complement a number of training and apprenticeship schemes that are already running.
The conference was organised by Quaynote and attended by around 150 delegates. IBI’s sister publication, Superyacht Business, was the event’s media partner.

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