José Herrera, Times of Malta -- ‘The waves that shape us make us stronger’ was the tag line phrase used for the launch of the integrated maritime policy consultation process. It was a fitting phrase that coined the objective of a policy that would integrate the various maritime business opportunities with our social and environmental responsibilities leading to a step change, a change that will lead Malta to become a centre of maritime excellence. An ambitious order indeed, for it brings a number of challenges that must be overcome. But as one prominent marketing organisation aptly said, “challenges only make us stronger”.
The government is committed to develop maritime economic clusters; clusters that emerge from the four Blue Growth pillars. Due to our size the maritime clusters will be national clusters concentrated around particular set of activities. Government will encourage participation of private stakeholders to create a collaborative environment that will facilitate progress.The idea of clusters is not new and, only a few weeks ago, Malta Enterprise launched the aviation business cluster where it identified the establishment of such a cluster as a means to stimulate innovation and visibility, thereby ensuring its sustainability and facilitating further growth. The European Commission had identified the need to establish maritime clusters from the onset of the integrated maritime policy. The strategic importance of maritime structures in a globalised environment necessitates the ‘re-grouping’ of maritime operators that may be competing. If we are to think globally or even regionally we have to realise that chances for success will only increase through collaboration.