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A new vision for economic zones

Karl Azzopardi, CEO Malta Industrial Parks

There is a new energy at the national entity responsible for Malta's business estates. The body, which manages 15 zones spread across the two main islands, has set its sight on the better arrangement of activity within these space in order to generate more homogeneous clusters.


What is the landscape of industrial parks in Malta and what are MIP’s priorities in the management of such zones?

MIP administers around 4 million square metres of Government land, which is distributed across the island in the form of 11 industrial estates, two craft-related estates and two aviation parks. This translates into approximately 1,000 businesses working within the sphere of the manufacturing industry. MIP works hand in hand with Malta Enterprise when allocating factory and industrial space. However, our function goes beyond that of simply being a landlord. We want to improve our parks and are actively engaging our tenants in this process. We promote the formation of Tenants Associations and would like to see them involved in master planning, branding and the identification of capital-related investment. We also focus on optimising and regenerating the parks in order to mitigate current and future demand for space.      

 

MOSTA TECHNOPARK: The joint administration of common spaces has given tenants better ownership of the park concept

 

You have already identified the first two zones for a major quality upgrade. Can you tell us more about these projects?

We plan to develop an industrial zone, which is centrally located in Mriehel, into a cluster. Ideally industrial zones are planned in a way to favour such set-ups and in Mriehel we aim to build a cluster of food products. Mriehel is a good example of how government and the private sector can work together to plan, administer and upkeep an industrial zone. Government has also agreed to double the tenant’s financial investment towards upgrading the area. This model might be adopted and improved upon with other zones. Another project, the rejuvenation of an artisan village, will see a 63,000 square metre area being developed into a hub of excellence for locally manufactured products, predominately those related to traditional Maltese crafts.

What plans do you have for Gozo’s industrial zones?

MIP is looking at extending its industrial remit in Gozo through three separate projects. Firstly, we want to extend the Xewkija Industrial Estate through the development of 15 new business workshops with a total of 5,355 square meters for traditional industrial activities. Secondly, we plan to repurpose an existing building for use by the financial, ICT, research and other related sectors. Both projects are in the procurement process stages. Thirdly, MIP is also working on the possibility of developing a micro-enterprise hub via a Public-Private-Partnership.

What is your message to international investors looking at opening a plant in Southern Europe or the Mediterranean region?

We act diligently, but promptly, in providing space to reputable investors. Malta can offer good quality premises at reasonable rates through which we create economic value and growth. Don’t miss out on Malta.

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