The superyacht industry, known for its opulence and global allure, is experiencing significant growth, especially in the Mediterranean region. Malta, strategically located at the heart of the Mediterranean, has already carved a niche for itself in this industry. The latest figures reveal that over 1,110 yachts exceeding 24 meters proudly fly the Maltese flag, underscoring Malta's prominence as an excellent flag state jurisdiction.
This strategic document, developed through extensive collaboration with industry stakeholders, outlines a comprehensive framework focusing on four key thematic areas:
- Product Development
- Human Resources Development and Talent Retention
- Legal and Regulatory Framework Reinforcement, and
- Environmental and Social Development.
Product Development Takes Centre Stage
The commitment to advancing the superyacht industry is evident in the multifaceted approach towards product development. The outlined objectives in this area include:
- Conducting a detailed Economic Impact Assessment to identify key areas for sectoral growth;
- Initiating efforts towards more regular and centralised data collection;
- Implementing a holistic marketing and promotional plan for the industry;
- Undertaking infrastructural upgrades and developing necessary zoning plans for yachting areas;
- Investing in maritime infrastructure and organising superyacht events on an annual basis; and
- Developing and creating a Quality Mark for the industry to ensure high standards.
Legal and Regulatory Framework ReinforcementThe Maltese Government aims to further develop the industry’s legal and regulatory framework by:
- Investing in digital initiatives within agencies to ensure that operational processes are streamlined;
- Introducing new legislative frameworks for new products and services; and
- Promoting further research and innovation, with a special focus on technology and green technology.
Human Resource Development and Talent RetentionThe strategy places a strong emphasis on training, prioritizing human resources, and retaining talent, with a specific focus on fostering the growth of technical and vocational skills.These include:
- Initiatives to develop criteria for competency-based qualifications in the industry;
- The implementation of a national plan for training and certification including apprenticeship schemes for recent graduates and short-term bridging courses to provide for vertical movement;
- The development of more high-level skills training and fostering collaborations between local academic institutions and international organisations; and
- Exploring the potential of designating Malta as a crew island through the provision of various incentives which encourage crew members to relocate to Malta.
Environmental and Social DevelopmentThe sustainability of the superyacht industry hinges on numerous social and environmental factors. Accordingly, the government vision aims to pursue the following:
- Facilitate the adoption of sustainable environmental practices and technologies;
- Implement an environmental awareness and sustainability programme tailored for this industry;
- Promote environmental awareness and sustainability within the industry; and
- Implement a national sensitisation campaign dedicated to the superyacht industry.
The implementation of this strategic vision is a clear manifestation of the Government's stance on the superyacht industry in Malta. This comprehensive approach outlined in the document reflects a commitment to sustainable growth and development, positioning Malta as a global leader in the superyacht sector. BDO Malta, a member firm of the Superyacht Industry Network in Malta, recognizes the strategic importance of the superyacht industry within the broader context of Malta's economic development. The government's commitment to enhancing current services aligns with BDO's mission to support sustainable growth and development on the island.
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Article written by Dr. Gregory Mifsud Orlando, Junior Lawyer