Updated at 11.20am with PN reaction

An agreement to establish a framework for attracting foreign investment from Asia will be signed with China, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Sunday morning.

The announcement was made on the Labour Party radio station during a brief telephone link with Dr Muscat, who is leading a business delegation in London and China. 

In his comments the Prime Minister said he was satisfied with feedback received in the British capital where he met foreign investors, some of whom he said, would be coming to Malta.

Dr Muscat also referred to the 2019 Budget,  saying that regardless of the criticism being levelled, nobody could dispute certain facts. He noted that 16,000 families next year will get an increase in children allowance, over 200,000 workers will benefit from an income tax refund, and 92,000 will get a retirement pension rise.

The Prime Minister said that even data published in the Opposition pre-budget document, showed that poverty was in decline and inflation at lower levels when compared to the last Nationalist Party administration. Moreover, Dr Muscat said that the PN’s data showed that the increase in the number of foreigners was below the numbers being cited by Opposition leader Adrian Delia. 

Organic waste collection

In his five-minute address, the Prime Minister also referred to the organic waste separation scheme from households which was launched last Wednesday. He said this would be a huge step forward which would result in a drastic improvement in everyday life, as eventually it would reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill by 45 per cent.

Dr Muscat also referred to the blockchain summit held a few days ago, saying its legacy would not be the economic benefits of having 8,500 delegates in Malta, but further investment opportunities in the near future.

'Muscat obsessed with figures, we're interested in people' - PN

In a reply to Dr Muscat's speech, the PN said that while the Prime Minister was keen to highlight statistics which depicted him in a good light, he refused to admit that 10,000 more people were at risk of poverty now when compared to five years ago.

"The budget does not solve the problems which the government itself created with its economic policy of increasing GDP through demographics rather than productivity," the PN said.  

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