The urgent need to increase the country's competitiveness was highlighted by FOI president Anton Borg when speaking on the occasion of the well-attended inauguration ceremony of the federation's new premises in Floriana.

In a reference to recent discussions at the MCESD (Malta Council for Economic and Social Development), Mr Borg emphasised: "It is in our interest to make a joint effort - Government, trade unions and employer organisations - to get the economy back on track."

The new FOI premises were inaugurated by the President, Dr Eddie Fenech Adami, and blessed by the Archbishop, Mgr Joseph Mercieca in the presence of Members of Parliament, ambassadors, other distinguished guests, as well as FOI Council members and FOI members.

At this event, Mr Borg's welcome address also outlined the important milestones in the history of the federation from when it was founded in 1946 to its current activities, explaining also that the new offices would facilitate the expansion of services being introduced to members, including legal and industrial relations advisory services, as well as economic related services.

The FOI president was pleased that the federation was setting up its offices in the prestigious Casa Leone, whose interesting history dates back to 1742 when, under its original name of "Casa Franconi", it was built as a summer residence by the Bali Fra Fabrizio Franconi, a prominent and influential member of the Knights of St John, consisting also of a large and beautifully landscaped garden, historically referred to as "Giardino Casa a Cortile del Sig. Commendatore Franconi".

Mr Borg also highlighted the various problems, which industrialists and the country in general were facing, and stressed the importance for all stakeholders to put competitiveness at the top of their agenda.

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