European Parliament President Roberta Metsola on Friday encouraged Maltese businesses to embrace the change that the new realities are bringing about.
Addressing the conference "Navigating EU Direct Funds - Unlocking Financial Opportunities for Business", she said these realities presented a chance for renewal and growth.
The conference was organised jointly by the Malta Business Bureau and the Malta Council for Science and Technology as part of their implementation of the EU Project (SMP) Enterprise Europe Network (2022-2025).
Metsola said that without change, the economy, the country and the European Union will stagnate.
"You who have invested all your energy and resources into creating something new and innovative, you who have sacrificed everything you have for your business, it is you that have every potential and all the stamina it takes to come out of this period stronger, perhaps more than ever before,” she said.
Metsola said SMEs are the backbone of the Maltese and the European economy, providing jobs to more than half of the working population in Malta.
This was acknowledged by the European Parliament, which had been instrumental in creating financial opportunities to increase business flexibility and reduce administrative burdens.
“It was the European Parliament that advocated for SME participation in the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility - the European Union’s largest financing instrument to date.
Metsola added that Malta and all the other member states are encouraged to implement reforms and investments that complement the EU’s priorities - including smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
These European initiatives give Malta the opportunity to utilise funds to increase investment in SMEs and to give them the support they need to capitalise on the green and digital transitions.
She appealed to businesses not to throw away "this golden opportunity".