The Gozo Regional Development Authority launches its socio-economic vision for the coming ten years
The Gozo Regional Development Authority (GRDA) has launched a public consultation on the Gozo Regional Development Strategy for 2021-2030. The strategy will also serve as a roadmap for any further initiatives that will be undertaken with respect to Gozo for the next 10 years.
The strategy and consultation process focus on eight key priority areas that are crucial for the future success of Gozo. These cover all aspects from social development, development of new industries to the islands’ infrastructure ensuring a holistic approach that safeguards and sustains the wellbeing of the island of Gozo, its inhabitants, visitors, business investors, and future generations. The key priority areas are:
- Spatial Planning and Sustainable Urban Development
- Infrastructure and Accessibility
- Economic and Talent Development
- New Economy
- Sustainable Tourism
- Social Development
- Rural Development and Eco-Gozo
- Culture, Heritage and the Arts
Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri explained how the strategy will be designed by the Gozitans themselves. Therefore, these will clearly embody the needs and challenges of Gozo. While revealing his commitment to see the implementation of this strategy, Minister Clint Camilleri added that “this process will primarily address more urgently and adequately the essential characteristics of Gozo. Among others, these include connectivity, better use of natural, financial, and human resources, the development of new economic niches, the commitment to protect the natural environment, and finally the enhancement of the cultural, artistic and heritage sector. These all shape and give identity to us Gozitans. Finally, the strategy will also focus on the main economic pillar of our island—tourism.
Michael Grech, Chairman of the Gozo Regional Development Authority, said, “The launch of the Consultation Document and the development of a shared vision for Gozo is an important milestone for our island. We invite everyone and especially those who have Gozo at heart, to participate in this process with their feedback and suggestions so we can together draw up a feasible and forward-looking strategy that will safeguard Gozo’s future.”
Mario Borg, CEO of the Gozo Regional Development Authority expained that the strategy is based on three main elements. The first part focuses on developing a shared vision for Gozo for the next decade, with particular emphasis on Gozo remaining distinct from Malta while continuing to create valuable opportunities for business, investment, employment, and better quality of life for residents. “The Consultation Document puts forward for discussion 88 measures across the 8 key priority areas that are all important for Gozo,” said Mr Borg. “It also outlines how these and other measures that will be incorporated following our consultation with the public and other stakeholders will be prioritised for implementation.”
Launched in September 2020, the Gozo Regional Development Authority is a fully autonomous Authority that has both a consultative and regulatory function.
Sector-specific consultation is also being carried out through a series of consultative groups that will bring together stakeholders with specific knowledge of the priority key areas to fast-track an understanding of current issues and more importantly to generate proactive solutions. Two public consultation meetings will also be held in Gozo in July and August.
The Consultation Document can be viewed and downloaded at grda.mt. The general public, NGOs, public entities and other stakeholders are invited to submit their feedback by email at email@example.com or directly through an online form on the GRDA website. The closing date for submissions is 31st August 2021.