25 May 2021
Steen Jakobsen, the Chief Investment Officer and Chief Economist of SAXO Bank expressed himself more than optimistic about Malta’s prospects for economic recovery at the end of a business webinar “Trade, Transport and Tourism – A Macro-economic analysis for post-COVID Investing”.
The webinar, organised by the Malta Maritime Forum and Bank of Valletta with the support of Saxo Bank, was attended by well over 100 participants. It was targeted at business players in the maritime sector and shed light on the immediate and medium-term world economic outlook in light of the current extraordinary circumstances, characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as significant political and environmental/climate change factors.
Steen Jakobsen is an expert economist of global renown who appears regularly as a guest host on CNBC and Bloomberg News. He explained how an intensive structural change in economic policy making is required, so that globally the main policy goals - inequality, employment centricity, green transformation, and infrastructure investment, can be tackled. He underlined the main risk factors imposed on global economies as being fiscal dominance, rate sensitivity, inflation sensitivity and geopolitical risk. Jakobsen’s optimism about Malta mainly stems from his opinion that global tourism is on the verge of a strong rebound and, given Malta’s economic composition, this constitutes very positive news. "Just like it developed a well-established healthcare sector, the Maltese Government should focus on reaping major improvements in the energy sector to bring it to fruition and sustainability."
The webinar was opened by Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon on his first public assignment since taking over the Chairmanship of the Malta Maritime Forum from Dr Joe Borg. The new Chairman listed the Forum’s achievements over recent months as well as the projects and policy matters it is currently following to the benefit of the Maritime Business Community based on the Islands.
For the panel discussion Steen Jakobsen was joined by Matthew Farrugia, Investment Analyst Wealth Management at BOV and Malta Maritime Forum representatives Stephen Xuereb, COO of Global Ports Holding and CEO of Valletta Cruise Port, and Thomas Sullivan, Commercial Director at Seatrans Shipping Ltd.
Matthew Farrugia focusing on the investment perspective with regards to changes within these industries stated that we are currently witnessing a global problem as investors are yielding relatively low-interest rates from investments posing a high level of risk. "From now onwards, investors will have to be a lot more adaptable in the way they allocate their funds, while also being vigilant for any unprecedented occurrences, hence establishing a "Just-in-case" mentality."
According to Stephen Xuereb, the cruise industry is set on a rapid growth with a direct contribution of around €83 million to the Maltese economy in 2019. While this generates huge opportunities for the industry, it can also pose significant environmental challenges. “At Malta Maritime Forum, we are implementing a sustainable strategy focused on reducing carbon emissions by 40% in the next 10 years, as part of our long-term commitment to reduce our impact on climate change.”
The discussion was moderated by Mark Scicluna Bartoli – Head of Project Management and Development at Bank of Valletta.
A recording of this webinar can be viewed on https://youtu.be/DAAnlAxrzgo