Interesting article on the Times of Malta by Perit Michael Falzon, Honorary President of the Malta Developers Association.

Friday, February 23rd, 2018


MDA favours strengthening of the law for better protection against fire hazards

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

The Malta Developers Association welcomes in the most positive manner the news announced by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg that laws on protection against fires in buildings are to be consolidated as part of the reform in the construction sector.

As the Minister rightly said, the law on security against fires in buildings is currently sporadic and fragmented, and the MDA feels that this reform, which will enable the law to be strengthened in this area, is urgently needed.

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older news

Speech of MDA President Sandro Chetcuti at AGM 2015

The following is the full text of the speech by MDA President Sandro Chetcuti at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 4 February, 2016, at Le Méridien St Julians Hotel & Spa:

I start today immediately on the theme we have for you today: ‘A strong economy; a healthy environment’ [Ekonomija soda, Ambjent b’saħħtu]. A strong economy because we truly believe because you can never have a healthy environment if the economy will be on the way down. It is very important that these two phrases which unfortunately we sometimes cause them to be in conflict with each other, the economy and the environment, or unfortunately we politicise them, we truly believe that they simply go hand in hand.


You can never have a good economy, then, if you neglect the environment. Tell me who is going to invest in a country where we do not look after the environment. What are we as the Malta Developers Association doing for the economy to grow? I am not going to boast about what we have done and the proposals we have made for the results speak for themselves. The prime minister is a witness of how much we work and how much we strive to convince where we feel that we are right.

It is to our satisfaction, myself first and foremost, that when the government – whichever government – accepts our proposals and the global economy thrives. We believe that the construction industry in our country is one of the biggest economic pillars on which every type of economic activity depends: tourism, operating companies, factories, offices. So it can never be that development is not one of the main pillars of the country’s economy.

We are satisfied in seeing the way property sales increased last year. Everyone remembers in 2008 that sales were a bit slow and from €1.2 billion in sales the country benefited from over €2 billion in sales. That is no mean feat. Look how many people we employed, look how much the government increased GDP thanks to the economy that is doing so well. I remember – I am seeing many highly sensible contractors here – some years ago you used to come to me and tell me: ‘What am I going to do with my employees? I am going to have to start firing them and downsize.’

Today, you are coming to us and telling us that you have a problem because you do not have enough people to work in the industry. Look at what a difference the Malta Developers Association made.

We have also learned to pay attention to the environment much more than ever before. What are we doing to strengthen the environment in our country? Talking only and saying nice words? Many beautiful wishes? We do not whine; we find solutions. We were among the first who asserted – we made a courageous statement: Mr Government, Opposition leader, we do not want you to continue to extend building in the country and devote agricultural land for building. We want to work within the development boundaries.

Not only that; we gave a strong contribution; an intelligent contribution so that we can look long-term and in the DC2015, as my friend Michael Stivala explained, we were in the forefront of understanding that the Authority wanted to create public open spaces and to safeguard the green lungs within the development boundaries. It was you with your things and the landlords who we managed to convince that in the long term it is to your benefit.

It is the first time since 1990 that the footprint that can be built in development zones was reduced substantially and this is a positive step forward to look after the environment.

We gave a contribution and will continue to give a contribution to the Building Regulation Office – I am seeing the Head of the Building Regulation Office here. He knows how much we make an effort and work; how we want to introduce a serious approach during construction. We do not want to bother anyone. We want to create parameters through which we do not annoy neighbours.

We met environmentalists and other constituted bodies, and we are listening to their problems and concerns. We decided that this year we are going to develop a Regeneration Plan, a document we intend to present both to the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister on how one can truly safeguard the environment. It is a pity that sometimes we are misunderstood.

How long have we been talking about unnecessary bureaucracy? Unnecessary bureaucracy is stifling us and if we could only find an end to this bureaucracy, we would create a more level playing field and there will be better synergy and we would be more efficiency because with bureaucracy there is scope for abuse. We enjoy it when governments try to attract foreign investment and they try to attract projects worked by foreigners but we give foreigners the red carpet, we almost give them everything as they want – and I am not making insinuations on anyone; I am not politicising the argument – I am simply saying that we are not jealous that you give this red carpet treatment, VIP treatment to the foreigners who you think will come here to invest in our country. You are doing right. We need foreign investment.

However, these people you have before you today have built Malta. They built the hotel we are in. They built the beautiful hotels we have. Our contractors built all our factories, the schools, the homes for the elderly. We have contractors who are owners of homes for the elderly here. We have coped with the housing. We managed to mitigate property values with the affordability of the first-time buyer. My members here have worked. Why should they wait many months and years to get decisions.

This has been going on for a long time. It is not a matter of a year or two. This goes back a long time and it is always getting worse. And this is hurting us. Prime Minister, I wish you to take a note of this because if we can grab this bull by the horns it will be much easier for us to work. If we need to tell our members ‘No’ we will be efficient in telling them that this is a no go. If there is something that is doable, we must tell them ‘Yes, this can be done.’ We do not need to take a long time.

I do not wish to speak at length but it is truly a great achievement as the Malta Developers Association – here we have the quarry owners who face great challenges. The policy is outdated and a policy needs to be drawn up recognising the difficulties and the challenges all the quarry owners face. We have, as Debbie explained very well, the section of Renewable Energy who are facing big challenges to make our developments more energy friendly.

I thank the Prime Minister for his faith, for always being there and listening to us; I thank the Leader of the Opposition whom we met a short time ago and he also listened to us and we listened to them. A short time ago we had a highly positive meeting with the Hon. Claudio Grech. It was a very constructive meeting where even in the document drawn up by the Nationalist Party there is recognition how important the construction sector is.

Thanked everyone and asked for their support to continue working for the benefit of the country.

Before I close, I wish to add that we also learned to come together not only to have good policies but to show solidarity through corporate social responsibility. The MDA worked to give a contribution to the Community Chest Fund, the Marigold Foundation, the Dar tal-Providenza and others and I wish you will help us to continue to do this because it is a nice thing that we do not only earn money but we also pay attention to society because when we have a good, strong society, we have a strong economy and a good environment.

For more photos of the AGM please go to the MDA Facebook page:


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