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Round-up - MEA National Conference: Balancing Sustainable Economic Growth with Quality of Life – A National Challenge

An event organized with the support of Atlas Insurance, APS Bank and EY.

During last month’s MEA National Conference on Balancing Sustainable Economic Growth with Quality of Life – A National Challenge, the MEA President Joanne Bondin emphasised that: “We need to make some serious choices which may entail elements of sacrifice by enterprises, citizens and government to further the common good. This may entail forfeiting short term gains in favour of a longer term, sustainable vision for our society." 

Link to follow the whole welcome speech.

Prof Philip von Brockdorff 

Prof Philip von Brockdorff spoke about 'GDP as an economic measurement tool: Strengths and Limitations' during MEA National Conference.

“GDP has its uses, but it is mainly a financial instrument. As we focus more on social progress and social and economic convergence across the EU, the EU needs to look beyond GDP and embrace a new measurement tool that covers both welfare and environmental aspects”. 

Link to follow the whole presentation.

Dr Marie Briguglio

Dr Marie Briguglio followed by speaking about the need for a well-being index. She retreated that"Regular surveys show that the Maltese have a good overall life satisfaction, but are less satisfied with regard to time, particularly the time reserved for leisure. It is time to refocus, to reach an end game from which we all benefit".

Link to follow the whole presentation.

JP Fabri

JP Fabri on the other hand spoke about the report entitled 'Beyond GDP' issued by Curia.

"Improving well-being is all about the roots. We need to focus on prevention, rather than simply seeking to solve issues. To do so, we need to look at our legislation our administration and our values. These, in particular values, are crucial when shaping the discussion on a better well-being. We need a well-being policy architecture."

Link to follow the whole presentation.

Ronald Attard

Ronald Attard from EY Malta delivered the keynote speech about the stakeholder capitalism in pursuit of balance between growth and quality of life.

"Having social objectives can be profitable for businesses as more consumers vote with their wallet. Surveys have shown that the majority of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that seek to have a positive impact on society, with an increasing cohort considering the environment and climate change in how they live and buy".

Link to follow the whole keynote speech.

Hon Bernard Grech

While being interviewed by Jesmond Saliba, Hon Bernard Grech "insisted that one must find a balance between the economy, the environment, tourism and also the workforce to avoid unfortunate consequences". "We need a healthy lifestyle to ensure a better quality of life. In this respect, the economic success of a country on its own is not enough on its own: we need to ensure that every individual succeeds, while enjoying a good quality of life. Employers are at the heart of social dialogue and are key players in achieving this objective”

Link to follow the whole interview.

Joseph Farrugia

Mr Farrugia insisted that Malta needs to face up to the realities of being a small, densely populated country. MEA Director General spoke about balancing economic growth and social imperatives in Malta from an employers' perspective.

"Employers are major stakeholders in ensuring a better well-being. Through the creation of jobs, people can enjoy a better quality of life. While there maybe concern that a focus on well-being will mean a contraction in economic activity, we believe that if handled properly, the imperatives of economic growth and well-being can be reconciled".

Link to follow the whole presentation.

Breakout Sessions:

Michael Pace Ross

During the Breakout Session on Economics & Social Values moderated by Michael Pace Ross, participants expressed their views and said that:

"They believe there is a place for honest businesses, as long as they lead from example, adopt an effective CSR framework, listen to stakeholders and strengthen their social role, while respecting work ethics and environmental issues. Business profit should not just be about profit maximisation but about adopting an important social role that makes a difference in people's lives."

Kevin J. Borg

During the Breakout Session on The Importance of Governance - recommendations, moderated by Kevin J. Borg, it was said that:

"As long as there is no overzealousness, it would be beneficial for businesses to be guided, on a voluntary basis, on how to improve their governance and on how to conduct their business in a responsible manner”.

Dr Charlotte Camilleri

During the Breakout Session: Economic Growth & the Environment moderated by Dr Charlotte Camilleri, participants highlighted that

"It is essential that in designing the policies of today we think about the world that we leave for our future generations"

To follow rapporteurs reports on these workshops click here.

Panel Discussion

The National Conference included also a panel discussion on: A Social and Economic Vision for Malta. Panelists Speakers were:

  • Joanne Bondin, MEA President
  • James Pearsall, Chairman MCESD - Malta Council for Economic and Social Development
  • David Spiteri Gingell, Management Consultant at DSG Consulting
  • Stefano Mallia, President Employers' Group I at EESC - European Economic and Social Committee
  • Catherine Calleja, Director & Company Secretary at Atlas Insurance
  • Peter Gatt, Talent Development Manager at APS Bank

View the Event kick-off - Theme feature here.

To view the full Conference, please visit MEA’s Facebook page.

View the post event video here.

13/07/2021 MEA
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