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MALTATODAY 26 November 2023

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8 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 26 NOVEMBER 2023 NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT OF A CALL FOR PROJECT PROPOSALS UNDER The European Regional Development Fund 2021-2027 The Ministry responsible for European Funds would like to announce that it is launching a call for project proposals in the following area: Priority 3: PO 4 - A more social and inclusive Europe implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights RSO4.6 – Enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation (ERDF) This call shall be open to Non-Governmental Organisations and Local Councils and shall specifically focus on the protection, development and promotion of cultural heritage and cultural services. The call will close on 8 th March 2024 at noon. The online application form for the submission of project proposals and supporting documentation are available on Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the Just Transition Fund Programme and the Eligibility Guidance Notes to confirm whether their proposals are eligible for funding through this call for project proposals. Further information on this call and other calls may be obtained from Any queries should be sent by email on A dedicated information session is being organised on Friday, 12 th January 2024 at 14.30 at Servizzi Ewropej f 'Malta offices – 280, Republic Street, Valletta. Register for the information session by scanning QR code below. Carbon tax on shipping next January will translate into higher cargo costs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 "Depending on how far north the trailer comes from, we could easily be seeing cargo transport costs for importers and exporters increase by anywhere between 6% and 10% next year," the source said. The end result will see consum- ers, already reeling under the bur- den of higher inflation, picking up the tab. The impact of these additional costs should not be underestimat- ed said Frederick Schembri, gen- eral manager at Torrent Pharma, an Indian pharmaceutical manu- facturer based in Hal Far. "Any increase in the cost to im- port goods to Malta will not only hurt industry but also ordinary citizens who are already feeling the pinch of higher food prices," he told MaltaToday. But industrialists also worry about the impact of higher trans- port costs on Malta's export in- dustry. Schembri warned that Maltese industry runs the risk of not re- maining competitive enough with its European counterparts such as Portugal. "We are an island economy and any additional cost to freight and external logistics will have an impact on us. We cannot simply accept surcharges or any other additional costs lightly because we do not have alternative modes of transport to compensate," he in- sisted. It is a sentiment shared by Nor- man Aquilina, CEO of the Farsons Group, a beverage manufacturer, importer and exporter. He said logistics will always be a key factor impacting Malta's com- petitiveness and higher costs such as the ETS surcharge will only make it harder for industry. "One must note that the cost of logistics has often been a make-or-break consideration for various manu- facturers when negotiating export contracts," he noted. But Aquilina also raised concern over the possible impact on Mal- ta's trade connectivity as a result of the ETS. "Apart from shipping cost, con- nectivity is another important consideration with indications this risks being compromised fol- lowing the coming into force of the ETS," he warned. "The impor- tance of having regularly serviced shipping routes, offering an effi- cient container delivery lead time, is not to be under-estimated." The European market is moving in the direction of increasing cargo taxes to reflect the environmental damage caused by the transport sector but another industry source who chose to remain anonymous expressed scepticism over the EU's green direction. "The net result will not be a re- duction in trade, at least that is not what everyone hopes for, or clean- er transport, because these are still not widely available, but simply a transference of costs onto con- sumers that are already feeling the brunt of a higher cost of living," the source said. The EU's Fit for 55 package translates into a number of green taxes and the introduction of ETS next year will not be the last as the bloc tries to curb CO2 emissions. "The next two years will see more of these taxes being intro- duced but it is still not clear to me that taxing the transport indus- try will encourage people to shift behaviour when the alternative green technology is still not widely available. I believe Europe would have been better served investing heavily in alternative green trans- port before opting for a tax strate- gy that will only burden industry and consumers with more costs," the source said. CLAIRVOYANT Mr TOURE a Marabout clairvoyant medium healer and Exorcist with an exceptional gift. Specialising in disenchantment, voodoo protection against dangers, couple problems return of a loved one, impotence and sexual issues whatever the nature. Court cases. Tel: +35677484511 Norman Aquilina, Farsons Group CEO (top) and Frederick Schembri, general manager at Torrent Pharma (above)

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