2020 is widely considered as a year that took its toll – on business, the economy, and, quite possibly, every aspect of people’s lives.
For many, the start of a new year brings hope – the possibility that 2021 will bring about a change, a new start or, more importantly, an end to the trials of 2020.
In MaltaCEOs 2021, we asked 50 of the island’s top business minds what they hope the world can achieve in this coming year, and among their replies, a need for change is clear. These are some of their wishes for 2021.
It may be a truth universally acknowledged that a post-COVID reality won’t be the same as our pre-COVID one, but a return to some semblance of normality is high on CEOs’ wish lists. Among those wishing for relative normality are Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina and Bank of Valletta CEO Rick Hunkin, who hopes for “a return to some sort of normality, with less distress – financial or otherwise.”
In times of hardship, solid leadership is key, and at times, has arguably been hard to come by in 2020. Malta’s business leaders recognise the importance of a steady hand to guide us safely through the storm, with GasanMamo Managing Director Julian Mamo and Dino Fino Home + Contracts CEO Dino Fino expressing their wish for good leadership in 2021 and beyond.
Certainly, a hope that comes as no surprise is the defeat of the global pandemic that brought the world to its knees. You’d be hard pressed to find a single person that remained unaffected by COVID-19, and Malta’s CEOs – like most people, we’d wager – would be happy to see the end of it. It’s at the top of the list for Marsovin’s Jeremy Cassar and MAPFRE Middlesea’s Felipe Navarro, who hopes for the eradication of the virus “firstly to save lives, and because economically, we cannot afford to have another year like 2020.”
A wish for the world to gain stability is another hope linked to the eradication of COVID-19, featuring highly on the wish lists of business leaders like Carbu Malta’s Jamie Houston and NM Group’s Beppe Muscat. In 2021, Halmann Vella CEO Kevin Rapinett expresses his hope for “more global stability and international cooperation for greater economic prosperity.”
A consequence of the global pandemic that many have found difficult is the inability to travel – particularly during a hard time when a break is so sorely needed! Among the CEOs hoping for freedom of movement in 2021 are QP CEO Reuben Xuereb and Esprit Yachting’s Niki Traver Tauss, who would love nothing more than “the freedom to travel again.”
An issue that COVID-19 has threatened to overshadow is climate change, and greater awareness and respect for the environment weighs heavily on the minds of several of Malta’s CEOS for 2021. St James Hospital Group’s Jean Claude Muscat is among them, and would like to see “more awareness of climate change and support for the environment” moving forward, while MCA CEO Jesmond Bugeja hopes that “the world unites and works harder towards becoming carbon neutral.” Echoing this is Tabbingtons’ CEO Paul V Tabone, who wishes for a reduction in dependence on fossil fuels and BRND WGN’s Peter-Jan Grech, who’s main hope for 2021 is “a massive reset on climate change. It’s the only thing we should be thinking about.”
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