Doing Business in Malta - 17th Apr 2017

By: Paul Nailor

These are exciting times for the Maltese archipelago. Following the successful hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015 (, Malta currently holds the Presidency of the EU and will, in 2018 don the mantle of European Capital of Culture for which a truly amazing program of events in planned ( .

Prime minister Joseph Muscat set out his vision for the islands, their economies and potential future in the international plane in a recent article.

Long known as a top tourist destination, these recent and upcoming international exposures make it clear to the world that Malta has much to offer beyond its near 7000 year history, shipping and gaming. Add to this Malta’s unique position as both a member of the Commonwealth and the EU and there will be multiple opportunities arising from the imminent departure of the UK from the EU for businesses looking to retain access to the Single Market. This is aided by a jurisdiction with a familiar and favourable regulatory environment, culture and language and a general environment of innovation, entrepreneurialism and responsiveness from government that will surprise many.

Government is particularly keen to attract high tech high added value manufacturing and knowledge based operations.  There is a key focus on life sciences and advanced materials alongside financial services and logistics sectors.

The Wikipedia entry for Malta is a good source of basic data but the following list provides a quick overview:

During the past four decades, the country has notched up an impressive record in attracting foreign investors to Malta in both manufacturing and services.  In fact Malta plays host to a good number of pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of computer chips and electronics amongst others. Malta has also shown rapid growth in the financial services. In other sectors such as hospitality, the film industry, aircraft maintenance and education (language schools) the island is holding its own and enhancing its role as a centre of excellence.

Long-term investment in education is the key to Malta's future economic growth. It is recognised that knowledge is a key competitive advantage and Government works closely with industry to ensure that education and industry needs are closely synced.  Malta also aims to be the foremost centre for financial services in the Euro-Med region. Today, the financial services sector already accounts for nearly 16 per cent of the islands’ GDP.

Malta has also seen a huge investment in ICT over the past 15 years. The island boasts a truly modern infrastructure with one of the highest broadband access rates in the EU; around 66 per cent of all connections are broadband enabled. Moreover, in 2007 the World Economic Forum ranked the Maltese Government as the second most successful administration in the world in promoting the use of information and communications technologies and the European Commission ranked Malta second in its latest assessment of the sophistication of eGovernment services.

We have access to all levels of government and academia and to most of the major industrial and service companies and have recently been active in the educational, leisure and financial services sectors.

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