Despite its size, being the smallest EU Member State, Malta has succeeded in adapting itself as 1 of Europe’s most dynamic and innovative jurisdictions and has also built up a reputation as one of Europe’s preferred locations for doing business.
Malta in the last few yrs, shown a strong GDP growth and Malta’s economy and banking system have withstood the financial turmoil of the last few years. Malta has experienced strong growth in the services industries with tourism, financial services, remote gaming and ICT being the Key industries.
On 8 June, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and Financial Services and the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses announced a package of measures intended to regenerate the economy following the COVID-19 chaos and this by implementing measures targeted to reduce operational costs of businesses, measures to incentivise domestic consumption and measures to support investment.
Economist Bruce WD Barren’s 1st hand experience in Malta, as follows:
“As a Knight of Malta myself and thus, having been there many times, I can say first hand and for those that do not know, that Malta is known as an archipelago. It lies virtually at the center of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta (the primary island and tourism attraction), Gozo (mostly agricultural) and Comino (SCUBA and snorkeling) with a total population of just over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers.
Comino itself is known as a a paradise for snorkelers, SCUBA divers, windsurfers and ramblers. Only 3.5 square kilometers, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited. The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon.
“The country itself is known for its high-class tourism and museums (including its history as the staging area for the Crusades) and it might be pretty surprising to hear about Malta being touted as a destination for starting a business.
” However, the country offers a lot in terms of business environment to foreign investors. The economy has recently been diversified, changing Malta from a primarily agricultural economy to a more diversified economy. The industries in which the country has invested heavily in recent years include pharmaceuticals, IT&C, finance, aviation, technology, shipping, and of course, tourism! The country also has developed its gaming industry, making it one of the best in the world.
“With the lowest tax rates in Europe, Malta is indeed a tax haven for foreigners. Other advantages offered by the country include a high and stable credit rating plus Malta also does not require licensing, making it easier for companies to cut the Red tape. Another big advantage of investing in the country is that it offers one of the cheapest skilled workforce in Europe. Foreign companies also receive benefits in terms of not having to pay high taxes and are only liable to register for value added tax.
“The Maltese government has come up with different programs for promoting the country as an attractive investment destination. Many of these programs are aimed at small start-ups to help them starting a business in Malta.”
These include the following:
- Micro Invest Incentive – This scheme offers a tax credit that takes in a percentage of expenditure incurred by a new start-up company.
- Strengthening Market Entry and Internationalization – This scheme provides financing to businesses that take part in international trade fairs, giving them opportunities to establish contacts and exploiting opportunities.
- Venture Capital Malta – Another scheme that helps with funding of businesses with equity capital.
- Business Development Scheme – This program is for large projects contributing to the development of the country.
- Business Advisory Services – This scheme offers free business advice to those setting up business in the country, irrespective of the stage in which their project is.
- Citizenship by Investment – This program allows foreigners to invest in Malta and apply for Maltese citizenship on the basis of their investments. The process is completed within 12 months.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!