Introduction to Malta
The Republic of Malta is an archipelago consisting of the island of Malta itself, the much smaller island of Gozo, and Comino and other islets. It is situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Sicily and 290 kilometres (180 miles) from the North African coast. The total area of the archipelago covers 316 square kilometres (122 square miles). The population of the Republic of Malta is approximately 420,000, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The republic’s official languages are Maltese and English, which all Maltese citizens speak fluently. Most Maltese also have a very good command of Italian. The Maltese language has some superficial resemblance to Arabic, but it includes a large number of words of Italian, French, and English origin.
Malta is a democratic republic. Its constitution provides for an elected President and House of Representatives, with a cabinet consisting of the Prime Minister and various departmental ministers. The main sectors of Malta’s economy are manufacturing and tourism. Services account for some 71% of the republic’s gross domestic product, and direct production accounts for about 29%. In the manufacturing sector, the electronics and light engineering industries predominate. Malta’s international communications systems are second to none. Skilled financial and professional people are available to assist investors.
Industry in Malta
The Maltese government is eager to encourage and attract foreign investment. Special preference is given to manufacturing concerns that are export oriented. In particular, the government seeks to attract high value-added, capital-intensive, and high technology industries. The Malta Development Corporation (MDC) plans and promotes industrial development in Malta. It deals with inquiries and evaluates applications for tax and other incentives. It provides factory space and sometimes assists in long-term financing. The MDC does not charge a fee for assistance Until some forty years ago, Malta's main industrial activity was based upon ship repair. Malta was at the time an important naval base due to its central position in the Mediterranean. Agriculture was widespread and most of our manufacturing outlets were small family run concerns.
The winding down of the naval base meant that thousands of workers faced unemployment. The only options available were the industrialisation of Malta and the parallel creation of a tourist industry.
Today, the country has a thriving and profitable industrial sector comprising 23% of GDP and one in every five jobs.
Malta has welcomed many companies from a wide range of sectors including light and heavy engineering, electronic components and assembly, plastics, pharmaceuticals, software and textiles.Companies with a percentage of high risk transactions, are looking to Malta for options including this offshore merchant account provider.Because of the highEnglish and Italian literacy, Maltese banks are becoming popular to provide offshoe banking services.
Investors have realised that although there are cheaper foreign direct investment locations, Malta has definite advantages in terms of quality, rapid product turnover, short but specialised production runs, product development and sales and marketing into Europe and North Africa.
World famous companies based in Malta find the quality and productivity of the workforce second to none and continue to expand.