Situated at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta has a long tradition of international business that goes back as far as the Phoenicians in the first millennium BC. The Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Knights of St. John and others, along with the French and British all realised the economic potential of the Maltese Islands. For close to two centuries Malta was the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean home-port. This laid the foundations for the island’s subsequent industrial development. This solid background has led to today’s favourable industrial climate, together with its pro-business environment, which makes Malta an ideal location for foreign direct investment. Today there are well over 200 foreign-owned manufacturing companies operating in Malta. Economic stability, healthy industrial relations and competitive labour costs have been the pillars sustaining the success stories of many foreign companies for the last 40 years.
For decades Malta has welcomed many companies from a wide range of sectors. There are companies involved in electronics production, automotive components, tool-making, aviation related services and maintenance, up-marketing textiles and furniture products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food. These companies have found that Malta offers definite advantages in terms of quality, rapid product turnover, short but specialised production runs, product development, sales and marketing. Furthermore, a number of bilateral and multilateral tax treaties and agreements ensure favourable export conditions to Europe, United States, Japan, North Africa and Middle East.
The Infrastructure and Transport
The country’s telecommunications infrastructure is excellent. The state-of-the-art telecommunications is constantly upgraded and includes fully compatible GSM digital circular services. Internet use is widespread and the ISDN and ADSL network is geared to handle data transmission for business purposes.
Malta’s fine natural harbours facilitates sea connections. Extensive conventional and ro-ro services by international shipping lines include Sea Malta, carry freight and cargo directly to Mediterranean, North European, Middle East, North American, and Asian Ports. Major European lines provide efficient and reliable international trailer services to most European destinations. The Malta Freeport caters for intercontinental cargo and acts as a distribution centre for the Mediterranean region with a capacity exceeding 2 million TEU.
Education and Training
Standards of education are high with English being the language of instruction for most subjects and all levels of the education system. English is an official language and most Maltese are fluent in Italian. Furthermore, many take up French and German. Malta can boast of having the oldest University in the Commonwealth outside Britain providing education for more than 7000 students in all the major disciplines.
The vocational and technical educational system offers applied electronics, design, IT courses amongst others. These compliment the academic set-up and are attuned to current industry requirements. The Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) provides various training schemes to meet the needs of both employers and apprentices, thus matching demand and supply in the labour market.
With a population of 412,000 Malta’s most valued assets are its people. The Maltese are enterprising, hard-working and proud of it. They accept the need for flexibility and have an exemplary work-ethic.
World famous names based in Malta like Baxter, Actavis, Aurobindo, STMicroelectronics, De La Rue, Methode and others find the quality and productivity of our workforce excellent. A number of Maltese subsidiary companies have received international awards for quality and efficiency.
A Familiar Business Environment
Malta gained its independence from Britain in 1964 and became a Republic ten years later. Malta applied for EU membership in July 1990 and became a full member on the 1st of May 2004. Malta is a member of the WTO and intellectual property enjoys full protection. Malta provides a healthy business environment and company laws, education, accountancy and legal systems have evolved from both the British and European Union models. There are no restrictions on the repatriation of profits and all available incentives are clearly stated, guaranteed and integrated into one legal text. Since 1971, Malta has benefited from an Association Agreement with the European Union. This arrangement enabled industrial products manufactured in Malta to enter the EU exempt from payment of customs duty or from any quota restrictions.
An Ideal Location
Malta offers easy access to Global markets. Its developed infrastructure, air and sea connections, combined with location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea make Malta an ideal base from which to penetrate markets in Southern European, North Africa and beyond. The island’s physical location in the centre of the Mediterranean is also ideal for air and sea passengers and freight connections. London is 3 hours by air; Rome is just over an hour. The central European time zone facilitates business dealings with European and North African clients.