Investing and Doing Business in Malta
When it comes to investing and doing business, Malta offers a complete package that is hard to match. Over the last decade or so, successive Maltese governments have worked hard to position the island as an attractive destination for investors, corporations and business people. The result being that it is now a country with an impressive catalogue of incentives and safeguards that provide excellent opportunity for growth.
Malta enjoys a stable political and social climate, and a pro-business government that actively seeks overseas investment and has designed an infrastructure that is very favourable towards overseas investors.
Malta’s economic sector is growing, providing plenty of opportunities for investment in a transparent system that was able to ride out the global financial crisis in style and emerge virtually unscathed.
The financial services industry is one of Malta’s flagship investment arenas. Malta’s asset management industry continues to expand, seeing an increase of 44% in the number of Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) in 2012. Malta’s inflation rate remains low at just over 1% and unemployment is one of the EU’s lowest at 6.5%. This year, the financial services industry is expected to contribute 25% of GDP.
Professional Investor Funds do not carry Maltese capital gains or income taxes and, therefore, non-resident investors are exempt from paying income tax in Malta.
Investors and business owners intending to reside on the islands may take advantage of a government programme that allows foreign investors to pay a flat income tax rate of 15% (subject to the fulfilment of a certain number of criteria).
Corporation tax is also very attractive as shareholders may claim refunds that could result in them paying just 5% upon distribution of dividends.
Unlike many current European housing economies, not only is the Maltese property market very stable, it is expanding. This is particularly true for the investment property sector. The huge increase in the number of international companies relocating to Malta has given both the buy-to-rent and letting markets a big boost. The proliferation of upscale developments in the form of Special Designated Areas, in which foreigners are afforded the same rights as locals when buying a property, has also resulted in the housing market seeing a further boost.
Basic operating costs, including local wages, are usually less in Malta when compared with other EU states. English is widely spoken on the island. Apart from Maltese, English is in fact the standard language for doing business in Malta. Italian is also widely spoken. French, German and Arabic are less common, but also used. Legal documents are written and published in English.
The local work force is well trained, generally well educated and highly motivated.
As Malta is a member of the EU, it enjoys all the benefits of its regulatory framework and free market. Malta‘s currency is the Euro.
A number of government incentives aimed at particular sectors provide an advantageous regulatory framework for certain industries, allowing them to thrive on Maltese shores. These industries include online commerce, gaming and ICT.
Malta’s strong economic position, coupled with its advantageous geographic position in the middle of Mediterranean Sea, make it an extremely attractive destination for investment and business.
Its state of the art port infrastructure has turned the island into a hub for international shipping, joining sea routes from all over the Mediterranean with those in Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Malta’s proximity to most European and North African countries means it is only a few hours flight away from major European destinations. It is on Central European Time, allowing businesses to operate more or less the same hours as the rest of Europe.
In summation, Malta is a not just a pretty island in the Med. Beneath the surface lies a strong, stable and well regulated economy that thrives on investment and business, particularly that from overseas. Over the years, Malta has carved out a niche for itself as a dynamic, healthy and growing hub for commerce. As this continues to attract more investment, the opportunities for potential growth seem set to continue well into the future.
RE/MAX Malta has assisted many clients relocating to Malta. Our associates have a close network of key consultants that can share their knowledge and expertise, allowing for a smooth and hassle free transition. Our experts can guide our clients with advice on tax, residency programmes, fiscal incentives, housing, or even schools, offices and the Mediterranean lifestyle – all using our extensive knowledge gained from an intimate understanding of the Maltese islands.