Malta is one of those small countries with enormous potential when it comes to foreign investment. The country is usually mentioned within the context of a popular tourist destination. This is certainly true and there is no doubt that this is one of the cornerstones of its economy. But as well as being a sunny Mediterranean island with a booming tourist property market, Malta offers a great deal more than simply holiday home and villa investment opportunities. The island is much more than another Costa del Sol or Benidorm. 

Consider the iGaming industry, which we are all aware has been one of the major success stories of the last twenty or so years. When people in the know think of iGaming in the European context, their minds immediately go to Malta, where the industry is veritably booming. Malta is leading the way in this particular industry, and the success of the location has only bolstered Malta’s reputation as an excellent location for foreign investment – and of diverse kinds!

Indeed, Malta boasts investment opportunities of multiple types – from property to local industries and online commercial enterprises to stocks and bonds. Investors targeting all these sectors have found success in Malta, and as the country is a full European Union member state, it complies with all the unifying EU financial regulations that keep things smooth. So whether you’re a CYSEC broker or regularly invest in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, you can be assured that Malta is fully integrated with the major European economies – and it seems to be one of the winners out of that partnership. 

Top reasons to invest in Malta 

So why should you invest in Malta? Can we reduce the myriad attractions that this beautiful island holds down to some key areas of interest? Well yes, we can. Malta consistently excels in a number of areas and, more to the point, always seems to show a level of economic stability within each industry sector, which makes for an attractive place to invest. 

And this is nothing new. Historically, Malta has been a highly sought-after territory, successively coming under Arab, Norman, Spanish, French, and British control. What made the island so attractive to these great powers was, for one thing, its militarily strategic position right in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. But more than just a location to moor naval ships in readiness for war, Malta’s central location roughly halfway between Europe and North Africa has made it a centre for trade and commerce for millennia – especially at the time when the Mediterranean Sea was the trading hub of the Western world. 

This is not a culture that is quickly forgotten or eroded, and today Malta retains this open attitude to international trade and cooperation. Today, it is still prized for its location, which might do for our first main reason to invest. 

It Is a logistical and economic hub 

Malta vaunts a strategic location. As a result, it maintains very close ties with Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Malta is often considered the gateway to the Euro-Mediterranean region and even further afield. The island is considered an excellent choice for investment in knowledge-based sectors and high-end manufacturing for precisely this reason. 

Thriving and flexible economy

Since independence from Britain in 1964, Malta has undergone steady and nearly uninterrupted economic growth. With EU and eurozone membership, it is not subject to currency fluctuations and is well integrated into the EU economy. For this reason, too, Malta is a key connection between other regional economies it is geographically close to (such as North Africa and the Middle East) and the EU. 

Language fluency

Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. With a high level of English proficiency among the population and a legacy of British culture from the period of colonial rule, Malta throws up few barriers to commerce and cultural integration for foreign visitors. A significant percentage of Maltese people also speak Italian.

International finance centre 

Malta has for several decades been known as a financial centre, with the country’s capital city, Valetta, hosting numerous finance companies and banks. But unlike certain other European financial centres, Malta has never had a reputation for recklessness or rampant greed. In fact, a careful and conservative attitude prevails, and the benefits of this has been proved. Malta weathered the financial crisis exceptionally well, for which it was internationally recognised and commended. In fact, the country never even really had a financial crisis. 

First rate ICT infrastructure 

For an effectively functioning financial sector, it rather goes without saying that a good ICT infrastructure is essential. You would think this would be ubiquitous in this day and age, but the sad truth is that some places are actually seriously lagging behind where this is concerned. Malta is not one of them and, within the region, it stands out as a centre of ICT excellence. 

Low corporate tax

Always a winning incentive for attracting investment. Malta’s corporate tax system has existed since 1948 and is a long-standing full imputation tax system. Corporation tax in Malta stands today at 35 per cent; however, at the point of distribution of dividends, shareholders can qualify for a refund equivalent to six-sevenths of the tax paid. This means a paid tax rate of – in practice – five per cent.

Who can invest in Malta?

Malta is open to investment from anyone. But of course, how that investment proceeds will naturally have quite a bit to do with the national and legal status of the investor and, of course, what type of investment they wish to make. Here are some of the most common ways to invest.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme 

This is aimed at high-net-worth individuals and their families, offering the chance to permanently reside in Malta and receive the same business and investment opportunities as locals. If you are from outside the EU, this method will also give you access to EU markets. 

Citizenship by Investment

So friendly is Malta to investment, that investing in the country is actually one way to gain Maltese citizenship. By investing in the country and satisfying various other requirements, you can receive Maltese citizenship and have access to visa-free travel to 183 countries.

Global Residence Programme 

Aimed at high-net-worth individuals from outside the EU and EEA, this is one way to get tax residency within the EU in return for investment in Maltese property in the form of owning at least one 12-months rental contract. Foreign income remitted to Malta is then taxed at a flat rate of 15 per cent.

As you can see, none of these means of investing in Malta is particularly onerous – by any standards. The country is keen to encourage investment and has already attracted many willing to even move permanently to the Mediterranean island. Malta has all the incentives to make you come – and the charm to make your stay.

About the author

Kristine Graf is a European business and tech writer with more than 10 years of experience. Her passion and love for technology, startups and all things digital has brought her to Peppertype. With over a decade of experience, she's managed to balance between the corporate and startup environments, where she's worked with different companies as a journalist and consultant.

Disclaimer: The information, view and opinions provided in this article are solely for educational and promotional purposes and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice.

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