The World Economic Forum has described Malta as an innovation-driven economy with notable advantages in financial services development and technological readiness.

In its Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, WEF ranked Malta 15th for financial market development, within the same point bracket as Singapore (1st), Australia (6th), Switzerland (7th), Luxembourg (8th), Sweden (11th), Canada (13th) and France (18th).

In Malta's case, financial market development is by far the highest ranking 'pillar' of economic competitiveness from among 12 pillars of competitiveness measured in the report.

The key indicators underpinning this result also confirmed the financial services sector's importance as a critical component of economic stability and driver of economic growth.

According to the report, the soundness of Maltese banks ranked in 12th position, practically on a par with that of Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Canada which comes in at first place.

Malta was also placed 12th for ease of access to loans, 10th for the strength of auditing and reporting standards and 21st for regulation of securities exchanges.

Under the other pillars, Malta gained further ground in the quality of the educational system (18th), business impact of rules on foreign direct investment (11th), availability of latest technologies (21st) and country credit rating (26th).

The country ranked among the top 20 for FDI technology transfer, quality of the port and air transport infrastructure, telecommunications and safety of doing business.

The report placed Malta in 51st position in its overall ranking based on 142 countries. It was placed among the 41 countries considered more likely to be able to sustain their competitiveness in the longer term.

At 65 per cent, sectoral value-added as a percentage share of GDP is among the highest in all countries surveyed.

The report may be read at:

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