Malta is an EU Member State with 7,000 years of history. It boasts an open-market economy, excellent economic track record, adequate and flexible labour supply, low inflation and political stability. Tax and other incentives to promote gaming activity in Malta exist under various laws and regulations, and have been essential in making Malta the hub for the gaming industry in Europe.
The Maltese islands are an archipelago in the Mediterranean, made up of, Malta, Gozo (Għawdex) and Comino (Kemmuna). Malta’s picturesque charm and historic appeal, enhanced by its strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean make the island a remarkable tourist destination offering high quality five star hotels, numerous beaches and a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters, and hot, dry summers.
Why should you invest in Malta?
Despite the size limitations, the Maltese islands boast a healthy and effective economy with potential for future growth. Since joining the EU in 2004, Malta was declared as a good performer by the EU and has respected the Maastricht criteria prior to adopting the Euro in January 2008.
Malta gained independence in 1964. However, corporate law in Malta is in full conformity with European law requirements; with accounting and auditing standards are based on International Accounting Standards.
Progress and flexibility are key factors in the success of Malta’s ability to react quickly to international trends and the global market place. The pro-business government continually seeks to strengthen Malta’s attractiveness as an open market economy.. Malta showed great resilience in the recent global recession, and has emerged in a strong position.
Malta is a signatory to a good number of international agreements, mainly in the economic and financial domains, not forgetting maritime and air transport and culture. The European Union is its leading trade partner; however, exports are distributed among a number of countries, with some of the top being Singapore, China and Germany.
Malta is the Regional Training Centre for Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle, ensuring that the country has an on-going flow of IT-proficient graduates to contribute to a strong workforce. The legislative framework is in line with the main EU directives, being sufficiently flexible and versatile to relate to different legal systems. Paramount anti-money laundering standards have nurtured the financial services sector.
Key Benefits for Investors
Malta offers a modern and competitive tax regime providing an excellent base for setting up tax efficient structures. The highest individual income tax rate is of 32%. There are established banking and insurance facilities, which have led to a sharp growth in financial intermediary services.
In 2011, the Maltese government has also issued a 15% flat rate of tax on income derived from employment in Malta by those persons that are not domiciled in Malta (HQP, 2011). The 15% tax rate will therefore apply also to individuals drawing income from employment with companies that are licensed with the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and having a minimum income of €75,000, as adjusted annually in line with the Retail Price Index.
The standard of living is high; good quality of life, low criminal rate, excellent health services and offers diverse entertainment and sport facilities. Social capital is the prime resource in Malta, having a considerable labour force availability of the Maltese population at graduate and post graduate levels.
The country has an excellent sovereign credit rating of ‘A’ rating with a stable outlook by Fitch, indicating a high to medium quality investment. Foreign investment has enabled the island to modernise over the past decade. Malta is therefore ready and prepared for the competition.
The Maltese government is eager to encourage and attract gaming-related investment. World famous gaming companies based in Malta find the quality and productivity of the workforce second to none and continue to expand.
Besides the “normal” limited liability company, which is the norm in the manufacturing sector, Malta proposes two other distinct type of company: the International Holding Company (IHC) and the International Trading Company (ITC).
The country has two official national languages; Maltese and English. This certainly adds to the destination’s appeal for visitors, traders and investors. Practically all Maltese are bilingual and many are also conversant in Italian. Foreign language fluency as a percentage of the population is as follows: English 88%, Italian 66%, French 17% and German 6%.
There are many reasons why investing in Malta makes good business sense but now-a-days time, health, safety and true quality of life are precious commodities that are an added-need when choosing where to invest. Malta scores highly on all these aspects. Travelling distances are minimal, healthcare facilities, which rank among the best in Europe, are first-class in both public and private hospitals and the crime rate is very low.
However, the biggest selling point of the island nation is undoubtedly the lifestyle that investors and their families enjoy in the country. Malta is rich in history, culture, hospitality, bars and restaurants.