Facts & Figures about Malta
- Area: 316 sq km (spread over 3 islands: Malta, Gozo & Comino).
- Population: 417,000.
- Capital City: Valletta.
- Currency: Euro (€).
- European Union Membership: since 2004.
- Official Languages: Maltese and English.
- Time zone: GMT+1 (Central European Time).
- GDP per capita / PPI: 86% of EU average (Eurostat, 2013).
- Unemployment: 6% (NSO, May 2013).
- Climate: Mediterranean. See Lifestyle in Malta below.
Business & Legal Environment in Malta
- Core Economic Sectors: Tourism, high value added manufacturing, financial services, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, shipping & logistics, ICT, education and training, creative arts and aviation.
- Highly Qualified, Flexible and Multilingual Workforce: Maltese workers are widely praised for their skill, flexibility and industriousness. With one of the oldest Universities in the Commonwealth (the University of Malta traces its origins to 1592) producing approximately 3,000 graduates per year coupled with approximately 1,000 per year from technical colleges, Malta continues to provide a steady stream of highly qualified workers in all major disciplines. Almost all Maltese are bilingual speaking both Maltese and English fluently. The majority speak a third (mainly Italian or French) language or even a fourth (typically Italian, French or German).
- Legal System: The Maltese legal system has been shaped by its diverse history resulting in somewhat of a ‘mixed’ system. Maltese private law is based on a codified civil code deriving from the Napoleonic code (dating back to Malta’s occupation by the Knights of Malta and the French) but Malta’s Commercial Laws (maritime/admiralty, company, tax, insurance and banking laws) and Criminal Law are all heavily based on English statute and principles (Malta was an English colony for 164 years until 1964). Maltese Public Law makes extensive reference to English common law. Relatively recent innovations such as trust law (based on English and Jersey law) as well as the implementation of European Union legislation continue to invigorate Malta’s legal system.
- Languages for Laws: All laws are published in both Maltese and English. In financial services the English version prevails.
- Language for Business: English. Legal documents (eg. Prospectuses, KIIDs, M&As etc) do not need to be translated into Maltese.
- Corporate Tax Rate: Flat rate of 35%. Malta operates a full imputation system of taxation.
- Personal Tax Rate: 0% to 35% according to income. Specific incentives apply.
- Banking: 13th soundest (out of 144 countries) Banking System in the world (World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2013).
- Double Tax Treaty Network: 64 countries (June 2013).
- Financial Services Regulator: Malta Financial Services Authority.
- Ship Register: Largest in Europe, 4th Globally.
- OECD Convention Ratified: Yes.
- Air Travel: Malta’s national airline, Airmalta, operates regular direct flights to 35 major European cities. Malta is also served by low cost airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet. Flight time from London or Paris is around 3 hours and just over 1 hour from Rome.
Lifestyle in Malta
With 300 days of sun a year, Malta is a far cry from colder (and wetter) competing jurisdictions. Malta has been awarded:
- Best climate on earth (tied first with Zimbabwe) by International Living Magazine (2011).
- 3rd best quality of life in the world (after US and New Zealand) by International Living Magazine (2011).
- 2nd safest country on earth by UN World Risk Report (2012).
- 8 Blue Flag beaches and 1 Beach of Quality.
- 3rd best place in the world for diving (after Egypt and Maldives) by Diver Magazine (2012).
Malta is also much more than just a “sun and sea” destination offering over 7,000 years of history including the oldest freestanding structures in the world and 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including its entire capital city, Valletta.