This Trade Mission is Supported by:
Embassy of Malta
Come and explore Malta with other C-Level Executives with the International Trade Council and the Government of Malta.
Participants in this trade mission will have the opportunity to learn about doing business in Malta (and the European Union), explore the market, gain exposure to the business culture, meet with potential partners, source new products and/or services and find investment opportunities.
Embassy of Malta
Positive effects of International Trade Council Trade Missions include higher sales revenues, lower procurement costs and better sourcing, education, cultural/international business savvy, preparedness, professional development, visibility/goodwill and perspective.
An additional benefit is that the mission participants develop close friendships among themselves and a useful, professional network.
This trade mission is designed to bring start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors and multinational corporations in direct contact with government agencies and companies in the Maltese market.
Participants on the Trade Mission to Malta will meet C-Level executives in the following fields:
When you register for the trade mission you will be asked to provide information about your organization, your industries of interest, the job-titles/profiles of executives you’re looking to meet.
The Council’s Trade Commissioners will then match you with appropriate organizations in Malta for your 1:1 meetings.
International Trade Council trade missions combine networking with knowledge-gathering. This is not a trade-show. Once signed up, each delegates organizational profile will be circulated with the relevant government agencies and sectoral-business leaders in Malta.
Council Trade Commissioners will then work to create a refined, customized site-visit schedule relevant to each delegates industry and particular business interests.
The Trade Mission to Malta includes several networking events designed to facilitate interaction between delegates and their Maltese counterparts. These events include round-tables, a dinner reception and tours. Additional details of these events and attendees will be made available upon closing of sign-ups for the trade mission.
Participants need to be:
Malta is the European Union's best performing country and provides unparalleled access to the European, North African and the Middle East markets.
Malta has a thriving industrial sector with over 200 foreign and some 400 locally-owned manufacturing companies. Products made in Malta are exported worldwide and comprise semiconductors, electronic components and sub-assemblies, pharmaceuticals and medicinals, rubber and plastics, fabricated metal products and machinery, software, garments, food products and others.
Malta offers a modern transportation infrastructure, state of the art telecommunications networks, and frequent air links to Europe, North Africa and Middle Eastern destinations. Malta’s strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean as well as its excellent harbours and Freeport make it an excellent manufacturing location.
Although the country is well known as a tourist destination and, increasingly, as a financial services hub, the manufacturing industry still has a very important role to play with a contribution of around 10% to the country’s GDP as well as being the second largest employer on the island. All this points to a competitive edge, not only in newer sectors, which is to be expected, but also in well established areas such as industry.
With a sophisticated ICT infrastructure that is well connected to the international backbone, a high broadband penetration, and a competitive market with the latest technologies like VoIP, Malta is able to offer the right environment for business.
Malta is also a major transhipment hub with the Malta Freeport being one of the most efficient and successful Freeport operations in the Mediterranean. Almost all goods being shipped through the port or being re-packaged for onward shipment do so tax-free.
Friendly relationships exist with Mediterranean rim countries and with countries representing the major investment markets worldwide. Through the bilateral agreements between Malta and the EU with third countries, and through Malta’s traditional economic links, the country strengthens its position as a business location and financial centre in the wider Mediterranean region.
High standards of living as well as comparatively low daily running costs offer a refreshing change from other busy, chaotic and high-cost, business centres. The diverse range of shopping, cultural events and leisure activities and well-equipped public and private hospitals and clinics, as well as high quality homes and apartments satisfy the most demanding requirements, and excellent office space is offered at reasonable rents.
Maltese standard time is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time (EST) so business runs smoothly with the international community.
A similar etiquette to that of the UK prevails, though retaining a Mediterranean flavour. Meetings and the way business is conducted may be less formal than in Northern Europe, however, appointments need to be scheduled in advance and punctuality is expected and appreciated. Business attire is suits and business cards should always be presented; business people should be formally addressed, especially those in senior positions, until a relationship is established, where a first-name basis would then be appropriate. International Malta uses English as an official language, alongside Maltese. Use of English is universal, making Malta instantly accessible to anyone conversant in English. Many Maltese also speak a third language, usually Italian, German or French.
Malta’s strategic location at the commercial crossroads linking Europe, Africa and the Middle East has attracted the interest of the various dominant cultures of the last 7,000 years. The Phoenicians, the Romans, the Carthaginians, the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Knights of St John, the French and the British all ruled the island at one time and contributed to the mosaic that is modern Malta. Not surprisingly, Britain’s legacy has lasted the longest as Malta was part of the British Empire for over 150 years until independence in 1964. As a result, English remains one of the national languages, with Maltese being the other.
Since the mid-80s the island has pursued a strategy of developing a financial services centre. While starting out as an offshore hub, Malta decided to move its financial services onshore. By introducing a strong supervisory framework as well as a competitive, transparent regime approved by both the EU and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Malta sought to distance itself from secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens. The country’s decision to join the EU in 2004, and later the eurozone in 2008, was integral to the expansion of its horizons and bolstered its status as a key business hub in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Located at the southern tip of Italy and just over 316 square kilometres in area, the Maltese Islands lie virtually midway between Europe and North Africa. The archipelago comprises Malta, Gozo and Comino. The main island, Malta, is 27 kilometres long and measures 14.5 kilometres at its widest point. It takes just 45 minutes to cross Malta, reducing commuting times and increasing leisure time. Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is smaller still at 67 square kilometres, and Comino covers only 3.5 square kilometres. Situated at the heart of the Mediterranean, the small island nation has become a major shipping hub with its position on the major East-West shipping lanes granting easy access to both Eastern and Western Mediterranean ports.
Lying at strategic crossroads between Europe and Africa, Malta is a meeting point of cultures and languages at the heart of the Mediterranean: the ideal cosmopolitan location for efficient international business contacts. Malta has excellent flight connections. The national carrier Air Malta operates to numerous European and a number of North African destinations, with regular flights. There are also a large number of international carriers operating to and from Malta.
A rocky island with dry and often windy weather, Malta enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with average temperatures ranging from 12 degrees Celsius in winter to 30 degrees Celsius in summer. It enjoys around 300 days of sunshine a year. Surrounded by some of the clearest and cleanest waters in the Mediterranean, the island’s countryside is characterised by tiny terraced fields carved out of any available agricultural land, supported by laboriously constructed rubble walls. The capital city Valletta is both the administrative and business centre of the country. Other main towns include the popular sea-side towns of Sliema and St. Julians on the east coast, the inland towns of Mosta and Birkirkara, situated in the centre of the island, and Paola in the south. While the majority of the Maltese live in urban settings, there are numerous small villages that still evoke the traditional Mediterranean, rural way of life.
Malta boasts a stable economy and secure banking sector, distinguishing it as an ideal jurisdiction to obtain a banking license which may be passported across the European Union.
Malta is also a leading player in the regulation of crypto-assets and the use of blockchain technology. The Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA) defines Virtual Financial Assets (VFAs) as “any form of digital medium recordation that is used as a digital medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value and that is not electronic money, a financial instrument, or a Virtual Token.”
While Malta already enjoys a solid reputation as a financial services and IT hub within the European Union; extending this prestige to the FinTech world appear to be a natural progression. The government has thus been exploring new niches in the financial services sector, focusing on FinTech as one of the main drivers for growth in the Maltese financial services industry.
Malta was one of the few countries which have sought to regulate the FinTech space, something which remains widely unregulated. In fact, it was the first countries which drafted a fully comprehensive legal framework for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the treatment of cryptocurrencies and the recognition of service providers.
Three acts aimed at regulating the industry have been recently enacted to provide legal guidance to businesses seeking to set up shop in a blockchain-friendly jurisdiction which does not stifle innovation, and which allows companies to be compliant. This has led Malta to be dubbed as the ‘Blockchain Island’.
Indeed, this progressive and open-minded approach to regulating the blockchain and crypto ecosystem has led some of the biggest names in the industry, including cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and OKEx to expand their operations to Malta.
Malta Financial Services Authority Strategy:
The MFSA’s FinTech Strategy aims to establish Malta as an international FinTech hub which supports and enables financial services providers to infuse technology in product and service offerings to drive innovation.
The MFSA aims to establish the foundations to enable FinTech start-ups and scale-ups, technology firms and established financial services providers to develop viable FinTech solutions which drive innovation and enhance access to financial products, increase competition, deliver better customer experiences, and ultimately, contribute to the long-term success of the Maltese financial services sector.
The strategic objectives under the Ecosystem Pillar are:
Some Well-Known Malta-Based Companies in the FinTech & Financial Services Space Include:
While finance technology is currently reshaping the sector, Malta has already built up an enviable reputation as an ICT hub. The first industries to take advantage of what Malta has to offer, such as fiscal benefits, a strategic location in the center of the Mediterranean and cultural proximity to Europe, were iGaming and eCommerce.
Malta’s ICT industry has expanded considerably beyond its humble beginnings, now employing around 7,000 people and boasting a vibrant software development industry. It is constantly evolving, with growth being driven by a wide array of segments, such as cloud computing, mobile platforms and applications, social networking and digital gaming.
Malta has now become one of Europe’s favored destinations for foreign direct investment within the ICT industry.
The island has attracted not only global brands but also smaller, more specialized software developers.
Today, several hundred ICT companies operate in, or from, Malta. The majority of these are micro-enterprises, but high-profile names have also been attracted to the country, including Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle. The island’s ICT firms realized early on that growth can be achieved by specialization and moved away from generalized product and service portfolios. Many of them today offer specific solutions and tailor-made products for a range of sectors, including financial services.
Malta has made great strides in developing an information society. According to the 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published by the European Commission, Malta ranks 12th out of the 28 EU Member States. Malta is performing above the EU average in broadband connectivity and the use of internet services by citizens. Malta remains a European leader on the availability of fixed broadband (basic, fast and ultrafast), as the only Member State with full coverage of ultrafast networks. Malta also scores very well in the provision of digital public services
Under the Vertical Strategic Alliance (VSA) program, the government joined with leading global ICT players to promote far-reaching education and assistance to industry programs, entering into VSAs with Microsoft Corporation, HP, Oracle, IBM, SAP, and ESRI. According to Malta’s Information Technology Authority, the estimated overall value of the investment made by these corporations exceeds $125 million.
There are considerable ICT Investment projects set up in Malta. The single largest is the development of SmartCity Malta, a $300 million project undertaken by TECOM Investments, a subsidiary of Dubai Holdings. By 2021, the project expects to generate 5,600 jobs and serve as a regional ICT service hub, transforming Malta into a global ICT leader.
Malta is the world’s iGaming leader, on a continent that leads the rest of the world in the online gaming industry.
iGaming – also known as online gaming – is the wagering of money or other values on the outcome of an event or a game via the internet. Poker, online casinos, and sports betting are among the most popular iGaming activities.
By continuously innovating this sector, Malta has managed to lead in both the traditional and online gaming worlds, adding thousands of jobs to its economy and profiting off of a multi-billion-euro industry that is consistently growing.
From game developers and platform providers to brand curators and affiliate companies, businesses from every sector of the iGaming industry come together in Malta. You’ll find partnerships and services tailored toward your iGaming business needs whether you’re looking for an SEO agency or a law firm specialized in gambling. Indeed, the island’s ‘melting pot’ of entrepreneurs and businesses from every sector sees an unmatched combination of iGaming talents and resources in Malta.
This diversity also translates to multiculturalism, with Malta-based businesses hailing from a whole range of different nations and boasting multilingual staff. Malta is home professionals and experts from all corners of the globe. With the international demographics of players, and the expansion of iGaming across the world, has made the recruitment of multi-cultural staff a key to success for business looking to gain a footing in new markets and provide a localized experience for their players.
So far, the Malta Gaming Authority has issued around 500 gaming and sports betting licenses to a plethora of operators – including some of the world’s leading gaming companies. These include:
Malta’s long maritime tradition and culture have led to the country becoming a well-established and reputable ship register. Dedicated legislation, all in line with EU Directives and IMO (International Maritime Organization) Conventions, have made the Maltese register the sixth-largest maritime register in the world, and the largest merchant flag in the European Union.
Malta offers a distinctive and complete range of maritime services and facilities, including one of the busiest Freeport areas in the Mediterranean, major oil bunkering facilities, and a modern cruise passenger terminal. Malta is also on the White List of the Paris MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). All this further consolidates Malta’s historic maritime tradition and enhances Malta’s position as an international ship register.
With its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has become a major maritime hub for various industries, including:
Malta’s geographical location plays an important role in its transhipment business. Being strategically located on the main trade routes in the Mediterranean, the largest container ships afloat can call at Malta Freeport Terminals with a minimal deviation of just six nautical miles between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal whilst shipping lines calling at Malta Freeport are able to serve both east and west Mediterranean markets with a single mainline call. Malta Freeport is today a key player in the industry with its traffic exceeding the 3 million TEU mark yearly. Malta Freeport is presently amongst the leaders in the Mediterranean transhipment scenario.
The Freeport’s increasing attractiveness is founded on the right configuration of unparalleled location in the centre of the Mediterranean, outstanding facilities dedicated to transhipment, pristine handling equipment, advanced technology, highly skilled and enterprising personnel, unmatched quality service, as well as an efficacious security system which ensures that its clients’ demands are met efficaciously. Other crucial factors include extensive world-wide regular network connections, high-performance levels and cost-effectiveness, ease of access to markets with minimal diversion distance, easy port accessibility, safe manoeuvrability of vessels and all-year favourable weather conditions.
The hub concept offers several gains for Malta Freeport’s clients, including fewer mainline port calls, reduced voyage times through minimal diversions and shorter transit times by switching east-and-west-bound services over at the port facility. As a result, this enables them to concentrate on profitable voyage legs. Through regular services operating from Malta Freeport, clients reach around 115 ports worldwide, over 60 of which are in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Malta Freeport Terminals is today a fully-fledged port having undergone heavy investment in its facilities over the years and is well recognised for its reputable and high-quality service to its clients.
Over the past five decades, Malta has made a name for itself in the offshore oil and gas sector. While Malta in itself may not immediately be associated with offshore exploration, the island is perfectly placed to serve the burgeoning offshore sector off North Africa and in the Southern Mediterranean. In fact, its expertise is in demand much further afield, reaching not only every corner of the Mediterranean but also into the North Sea and internationally. The potential is huge – offshore is set to become another pillar of the Maltese maritime cluster. A number of Maltese companies are already well respected for the services they provide to the offshore sector on an international basis. Major investments are moving ahead in Malta which will provide more facilities, services and solutions for this very demoing industry.
Malta has provided a low-cost base and high efficiency to support the oil and gas sector in times of low oil prices. The investments underway, backed by strong Government support, are set to propel Malta to a really significant new level of offshore activity – putting the island in an exceptionally strong position as oil and gas prices slowly recover and the industry picks up once again.
Ship registration and the provision of all ancillary services is the responsibility of the Merchant Shipping within Transport Malta, a body set up by an act of Parliament within the aegis of the Ministry responsible for maritime affairs.
Besides providing ship and yacht registration services, the Merchant Shipping is also responsible for the regulation, control and administration of all matters related to merchant shipping, the certification of seafarers, the fostering of Malta’s relations in international shipping fora, and the administration and implementation of international maritime conventions and agreements.
It has experienced significant and constant growth since inception and has now established itself amongst the largest registries in the world in terms of tonnage. The Merchant Shipping is now, more than ever, giving increasing and fundamental importance to the safety of life at sea and the prevention of pollution from ships as well as compliance with international maritime conventions.
Malta encompass all aspects of conversion, dry-docking and repair works, including steel renewal, engine, generator and boiler overhaul, mechanical, automation, electronic, electrical and pipe work, deck fittings repair/renewal, navigation equipment and accommodation renewal and refurbishment, such as galley, public areas, theatres, cabins, decks and wheelhouse.
Malta also operates a dedicated superyacht facility within the Grand Harbour of Malta and includes an area of more than 45,000 square metres, a covered 140-metre dock, a 160-metre-long graving dock and more than 400 metres of quay for alongside afloat repairs, supported by shore services, workshops, storage facilities and offices. The docks and quays are serviced with rail-mounted cranes with a maximum lifting capacity of 50 tonnes. Supporting workshops (including separate carpentry, aluminium/steel workshops and painting quarters), coupled with extensive space available for storage and leisure facilities for the crew, enable the yard to deal easily and appropriately with all types of superyacht requirements.
Stopping off for bunkers in Malta is the logical choice for thousands of vessels every year – the island’s strategic location means they can stop and refuel quickly and efficiently, with no deviation from the routes between Northern Europe and the Suez Canal. Hence, it is no surprise that Malta is well established as a major bunkering hub for the Mediterranean, with a wide range of suppliers in this sector and a number of options to suit individual requirements. Most of the cruise liners calling into Malta take on bunkers. Within the Grand Harbour, bunker barges can be supplied via pipeline at Flagstone Wharf, the Deep Water Quay and Ras Hanzir Dophins. At Marsaxlokk, bunker barges can be loaded from San Lucian Terminals. Offshore, six specific areas around Malta have been allocated for bunkering operations. Malta boasts no fewer than 17 bunker barges, owned by various private companies. The arrival of the LNG storage tanker Armada Mediterranean in Malta in October 2016 represents another important landmark for the island’s bunkering operations that will opens up the possibility for LNG bunkering in future.
There are some 3,400 manufacturing and distribution companies in Malta, most of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The sector predominantly consists of locally owned firms operating alongside a small number of relatively large foreign-owned export-oriented subsidiaries of multinationals. Many small manufacturers also work as sub-contractors and produce parts and components for the island’s larger players.
The French-Italian multinational electronics and semiconductor producer ST Microelectronics is the country’s largest manufacturer.
Other important players include the engineering group Trelleborg, packaging specialists Toly Products and toy manufacturer Playmobil.
Generics manufacturer Actavis and the Medichem Group are some of the key names in the pharma sector.
Aircraft maintenance is headed by Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics, which have established operations on the island.
Indigenous companies producing for local and export markets are mainly found in the food and beverage industry, where the largest enterprises are Magro Brothers, Farsons and Foster Clark.
The Malta Residency Visa Program helps investors and entrepreneurs settle in Malta with their families.
Under this program entrepreneurs and HNIs can:
The Maltese passport ranks as the 7th most powerful passport in the world, so you can travel the world with ease. This is driving many entrepreneurs to move to Malta.
Malta is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union.
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $19.26 billion (2017 est.)
GDP (Real Growth Rate): 6.7% (2017)
GDP (Per Capita) PPP: $41,900 (2017)
GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
HIGHLIGHTS ABOUT MALTA
The above fees contribute to the overall mission costs incurred by the Council which include:
The Trade Mission fee amount is payable with your application. Please note, applications that are received without the fee will not be accepted. If your application is not accepted, then your payment will be refunded.
If your organization is interested in sponsoring a panel discussion, breakfast, dinner, social mixer or other event during the Trade Mission to Malta, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a quick email and we’ll get right back to you.
Contacting the International Trade Council