Malta is an attractive destination for industrial investment. Its geographical location, modern infrastructure, adequate and flexible labour supply, and political stability are some of its key advantages.
The manufacturing industry is still relatively strong and currently contributes approximately 13% towards Gross Value Added (GVA). Government’s economic policy focuses on assisting industrial players in tapping foreign markets and in restructuring their operations, while targeting new foreign direct investment in high quality export orientated activities. Target sectors include electronics, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, plastics, rubber, aircraft maintenance and other similar relatively capital-intensive areas generating a higher value added per employee.
As a member of the EU, all products Malta exports to the EU have tariff free access. Malta also benefits from the trade agreements with an extensive network of non-member countries and trading blocs.
The importance of the services sector in the Maltese economy has grown significantly in recent years. One of government’s key objectives remains to continue developing Malta into a centre for financial intermediation services with emphasis on insurance, administrative operations for investment services, software development, e-commerce, call centres, distance learning, international reservation systems and electronic exchanges. The financial and insurance services sector contributes about 8.5% of Malta’s GVA and the Government is committed to double its contribution by 2015.
Tourism is another mainstay of the Maltese economy, contributing approximately 20% of GDP. Saturation point in the number of summer months’ visitors may possibly already have been reached, and the emphasis is on the diversification and improvement of the tourist product. This trend is supported by the proliferation of new luxury hotels and conference facilities in recent years, the investment in the Grand Harbour cruise liner terminal project and the large scale residential and commercial developments at the Portomaso, Tigne Point, Manoel Island and Cottonera.
During recent years Malta has seen a steep growth in the on-line betting industry, serving foreign markets. Around 400 international remote gaming companies have set up shop in Malta representing about 10% of all online gaming websites.