The voyage had begun and had begun happily with a soft blue sky, and a calm sea.
Malta lies in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, halfway between Europe’s mainland and North Africa and in the centre of the passage between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. The country’s strategic position and majestic natural harbours have meant that Malta has always, until independence, been sought after by the powers that dominated the region as a trading hub and defensive post. As a result the Islands today enjoy a very rich and varied history dating back to the Stone Age. In fact Malta boasts of having the oldest free standing temples in the world. Many a book have been written about Malta’s history and some of its older towns and cities are virtually open air museums.
History alone does not draw the annual summer influx of tourists. The warmth of the sun, the clarity of the sea and the welcoming attitude of the Maltese people have likewise won the hearts of visitors for many years. Whilst Malta is still a very popular tourist destination and tourism is a key pillar of the Maltese economy, financial services has in recent years developed to the extent that it is one of the main contributors to the economy and a key part of the successful development of Malta’s economy since independence from the Britan in 1964 – and still one of the key drivers of Malta’s net economic growth.
Another key pillar of the Maltese economy is manufacturing – with competitive operating costs, easy access to the European North African, Middle and Far Eastern markets through the Mediterranean’s largest and busiest Freeport, coupled with the availability of highly educated and qualified labour force, makes Malta an ideal location for the setting up of ones business. The following list provides a quick overview of Malta’s advantages:
- European Union member state since 2004;
- The Euro is the official currency since 2008;
- A highly developed financial services centre;
- A strong legal system;
- The Island’s strategic location at the crossroads of three continents, serving as Europe’s North African and Middle Eastern outpost;
- A liberal foreign direct investment regime;
- Bilateral investment agreements with 25 countries;
- Double tax treaties are signed with over 70 countries;
- Competitive set up and operating costs;
- English is an official language;
- A highly qualified, well-educated and multilingual labour force;
- A highly developed legal system based on the English as well as continental systems
- Efficient accounting and banking services;
- High standard of living;
- Excellent flight connections;
- A very pleasant climate and agreeable topography;
- One of the lowest crime rates in Europe;
- A sound ICT infrastructure.