Malta – Sustained Economic Growth

MEDIA ROOM

Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth Dr Edward Zammit Lewis has recently announced that – from the provisional estimates provided by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Malta climbed by 1.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2013. Malta’s GDP is influenced by a variety of business sectors, such as remote gaming, ICT and shipping that also contributed to this pleasant increase.

Remote gaming in Malta

The remote gaming industry in Malta also affects the GDP. This is a multi-million euro business for Malta. Hundreds of licences have been issued, and thousands of jobs depend on it.

Dr Edward Zammit Lewis announced that Malta is strategically positioned to attract remote gaming companies and it is our intention to maximize on Malta’s attractiveness in this sector. It was important to maintain a competitive edge and differentiate Malta from other competing jurisdictions.

He said that Malta’s sound regulatory environment is a critical success factor in attracting new players and investors.

The growth of the Maltese ICT industry has taken place largely as a result of a need to service local enterprises, with a number of IT companies exporting their products and services to foreign markets. Much of this took place through the packaging and integration of proprietary software and hardware products either with locally developed software or with other value added services such as consultancy, hosting, maintenance and other adjacent services. A strong ICT backbone has also allowed Malta to have the necessary infrastructure and skills to grow the iGaming industry.

He also mentioned the Fibre To The Home nationwide project, a project that will surely have very positive effects on the iGaming and ICT industries in Malta. He mentioned plans aimed at strengthening Malta’s educational system to cater better for the needs of the ICT and iGaming sectors.

The maritime sector in Malta

Malta has always placed the Blue Economy high on its agenda. The recent initiatives taken up by the European Commission have given the political impetus to work both at EU and national policymaking levels in order to further stimulate growth in this area, with particular focus on the competitiveness of the marine and maritime sector. Adopting an integrated maritime policy for Malta will provide new momentum for growth in the marine and maritime sectors and would aim at ensuring that all key players work together in an efficient and effective manner. Dr Zammit Lewis continued by saying that positive feedback was received vis a vis the residence programme that was launched last June. The programme has helped revitalize the property sector by increasing property purchases in our country, especially that of a certain value, allowing the country to increase tax revenue, and increasing all related and complementary work activities.

The global residence programme

The Global Residence Programme replaced the scheme introduced by the previous government but subsequently suspended. This new programme has surely introduced more certainty in this field and simplifies the whole process that existed until today. This new residence programme also incentivizes further those who seek to invest in the south of Malta and in Gozo.

This initiative effectively reduces the thresholds for the purchase of immovable property and even renting a property in Malta by foreigners who wish to buy property in our country. The tax threshold was also lowered to €15,000. The bond amount of the previous scheme amounting to €500,000 was also removed.