Malta – A Country Overview
Full country name: Republic of Malta (Repubblika ta’ Malta)
Capital city: Valletta
Population: ~ 421,000 (as at 2014)
Currency: Euro (€) (as of 2008)
Official languages: Maltese and English
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic
Geographical location: 93 km south of Sicily (Italy) and 288 km north east of Tunisia
International dialing code: +356
Internet domain: .mt
Climate: Moderate Mediterranean climate with hot, elongated summer and cool, relatively short winter with mild temperatures averaging at 18 ºC year round (12 ºC December – February, 31 ºC June – August)
Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1, US Eastern Standard Time (EST) +6
Accessibility, Infrastructure, Services and Industry
- Excellent aerial connections with regular direct flights to Europe and Northern Africa and numerous international carriers regularly operating to and from
- 6th largest ship register in the world (largest in Europe), high quality maritime industry-related services and Malta Freeport as a major transhipment hub in the Mediterranean
- Short commuting times due to proximity of locations
- Excellent satellite technology, high-capacity fibre-optic cable links with the rest of Europe and ICT connections
- Largely multi-lingual population, speaking fluent English and Italian, French and German also being widely understood and spoken
- Comparatively low cost of living and high standard of living
- Low unemployment rate standing at below 6%
- A strong and steadily growing financial services industry
- Excellent education and health care services, high quality and reasonably priced accommodation
- Very low crime rate and high political stability of its democratic system
- 5 retail banks and over 20 registered commercial banks operating in or from Malta, offering personal, commercial and trade services
- Highly efficient work force with comparatively low ancillary labour costs
- Thriving economy
A sovereign country with a history of rulers
Paradoxically, Malta’s individuality and unique character emerge from the mix of nationalities that inhabited and ruled the island throughout Malta’s 7000 years of history. Throughout the centuries, the Maltese shores have been reached and governed by the Phoenicians, the Romans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Ottomans, the Knights of St John, the French and the British.
All these rulers brought along their own language, customs, traditions and beliefs, all of which molded and gave rise to the unique Maltese language and saw Malta transform itself from a centre of trade and commerce to island fortress before transforming itself into nowadays’ forward-looking open economy.
Adaptability is the one ever-constant trait that allowed Malta and the Maltese to progress with the changing tides of time, particularly since gaining political independence from the British in 1964. The past decades, particularly since becoming a full EU member in 2004 and joining the eurozone in 2008, have seen Malta rapidly become one of the fastest growing service-based economies in the European region year after year.
The best climate in the world
Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, the friendly island also enjoys the world’s best weather allowing for 300 days of sun per year. Lifestyle across the island’s localities is generally deemed to be quite laid-back and typically synonymous with the Mediterranean profile, however the accelerated pace of contemporary life has also permeated the everyday living of the late generations.
This is highly evident in the Valletta, Sliema and St. Julian’s area where most of the island’s administration, commerce and activity is centered, trickling down to other Maltese towns and villages.
Malta’s rich historical and cultural scene is also one of the island’s distinctive features, physically mirrored in the majestic bastion walls and impressive Baroque architecture dating back from the time of the Knights present in several parts of the island and other aspects of the local character. The British legacy inherited after 150 years of British presence in Malta still breathes through Malta’s traditionally British education and political system.
Much to look forward to
Malta’s economy nowadays is highly diversified and characterised by key sectors such as tourism, ICT, maritime, financial services and life sciences. Malta’s historical link and interaction with foreigners seems to have been retained in its ability to create partnerships, maintain relations and attract the foreign investment and international clientele needed for its industries to flourish.
Highly flexible and innovative regulatory frameworks and innovative legislation allow Malta to meet the needs and requirements of the fast-advancing business sector as well as remain at the forefront of its core industries. Malta’s tax and fiscal policies, are a clear example of this.
Whilst strengthening its industry efforts, Malta remains focused on achieving other specific set goals, including continuous training and development of its work force, reducing its energy production costs and reducing bureaucracy.
Malta Public Holidays
|Monday 1st January||New Year's Day|
|Saturday 10th February||Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck|
|Monday 19th March||Feast of St. Joseph|
|Saturday 31st March *||Freedom Day|
|Friday 30th March||Good Friday|
|Tuesday 1st May||Worker's Day|
|Thursday 7th June *||Sette Giugno|
|Friday 29th June||Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul|
|Wednesday 15th August||Feast of the Assumption|
|Saturday 8th September *||Feast of Our Lady of Victories|
|Friday 21st September *||Independence Day|
|Saturday 8th December||Feast of the Immaculate Conception|
|Thursday 13th December *||Republic Day|
|Tuesday 25th December||Christmas Day|
|* National Holidays|