By Robert Owen
Diversification of the economy
Some years ago, Malta looked to diversify its economy away from the previous mainstay of tourism, which contributes to around a fifth of the country’s GDP. Given the small size of the country and the capacity of the supporting infrastructure which inhibited the further growth of the tourism sector, the government looked to find new ways to expand the economy. As a result, Malta has since developed thriving financial services, marine and aviation, gaming fund administration and gaming industries. Paired with the government’s desire to create a leading European destination for investment and financial services, the country has seen rapid growth in all these areas and enjoys strong economic growth.
Today, Malta is a popular jurisdiction for corporate entities, including holding companies, structures which conduct international trade and manage intellectual property. With its proximity to international shipping routes and with its large ports in Valetta and Marsaxlokk (which includes one of Europe’s busiest freeports), Malta is also – perhaps naturally – a popular location for yacht holding and management structures.
‘At a strategic location between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Malta is an ideal place to set up structures for investments, trade, shipping and import/export businesses. With a pragmatic business environment, a highly skilled, bilingual workforce and an attractive regulatory framework, Malta is a fantastic place to do business,’ explains Rob Owen, Managing Director, ZEDRA Malta.
Over the past few years and especially in the run up to the Brexit date of 31st December 2020, Malta has been an extremely attractive jurisdiction for UK aircraft operators wishing to remain in Europe post-Brexit or for non EU operators to expand into Europe generally. Malta has it all, a proactive approach to business and willingness to help aircraft operators set up and start a new chapter under the Maltese regulation. Transport Malta is well practiced at the application process for new operators and key staff relocating to Malta enjoy tax breaks as an incentive.
As a member of the EU, Malta is obliged to follow the EU’s directives and legislation but at the same time, the country has deliberately opted to maintain some attractive regulations. The result is that Malta is a highly compliant and reputable jurisdiction operating in line with the EU’s regulations, but the country also benefits from added flexibility.
‘Malta has always wanted to attract the best companies, investors and players to do business here. This approach is perhaps partly due to our nation’s small size: the regulator and government have always wanted Malta to be a place where a high calibre of companies come to do business, rather than attracting an influx of hundreds of players. The Maltese approach to service is very much the same: we offer the best quality, skills and expertise to anyone who does business here,’ adds Rob.
ZEDRA in Malta – our services
There is a multitude of reasons why foreign clients want to set up structures in Malta. These include conducting international trade, managing intellectual property, holding and managing yachts, shipping and property holding.
ZEDRA Malta provides a full suite of corporate services, structuring consultancy and advisory services and yacht and aircraft-related structures, crewing solutions and crewing payroll. We pride ourselves to work closely with our clients to ensure that any relevant structures are set up to fully comply with Maltese law to benefit from the advantages the country offers and safeguard that entities are compliant with regards to substance requirements and local regulations.