Malta is a highly industrialised, service-based economy. It is classified as an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund and is considered a high-income country by the World Bank and an innovation-driven economy by the World Economic Forum. It is a member of the European Union and of the eurozone, having formally adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.
The strengths of the economy of Malta are its strategic location, being situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea at a crossroads between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, its fully developed open market economy, multilingual population (88% of Maltese people speak English), productive labour force, low corporate tax and well developed finance and ICT clusters. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics), tourism and financial services. In 2014, over 1.7 million tourists visited the island.
Malta's GDP per capita, adjusted by purchasing power parity, stands at $29,200 and ranks in 15th place in the list of EU countries in terms of purchasing power standard. In the 2013 calendar year, Malta recorded a budget deficit of 2.7%, which is within the limits for eurozone countries imposed by the Maastricht criteria, and Government gross debt of 69.8%. At 5.9%, Malta has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the EU.
|Economy of Malta|
|EU, WTO and the OSCE|
|GDP||$11.22 billion (PPP, 2013 est.)|
|2.9% (Real, 2018 est.)|
GDP per capita
|$29,200 (PPP, 2012 est.)|
GDP by sector
|Agriculture: 1.4%; Industry: 11.4%; Services: 87.2% (2015 est.)|
|2.9% (CPI, 2018 est.)|
Population below poverty line
|190,400 (2013 est.)|
Labour force by occupation
|Public Administration: 26.6% |
Trade, Transport, Accommodation & Food: 28.6%
Manufacturing & Industry: 15.7%
Professional, Scientific & Technical: 7.7%
Financial & Insurance: 4.4%
Agriculture & Fishing: 1.6%
Information & Communication: 3.5%
Other Services: 5.6% (2014 est.)
|Unemployment||4.1% (10. 2017)|
Average gross salary
|€1,355.58 monthly (2014)|
€16,267 yearly (2014)
|Tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco, aviation services, financial services, information technology services|
|Exports||$4.938 billion (2014 est.)|
|Machinery and mechanical appliances, mineral fuels, oils and products, pharmaceutical products, printed books and newspapers, aircraft and parts, toys, games and sports equipment|
Main export partners
| Germany 18.1% |
United Kingdom 7.3%
|Imports||$8.384 billion (2014 est.)|
|Mineral fuels, oils and products, electrical machinery, aircraft and parts, machinery and mechanical appliances, plastic and other semi-manufactured goods, vehicles and parts|
Main import partners
| Italy 19.3% |
United Kingdom 10.3%
Netherlands 3.7% (2014 est.)
Gross external debt
|$5.241 billion (2013 est.)|
|63.9% of GDP (2015 est.)|
|Revenues||$4.843 billion (2013 est.)|
|Expenses||$4.322 billion (2013 est.)|
|$377 million (31 December 2013)|
During the Napoleonic Wars (1800–1815), Malta's economy prospered and became the focal point of a major trading system. In 1808, two thirds of the cargo consigned from Malta went to Levant and Egypt. Later, one half of the cargo was usually destined for Trieste. Cargo consisted of largely British and colonial-manufactured goods. Malta's economy became prosperous from this trade and many artisans, such as weavers, found new jobs in the port industry.
In 1820, during the Battle of Navarino, which took place in Greece, the British fleet was based in Malta. In 1839, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company and East India Companies used Malta as a calling port on their Egypt and Levant runs.
In 1869, the opening of the Suez Canal benefited Malta's economy greatly as there was a massive increase in the shipping which entered in the port. The economy had entered a special phase. The Mediterranean Sea became the "world highway of trade" and a number of ships called at Malta for coal and various supplies on their way to the Indian Ocean and the Far East. From 1871 to 1881, about 8,000 workers found jobs in the Malta docks and a number of banks opened in Malta. By 1882, Malta reached the height of its prosperity.
However, the boom did not last long. By the end of the 19th century, the economy began declining and by the 1940s, Malta's economy was in serious crisis. This was primarily due to the invention of large ships which had become oil-fired and therefore had no need to stop in the Grand Harbor of Malta to refuel. The British Government had to extend the dockyard.
At the end of World War II, Malta's strategic importance had reached a low point. Modern air warfare technology and the invention of the atomic bomb had changed the importance of the military base. The British lost control of the Suez Canal and withdrew from the naval dockyard, transforming it for commercial shipbuilding and ship repair purposes.
The Maltese economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and pharmaceuticals), and tourism. Malta adopted the Euro currency on 1 January 2008.
Tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings derived from tourism have steadily increased since 1987. Following the September 11 attacks, the tourist industry suffered a temporary setback. With the help of a favorable international economic climate, the availability of domestic resources, and industrial policies that support foreign export-oriented investment, the economy has been able to sustain a period of rapid growth.
During the 1990s, Malta's economic growth generally continued at a brisk pace. Both domestic demand (mainly consumption) boosted by large increases in government spending, and exports of goods and services contributed to this favorable performance. Buoyed by continued growth, the economy has maintained a relatively low rate of unemployment. Labour market pressures have increased as skilled labour shortages have become more widespread, despite illegal immigration, and real earnings growth has accelerated.
Growing public and private sector demand for credit has led—in the context of interest rate controls—to credit rationing to the private sector and the introduction of non-interest charges by banks. Despite these pressures, consumer price inflation has remained low (2.2% according to the Central Bank of Malta in 2007), reflecting the impact of a fixed exchange rate policy (100% hard peg to the euro, in preparation for currency changeover) and lingering price controls.
There is a strong manufacturing base for high value-added products like electronics and pharmaceuticals, and the manufacturing sector has more than 250 foreign-owned, export-oriented enterprises. Tourism generates around 15% of GDP. Film production in Malta is another growing industry (approx. 35 million euros between 1997 and 2011), despite stiff competition from other film locations in Eastern Europe and North Africa, with the Malta Film Commission providing support services to foreign film companies for the production of feature cinema (Gladiator, Troy, Munich, Count of Monte Cristo and World War Z, amongst others, were shot in Malta over the last few years), commercials and television series.
From 2001 to 2004 the mean GDP real growth was 0.4% due to Malta losing pace in tourism and other industries. Unemployment was down to 4.4%, its lowest level in 3 years. Many formerly state-owned companies are being privatised—and the market liberalised.
Fiscal policy has been directed toward bringing down the budget deficit after public debt grew from a negative figure in 1988 to 56% in 1999 and 69.1% in 2009. By 2007, the deficit-to-GDP ratio was comfortably below 3% as required for eurozone membership, but due to pre-election spending has gone up to 4.4% in 2008 and 3.8% in 2009.
Despite a great potential for solar and wind power, Malta produces almost all its electricity from oil, importing 100% of it. Energy and the cost of energy, which is oft-quoted as the highest in Europe, was a key issue in the 2013 election.
earnings per capita
|Food and beverages; tobacco||2,873||13,441|
|Textiles and textile products||422||15,512|
|Wearing apparel and clothes||733||11,698|
|Leather and leather products||185||9,308|
|Wood and wood products||78||12,000|
|Paper and paper products||265||15,698|
|Publishing and printing||1,669||17,615|
|Chemicals and chemical products||1,038||19,052|
|Rubber and plastic products||1,578||15,254|
|Other non-metallic mineral products||766||11,928|
|Fabricated metal products||596||14,451|
|Machinery and equipment n.e.c.||446||13,518|
|Electrical machinery and apparatus||1,409||16,515|
|Radio, TV and communication equipment||3,168||18,673|
|Medical, precision and optical instruments||877||15,582|
|Motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers||50||10,220|
|Other transport equipment||258||20,938|
|Furniture and manufacturing n.e.c.||1,597||15,753|
Electricity - production: 1,620 GWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 98.6%
Renewable sources: 1.4%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption: 1,507 GWh (1998)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products: potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
1 euro = 100 cents since 1 January 2008
previously 1 Maltese lira = 100 cents;
Exchange rates: Maltese liri (LM) per US$1 – 0.4086 (January 2000), 0.3994 (1999), 0.3885 (1998), 0.3857 (1997), 0.3604 (1996), 0.3529 (1995) Irrevocably fixed conversion rate to the euro: Maltese liri (LM) per EUR1 - 0.4293 (2007)
Poverty and social exclusion are significant problems in Malta. 15% of Malta's citizens were living below the poverty line as of 2008. According to research done by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, people with gambling, alcohol, and drug problems, single parents, and people aged over 65 are not always noticed when thinking of Malta's poor.
To address the issue of poverty, on December 24, 2014 Malta addressed poverty in the six branches of social services, health and environment, culture, income and social benefits, education and employment, by unveiling the National Strategic Policy for Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion; this will stay in effect from 2014-2024. Under this policy, stakeholders will be involved in the discussion of how to reduce hardships experienced by families living in Malta.
Benefits for unemployment are given out based on contributory and non-contributory schemes. Contributory schemes distribute unemployment benefits within 50 weeks of contribution. Non-contributory schemes a Social Unemployment Benefit is granted after a means test to the head of a household. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, a person must be able to do work and have registered as unemployed.
There are three categories to the Malta registrar of unemployment. People who have never worked fall into category one. Those who quit or were dismissed from their jobs fall into category two. Category three is for people who are currently employed but are looking for other job prospects. Benefits for unemployment are given for 156 days after which a person may qualify for the means tested unemployment assistance. People eligible for unemployment benefits are Maltese citizens who are aged sixteen years or older, people signed up for eligible work-study programs, and citizens outside of Malta who are employed by foreign entities.
Some scholars have noted that Malta's unemployment system has created a dependency on the benefits provided by the system. From 1992-2005, there was an increase in the number of recipients of both short-term and long-term benefits. Additionally, in 2016, 969 Maltese citizens were cut off the employment register for abusing the system. For these reasons, there has been movements from politicians to reduce and reshape the unemployment system. After the election of the Labour Party in 2013, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits dropped by 75%. This same government introduced the "in-work" benefit which forces more people to work while helping the most poor and desperate.
In order to be eligible for in-work benefit, applicants must first have children under the age of 23, and from that point, benefits vary depending on marital status and the number of people employed per family. For a single parent in employment who earns between €6,600-€16,500, they are eligible for a maximum payable rate of up to €1,250 annually per child. For a married couple whose collective income is between €10,000 and is less than €24,000 (the income of one of the spouses must be over €3,000), they are eligible for a maximum payment rate of up to €1,200 annually per child. In 2016, the in-work benefit was extended to married couples where only one parent works, extending the benefit to an additional 3,700 families. For a married couple with only one parent gainfully employed whose income is greater than €6,600 and less than €16,500, they are eligible for a maximum payable rate of up to €350 yearly per child. The in-work benefit is paid quarterly in January, April, July, and October.
At 42.3% in 2017, female workforce participation rate in Malta is relatively low. For over half of Maltese women who stay out of the workforce altogether, they do not receive direct unemployment benefits. Rather, most unemployment benefits are given to men because to receive unemployment benefits, one must first be employed. However, because older women tend to stay out of the workforce, those women who do participate in the workforce tend to be younger and have higher levels of education. This has led to a lower long-term unemployment rate amongst women than men. In 2011, the long-term unemployment rate of women was 2.5% while the long-term unemployment rate of men was 3.3%.
Malta has public and private pension systems. There are two types of contributions for the public pension system: class one and class two. Employed people contribute to class one and those are self-employed contribute to class two. There was a gradual increase in pension age in Malta in the 1950s and 1960s; for example, someone who was born in 1953 needs to be 62 years old in order to collect pensions while another person born in 1960 would have to be 64 years old in order to collect pensions. Another requirement to qualify for a Malta pension program is that a person must have been contributing to the program for a certain time period or they will not be eligible.
The Central Bank of Malta (Maltese: Bank Ċentrali ta’ Malta) is the central bank of the Republic of Malta. It was established on 17 April 1968. In May 2004, when Malta joined the European Union, it became an integral part of the European System of Central Banks. It was responsible for, amongst other things, issuing Maltese lira banknotes and coins, before Malta adopted the euro in 2008 and the Bank became part of the Eurosystem.
The Central Bank of Malta Act was originally published by means of Act XXXI of 1967. It has been amended a number of times, most recently by Acts I and IV of 2007 in order to provide for the Bank’s membership within the Eurosystem.
The Central Bank of Malta is located in an early 20th-century building. Completed in 1924 as the Vernon Institute, or Vernon Club. The bank occupied the building since 1967, but made arrangement for the lease of the premises in 1968, with a contract lasting almost hundred years. The interior was eventually demolished in 1968, keeping the neoclassic façade, to be redeveloped and housing the present Central Bank of Malta. Since 2004 the building was bought from the Government of Malta and by the bank.Index of Malta-related articles
This page list topics related to Malta.List of companies of Malta
This list includes notable companies with primary headquarters located in Malta. The industry and sector follow the Industry Classification Benchmark taxonomy. Organizations which have ceased operations are included and noted as defunct.MARSEC-XL
MARSEC-XL, the Marine software engineering Cluster of Excellence, is a Cluster initiative (CI) in Malta aimed at creating a hub for business activity, research, technology transfer, education and training, promoting Marine Software and Systems Engineering.Malta Enterprise
Malta Enterprise is the Maltese government's exclusive agency focused on attracting inward investment and supporting enterprise in Malta. Its role is to act as a single point of contact for all enterprise support in Malta and to provide cohesion to government policies and efforts relating to enterprise in the country.
The corporation came into being through the 2003 Malta Enterprise Act, and the agency, which became operational in January 2004. It combined the functions of three separate government offices – the Malta Development Corporation, (an investment promotion agency), Malta External Trade Corporation (an import-export promotion agency) and the Institute for the Promotion of Small Enterprise (a small business support service) – into a single entity that now serves as the national representative for Malta’s commercial and financial endeavors.As the national economic development agency, Malta Enterprise develops support measures to create an environment conducive to the growth and development if enterprise in Malta, facilitates foreign investments, organises and hosts visiting business delegations and participates in global trade and business conferences.In May 2012 Mr. Lawrence Zammit, former Chairman of Malta Development Corporation and Air Malta, was appointed Chairman, whereas Dr Sue Vella, former Chief Executive Officer of the Employment and Training Corporation, was named Chief Executive Office of Malta Enterprise.
In May 2013 Dr. Mario Vella, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Development Corporation, was appointed Chairman, whilst William Wait was named the deputy chairman.Malta Stock Exchange
The Malta Stock Exchange (Maltese: Borża ta' Malta), originally known as the Casino della Borsa, is the stock exchange of the island nation of Malta. Since being set up in 1992, the Exchange has been key to the raising of capital for the private sector through the issue of corporate bonds and equity while virtually all the national debt of Government of Malta has been issued in the form of Malta Government bonds and treasury bills that are listed and traded on the secondary market.
The investor base consists of over 75,000 individual investors, which is a significant number given Malta’s economic size (GDP €8,796 million in 2015) and population (434,403 in 2016). The focus of the Malta Stock Exchange is to continue to develop and support the domestic market whilst attracting international companies to list on the Exchange, and enjoy the passportability within the EU that this brings. It has also invested heavily in the use of technology and uses the Xetra trading platform.
The Chairman of the Board of the Malta Stock Exchange is Mr Joseph Portelli, and the Chief Executive Officer is Mr Simon Zammit.Maltese lira
The lira (Maltese: lira Maltija, plural: liri, ISO 4217 code : MTL) was the currency of Malta from 1972 until 31 December 2007. The lira was abbreviated as Lm, although the traditional ₤ sign was often used locally. In English, the currency was still frequently called the pound because of the past usage of British currency on the islands.
The euro replaced the Maltese lira as the official currency of Malta on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of €1 per 0.4293 lira.Maltese pataca
The pataca of Malta was a large copper coin minted during the 16th century and 17th century as fiduciary coin. This coin was first minted during the reign of Grand Master Fra Jean de Valette just after the Siege of Malta 1565. The last minting dates the reign of Grandmaster Fra Jean de Lascaris. The inscription on the coin was the following: "Not Money but Trust".Maltese wine
Wine production in Malta dates back over two thousand years to the time of the Phoenicians. In the beginning of the 20th century Marsovin and Emmanuel Delicata wineries were established. In the 1970s wine production became more serious and international grape varieties began to be planted. After joining the European Union in 2004 protective levies were lifted, pushing the producers to focus on higher quality wine production, with Marsovin especially focusing on fine DOK wines.
Currently there is a growing demand for Maltese wines and some of the wineries resort to using imported grapes because agricultural areas are severely limited on the islands by the growth of settlements and tourism. There is no official wine route but a wine festival is held in Valletta. In 2005 630 tonnes of wine were produced on the islands.Outline of Malta
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Malta:
Malta is a small and densely populated sovereign island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta comprises an archipelago of seven islands, of which the three largest are inhabited. Malta is located 93 km (58 mi) south of Sicily, and 288 km (179 mi) north of North Africa, giving the country a warm, Mediterranean climate. The nation's capital is the 16th century city of Valletta.
Throughout much of its history, Malta has been considered a crucial location due in large part to its position in the Mediterranean Sea. It was held by several ancient cultures including Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines and others. The island is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John who ruled it. This, along with the historic pseudo-historic and religiously claimed shipwreck of St. Paul on the island, and since the 12th century ingrained a Roman Catholic legacy which is still the official religion in Malta today combined with secular values.
The country's official languages are Maltese and English; the former is the national language and the latter a legacy from Malta's period as a British colony. Malta gained independence in 1964 and is, as of 2017, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the European Union, which it joined in 2004.Revenue stamps of Malta
Revenue stamps of Malta were first issued in 1899, when the islands were a British colony. From that year to 1912, all revenue issues were postage stamps overprinted accordingly, that was either done locally or by De La Rue in London. Postage stamps also became valid for fiscal use from 1912 to 1913, so no new revenues were issued until 1925–30, when a series of key type stamps depicting King George V were issued. These exist unappropriated for use as general-duty revenues, or with additional inscriptions indicating a specific use; Applications, Contracts, Registers or Stocks & Shares. The only other revenues after this series were £1 stamps depicting George VI and Elizabeth II. Postage stamps remained valid for fiscal use until at least the 1980s.
Malta also used impressed duty stamps from the 1920s until these were replaced by pre-printed revenues in the 1970s. The latter were discontinued in the early 1990s. Malta also had specific stamps for Workmen's Compensation (1929–56), passport fees (1933–72), National Insurance (1956–76) and Airport Charge (1975–88). Excise stamps have been used to pay the tax on cigarettes since the 1930s, the tax on spirits since the 2000s, and the tax on wine since 2015. Excise imprints were also used on cinema, theatre and football match tickets from around the 1950s to the 1980s.Taxation in Malta
Taxation in Malta is levied by the State and it is administered by the Commissioner for Revenue (il-Kummissarju tat-Taxxi). The total tax revenues in 2014 amounted to €2,747.6 million, which represents 34.6% of the Maltese GDP. The main sources of tax revenue were value-added tax, income tax, and social security contributions.Wind power in Malta
Wind power in Malta describes the wind power development in Malta.
Malta is a European Union country. The European energy policy has the objective of a sustainable, competitive and secure supply of energy. According to the EU fact sheet in January 2007 the potential of wind energy in Malta is substantial. Malta produces almost all its electricity using oil, importing 100% of it.
|States with limited|