The Maltese archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. They are situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100Km south of Italy. The total area of the islands is 316 sq.km. Malta, the main island, is 27 km long and 14 km at its widest point and occupies a total area of 246 sq.km. The capital of Malta is Valletta, which contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which city was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
Malta became a member of the European Union with effect from the 1st May 2004 and has adopted the Euro as its currency, as of 1st January 2008.
Government and Legal Systems
Malta is an established parliamentary democracy, with the executive power being vested in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Judiciary enjoys complete independence from the legislative and executive sectors. The legal structure is based on the civil-law pattern of continental Europe, but most administrative and fiscal legislation is based on well-tried British laws.
Population and Language
Malta has a population of around 514,000, with two official languages being Maltese and English. English is spoken fluently by virtually all Maltese citizens and is the language primarily used in the business sector. Most of the population is also fluent in Italian and knowledge of French and German is common.
Malta enjoys a varied and thriving economy. The economy of Malta is largely based on the manufacturing sector, particularly high technology industries and tourism. Several internationally renowned companies have established their operations in Malta and the Island is increasingly attracting hi-tech companies with leading edge technology. Malta boasts of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure and this, together with a highly educated professional community, supports the success of the economy. Malta is committed to develop a strong and stable economy. It is within this setting that the course for the development of the Island as an international financial centre was envisaged. The financial services sector has become one of the major components of the economy.
The liberalisation of the economy has provided the backdrop for Malta’s success in the international business activities. Malta has developed a regulatory framework that integrates the most effective aspects of investment management regulation from around the world.