Malta has always had a strategic value that far surpasses its dimensions. Straddling Europe and North Africa it has contributed and witnessed events that have had a measurable impact on history as we know it today. With a rich historical and cultural tapestry and a reputation for the warm hospitality of its people, Malta’s prominence has evolved over time. Whilst retaining a strong maritime influence, the island has developed into one of the more interesting financial centres to emerge from the region.
A strong political will to diversify the country’s economy from the staples of tourism and light industry, the company has transformed its legal framework to introduce new legislation to attract operators within the financial services sector. A process which started in the early 90’s, Malta now has two Authorities which between them regulate activities within the Remote Gaming and the Financial Services sectors.
The Malta Gaming Authority is the competent Authority that legislates and regulates operators within the gaming sector whilst that Malta Financial Services Authority was tasked with developing and spearheading Malta’s entry into the world financial scene. The MFSA authority and oversight extends to banking, insurance, investments, pensions, e-money and forex platforms and providers of trust services.
Key factors behind Malta’s slow but steady rise to prominence in this industry include:
- a strong and consensual political will to develop this sector;
- a high level of education and specialisation in related subjects;
- a robust yet flexible legal and regulatory framework;
- a transparent and compliant tax system which favours inward investment;
- a pool of experienced, qualified and highly motivated workers;
- a state of the art telecoms and related infrastructural backbone;
- a hybrid legal system;
- an extensive Double Tax Treaty Network with over 70 agreements in place;
Furthermore the country enjoys political and economic stability which makes for an ideal climate for investment. Malta has fast and efficient connections with the principal European capital cities with numerous airlines operating direct scheduled flights in and out of Malta including the national carrier, Air Malta. An Anglo Saxon approach to business, including how it is legislated and regulated, yet with a clearly Mediterranean flair, in general delivers results which are efficient and free from cumbersome and unnecessary procedures. This, in general fast turn-around gives Malta a competitive edge over other countries and is a reflection of the confidence and experience that operators and regulators have attained in the sector.
Malta is also one of the few countries that has adopted the full imputation system of taxation which eliminates the possibility of source income being subject to tax at corporate as well as at personal level. Following a recent peer review performed by the OECD it was reported that Malta’s tax system is in full conformity with the requirements related to international transparency standards and exchange of information. This positive affirmation further attests to Malta’s reputation as a reputable jurisdiction.
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