Malta: The Economic Attractions of One of the Smallest Countries in the World

Malta: The Economic Charms of One of the World’s Smallest Countries

The prestigious magazine National Geographic recently highlighted, in an online publication, the charms of the ten smallest countries in the world. Among them, of course, is the Republic of Malta, which, with its 316 square kilometers of land area, does not exceed the size of the city of Madrid. But the attractions of this country go beyond tourism.

“Despite not having any rivers, its strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean has always been a magnet for different civilizations and cultures that found here a place for provisioning and, ultimately, expansion,” notes National Geographic.

This history, undoubtedly, can be reflected in the architecture of the country, which is one of its main tourist attractions. “The strong point of Malta is not its beaches. It is its culture, its fishing villages, its blue grottoes, and its landscapes,” says the travel site Imanes de Viaje.

But tourism is not the only appealing aspect of this island nation. A study conducted by EY among foreign investors indicates that, although pre-pandemic levels have not yet been recovered, 59% of those surveyed consider Malta an attractive place for investment.

Corporate taxes are identified as Malta’s strongest Foreign Direct Investment parameter (73%), followed by its telecommunications infrastructure (62%) and the stability of the social environment (61%).

Despite its small size, 41% of respondents believe that Malta is as attractive as other European countries regarding technological factors that influence investment.

Other aspects that stand out, according to the survey, are labor costs (37%) and labor law flexibility (44%).

It is worth noting that the EY study emphasizes the importance of sustainability for both the private and public sectors, and the interest in continuing to progress in this area.

Investing in Malta: What are my options?

This country offers both residency and citizenship by investment programs.

In the case of residency, there is the Malta Global Residency Programme, which offers a special tax regime for non-European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland nationals. To apply, one must make a real estate investment ranging from €220,000 to €275,000. Alternatively, one can lease a residence for a minimum of €8,750 per year. This property cannot be subleased. Additionally, an annual minimum tax (15%) must be paid on foreign income received in Malta.

For citizenship by investment, there is the Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) program, whose main characteristic lies in the speed with which citizenship is granted compared to similar programs in other European countries.

Within 12 months, the MEIN facilitates the acquisition of Maltese citizenship through a contribution of €750,000 to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF), Malta’s sovereign fund.

There is also the option to contribute €600,000, which extends the required residency period to obtain citizenship to 36 months. During this process, it is imperative to have a residence in Malta. This can be purchased (starting from €700,000) or rented for a minimum fee of €16,000 annually.

The MEIN program allows for the inclusion of the spouse and children under 21, if dependent on the applicant.

In summary: Malta is much more than a tourist attraction. If you are interested in applying for its investment visa program, schedule a meeting with us. AIM Global has offices in Chile and Portugal, and its specialized professionals will help you find the best option to realize your projects.

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