Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Prior to COVID-19 Malta was one of the EU’s fastest-growing economies, with strong tourism, financial services, online gaming, and telecommunications industries. It had record-low unemployment and moderate wage growth. Malta’s GDP in 2020 was $13.2 billion – Malta’s economy grew at a quarter-on-quarter rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2021, driven mainly by service exports. After a considerable decline of -7.8 percent in 2020, real GDP is forecast to rebound to 5.6 percent in 2021. The import content of Malta’s exports has been steadily declining in the recent past, reflecting the structural shift toward the services sector.
International rating agencies predicted Malta to be one of the EU’s best performers in surviving the economic fall-out following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malta is working toward maximizing its potential as a center for international business in the Euro-Med region. Companies increasingly use Malta as a base for operations in North Africa, particularly those from Tunisia and Libya.
Since 2014, the government has promoted public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the healthcare sector to establish Malta as a Mediterranean health hub for medical tourism and to expand capacity for the domestic market. The government is interested in pursuing new PPP opportunities.
Major market sectors include: information communications technology (ICT), oil and gas, infrastructure, construction, information handling, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, automotive components, light engineering, alternative and renewable energy, research and development, franchising, security, environmental waste technology, and agriculture technology including medical marijuana production.
Services represent the largest and fastest-growing sector of the Maltese economy. Banking, investment, fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, insurance, communications, software development and online gaming, education, tourism, ship-repair/aircraft servicing, registration of ships and aircrafts, health care services, aviation, logistics, film industry, professional services, and back office operations are the largest service sub-sectors.
Among agricultural products, the best U.S. potential export produce appears to be grain, particularly red winter and soft wheat.