Patrick J O Brien reports that the recent coverage of Malta does not give an accurate depiction of a nation, which has become the envy of many of its EU competitors.
Malta has reinvented itself as a hub for global investors and it’s easy to note the attraction. In the first half of this year, Malta has registered the highest economic growth in the EU. The next year’s economic growth is expected to reach 5.6%.
The thriving sectors of high-tech and financial services continue to make collective inroads out beating its EU counterparts. Malta has seen major investments over the last months with two global tech companies and a technology-focused venture capital firm having opened a new European technology hub.
Acronis, Parallels and Runa Capital will support the Mediterranean island in becoming the first ‘smart island’ through accelerating innovation and participating in national blockchain initiatives. Runa Capital will be the first venture capital firm in Malta to provide funding to local start-ups, while Acronis and Parallels will engage in joint research projects with local firms and institutions. This includes the possibility of a new R&D centre focusing on advanced technologies in data protection, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. The trio is expected to contribute up to $10m over a three-year period.
Exante clients are hoping to invest heavily in Malta once cryptocurrency is finally regulated, presently investing heavily in the IT infrastructure. GO plc announced that it is investing in excess of €100 million in the coming five years to ensure that its infrastructure and systems reflect technological developments and continue to serve the growing demands of the community and economy and we have seen lots of investments coming from Asia. These investments have resulted in unprecedented benefits for the consumer and economy in 2017.
Exante’s Co Founder Anatoliy Knyazev and CEO Alexey Kirienko, one of the emerging global companies investing in Malta, here at a recent meeting with Hon Minister, Silvio Schembri.
Malta’s development as a logistics hub has been further bolstered in recent years by Malta’s strategic geographical location, bridging Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, a position successfully exploited by the transshipment Freeport (the 10th Busiest container terminal in Europe) and an extensive feeding network. Malta has continued to deal with the recent unjust publicity as well as can be expected.
Understanding that maintaining financial stability and external competitiveness remain crucial conditions for economic growth. In terms of structural reforms, the country has adopted more ambitious plans to deliver knowledge-based growth and continues to work on improving skills, making better use of human capital, rationalising the energy supply system and modernising and simplifying administrative procedures. More should be done to ensure that growth and the economy in general are sustainable, but at core of Malta’s strength is its people who never see tumbling blocks and believe in the saying, ”If you cannot move a mountain, climb over it!”
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