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Economy and business in Malta

Malta's gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to USD 14.553 billion in 2018, increasing by 13.9 per cent that year. 16 of the EU countries have higher GDP per capita than Malta (2018). Unemployment was 3.5 per cent in 2019.

Business of Malta

Historical background

According to COUNTRYAAH, Malta's economy was previously largely dependent on British naval facilities. When the naval base was closed down in 1979, Malta faced serious financial problems. These problems were resolved within a few years, including the development of the light industry and a strong focus on tourism. Malta joined the EU and part of the EEA in 2004.


Agriculture contributes 1.1 per cent of the country's GDP and employs 1.6 per cent of the working population. Soil is taken from outside and is held in place by careful terracing. Nearly half the area is cultivated and yields on divided small farms early potatoes, vegetables, wheat, barley, cauliflower, pepper, grapes, citrus fruits and milk products.


The industry contributes 10.2 per cent of the country's GDP and employs 20.7 per cent of the working population (2017). Industrial production includes electronics, information technology, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, clothing and shoes, as well as food and beverages.


Electricity production amounts to 813 million kWh, while consumption was 2122 million kWh. The production of electricity from fossil fuels is 81 per cent, while the production from renewable resources is 19 per cent (2016).

Service industries

The service industries contribute 88.7 percent of the country's GDP and employ 77.7 percent of the working population. Tourism is of great importance to the country's economy. In 2018, 2.6 million tourists visited Malta. The country has a well-developed banking and finance sector.

Transport and Communications

The road network is relatively well developed, but is of varying standards. There are good bus connections. Valletta has the country's largest port with terminals for both container, tanker and cruise ships. There is a boat connection with Salerno, Italy. Malta International Airport is south of Valletta.

Foreign Trade

In 2017, Malta's total imports amounted to US $ 5.809 billion, while exports amounted to US $ 2.516 billion. With this, the country had a deficit in the foreign trade balance of US $ 3.293 billion.

Exports include machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, ships, floating parts, electronics, toys and sports equipment, as well as vegetables. The five most important markets for Malta's exports are Germany, France, Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The main import goods are oil and fuel, electrical equipment, machinery, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts. The five main markets for Malta's imports are Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Canada.

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