Malta Economics and Business

Malta is a small but economically vibrant country located in the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a population of around 500,000 people and an area of 316 km². It is considered one of the most prosperous countries in the region with a high standard of living and a competitive economy. The economy of Malta is largely dependent on services and manufacturing, which account for around 80% of its GDP. In recent years, Malta has become an attractive destination for foreign investors, who have been drawn by its favorable tax regime as well as its strategic location at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea.

According to cheeroutdoor, the Maltese economy is dominated by services, which account for approximately 80% of GDP. These include financial services such as banking and insurance, tourism, transport and communications. Manufacturing accounts for 13% of GDP and includes pharmaceuticals, electronics and food processing. Agriculture makes up just 5% of GDP but is still important to the local economy in terms of employment and providing food to local households.

Malta’s main trading partners include Italy, Germany, France, UK and USA. It’s main exports are electrical machinery & equipment (29%), mineral fuels (18%) and pharmaceutical products (12%). Imports include machinery & transport equipment (31%), mineral fuels (13%) and foodstuffs (9%).

Malta has an open economy that encourages foreign investment due to its low taxes on corporate profits as well as its fiscal incentives that make it attractive to investors from outside the EU such as US firms looking to expand into Europe or Asian companies seeking access to markets in Africa or Middle East through Malta’s strategic location at the center of Mediterranean Sea.

Despite being one of Europe’s smallest economies by population size Malta continues to grow at a steady pace due largely to increased foreign investment coupled with prudent fiscal policies implemented by successive governments that have kept inflation low while encouraging foreign direct investment into sectors like banking or manufacturing that can help create jobs for local people while generating much needed revenue for state coffers.

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

Malta GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017

Historical background

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 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 1.6 percent 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 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 20.7 percent 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 percent, while the production from renewable resources is 19 percent (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, abbreviated as MLT by 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.

Note: the capital city of Malta is Valletta with a population of 5,700 (2012 estimate). Other major cities include Birkirkara with a population of 20,500, Mosta with a population of 19,500, San Pawl il-Bahar with a population of 19,000 (estimate 2012).

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.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Malta, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.

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.

Malta Economics and Business

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