Malta Economics and Business

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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