An open economy with a long-established history of trade, Malta has always actively sought foreign direct investment (FDI), both in existing companies and in new ventures. With a well-balanced mix of incentives that support and ensure long-term competitiveness and growth of companies setting up in Malta, the island attracts record levels of foreign investment, amid intensifying global competition. Companies need to apply to Malta Enterprise to determine eligibility, and to access the assistance. Incentives include most of the internationally available investment incentives:
- Cash grants/incentives
- Tax exemptions
- Property assistance / other fiscal incentive
- Training and labour market assistance
- Loan guarantees, cheap loans or finance
- Exemptions from regulation
- Target sectors
- Sector-specific incentives
The island is also stepping up its efforts in helping to create new businesses and has expanded the scope of support for start-ups. Based at the University of Malta, TAKEOFF is Malta’s first technology business incubator. The programme is specifically designed to help innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs create successful science, technology, engineering, creative media and knowledge-based start-up businesses.
The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), Malta’s national IT agency, runs an Innovation Hub at SmartCity Malta, Malta’s media and IT city based on the model developed in Dubai. The hub provides a location backed by software tools and all the necessary resources in which students, web designers, software developers and start-ups can share ideas and develop prototypes under the mentorship of world industry players.
Start-ups can also benefit from a number of other initiatives and institutions such as the Microsoft Innovation Centre at SkyParks Business Centre, PwC’s 1Million Euro Startup Fund initiative and the Malta College of Arts Science and Technology (MCAST), which has recently been assigned a number of units at the Kordin Business Incubation Centre managed by Malta Enterprise.