Malta has established itself as a powerful outsourcing partner that is increasingly winning high-value deals and offering knowledge-intensive solutions. As an EU member, Malta provides a high degree of regulatory certainty that companies appreciate, and the island is increasingly considered a prime location for the outsourcing of management-type functions that require specialised skills and the integration of the latest technologies. The first to take advantage of this are sectors such as fund management and administration, insurance management and treasury operations, but also private aircraft and yacht management companies. KYC and due diligence, as well as risk and compliance, are other areas in which Malta has established core competencies that are growing in demand in the global outsourcing market.
Malta’s journey in the shared services industry started in the call centre segment due to the fact that English is one of Malta’s official languages. Call and contact centres remain a prominent theme in Malta’s outsourcing offering, although the focus today is on email, chat support and social media rather than phone calls. Throughout the years, Malta’s outsourcing sector has transitioned towards more complex services. Boasting large numbers of accounting firms, including boutique practices and the ‘Big Four’, Malta has become a hub for the outsourcing of accountancy work. A specialist service offered from Malta is performance marketing, and a number of firms that were traditionally assisting Malta’s iGaming companies with lead generation have expanded into financial services.
International groups that have long been outsourcing to Malta are also increasingly trusting their teams on the island with middle office functions, and many entities are now expanding to deliver high-value services, including business analysis and decision support to their parent companies.
The island is also seeing exponential growth in the provision of high-end analytical services. Home to many regulated industries, including financial services, gaming, maritime and aviation to name but a few, and coupled with its focus on emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), Malta is developing new credentials in areas such as risk management, due diligence and compliance, all of which are high growth areas due to the ever-increasing regulatory requirements.
While costs may be higher than in Asia, many European companies that outsource work to Malta comment that it offers better all-round value for money: the workforce is highly educated, and wages are reasonable, while the island has attracted a large pool of international and multilingual talent that is hard to find in other locations. In addition, Malta has a dynamic IT sector and a tier 1 data and telecoms infrastructure.
An Intelligent Future
While many traditional outsourcing industries remain people-centric, the future of outsourcing will likely revolve around artificial intelligence and related digital technologies such as automation, robotics, machine learning and big data. Malta is currently developing new AI legislation to help regulate this new global sector, and for companies that want to deploy these new technologies, Malta would certainly be the one country to keep an eye on.
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