Becoming an EU member state in 2004 and changing its currency to euro in 2008 helped Malta to liberalize its economy and make it very attractive to investors. Malta’s economy is mainly based on tourism and depends very much on foreign trade such as manufacturing goods.
Malta is considered one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments in Europe especially due to its legislation for FDI. That's why many foreign entrepreneurs are interested in opening a company in Malta.
Imports in Malta
Malta’s economy relies more on imports than exports which makes fuel and raw material the most imported goods. The most imported product is petroleum which represents about 33% of Malta’s imports. Then there is the import of boats and ships with a 24%, as Malta is well known for its tourism facilities. The third place is occupied by integrated circuits that are imported in a proportion of almost 6% and chemical products that follow closely, almost 5% of them being imported by Malta. Means of transportation are also on top of Malta’s import list occupying 2%. Other goods that are also imported in a small percent are: pharmaceuticals, metals, foods and textiles.
The countries Malta imports the most from are: South Korea which provides 23% of the imports, Italy - 22%, Russia - 6%, Turkey and the United Kingdom - 4.5%.
Import duty and taxes in Malta
As any other country, Malta also has taxes and duties that apply to goods and services that come from outside the EU. These taxes are calculated as a sum of the value of the merchandise, its transportation and insurance costs. The duty rates for imports are variable and range between 0% and 17%. There are also anti-dumping duties that can reach 48.5%. The VAT Malta applies to imported products and services is set at 18%, but some products benefit from a reduced rate of 5%.
Exports in Malta
The Central Bank of Malta reports that Malta’s exports are based on petroleum, manufactured goods, appliances, fish, pharmaceuticals and printed materials. On a closer look, Malta’s exports are based on:
- refined petroleum that represents 37% of the country’s total exports,
- integrated circuits - 23%,
- packaged pharmaceutics - 6%,
- manufactured goods such as toys, stuffed animals etc. - 3%,
- protection equipment - 2%.
Other exported goods, but in smaller percentages, are: airplane parts, fish, plastic utensils, medical devices and measuring tools. Malta’s exports are directed towards Asia (Singapore, China and Korea) and also towards European countries such as Germany, France and Italy.