Since we practically for the past two decades, were successfully promoting Malta as a stable and truly democratic country which – due to its strategic location and originally being part of the British Empire – was the administration centre for the British Southern Mediterranean colonies until these were gaining their own political independence. Malta gained its own independence in 1964. However, even after gaining independence, the personal contacts and relationships in the above mentioned areas remained intact which turned out to be a valuable asset to the Swiss business community, trying to enter marketing activities for their products and services in these respective countries.
Another asset dealing with and/or through Malta is its strategic location which has a bridging function between Europe, the Middle East and the Southern Countries of the Mediterranean Sea; plus the fact that Malta has become a full member of the EU (European Union) in May 2004 and introduced the EURO as official currency on 1. January 2008. Malta is – in addition – also a member of the Commonwealth.
Historically the Maltese language is of Semitic origin with Phoenician roots, giving a better understanding of the neighbouring frame of mind. The education on primary level is optional in Maltese or English language; the higher education, however, as well as international business activities are solely performed in English. It means that Malta has the key to both: The Western as well as the Near Eastern mentalities.
Twice annually, we distribute our „TELEGRAPH“ – Newsletter which publishes important, mainly business and political news about our two countries as well as informative reports on traditions, social events which could be of interest to the readers in either country.
Malta is a domain for fund registration, maintaining double taxation treaties with close to 80 countries worldwide, which means that Malta offers a highly efficient fiscal regime which avoids double taxation on taxed company profits as dividends. We do not want to go into the exact details of the claims of double taxation relief in each individual case, but can state that Malta’s tax system has been deemed by the European Commission to be compliant with EU non-discrimination principles and has also gained approval from the OECD.
Additionally, Malta’s strengths as a wealth management centre lies in the holistic offering that caters for a wide spectrum of needs, including succession planning, investment advisory, corporate structuring, investment banking and even on lifestyle administration.
The Malta trust, combining all the features of the Anglo-Saxon trust concept within a civil law framework, has quickly become the preferred vehicle for professionals and high-net-worth individuals seeking an effective and trustworthy solution to wealth management issues. Trusts have been set up in Malta to safeguard everything from heirlooms to stocks, bonds, art and real estate.
Recently, the island modernised its trust law to bring it in line with international trends and rival jurisdictions, ensuring that Malta remains one of the „go-to“ names in search of wealth management solutions.
A wide range of investment vehicles is available – from simple trusts and company structures for families, to high value and more complex set-ups involving trusts, companies, investment funds and foundations for affluent clients.
Malta has further made significant strides to the international insurance market in attracting world-class companies to its shores. EU passporting rights and competitive operating costs are key attractions of locating in Malta. The country also championed the introduction of innovative structures such as Protected and Incorporated Cell Companies. The cell structure is also applicable to insurance managers and brokers.
Malta has developed into an international banking centre, and accounts for a significant share of global banking activities with more than 25 credit institutions having a presence on the island. Malta’s banking sector is thriving and is repeatedly rated as the 10th soundest banking system in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2014-1015. It goes without saying that Malta’s banking sector is thriving!
Since this is my first presidential address to our members, you might be surprised that I omitted to mention more about social activities within or about our chamber; but I thought that it is more important that our members are fully informed and convinced about the unique advantages Malta has to offer, are fully reassured about the value of their membership and carry this message to their friends and associates so that the Swiss-Maltese Chamber of Commerce can further grow and become a valued and recognised partner within the Swiss business community.
Thank you for your attention!