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Malta's Financial Sector Growth Recognised

by Jason Gorringe,, London

18 September 2012

Malta's Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment has welcomed the findings of the World Economic Forum's annual Competitiveness Report, which shows that the island's business environment has substantially improved during the past year as a result of government efforts to support inward investment and expand the financial services sector.

Malta climbed four places in the latest rankings, up to 47th place, making it among the top three best performing member states of the European Union this year. The report in particular noted improvements in the island's quality as an international financial centre, ranking it among the most advanced nations for the availability of financial services, financing through the local equity market, the ease of access to credit, and the soundness of the domestic banking system.

Despite its infancy relative to other financial centres, the island's financial services sector already accounts for about 15% of Malta's gross domestic product.

Malta received recognition in particular for its efforts to decrease red tape on businesses, improve the skills base of the local workforce, and streamline its tax regime.

As part of efforts to make the tax system more efficient and cut bureaucracy, the government is targeting the consolidation of the three tax-collecting departments into a single entity this year. The government aims to reduce tax avoidance as part of its 2013 budget, according to a document released in August, to allow effective tax rates to be brought down.

TAGS: Finance | tax | investment | business | Malta | tax avoidance | banking | offshore | services

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