With the lowest unemployment rate in the EU (3.5%), most Maltese are working and earning. They are a population of property owners rather than renters. This has kept the property market buoyant over the last several years but with so many new companies finding their home in Malta, their contracted workers are now also looking to buy or rent, leading again to a property demand.
Contracted and permanent employees from the following industries all moving and operating in Malta contributing to the booming property purchase price increase and the increase in rental properties.
There are now about 200 foreign manufacturing firms in Malta of which the largest is SGS Thomson, a French company that employs 1,800 people in Malta and has annual sales of US$1 billion.
Switching from mass-production to high-end manufacturing has proven a successful move for Malta. Today, the island offers a prime location for companies specialising in high-technology products in areas such as electronics or precision engineering, as well as capital-intensive activities such as life sciences and aircraft maintenance.
The island nation, nestled between Sicily, Tunisia and Libya in the Mediterranean sea, launched remote gaming regulations–the first on the continent to do so.
It was a masterstroke. Today online gaming comprises 12% of the Maltese economy, generating €700 million ($826m) and employing 8,000 people. Over 300 gaming companies, including giants Betsson, Tipico and Betfair, are now stationed in the country.
Malta now has the iGaming Academy, European Gaming Institute of Malta, and an iGaming-focused course at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology. The fruits of their labor are spilling over into the startup community. Since 2007 Malta’s government has been building SmartCity Malta, a minimum-€275m ($324m) project that it hopes will soon be completed, and which can provide a focal point for Maltese tech.
With iGaming leading the way, a solid Maltese tech community is being built. Silicon Valletta and Startup Malta are providing a vital leg-up for local businesses, while events like Startup Weekend, and the regionally-renowned ZEST conference, are bringing an international spotlight to companies outside the betting field.