The tourism sector is among the primary contributors to GDP in Malta. In 2018 a record 2.6 million people visited the country signifying a 14% increase over the previous year. Tourism accounts for 27.1% of the GDP, which is significantly higher compared to 10.3% in Europe and 10.4% of the world’s GDP.
The World Travel and Tourism Council reports that local employment in the tourism sector has increased substantially over the past few years.
If the positive performance continues, then the sector is projected to contribute 33 percent of the GDP by 2028..
The financial service sector is the fastest growing sector of the Maltese economy. The country is recognized internationally as a world-class center for blue chip banks, investment houses, and fund managers.
The sector accounts for 12% of the GDP and employs more than 10,000 people. Malta has a set of comprehensive laws that regulate financial services and provide a favorable regulatory and legal framework for the provision of such services.
This indicates the government’s commitment to supporting and sustaining development in the sector.
The manufacturing sector in Malta is a perfect case study of systematic change.
In the early days, the sector was locally oriented and revolved around beverage, food, and furniture. After independence and the country established itself as a low-cost manufacturing hub to attract foreign investors.
Toy manufacturers, packaging specialists, textile, plastic, and leather companies flocked the country, creating employment for thousands of people. In the early 1990s, engineering and electronic companies set foot in Malta. Manufacturing accounts for 11% of employment and 10% of the GDP with electronics, and food and beverages establishing dominance in the sector.
Most manufacturing companies are located in the country’s ten industrial parks where they benefit from the subsidized cost of production, such as cheap electricity and tax incentives on raw materials.
Malta has achieved considerable progress in developing an ICT oriented society. The European Union ranks the country 12th out of the 28 member states in ICT adoption. It performs much better than the average of the EU in broadband connectivity and internet usage. Malta is the only country in the EU that is entirely covered by an ultra-fast internet network.
Malta's agricultural sector is small and only accounts for about 2.8 percent of GDP, but it is diverse. In 1999 only 5 percent of workers were employed in agriculture and there were only about 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of land under irrigation. In 1998 agricultural exports totaled US$42.1 million, but imports totaled US$304 million.
Most farms are small and privately owned. Most of the crops and foodstuffs produced are consumed domestically.
The main crops are potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, and green peppers. Potatoes are by far the main crop and accounted for 32,000 metric tons of the total agricultural output of 38,000 metric tons.
Medigrain, a Maltese company, annually imports about 50,000 tons of wheat, which is then sold to local bakeries and restaurants. It has silo capacity to hold 86,000 metric tons of grain.
The company also acts as a trans-shipment agent for the distribution of imported grain to other countries. Livestock production includes beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, and turkey. The main livestock exports are prepared meat products and fish.
Valletta International Baroque Festival
Date: 15 - 30 Jan 2021
Place: Teatru Manoel, Malta