Malta’s GDP grows by a further 7.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2017

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According to statistics published by the NSO – Malta’s National Statistics Office – Malta has surpassed the predictions made by the European Commission and scored a national record in the process.

Malta’s GDP saw an increase of 7.2% in real terms in the 3rd quarter of 2017, contributing to the €2.8 billion registered at the end of this same quarter. This comes at an increase of €249.6 million when compared to the same quarter back in 2016.

This quarter recorded a 7.6% increase in consumption expenditure which was fuelled by the 18.1% increase in government final consumption and the 4.4% increase in household expenditure.

The gross fixed capital formation, used to measure investment, increased 1.5% in nominal prices while decreasing by 2.4% in real terms. Exports of goods and services also saw an increase of 3% in nominal terms with a 1.3% decrease in real terms.

This economic growth helped the €60.9 million increase in employee compensations, the €115.3 million increase in enterprises’ gross operating surplus and the €73.5 million increase in the net taxation on production and importation.

In its statement, the Government attributed this strong economic performance to the 6.5% rise in wages which leads to a 4.5% increase in private consumption. Furthermore, the business sector also saw a rise of 10% in profits, thanks to over €1.6 billion invested in this quarter.

Malta receives A+ rating from Creditreform Rating AG

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German credit rating agency Creditreform Rating AG has assigned an A+ rating with stable prospects to the Maltese economy when evaluating its administrative and economic criteria.

The A+ rating was given thanks to Malta’s positive economic performance as well as that of the labour market which the agency highlighted to be growing at the fastest rate throughout countries in the EU. Malta was assessed on six main indicators – tourism, services, inflation, labour market, imports and exports, and consumption. The agency’s economists expect that this current good rhythm will keep at a steady momentum.

Creditreform Rating AG’s economists remarked that Maltese institutions are at a high level although as expected, some inefficiencies still remain. Furthermore, they commented on Malta’s governance index which is at par with that of euro zone countries.

The reason that Malta was given it’s A+ rating was also due to the fact that the Maltese Government continues to achieve its financial targets set along with the recently announced budget surplus which is expected to further enhance the plan for decreasing debts. The agency forecasts that this will result in the Maltese economic growth to decrease to 50% of the GDP by 2018.

In response to the positive credit rating issued, the Government of Malta said that this shows confidence in our country by renowned international agencies. The Government continued to say that this report, which follows other positive ones from the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, further confirm that Malta’s wealth is expected to grow even more in the coming years while the Government will keep on focusing its efforts so that this will be an asset to prepare our country for the future.

Interested to move to Malta? At Nexia BT we can guide you through the whole process. Get in touch today by sending an email on info@wahaat.com.

The importance of rigorous due diligence for applicants seeking to acquire a Maltese passport

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In a statement issued by Identity Malta last week, Jonathan Cardona, CEO, Malta Individual Investor programme stresses on the importance on a global approach to due diligence in the citizenship by investment industry and how all efforts are made to keep this process as a thorough and insightful one. The comment was released just a couple of weeks following the outstanding results of the Malta Individual Investor Programme at the Global Residence and Citizenship Conference where the programme held tight to the first place for the third consecutive year surpassing countries like Cyprus, Austria and Grenada.

Cardona explained how Identity Malta have invested heavily in human resources and technology to ensure the programme retains its mark of excellence in this regard, a criterion which has guaranteed the programme to receive constant acclamation since its launch in 2014. He claims that in addition to having the right expertise to use the tools at hand, it is important for officials to diversify between the different jurisdictions, legal structure and money laundering to enable them to make a well-informed decision on the individual’s background.

The good practice being adopted is also being taken on by other institutions within the financial sector such as banks and other private institutions, another strong confirmation that all measures are being taken into account. Cardona concluded by stressing the importance of data sharing and sustaining open and transparent discussions between all stakeholders which will result in cost reduction, becoming more efficient, risk reduction and expanding business opportunities.

‘In this light, we feel that there is a big opportunity for Malta to play a leading role in shaping and forming a more standardised approach to due diligence, and risk assessment in the future’’ he said. ‘We should also seek to exploit blockchain technology, inviting stakeholders, authorities and regulators to come together and set industry standards in this field in order to provide the necessary peace of mind for the institutions and service providers.’

The Malta Individual Investor Programme offers the right for the Main Applicant and his/her dependants, the right to reside, study and work in Malta or in the EU. For more information, please contact Karl Cini by sending an email to info@wahaat.com.

Malta’s citizenship by investment programmes achieve formidable results

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Maltese Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Joseph Muscat addressed over 400 attendees from more than 40 countries at the 11th Global Residence and Citizenship Conference held over the last 3 days in Hong Kong. He highlighted some of the advantages an Asian investor may benefit from through Maltese citizenship, which benefits lead to the remarkable rankings achieved for both the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme and the Malta Residence and Visa Programme.

Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Programme featured prominently in the Global Citizenship and Residence Programs 2017-2018 report which analysed and benchmarked the world’s top programmes available to the investor. The GCPI (Global Citizenship Program Index) evaluated 8 countries on 10 main pillars having a maximum score of 10 each: reputation, processing time and quality of processing, quality of life, compliance, visa-free access, financial requirements, relocation flexibility, residence requirements, transparency and physical visit requirements. Out of the 8 countries featured, Malta has obtained the highest score, surpassing countries like Cyprus, Austria and Grenada.

The report continued to highlight the GRPI (Global Residence Program Index), an evaluation of 20 countries measured on the following pillars: reputation, taxation, quality of life, visa-free access, compliance, processing time and quality of processing, financial requirements, total costs, citizenship requirements and time to citizenship. Similar to the GCPI, the GRPI also had a maximum score of 10 for each pillar which would total score out of a 100 for every country being evaluated. Malta featured in 4th position overall, with better scores than countries like Thailand, UK, Australia, the US, Switzerland, Canada and the UAE.

Wahaat can help initiate the process to become a Maltese citizen. Contact us today to find out how!

Malta’s Citizenship by Investment programme ranks first worldwide

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For the third consecutive year, Malta’s Citizenship by Investment programme ranked first worldwide with an outstanding score of 81 out of 100. The results were made public in the 3rd edition of the Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017-2018 report issued by Henley & Partners.

The panel of independent and distinguished experts evaluated and compared an extensive range of factors pertaining to each programme. The analysis was made between 8 citizenship programmes on the following indicators: reputation; quality of life; visa-free access; processing time and quality of processing; compliance; financial requirements; residence requirements; relocation flexibility; physical visit requirements; and transparency. Each indicator carried an equal weighting of 10, thus amounting to a total score of 100 for each country.

Malta was followed by Cyprus in 2nd place (with a score of 72), Austria in 3rd place (with a score of 63) while Antigua and Barbuda ranked 4th, followed very closely by Grenada.

Click here for more information about Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Programme or send an email to Karl Cini to start discussing how you, and your family, can benefit from the programme.

Climbing up in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index ranking

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Malta has once again improved its ranking in the new 2016/2017 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index published. Malta can now be found in the 37th place surpassing countries like Italy, Slovenia, Portugal and Croatia.

The WEF report ranks 137 countries on 12 pillars. Malta excelled in labour market efficiency (29th position), higher education and training (30th position), business sophistication (31st position), and innovation (38th position).

The Maltese government attributed this improvement to the reduction in public deficit and debt whilst it also increased national savings. The government said that a substantial improvement in female workforce because of the implemented free childcare measure aided Malta to climb three positions within a 12-month timeframe.

Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Chris Cardona said that these results will “serve to further increase the government’s drive to further increase competitiveness.” He also highlighted that the government continue to address the challenges in relation to the creation of a better-skilled workforce needed due to the shift in the Maltese economy which now needs to cater for operations which require higher levels of training and expertise. He concluded that such results put Malta in an “attractive economic position” which means that Malta will be able to hold its competitive levels in the long run.

For more information on business opportunities in Malta and how we can help you relocate on the island, please visit our website www.wahaat.com.

Standard & Poor’s raises Malta’s outlook to positive

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Standard & Poor’s has once again improved Malta’s rating. Malta’s economy is now classified as a positive one. This improvement follows last year’s rating increase from a BBB+ to an A-.

The credit agency is forecasting that in the coming three years, the Maltese economy will keep a constant rate of growth with an average of 4% which will ultimately lead to higher reductions in debt when compared to the national GDP.

The agency also highlighted governmental financial improvements along with the reforms set in play in governmental enterprises.

The report mentions improvement and changes implemented by the Maltese economy since 2012 with diversification into the tourism, manufacturing and financial sectors along with investments in energy and logistics sectors.

“Standard and Poor’s is saying that the Maltese economy is not seeing the end of a boom but that the island is still experiencing wide expansion. This contrasts sharply with the negative observations made in the Opposition’s pre-budget document,” said Prof. Scicluna.

Now on the doorstep of the announcement of the Malta Budget 2018, Minister Edward Scicluna is confident that by end of this year, the Maltese government surplus would be noticeably greater than that recorded last year.

Malta’s newly graduated rank highest employment rate

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In a recent study from Eurostat, Malta has earned one of the highest rankings throughout Euro when measuring employment rates for 2015 graduates.

Over 95% of university graduates aged between 20 and 34 years have been employed following their graduation from upper-secondary, post-secondary and tertiary education.

The Eurostat Regional Yearbook highlights the regions which, like the Maltese Islands, recorded the highest employment rate. Drenthe in the Netherlands and North Eastern Scotland have both ranked in top positions with a 100% employability rate.

The yearbook also features statistical analysis of pre-primary and primary enrolments throughout Europe in 2015. Malta had one of the top percentages for enrolment of four-year-olds. Other regions like Belgium, Southern France, Italy and England scored a 99% enrolment rate.

On the other end of the spectrum, regions like Greece, Croatia and Poland had the lowest participation score with a recorded percentage of less than 70%.

Malta offers free education to all children in public governmental schools all throughout Malta and Gozo. Primary, secondary, post-secondary and university education are all offered to Maltese citizens for free. At Nexia BT we can help you and your business relocate to Malta. Contact Karl Cini | Director | Wahaat for more information.

Malta’s aim to become a ‘Blockchain Island’

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The hype is on. The word ‘blockchain’ is well and truly buzzing around various players in the financial services industry and beyond. The technology, which, in simple terms, could be described as a decentralised, distributed, and incorruptible ledger which is comprised of unchangeable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks. The blockchain does not only change the way processes such as payment systems work, but it also changes the way we think. By way of example, the technology has the potential to revolutionise the manner contractual obligations are undertaken, identity management, AML and KYC, stock trading, data storage and land title registration.

An educational conference held by Finance Malta on the 29th of August 2017 attracted an overwhelming attendance from finance and IT professionals, clearly highlighting the interest garnered by such professionals vis-a’-vis the concepts of ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrencies’.

The aforementioned wave of interest has led to a national call for the emergence of a national blockchain strategy by the Government. Wahaat’s affiliate
Nexia BT, along with other advisory firms, was duly invited to present its views on such national strategy.

Malta registers the third lowest unemployment rate within the EU

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Malta has once again recorded the third lowest employment rate amongst EU Member States. With a rate of 4.1%, Malta was only surpassed by Germany with 3.8% and the Czech Republic with 2.9% rate of unemployment. The highest rates recorded were those from Greece at 21.7% and although it has recorded the largest decrease from 19.9%, Spain still has one of the highest rates with 17.1%.

According to published data, the EA19’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate has recorded a new minimum since February 2009. Unemployment rate as at June 2017 was recorded to be 9.1%, which is a substantial improvement from the 10.1% recorded in the previous 12 months. This improvement was also recorded for the EU28 unemployment rate down from 8.6% in June 2016 to 7.7% in 2017.

Throughout the EU, the rate of unemployment went down amongst all Member States apart from Estonia which recorded an increase of 0.4% within 12 months.

Eurostat compared the above rates against the unemployment rate in the United States of America which was at 4.4% in June 2017, an increase of 0.1% from the previous month.

The study continues to explore unemployment rates among youths across the EU28 countries where 3.710 million youths under the age of 25 years were still unemployed, of whom 2.588 million were found in the euro area thus registering a youth unemployment rate of 16.7% throughout all the EU28 countries and an 18.7% rate in the eurozone. When compared with the previous year, youth unemployment was found to have decreased by 586,000 throughout the EU28 and by 399,000 throughout the eurozone. The lowest rate registered was at 6.7% in Germany and the highest was recorded in Greece at 45.5%.