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Malta flag Malta:

Maltese Market : Main sectors

Malta, the smallest economy in the Euro-zone, has one of the most skilled and less expensive labour forces in Europe, flexible and multilingual. Its economy is highly industrialised and service-based, while the agricultural sector only represents 0.6% of the GDP and employs around 1% of the workforce (World Bank, latest data available). Malta produces less than a quarter of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies and scarce energy sources. The main crops are potatoes, green peppers, grapes, cauliflower, tomatoes, wheat, barley, and citrus. According to the latest figures from Eurostat, the agricultural sector registered an estimated contraction of 4.5% in 2020, mostly due to the COVID-19-induced crisis. This was the second-sharpest decline in the EU, after Romania.

The industrial sector employs 18.9% of the workforce and represents 13.4% of the GDP. Malta does not have any mineral or energy reserves and is thus completely dependent on imports in this field. Its economy is primarily based on manufacturing, especially microchips and pharmaceutical products. The World Bank estimates that the manufacturing sector accounts for 7.7% of GDP, though it contracted by an estimated 5% in 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis (National Bank of Malta, latest data available).

Malta has put a lot of hard work into promoting its services and succeeded to become one of the main service centres in the Mediterranean region. The tertiary sector represents 76.1% of the GDP and employs 80.1% of the workforce. The financial sector manages assets equivalent to more than 500% of GDP and contributes about 15% of public revenues. Malta was the first EU state to regulate the online gaming industry and has established as a significant iGaming hub in the region. The tourism sector is the economic engine of the country, and its direct contribution to GDP (around 27%) is among the highest in the EU. The sector was strongly affected by the COVID-19 crisis and has been slowly recovering: preliminary data from the national statistical office show that during the first nine months of 2021, total tourist trips increased by 7.4% over the same period one year earlier. The national banking system comprises 27 banks, only three of which are Maltese majority-owned; as such, around 62% of the banking sector’s total assets of around EUR 40.4 billion are foreign-owned (EBF).

 
 

Main Products

2.7 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 18.7%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 15.1%
Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of...Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country in which they have, or will have, a recognised face value; stamp-impressed paper; banknotes; cheque forms; stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title 9.9%
Toys (excl. wheeled toys designed to be ridden by...Toys (excl. wheeled toys designed to be ridden by children, dolls' carriages and dolls representing only human beings); reduced-size scale recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds 6.2%
Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801...Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801 or 8802, n.e.s. 3.9%
See More Products 46.2%
5.2 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 13.2%
Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes;...Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 11.2%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 5.8%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 5.6%
Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports;...Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; rowing boats and canoes 4.3%
See More Products 59.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 1.0 18.9 80.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 0.6 13.4 76.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) -10.7 n/a n/a

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Find more information about your business sector on our service Market Studies.

 
Type of Production
For the resources for businesses on managing the manufacturing and the supply chain risk due to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, please consult the report COVID-19: Managing supply chain risk and disruption (Deloitte Canada, 2020), as well as the insights on COVID-19: How to fortify your supply chain (Kearney, 2020).
The World Economic Forum's COVID Action Platform provides useful information on the latest strategic trends regarding COVID-19 implications for businesses, including manufacturing and supply systems. The report Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact (World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Harvard Global Health Institute) offers insights on handling coronavirus by businesses and strategies for effective response and resilience.

Key industry profiles for Malta are: pharmaceuticals and healthcare (mainly generics ; attractive because of the possibility to develop generic drugs in advance of patent expiry), ICT and electronics (software development), call centers (attractive because of the multilingual workforce), transport and logistics (maritime transport because of the location) and financial services (positive legislation towards the financial sector).

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Latest Update: July 2022