Past dominions have left a very
effective impact on Maltese cultural and historical reality. Malta, throughout
its history, has experienced an array of European dominations, hence resulting
in a multi-European effect on our cultural, business, legal and social reality.
Malta has historically been dominated
by the main European powers – Spanish, Italian, the Knights of St. John and the
British. In 1964 Malta gained its independence and for the last 43 years we have
managed our own affairs, independently and successfully. Our history has shaped
our mindset - be it values, work ethic or creativity.
Malta's rides over the waves of its
cultural experience and past. Most of our advantages lie mostly in our location
and forward-looking, flexible approach. All this, coupled with a sound business
infrastructure, central location, good telecommunications, extremely
well-equipped ports and Freeport, and a sophisticated, European business
environment have placed us at the forefront as a steady, well-regulated, yet
adaptable European financial services community.
In the last decade, Malta has undergone a reforming process bringing all its
financial legislation in conformity with international best practice. The
country joined the EU in 2004, was one of the first six countries in the world
to reach an advanced accord on fiscal matters with the OECD and ceased to be
considered as a tax haven.
The establishment of the
Malta Financial Services
Authority (MFSA) on 23 July 2002 resulted in the creation of a fully
autonomous public institution that took taken over supervisory functions
previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange
and the Malta Financial Services Centre and is now the single regulator for
financial services. This covers all financial activity including banking,
investment and insurance. The MFSA also manages the Registry of Companies and
has also taken over responsibility as the Listing Authority.
The advantages of EU membership in
2004 have certainly placed us as an even more attractive jurisdiction in the
financial services sector. The benefits lie in a very extensive network of
double taxation treaties, the direct applicability of EU regulations and the
transposition of financial services directives, the possibility to offer EU-wide
acceptable products, the presentation of a number of fiscal and business
promotional incentives and other advantages including the single passport
regime. All this has placed us on the financial map as a very significant and
competitive jurisdiction when it comes to the establishment of investment firms,
collective investment schemes and funds (both retail and professional
and protected cell companies.