Malta, a small and densely populated island nation is located in the Mediterranean Sea within Southern Europe. It is just 93km (58 miles) south of Sicily and 288km (179 miles) to its south is North Africa.

The national language is Maltese, however, both Maltese and English are recognised as official languages. Practically all Maltese are bilingual and many are also conversant in Italian and have at least a working knowledge of French or German (foreign language fluency % of the population: English 88%; Italian 66%; French 17%; German 6%).

The island enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with dry, warm summers and mild winters. The Maltese people are friendly and hospitable and the lifestyle is a comfortable and relaxed one. The country’s level of education is very high and is provided by international, private, church and public schools. Malta has efficient banking facilities and high standards of affordable accommodation. The annual living costs are substantially lower than many other European countries. There are extensive cultural, social and sporting activities on the island and above all it offers a safe living environment.

Malta offers a stable economic and political environment. The labour force is a very productive one, which is highly educated and extremely flexible (availability of professional, managerial and technical staff, ready supply of top graduates, excellent work ethic and technology-experienced workforce). The total direct labour costs hold up well at 30% to 50% of those in older EU Member States and Malta has a strong business base in manufacturing and services. It has established links with North African, Middle East and other markets in the Mediterranean region. Malta also profits from a long tradition of trade with Arab countries.

Malta has a fully developed telecommunications infrastructure and a superior quality of life with first-rate healthcare facilities in both public and private hospitals. The island is fast becoming the regional centre of excellence in IT and financial services sectors and last but surely not least, Malta offers a transparent legal system.

Malta’s national currency is the Euro. It was adopted in January 2008 in a properly managed and strictly administered transition. This adoption has enhanced the economy’s potential for accelerated growth through the elimination of exchange rate risk and currency conversion costs.

Malta is internationally renowned as a tourist resort, with numerous recreational areas and historical monuments, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.