Investment and Infrastructure Solutions in Malta
Fast track to Joseph Cachia & Sons Ltd
The pace of investment and infrastructure in Malta is rapidly gaining momentum as knowledge-based and high value added industries discover the worth of the island's most valuable resource: people.
Malta's commitment to achieving a reputation for excellence in the ICT industry, financial services and high value added industry sectors is paying off rapidly as two internationally renowned industry leaders choose this Mediterranean island as the location for key multi million dollar investments towards infrastructure solutions. Two major projects that constitute the largest investments ever made in Malta, Germany's Lufthansa Technik and Dubai's Tecom, developers and operators of Dubai Internet City, are firmly cementing Malta's claim to priority billing on any investor's agenda.
Just over a decade after Malta's government took the strategic decisions to transform the island's economy by shifting the focus away from low-cost manufacturing and package tourism to knowledge-based industries and high-end manufacturing, the declared vision of seeing Malta take the lead as the regional centre for ICT excellence is becoming a reality. Tecom Investments will be spending US$300 million on developing SmartCity, an IT village expected to create over 5000 new jobs and that is planed to open in 2008. The significance of this development, in light of Tecom's phenomenal success with their world-renowned Dubai Internet City, is underlined by Malta's Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, who described the project as being: 'destined to become the European outpost for global ICT and media firms who want to establish a presence in Europe as well as Africa'. This in itself contributes to the advancement of Malta’s infrastructure.
Concurrently, Lufthansa Technik is to invest €60 million in new aircraft maintenance facilities to handle the Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft. Its Malta subsidiary, which currently employs 150 workers, already carries out C-checks on smaller A320 and Boeing 737 planes. A new hangar, expected to be among the first in the world able to take the new Airbus A380, is to be built for the company, and the expanded operation will eventually create over 500 new jobs for specialised personnel already being trained in preparation.
Right Time, Right Place
Malta's key location mid-way between Europe and North Africa gives the island added advantage as an investment location; with its western European business environment, sophisticated infrastructure solutions in Malta and highly skilled workforce, the island is targeting investment from high value added industries and service providers... and it is succeeding. Worries that accession to the EU would prove a hindrance to investment from abroad have proved to be unfounded. Figures for 2006 register record levels of investment, with the latest verified data available indicating that Malta attracted Lm488 million (close to Euros1.15 billion) in the first nine months of 2006. Compared to Lm219 million for the whole of 2005, and Lm143 million for 2004, it is clear that the rate of growth is spectacular.
So what is giving Malta infrastructure solutions its winning edge? Flexibility, innovation, competitiveness and adaptability have been key elements of Malta's economic strategies since the island began to fend for itself after Independence from Britain in 1964. And today, foreign investors are also attracted by the modern business infrastructure, excellent telecommunications, comprehensive incentive package, competitive labour costs, highly skilled and educated workforce and truly enviable quality of life. These advantages are further enhanced by the island's strategic location in the Mediterranean between Europe and North Africa that makes it an ideal location for economic activity between the two continents.