Malta, a small island state in the heart of the Mediterranean, lies in a strategic position, a crossroad between North and South and a stepping stone between Europe and North Africa. With little natural resources, the importance of Malta, has always lied squarely with its geographic position and the island has a chequered history of foreign rulers from the Phoenicians, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Spanish, Knights of St. John, the French and lastly the British.
The island was a fortress economy, with a 150-year reliance on the British armed forces. Post independence, in 1964, the island sold itself as a manufacturing hub, particularly in the textile and the electronics industry, and bolstering its nascent tourism industry. In the early 1990s, the island changed skin once again, with a drive to embrace EU membership, bolster its services industry and reduce the reliance on the tourism sector. This paved the route to a series of privatisations of many government enterprises and government-owned companies and tighter control on government expenditure.
Malta became a member of the EU on 1 May 2004 and adopted the Euro on 1 January 2008. Pursuant to the accession to the EU, new knowledge-based activities were spawned such as financial services, remote gaming, information and communications technologies, aviation services increasing the clout of the island state. Well positioned after the international financial crisis, Malta seeks to retain its competitive edge and attract foreign investment with a blend of professional services, low costs, receptive and stable investment climate and fiscal advantages.