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Malta EU Presidency Under Spotlight

Malta EU Presidency Under the Spotlight

Eyeballs will be on Malta in a few months’ time when it takes over the six-month presidency of the EU Council on 1 January 2017 for the first time. Reports suggest that Malta is well prepared to cope with the unprecedented administrative workload the EU presidency demands.

Over the last 12 years Malta has managed to capitalize on its EU membership, with significant growth in its general economy, including the vibrant financial sector, which is going from strength to strength. In 2015 Malta’s economy registered the second fastest growth within the EU, with the European Commission forecasting Malta’s GDP growth in 2016 and 2017 well above the forecasted figures for the EU as a block.

Malta adopts an EU-compliant regulatory framework, valuable for financial services firms and other organisations to be able to set up their base in Malta and conduct their business within EU and beyond. Complimenting this, other several factors attract such firms, such as the pool of talent and skilled labour, a sound legal system, an advanced financial environment, an adequately capitalised and healthy banking sector, tax incentives to attract foreign professionals, tax credits and favourable corporate and income tax rates.

Consequently, Malta’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in 2015, well below the EU average of 9.4%. The reports for first quarter of 2016 show a further drop to less than 5%.

The increased demand on human capital has pushed the Maltese government to resort to measures to increase the country’s labour force. This includes measures aimed at increasing female participation into the work force. This demand has resulted also in a considerable increase of foreign workers in Malta.

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