Economy of Malta
Malta is a highly industrialised, service based economy. It is classified as an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund and is considered a high income country by the World Bank and an innovation-driven economy by the World Economic Forum. It is a member of the European Union and of the eurozone, having formally adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.
The strengths of the economy of Malta are its strategic location, being situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea at a crossroads between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, its fully developed open market economy, multilingual population (88% of Maltese people speak English), productive labour force, low corporate tax and well developed finance and ICT clusters. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics), tourism and financial services. In 2014, over 1.7 million tourists visited the island.
Malta's GDP per capita, adjusted by purchasing power parity, stands at $29,200 and ranks in 15th place in the list of EU countries in terms of purchasing power standard. In the 2013 calendar year, Malta recorded a budget deficit of 2.7%, which is within the limits for eurozone countries imposed by the Maastricht criteria, and Government gross debt of 69.8%. At 5.9%, Malta has the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the EU.
Malta is the 15th most democratic country in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index.
The Maltese economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and pharmaceuticals), and tourism. Economic recovery of the European economy has lifted exports, tourism, and overall growth. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.
There is a strong manufacturing base for high value-added products like electronics and pharmaceuticals, and the manufacturing sector has more than 250 foreign-owned, export-oriented enterprises. Tourism generates around 15% of GDP. Film production in Malta is another growing industry (approx. 35 million euros between 1997 and 2011), despite stiff competition from other film locations in Eastern Europe and North Africa, with the Malta Film Commission providing support services to foreign film companies for the production of feature cinema (Gladiator, Troy, Munich, Count of Monte Cristo and World War Z, amongst others, were shot in Malta over the last few years), commercials and television series. Energy
Despite a great potential for solar and wind power, Malta produces almost all its electricity from oil, importing 100% of it.
Energy and the cost of energy, which is oft-quoted as the highest in Europe, was a key issue in the 2013 election.
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