Malta's economy

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World economic rank 129th (nominal) (2009)
currency Euro (EUR)
Key figures
Gross domestic
product (GDP)
$ 7.96 billion (nominal) (2009)
$ 9.82 billion (PPP) (2009)
GDP per capita $ 19,111 (nominal) (2009)
$ 23,584 (PPP) (2009)
GDP by economic sector Agriculture : 1.8%
Industry : 19.4%
Services : 78.8%
growth   −1.93%
inflation rate 1.84% (2009)
Employed 160,000 (2009)
Activity rate 38.7% (real) (2009)
Unemployed approx. 10,000 (August 2010)
Unemployment rate 6.2% (August 2010)
Foreign trade
export € 2.33 billion (2015)
Export goods Machines, finished products, chemistry
Export partner Germany : 12.5% (2010)
France : 10.6% (2010)
Singapore : 10.3% (2010)
import € 5.22 billion (2015)
Import goods Machinery and means of transport, food, finished products
Import partner Italy : 23.9% (2010)
Great Britain : 9.75% (2010)
France : 8.47% (2010)
Foreign trade balance € −1.08 billion (2009)
public finances
Public debt 69.1% of GDP (2009)
Government revenue 40.5% of GDP (2009)
Government spending 44.3% of GDP (2009)
Budget balance 3.8% of GDP (2009)

The economy of Malta is relatively positive compared to the other newcomers to the EU . The two traditional industries are agriculture and fishing , with fishing in Malta now being insignificant and agriculture not being of much importance. Gozo , on the other hand, still lives mainly from agriculture and fishing. The largest employer in the country is the Malta Drydocks, the second largest shipyard in Europe . Malta also prefers to trade with Libya and the People's Republic of China .

Economic advantages and disadvantages of the small statehood of Malta

As a small state , Malta's economy is characterized by low transaction costs : face-to-face contacts are easy, company management knows each other and does not need expensive information. The flat administrative structure and the good local coordination of the public administration are also regarded as economic advantages of Malta. In addition, it is often emphasized that the national economy cannot cover the full range of economic sectors and must therefore specialize strongly. The high degree of specialization in the economic structure leads to a high degree of integration into the world economy and thus to profits based on the principle of comparative cost advantages . The disadvantage is that this high degree of specialization and dependence on the world market can lead to high vulnerability to world economic shocks. The economist Hans-Heinrich Bass describes the strong dependence of the economy of a small country like Malta on world market developments as the nutshell effect . He describes the strong effects of global economic changes on the economies of small states like Malta as the mocha cup effect .

Economic sectors


About four-fifths of the total area of ​​the Maltese islands are used for agriculture, for dry field cultivation and irrigation field cultivation. Most of the agricultural area is cultivated in the rainy months, only 5% is artificially irrigated.


European companies have been lured with tax advantages since the 1970s. Around 55 German companies produce for export, including Playmobil , Menrad and Lloyd shoes .



The tourism plays of course, because of the fame and popularity of Malta as a holiday destination, a large role. Most of the vacationers come from the UK , Germany and Italy . Language travel tourism is a decisive factor within the tourism sector, especially in summer. From 1965 until today the number of tourists has increased tenfold. Today there are over a million tourists annually.

Financial services

In 1992 Malta established its own stock exchange . Incidentally, due to EU accession, the entire financial services sector is developing positively. This applies to both the banking and insurance sectors. The regulatory environment in particular plays a decisive role here, as does the possibility for financial service providers domiciled in Malta to offer their products and services throughout Europe within the scope of the freedom to provide services or freedom of establishment.

Waste management

In the absence of adequate waste management, Malta has had a major waste problem for years.


Other industries in the tertiary sector are shipping and Malta's free port transhipment center.

Also worth mentioning are the film studios with a large water basin for above and underwater recordings.

Development of the domestic economy

Economic growth

The gross domestic product (GDP) was EUR 4.9 billion (2006), the GDP per capita: approx. EUR 12,000 (2006).

Inflation development

The inflation rate fell to 2.4% in 1998 and was kept at a relatively low level in 1999 at 2.1%. In 2000 the inflation rate rose slightly to 2.4%. As a result of various tax and financial policy measures, a further increase to 2.5% was recorded in 2001. In 2002 the inflation rate remained comparatively low. However, it was artificially lowered by the price controls in some areas.

Development of foreign trade

Foreign trade

Malta joined the European Union in 2004 . With this step there was a liberalization of the economy and the market of the island state. Malta is dependent on its foreign trade in goods and services. Overall, this is subject to strong statistical fluctuations, since the absolute volume of foreign trade is very low. Imports and exports are mostly developing in the same direction. The reason for this is the imported preliminary products, which are further processed in Malta and later exported again. The only export product completed in Malta are the toy figures manufactured by Playmobil, which are produced in the Malta-based factory. With regard to imports, Malta is primarily dependent on the import of food due to its geographical location. The strategy of import substitution was pursued for a short time, but this was discontinued due to defective products. The organization "Trade Malta" is responsible for promoting Malta's foreign trade relations. This was created by both the government and the private sector.

Malta's trade balance has shown deficits over the past decade, but has improved since 2009. At the end of 2011 there was even a surplus. The reasons for this are an improvement in the structure of trade. Malta's foreign assets also had a positive impact on the trade balance. The main trading partners for Malta in 2012 in terms of imports were Italy, France , Great Britain and Germany. Germany was also one of the main export customers. 80% of imports came from the EU in 2012, while only 36% of goods were exported to the EU.

In 2013 Italy, France and Great Britain were among the most important import partners for Malta. The most important export customers in the same year were China, Germany, Singapore and France.

Trading partner of Malta
import 2013

(in billion euros)

proportion of

(in %)

export 2013

(in billion euros)

proportion of 

(in %)

Italy 2.18 39 People's Republic of China 0.53 14th
France 0.39 7th Germany 0.49 13
Great Britain 0.39 7th Singapore 0.38 10
Germany 0.28 5 France 0.34 9

The imported products were fuels / lubricants, machinery and transportation equipment, food and chemical products. Mineral oils and lubricants, machine and transport equipment, chemical products and foodstuffs were exported.

Import and export products
import 2013

(in billion euros)

proportion of

(in %)

export 2013

(in billion euros)

proportion of 

(in %)

Fuels / lubricants 2.58 46 Mineral oils / lubricants 1.63 43
Machinery / transport equipment 1.4 25th Machinery / transport equipment 1.18 31
food 0.45 8th Chemical products 0.30 8th
Chemical products 0.39 7th food 0.15 4th

In 2015, goods exports fell by 6% to 3.5 billion euros. 32% of this went to Europe, of which 30% to the European Union, 27% to Africa and 20% to Asia. With a population of 430,146 in 2014, this results in a per capita export of around 8136.77 euros. Goods imports also fell in 2015 to 6% (6 billion euros); 70% came from Europe of which 59% came from the European Union, 13% from Asia and 11% from North and Central America. Overall, this results in a per capita import of 13,948.75 euros.

Malta's bilateral trade with Germany grew in 2015. Imports rose by 15% to 372 million euros and exports from Malta rose to 16.5%, corresponding to 329 million euros. Germany ranks 4th for imports to Malta and 2nd for exports.

Since Germany is an important trading partner for Malta, there are foreign trade agreements between the two countries. These are the Investment Protection Agreement of 1975, the Aviation Agreement of 1997 and the Double Taxation Agreement of 2001.

Foreign direct investment

There is a Chinese shipyard in Valletta .

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Malta ranks 37 out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2017, the country was ranked 50th out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ IMF - World Economic Outlook Database, April 2010 referred to as "IMF" in the future; Retrieved October 3, 2010
  2. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  3. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  4. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  5. Eurostat - Gross Value Added in Agriculture Accessed on October 3, 2010
  6. Eurostat - Gross Value Added Industry. Accessed 3 October 2010
  7. Eurostat - Gross Value Added in Services. Accessed on October 3, 2010
  8. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  9. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  10. ^ IMF.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  11. Eurostat - Unemployment Rate. Accessed 3 October 2010
  12. Eurostat - Foreign trade by declaring country.Retrieved on October 3, 2010
  13. ^ National Statistics Office of Malta - Trade.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  14. ^ National Statistics Office of Malta - Trade.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  15. Eurostat - Foreign trade by declaring country.Retrieved on October 3, 2010
  16. ^ National Statistics Office of Malta - Trade.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  17. ^ National Statistics Office of Malta - Trade.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  18. Eurostat - Foreign trade by declaring country.Retrieved on October 3, 2010
  19. Eurostat - Government debt. Accessed 3 October 2010
  20. Eurostat - total government revenue. Accessed 3 October 2010
  21. Eurostat - General government expenditure. Accessed 3 October 2010
  22. Eurostat - Government deficit.Retrieved October 3, 2010
  23. Hans-Heinrich Bass: Research Project Economic Research on Small States, Research Report 2010/11 , pp. 23–24
  24. Hans-Heinrich Bass: Research Project Economic Research on Small States, Research Report 2010/11 , pp. 23–24
  25. Finance Malta: Banking Sector Guide  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; Retrieved September 11, 2013@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  26. Finance Malta: Insurance Sector Guide 2013 ( memento of the original from September 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; Retrieved September 11, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  27. C. Pisani, Accessing the German insurance market - some remarks on the regulatory framework in Finance Malta, Insight - June 2010; Retrieved September 11, 2013
  28. waste management? Nothing
  29. a b c d Germany Trade and Invest GmbH: Malta remains the success story of Southern Europe. In: Retrieved June 1, 2016 .
  30. a b c Economy. In: Foreign Office. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  31. European Commission European, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (Ed.): Macroeconomic Imbalances Malta 2013 .
  32. a b c d Aussenwirtschaft Austria (Ed.): Export Report Malta . 2014.
  33. Malta. In: Foreign Office. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  34. a b Relations with Germany. In: Foreign Office. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  35. At a Glance: Global Competitiveness Index 2017–2018 Rankings . In: Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 . ( [accessed December 22, 2017]).
  36. Country Rankings: World & Global Economy Rankings on Economic Freedom. Retrieved December 22, 2017 .