Malta is an Island Archipelago made up of three main Islands and a number of other uninhabited rocky outcrops situated almost exactly in the centre of the Mediterranean . South of Sicily and north of Libya. The total land area is of 375 square Kilometres. It is a member of the United Nations since 1964 and in 2004 it joined as a member of the European Union. Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement and in 2008 it became part of the euro zone.
Despite its size Malta has one of the longest recorded histories in Europe. People first arrived in Malta around 5200 BC. These first Neolithic people probably arrived from Sicily (about 100 kilometres/60 miles north), and were mainly farming and fishing communities, with some evidence of hunting activities. They apparently lived in caves and open dwellings. During the centuries that followed there is evidence of further contacts with other cultures, which left their influence on the local communities, evidenced by their pottery designs and colours.
Because of its strategic position Malta was always colonized by all powers which ever had any influence in the region, starting from the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans , Byzantine , Vandals, Arabs, Normans, the Nights of San John , French and British. Malta became independent in 1964 and a Republic in 1974. Its Mediterranean context , a long relationship with European and Arabic invaders together with its strong Catholic legacy , gives this Island a truly interesting and unique culture within the region.
Having no natural resources the people of this Sun drenched island have had for millennia to rely on their own creativity, tenacity and sheer hard work to make ends meet. After gaining independence the first natural industry to develop was tourism followed immediately after by construction and shortly afterwards by financial services.
Today Malta’s strategic geographical location together with EU membership play a very important part in its economic and political development
Malta has used its unique imputation tax system to its advantage, creating throughout the years one of the most attractive fiscal environment within Europe. Moreover its close contact with North Africa and the Middle east have made it a natural stepping stone for both Europeans wishing to do business in Europe as well as for European wishing to dip their feet in business ventures in North Africa.
Malta has one of the largest shipping registers in the world and its extensive network of double taxation treaties numbering 59 as at the end of 2013, together with a number of innovative incentives , such as on line gaming , incentives to the pharmaceutical companies and film industry have made this small island state a very attractive place to carry out business.
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Additional Information on Malta