Turkish Law Blog

Step into a Big World through a Small Island Malta

Ezgi Harmancı Ezgi Harmancı/ Harmancı & Partners
11 October, 2018

Malta, as one of the smallest countries in Europe, is an open door to a big world. It is possible to summarize the leading advantages of Malta within the following topics:

Opportunities for Turkish Local Technologies to Open up into Foreign Markets

Malta is a renowned country within the community of tech professionals and enthusiasts. Three government bills on DLT/Blockchain has been approved by the Maltese Parliament a while ago. Therefore, Malta became the first country in the world to regulate the DLT ecosystem on legal, financial and technical planes. Malta strengthen its position by becoming the new headquarter for the World`s leading Crypto-Currency and Blockchain platforms. Malta is aiming to become a hub for DLT/Blockchain, digital games and applications, 3D printing, drone technologies, FinTech and other IT technologies.

Direct Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Projects

Malta is offering advantages conditions for exportation of local products which are manufactured in Turkey. Malta Enterprise (Foreign Investment Agency) is providing funding for semi-finished products imported to the country and locally packed, assembled or improved in Malta. These products are entitled to Made in EU status therefore they are exempt from third country customs duty and procedures while they are being exported to EU countries.

Below you can find the mainly supported foreign investment fields and successful brands created within these schemes:

  • Advanced Manufacturing- Playmobil, Trelleborg Malta, Toly Products, Cardinal Health, MCL Components
  • Aviation - SR Technics, Lufthansa Technick
  • Education - MCAST, Barts and The London Medical School (Malta), Faculty of ICT -University of Malta, Institute of Digital Games -University of Malta, iGaming Academy
  • Maritime
  • Life Sciences
  • IT, communication technologies, fintech
  • Health Services

Currently, Malta Freeport and Malta Cruise port is being successfully managed by Turkish investors. Turkish Airlines is offering direct flights to Istanbul two times a day. There is already over a 1000 companies registered in Malta with Turkish partnership and Malta is ranked as number 6th worldwide with the size of its marine trade fleet. Malta is also the country with the largest number of registered marine trade vessels in Europe. 240 large commercial marine vessels from Turkey has been already registered in Malta. Also, 30 percent of Turkey`s international marine vessels are registered in Malta; There are weekly commercial shipments from Malta Freeport to Izmir, Istanbul and Mersin ports.

For sure that there is a lot of potential for a strong and long term strategic partnership between Malta and Turkey. We believe that Turkish companies have the vision to utilize the potential of this partnership and has the ability to use it as a leverage for their future endeavors abroad.

Maltese Company Models and Tax Advantages

Malta as a full member of EU, became a hot spot of entrepreneurs and companies with its stable economy, common currency politics, easy procedures for company setup and advantageous tax regimes. 

You do not have to reside in Malta to setup a company in Malta. Although it has been stated in the related legislation that a company should have at least 2 shareholders, it is possible to register a company with a single shareholder if certain criteria are met. According to Maltese corporate law, minimum principal capital of a company should be 1200 Euros and the registration procedure of a company is completed within 2 to 4 days.

Company bank accounts can be opened in any bank according to the preference of the shareholders. It is also possible to hold the company bank accounts in a foreign country outside of Malta. However, it is mandatory to hold a local company address in Malta. Malta corporate tax ratio is 35% for all Maltese nationals. However, the shareholders who are residing outside of Malta can obtain a tax return up to 30% if the company generates 90% of its revenue outside of Malta. Maltese government does not apply any additional taxes other than the corporate tax.

Maltese Citizenship and Residency Programs

Malta Residency and Visa Program (MRVP) became the most popular permanent residency program in Europe. Malta permanent residency program which is also known as Golden Visa has some significant advantages when compared to other residency program within EU countries. But first of all, let’s take a look at some important facts regarding Malta:

  • Malta is the last land piece of Europe in Southern Mediterranean with a history which is dating back to 5000 B.C.
  • Malta is a member of EU since 2004 and according to World Risk Report 2016, Malta is the second safest country in the World.
  • Malta passed through the recent world-wide economic crises with growth which as a major statement for its strong economy.
  • Malta is a member of United Nations.
  • Malta is a member Schengen countries since 2007.

As a lawyer who is living in Malta for almost eight years, I had the chance to follow closely the legal progression of the country based on liberties. While Malta legalized divorce in 2011 with referendum, gay marriage is legalized in 2017. It is very important to recognize the significant progress in personal liberties which took place in a very short period of time. Life in Malta guaranties your security and personal liberties while providing a high standard education and health care services to its residents.

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