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International Property Investment - Malta offers business opportunities

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, the island of Malta has become a sought after tourist destination due to its warm climate and numerous recreational areas, not to mention its architectural, historical monuments which include no less than nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.



 Although the island is the smallest state within the European Union (EU), its inclusion has also made it an attractive option for offshore investors and businessman looking to take advantage of both the lifestyle and investment benefits of owning and operating an enterprise within the EU.
 
“Citizenship through Investment Programmes have opened up opportunities for investors to become members of the EU and enjoy the various benefits that entails. These kinds of Programmes give non-EU members the chance to become a citizen of a country that provides them with sound investment options along with all the lifestyle perks of living on a Mediterranean island. From a business perspective there are numerous advantages to an EU citizenship within a country such as Malta,” says James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co, a market leader in facilitating citizenship.
 
Bowling explains that investors are able to gain citizenship in Malta through one of three ways. The first is a €650,000 contribution to the National Economic and Social Development Fund for the main applicant, plus €25,000 for a spouse and each additional dependent under the age of 18, plus a further €50 000 for each dependent over the age of 18.
 
The second investment is the purchase or lease of immovable residential property. This requires the investor to either purchase immovable residential property from a minimum of €350,000 upward or lease immovable residential property from a minimum value of €16,000 annually. The third investment is the purchase of stocks, bonds or debentures to the value of €150 000. “Once an applicant has received their Maltese citizenship, they will be able to work and set up a business in the country enjoying the business benefits on offer,” adds Bowling.
 
He notes over the past few years, successive Maltese governments have strived to promote the country’s development as an ideal international business, financial and maritime centre. “A number of factors have contributed to the country’s allure, such as its EU membership and adoption of Community Legislation.   Other aspects include complying with the policies and directives of international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which means that Malta enjoys an excellent reputation and track record,” says Bowling. “Malta has an extremely low crime rate and is rated among the safest places to live. It enjoys a high credit rating among global credit rating agencies and its geographic positioning makes it a regional hub for the provision of business related services. State-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and political stability have also added to the country’s investment appeal.”
 
Bowling notes that aside from Malta’s EU membership, the adoption of the Euro in 2008 also made the country a decisive choice with investors, many opting to relocate their businesses to Malta due to an advantageous corporation tax system. “The income tax system provides a number of incentives to shareholders of Malta companies deriving income from their investments or trading activities. This is irrespective of whether the income is derived from Maltese companies or companies registered outside of Malta. The income of Maltese companies is subject to a flat income tax rate of 35%. There are also four forms of relief from double taxation available, which include the country’s far-reaching double tax treaty network,” explains Bowling.

“Tax and lifestyle benefits - along with the numerous advantages that inclusion within the EU provides - will continue to make Malta a sought after option for enterprise development,” Bowling concludes. 


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