The Maltese islands lie in the center of the Mediterranean, 93km south of Sicily and 300km north of Libya. The archipelago is made up of the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, plus the tiny uninhabited islets of Cominotto in the north and Filfla, about 5km off the southern coast. Together the islands make up a mere 316sq km. Malta, the largest, is only 27km at its longest point from northwest to southeast, and 14.5km at its widest point, from west to east. The geography of Malta is dominated by water. The Island of Gozo is a third the size of Malta, but greener and more rural. Its landscape has hills and deep valleys as well as rugged cliffs, which give natural protection to the island’s small harbours and inlets. Life here moves at a leisurely pace, revolving around farming and fishing. Comino This tiny island is given over to swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and dreaming in the sun. The waters are crystal clear with safe bathing for even the youngest children. The superb Blue Lagoon is not only excellent for swimming but also one of the most wonderful sights of the Maltese Islands.

Malta 01


The island of Malta is made up of rock and limestone. There are no mountains, rivers or lakes. The appearance is emphasized by scores of dry stone walls that flank fields, terraces and slopes, gardens and paths. To ease the water shortage, five reverse osmosis plants were set up some years ago to convert seawater to fresh water, and this now produces half of the islands consumption of water. The Maltese woodlands were hacked down centuries ago and today the only trees you will see are the pine, citrus, rubber plant , tamarisk and carob trees. On both Malta and Gozo, the slopes are cultivated for vegetables and vines. For centuries Malta’s abundant limestone has been used for construction- from pre historic megaliths to modern day houses. Newly quarried stone soon mellows with exposure to the sun and blends with the colour of the surroundings. Because of its greater quantity of water-retaining blue clay subsoil, the island of Gozo is a greener island than Malta. The lie of the island is different, with villages built of flat topped hills leaving the slopes for cultivation. The coastline of Malta and Gozo is predominantly rocky, with sandy bays found mostly in the north and just a few in the south. Malta’s coastline is heavily indented and sheltered. The eastern side of the island is broken up by 3 large bays which make ideal harbours. To the south , spectacular cliffs drop 250metres straight to the sea. Gozo’s coastal scenery is at its most spectacular around the cliffs of Dwejra.

mportant imports are machinery, fuel, and other products vital to the tourist industry, such as transportation equipment, live animals, food, tobacco, and chemicals. Exports also include chemicals and food. The European Community accounts for slightly more than three-quarters of foreign trade and most foreign investment.

The strengths of the Economy of Malta are its limestone, a favourable geographic location, and a productive labour force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics), tourism and financial services. In 2003, over 1.2 million tourists visited the island. Per capita GDP of $23,200 places Malta just above the middle of the list of European Union (EU) countries in terms of affluence. The island has joined the EU in 2004 despite having been divided politically over the question earlier. A sizable budget deficit was a key concern, but recent initiatives by the government have changed this situation dramatically enough for the country to be admitted into the euro zone as of 1 January 2008.

Possessing few indigenous raw materials and a very small domestic market, Malta based its economic development on the promotion of tourism and labour-intensive exports, though reliance on services and capital-intensive exports has been increasing dramatically for many years. Since the mid-1980s, expansion in these activities has been the principal engine for strong growth in the Maltese economy. Investment in infrastructure since 1987 has stimulated an upswing in Malta’s tourism economic fortunes.

Tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings derived from tourism have steadily increased since the 1987 watershed. Following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack, the tourist industry did suffer some temporary setbacks.

With the help of a favourable international economic climate, the availability of domestic resources, and industrial policies that support foreign export-oriented investment, the economy has been able to sustain a period of rapid growth. During the 1990s, Malta’s economic growth has generally continued this brisk pace. Both domestic demand (mainly consumption) boosted by large increases in government spending, and exports of goods and services contributed to this favourable performance.

Buoyed by continued rapid growth, the economy has maintained a relatively low rate of unemployment. Labour market pressures have increased as skilled labour shortages have become more widespread, despite illegal immigration, and real earnings growth has accelerated.

Growing public and private sector demand for credit has led - in the context of interest rate controls - to credit rationing to the private sector and the introduction of noninterest charges by banks. Despite these pressures, consumer price inflation has remained low (2.2% according to the Central Bank of Malta 2nd Quarterly Report in 2007), reflecting the impact of a fixed exchange rate policy (100% hard peg to the euro, in preparation for currency changeover) and lingering price controls

The Maltese Government has pursued a policy of gradual economic liberalization and privatisation, taking some steps to shift the emphasis in trade and financial policies from reliance on direct government intervention and control to policy regimes that allow a greater role for market mechanisms. While change has been very substantial, by international standards, the economy remains fairly regulated and continues to be hampered by some longstanding structural weaknesses.

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 35% of GDP. Film production is another growing industry (approx. 1,400,000 euro between 1997 and 2002), 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 and Count of Montecristo, amongst others, were shot in Malta over the last few years), commercials and television series.

In 2000 the economy grew by 7% in nominal terms and 4.3% in real terms. Unemployment was down to 4.4%, its lowest level in 3 years. Many formerly state-owned companies are being privatized - and the market liberalized.

Fiscal policy has been for some years directed toward bringing down the budget deficit after public debt grew from 24% of GDP in 1990 to 56% in 1999. By 2007, the deficit-to-GDP ratio is comfortably below 3%, as required for euro zone membership.

Malta’s economy is 66 percent free, according to 2008 assessment, which makes it the world’s 47th freest economy. Its overall score is 0.1 percentage point lower than last year, reflecting worsened scores in three of the 10 economic freedoms. Malta is ranked 24th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is slightly lower than the regional average.

Malta scores highly in property rights, trade freedom, monetary freedom, business freedom, and financial freedom. The judiciary is independent and not politically influenced. In accordance with European Union standards, the average tariff rate is low, although Malta’s trade freedom score is hurt by the standard EU subsidies of agricultural and other goods. All aspects of business formation are relatively efficient and straightforward, providing a flexible commercial environment. The financial market is small but sound and open to foreign competition.

Fiscal freedom, government size, and labour freedom are relatively weak. Total government expenditures remain high, representing nearly half of GDP. The labour market is inflexible, with rigid employment regulations that hamper employment opportunities. Foreign investment is deterred somewhat by government scrutiny, as decisions on foreign capital are made individually to judge the likely impact on domestic businesses.

Malta’s GDP growth this year will be slower than in 2007 but its economy will grow at a faster pace than the euro area average, according to the European Commission’s assessment of the future performance of the Maltese economy.

According to the EU executive’s ring economic forecasts published yesterday in Brussels, Malta’s economy is expected to slow down to 2.6 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2009 after reaching a GDP growth of 3.8 per cent 1n 2007. Malta’s forecasts are in line with the current trends in the EU which this year is expected to register moderate economic results.

The Commission has revised its forecast for Malta downward. In its autumn economic forecasts issued last year it had projected a GDP increase of 2.8 per cent in 2008 and 2.9 per cent in 2009.

Malta’s position - near major Mediterranean shipping routes, yet out of the way - has resulted in long stretches of isolation punctuated with often violent episodes of foreign intrusion. The islands’ oldest monuments are the megalithic temples that date from as far back as 3600 BC.

The Phoenicians colonised Malta around 800 BC and stayed for about 600 years.

The Romans then made it a part of their empire in 208 BC. The most famous visitor to the archipelago was the apostle Paul, who became shipwrecked on the island of Malta in AD 60. Tradition has it that he converted the islanders to Christianity. It has been suggested by biblical and scientific scholars, however, that he may have actually been wrecked on Kefallinía in Greece.

Several hundred years of peaceful isolation followed, until Arabs from North Africa arrived in 870. They exerted a powerful influence on the Maltese, introducing citrus fruits and cotton, and warping the language. Norman invaders from Sicily displaced the Arabs in 1090, and for the next 400 years Malta remained under Sicilian sway.

In 1530, the Emperor of Spain gave the islands to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, in exchange for the rent of two Maltese falcons a year. The Knights, formed during the Crusades, were a dumping ground for those younger members of the European aristocracy who didn’t stand to inherit property. They fortified the islands - just in time for an invasion of 30,000 Turks in 1565.

The Turks laid siege to Malta for three months, but 700 Knights and 8000 Maltese managed to hold them off. The Knights were hailed as the saviours of Europe. With fame and power came corruption, and the Knights turned to piracy; but by the time Napoleon arrived in 1798, they were too enfeebled to defend themselves. It was the British who aided the Maltese in their fight against the French and, by 1814, Malta was a British colony. To a limited extent, Malta continued to absorb the cultural influence of Italy.

However, Britain turned Malta into a major naval base, making it an inviting target for the Axis during WWII. After a long blockade and five months of non-stop bombing raids, Malta was devastated. On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded the George Cross - Britain’s highest award for civilian bravery - to the entire Maltese population. The Maltese were staring down the barrel of surrender when a relief convoy limped into port, allowing Malta to go on to play a crucial role in the invasion of Italy. Soon after the war, Malta began inching towards independence. It achieved complete autonomy in 1964.

In 1974, it became a republic, and by 1979 the government was signing agreements with Libya, the Soviet Union and North Korea, much to the chagrin of Britain and its allies. This flirtation with Communism ended with the victory of the Nationalist Party in 1987. In recent decades, Malta has achieved considerable prosperity, thanks largely to tourism - every summer the population triples due to an influx of tourists. The island nation is also increasingly benefitting from trade and light industries. On 1 May 2004, Malta became the smallest of ten countries to attain membership of the European Union. Consequently, Malta is preparing for the adoption of the euro as the new national currency, currently scheduled for 1 January 2008.

Malta’s diplomatic and consular representation includes accreditation to 152 foreign countries and international organizations. Malta is host to 20 resident diplomatic missions, and 112 countries have non-resident diplomatic representation.

With its central location in the Mediterranean, Malta is called a bridge between Europe and North Africa, particularly Libya, with whom it has enjoyed positive diplomatic and commercial ties. Malta is one of the southernmost points of the European Union. Malta continues to be an active participant in the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, OSCE, and various other international organizations. In these forums, Malta has frequently expressed its concern for the peace and economic development of the Mediterranean region.

Politics in Malta is a serious business. Most people are politically aware and there is intense rivalry between the parties. The two main contenders are the Nationalists (Christian Democrat) and the Labour Party. Since 1974 Malta has been a republic within the British Commonwealth. It has a single legislative chamber of 65 members, which is elected by a system of proportional representation. The President is the constitutional Head of state, although this role is primarily nominal since executive powers by the Prime Minister. The House of Representatives sits in the Grand Masters’ Palace, and the office of the Prime Minister is in the Auberge de castile. Under Dom Mintoff (who held the office of Prime Minister from 1971 to 1984), Malta developed a position of non-alignment in relation to the superpowers. He also provoked a great deal of controversy by fostering close links with Libya.

Executive branch

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term (eligible for a second term);

following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term; the deputy prime minister is appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives (usually 65 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms; note - additional seats are given to the party with the largest popular vote to ensure a legislative majority)
elections: last held 8 March 2008 (next to be held by March 2013)

Political parties and leaders

Head of State: George Abela (PL) - President, Head of Government: Lawrence Gonzi (PN) - Prime Minister, Governing party: PN

Last national elections: 2008

Last national elections: 2008

Last European Parliament election June 2009 See: •,_2009_(Malta)



Maltese culture defines correct behaviour and comportment in a variety of ways depending on status, familiarity, age, and social connections. They range from reserved and courtly to warm and expressive.

Men play brilli, a form of bowling often called ninepins, on a narrow street in Gozo,Malta.

Whereas introductions and recommendations can open doors, presumptions of instant familiarity invite rebuff. Even business relationships are sometimes resented as manipulative if they do not unfold in a context of social intercourse. Invitations into homes for tea or dinner are considered special and non-routine occasions.

The wearing of scanty dress away from the beaches is not welcomed, nor is immodest dress inside of churches. Face-saving behaviour is important in Maltese society, not only because of decorum and for the sake of maintaining the respect of individuals, but also to protect the honour of families. In contrast to nearby northern Africa, public hand holding among men and the veiling of women do not occur

Business culture

In general, what is considered good business practice in the United States also applies when doing business in Malta. Business people in Malta appreciate prompt replies to their inquiries, and expect all correspondence to be acknowledged. Conservative business attire is recommended at all times. Business appointments are also required, and visitors are expected to be punctual. Maltese buyers appreciate quality and service, but are also interested in delivery times and price. Care must be taken to honour delivery dates and provide prompt after-sales service.

While Maltese is the first official language, English is also an official language. Widely spoken and understood, virtually all business is transacted in English.

Although first names are used in day-to-day business, it is usual to use more formal addressing (Mr--, Mrs--) for those in senior positions and on formal occasions. A good rule of thumb is to ask how your contact would prefer to be addressed! Punctuality is expected and appreciated and business dress should be smart. Use of business cards is important and exchanges are always made on first meeting. There are no special issues regarding women in business.

Effective business communication with Malta’s people

Be clear and concise

Less is more: use, short, simple sentences. Use active rather than passive voice. Don’t use idioms, irony, jargon or dialect expressions.

Speak more slowly

Communicate your message in bite-size chunks, and pause regularly……but maintain the natural rhythm and stress pattern.

Reinforce your message

Maintain eye contact so your listener benefits from facial expression and lip movement. Help your audience understand by getting LOUDER on key words and using intonation to communicate meaning. Make clear, direct statements. ’Triangulate’ your ideas: repeat them three times in slightly different ways.

Make presentation effective

Adapt your message to the audience in advance. Use appropriate graphics and handouts to enhance communications. Send through materials in advance, if possible. Signpost your main points and summarise at the end.

Double-check understanding

Yours and theirs! Jot down names, numbers and technicalities. Ask your audience to repeat key points or arrangements back to you.

he Republic of Malta is a small but heavily populated island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean. Consisting of 7 islands it is a popular tourist resort due to it’s tropical climate, exciting nightlife, and a history dating back thousands of years. Please take time to browse the site and learn more about this gem of the Mediterranean. There is something here for every type of holidaymaker.

If you want know something about ways and means of travelling, you can visit interactive Malta’s map. There you can find the most amazing places, which are really worth to look at least on the internet.

Due to its great mass of defensive architecture Malta is known as the Fortress Island. It is a real discovery to archaeologists or to the people which are not indifferent to mysteries of the past. There are megalithic monuments, Bronze Age dolmens, Punic tombs, remains of Roman Villas and traces of prehistoric man. Very important are the St Paul’s Catacombs .According to the legend, Apostle Paul, which brought Christianity on the Malta’s land, found asylum at that very place. It is a typical complex of interconnected or Ghan Dalam cave. This is a highly important site as it was here that the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta. Everyone can find something interesting to himself in the Island’s museums. Whether you’re browsing for leisure or wish to deepen a special interest. For example, there are museum of archaeology, toys, war or nature. Malta is full of churches and chapels, it counts more then 350.

Malta- fortress

Malta- fortress - source

Even children can find entertainment and relaxation having a rest on The Islands. There is great number of attractions for the whole family. For crafts, the Islands hold two main villages, one in Gozo and one in Malta. Visitors can see craftsmen making lace, silver filigree, pottery, fabrics, knitwear, baskets and clocks. Also fascinating to watch are the glass blowers; cased behind a sheet of glass, visitors are encouraged to witness the craftsmen making the unique Maltese blown glass by hand.

Besides the beaches and pools, there is a marine and water park available for water fun. Not to be missed by the kids is the Sweet haven Village - the film set of the 1980 Musical Production "Popeye". Malta is a diving paradise. Mediterranean Sea known for some of the best diving in Europe ( ).

For more information about travelling and if you want see INTERACTIVE MAP you can visit Interactive map of Malta . When you don’t know which things to see, to do, to try or to eat, visit this web site


Nightlife in the capital amounts to no more than a drink or two in a bar or an evening trot in a horse-drawn karrozzin round the city’s floodlit ramparts. However, there is plenty of action in resorts to the northwest.

Those seeking the bright lights should head to the small area of St Julian’s known as Paceville. Here you will find scores of discos, pubs and late-night bars. In summer the neon-lit streets are crammed with action-seekers. St Julian’s is also home to Malta’s casino – the only place where the nightlife could be described as glitzy. Beyond the headland, St George’s Bay has a growing number of fashionable discos. Lesser concentrations of bars with live music, and the occasional discos, can be found in Sliema and in the St Paul’s area, around Buggiba and Qawra.

Discos open early in the evening for the benefit of the young (and not-so-young) Maltese visiting from the countryside who have to catch the last bus home at around 9 or 10 pm. For the rest, the music throbs on into the early hours of the morning. The older generation of visitors to Malta are usually quite content with hotel entertainment, which take the form of folk nights, cabarets and possibly discos. These events are normally open to non-residents.

On the cultural side, Malta has several English-language theatres and cinemas. The delightful Manoet Theatre puts on ballet, opera and concert performances in addition to plays. One of the most important cultural events in the Maltese calendar is Maltafest – a month of concerts, recitals, jazz performances, open-air theatre and art exhibitions – which takes place from mid-July to mid-August.

National specialities

Lampuki pie (fish pie).

Bragoli (beef olives).

Fenek (rabbit cooked in wine).

• Ricotta sweets are popular.

Helwa tat-Tork (a sweet sugary mixture of crushed and whole almonds, offered to diners after a meal).

National drinks

• Maltese beer is excellent.

• Maltese wine.

• Maltese spirits

Malta is also very famous for the locally-made alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks particularly the Maltese wine and the Maltese beer.

This sub-category collects any other drinks which have not been included or which do not fall within the other sub-categories. Such an example is Kinnie, the local soft drink alternative since 1952.

Kinnie is a unique tasting, alcohol-free, natural, refreshing beverage. Its golden amber colour, and the fact that it is made from bitter oranges and a variety of aromatic herbs, lend this beverage a bitter taste which is an excellent thirst quencher.

National food

National food - source

Your First Maltese Lesson

Yes - Iva

No - Le

Thank you - Grazzi

You are welcome - M’hemmx imniex

Please - Jekk joghgbok

Excuse me - Skuzi

Hello - Hello

Goodbye - Sahha

Good morning - Bongu

Good night - Il-lejl it-tajjeb

I do not understand - Ma nifhimx

Do you speak...English? - Titkellem bl-....Ingliz?

What is you name? - X’jismek?

Nice to meet you - Ghandi pjacir

How are you? - Kif inti?

Malta is a beautiful island - Malta hija gzira sabiha

Your first Maltese lesson -

To add up, one can say, it is very beautiful country with its marvellous and clear beaches (superb for diving esp. Gozo). Famous for its history, its majestic churches, nice and welcoming people, nice weather all year round.

Information about Maltese culture -

Malta jazz festival -

Entry and visa requirements, about Malta and its people, travel conditions -

Comprehensive travel guide to Malta -

101 things to do in Malta -

Doing business in Malta -

Office of the Prime Minister -

Ministry of Competitiveness and Communications -

Ministry for Tourism and Culture -

Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs -

Ministry for Resources and Infrastructure -

Ministry of Health, the Elderly and Community Care -

Ministry for Investment, Industry and Information Technology –

Ministry of Foreign Affairs -

Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Environment -

Air Malta -

Central Bank of Malta -

Malta Communications Authority -

Malta Council for Economic and Social Development -

Malta Enterprise

Malta Financial Services Authority -

Malta Freeport Corporation -

Malta International Airport -

Malta Maritime Authority -

Malta Resources Authority -

National Statistics Office -

Malta Stock Exchange -

Malta Tourism Authority -

Malta Transport Authority -

Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise -

Malta Federation of Industries -

GRTU – Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises -