Paul Mifsud is CEO at Sparkasse Bank Malta plc, and is responsible for the implementation of company strategy and overall management of the bank’s business. He was instrumental in developing the bank’s presence in Malta, developing the investment services/wealth management division as well as steering the bank to become a major player in fund custody in Malta.

What are the main advantages Malta brings to the table for prospective investors?

Along the years, Malta has proven time and time again to be a jurisdiction that is quick to adapt to changes, as well as overcome challenges. Most importantly, Malta has been a resilient jurisdiction during global financial crises. As an EU country, Malta is a fast adopter of EU regulation and has a legal framework that facilitates business and the establishment of regulated entities that could passport services throughout the rest of the EU.

What about the challenges? Do you think there are areas that could pose a hurdle to investment?

No country is perfect, and Malta is no exception. We are all aware of the recent greylisting that Malta managed to turn around and remove itself from in record time. The biggest challenge currently facing Malta is its size and infrastructure – due to the growth in its economy, the population of Malta has grown exponentially and is currently experiencing signs of ‘over growth’.

What are the first steps one should take when investing or setting up a company in Malta, from a financial point of view?

Critical in the success of establishing an entity in Malta is the engagement of a professional firm that can provide guidance through the set-up stage but also with the ongoing responsibilities in maintaining a company in good standing. A licensed professional corporate services provider will be able to assist with a reality check on the feasibility of a project, especially if the prospect is related to a licensable or regulated activity.

Overall, do you believe that Malta offers good financing options to foreign investors?

Sparkasse Bank has built a successful business in Malta over the years by offering services to local and international customers, and has seen its business grow. This growth in itself is clear evidence of the good work being done locally and the willingness from international customers to establish businesses locally.

What advice would you offer, based on your expertise, to prospective investors?

As I mentioned, it is imperative to engage with professionals that can provide good and unconflicted advice on the proposed project. Speaking to your preferred banking partner on the island early on in the set-up stage may also help with guidance on structure and substance.

This feature was first carried in the Malta Invest 2024 edition. Malta Invest is the first-ever comprehensive international investment guide focusing on Malta as a destination. It is produced by Content House Group.

Featured Image:

Photo by Bernard Polidano

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