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Malta will build 30,000 square metre Smart City offices for EU agency

Maltese government bid to bring European Medicines Agency to Malta includes 30,000 square metre agency building at Smart City

Paul Cocks
2 August 2017, 9:00am
A design of the proposed 30,000 sq.m premises being offered to host the European Medicines Agency
A design of the proposed 30,000 sq.m premises being offered to host the European Medicines Agency
The government has pledged to build a bespoke 30,000 square metre state-of-the-art premises at Smart City if Malta is chosen to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Malta’s is one of 19 bids submitted to be the host country for the headquarters of EMA, following an agreement held on 22 June on the procedure leading up to a decision on the relocation of the agency and the European Banking Authority in the context of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU.

Presently, the EMA has its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, and employs 900 staff from all over Europe. It is the first to monitor, evaluate, and determine the safety of medical and veterinary products before they are sold in the European Single Market.

In its bid, Malta offered tax reprieves, free rent for 15 years and a grant for furniture and data services, as well as a bespoke building to give the EMA an environment that responds to their present and future projections in line with the agency’s requirements.

The official offer document states that the location offered by the Maltese government is at Smart City Malta, which is designed as a hub for the knowledge economy.

The Maltese government is promoting residential units at SmartCity as an added bonus
The Maltese government is promoting residential units at SmartCity as an added bonus
Less than 10 days ago, MaltaToday also revealed that Smart City Malta had signed a promise-of-sale agreement with Ricasoli Properties for the sale of land to be developed into the luxury Shoreline apartments.

But in its bid, the Maltese government too uses the residential units as a selling point.

“Within a range of a few metres the city offers hotels, mid to high residential sea-view residences and hospital,” the document reads. “The city provides cutting edge infrastructure, unique lifestyle amenities and responsive support system.”

The government says that, being cognizant of the fact that this project would entail an investment of about €50 million, it was offering EMA the premises rent-free for a period of 15 years – which could be extended subject to agreement by both parties.

The EU has placed a deadline of 1 April, 2019 for the relocation of the agency but the Maltese government has pledged to have the building – and all other ancillary services – ready in place six months earlier.

If relocated to Malta, EMA would be exempt from all direct taxes with respect to its premises, with the exception of those constituting payments for services rendered, and from indirect taxes on the supply of goods and services.

EMA would also be exempt from direct and indirect taxes on the consumption of electricity and gas or any type of fuel consumed in the running of its premises.

It would pay no duties and any import restrictions on vehicles intended for official use and on spare parts for the same vehicles.

The Maltese government said it would grant EMA staff immunity from jurisdiction with regard to acts carried out in their official capacity and exemption – for them, their spouses and dependents – from regulations restricting immigration and formalities for the registration of foreigners.

Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...