Visa programme to be reviewed

The government will start a review into residence programmes such as Malta’s global residence programme, which extends ‘golden visas’ to those remitting their incomes to the island

The government will start a review into residence programmes such as Malta’s global residence programme, which extends ‘golden visas’ to those remitting their incomes to the island, to reflect international changes taking place in the field of tax residency.

Necessary changes will be made to update the law regarding these programmes to ensure that Malta remains an attractive prospect, while ensuring the integrity of such programmes is maintained given current international pressures.

Business: start-ups and SMEs

In 2022, Malta Enterprise assisted 35 start-ups projects with a total investment of €22 million.

In 2023, a one-stop shop under the brand Start in Malta will offer assistance services for applications for Malta Enterprise schemes.

Malta Enterprise, which manages the Kordin Business Incubation Centre, will develop, through new European Business Incubation Centre funds, a top-quality facility for innovative start-ups that are further diversifying Malta’s economy.

€40 million will be granted in cash for SMEs under Business Enhance schemes.

A committee has been entrusted to develop a right to a basic bank account for businesses, as well as a Credit Review Office facilitating both commercial banks’ and their customers’ interests in loan applications.

Digital Innovation Hub

The European Commission will fund Malta’s proposal for the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) project from European funds. DIH aims to provide digital transformation opportunities to SMEs and start-ups, through technologies such as AI, and High-Performance Computing (HPC).

Malta Enterprise will double financial assistance by way of cash grants for all Maltese companies investing in digital and sustainable projects, covering 50% of eligible investment, up to a maximum of €100,000.

Gozitan businesses and start-ups will continue to benefit from additional financial assistance of 10% in the form of a tax credit, which can double to 20% if companies invest in projects that reduce their carbon footprint.

Tax credits will be doubled for businesses investing within their own companies.

A maximum €40,000 tax credit will be available for investment in digital projects, projects that reduce energy and water consumption, or in investments that increase efficiency by reducing the waste of raw materials or waste.

Malta Enterprise will be developing guidelines for companies to acquire ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) credentials, with technical support for SMEs.

The 2022 scheme to allow pandemic-hit businesses to invest in sustainability rather than having their income taxed, will be extended. Companies that had unabsorbed or can capital allowances in the year 2020 and 2021, due to losses incurred in the pandemic, could apply for a tax reduction against any taxable income from other companies, forming part of the same group, for the year 2022 (assessment year 2023).

Rental subsidy

In 2021, the rental subsidy incentive was extended to a large number of eligible businesses, with around €700,000 in direct assistance to Maltese and Gozitan businesses. In 2023, Maltese businesses will be able to benefit from financial assistance of €50,000 in rental subsidy incentives, instead of €25,000 per year for the first three years of this assistance. The period in which businesses will be able to benefit from this scheme will be doubeld from three to a maximum of six years.

Government will relaunch a scheme for businesses leasing state-owned properties, to renew 45-year leases.

The government has also launched a scheme for families who purchased properties that spilled over onto government land. The scheme offers a property title at affordable prices, while more schemes will cut red tape at the Lands Authority.

Social enterprises

Following the entry into force of the Social Enterprise Act, a number of benefits currently available only to commercial companies will be extended for social enterprised via the Microinvest scheme: a tax credit of up to €70,000 over three years.

Tourist Area Development Regeneration Agency

As of January 2023, the Foundation for Tourism Zone Development will be transformed into the Agency for Tourism Zone Development Regeneration. The Agency will continue to focus on the formulation and implementation of regeneration plans, as well as the introduction and implementation of the Town Centre concept.

By August 2021, the number of tourists coming to Malta reached 81% of the volume reached in the same period in the record year 2019, generating expenditure of €1.3 billion – almost 86% of expenditure during 2019.

Together with the Gozo Tourism Association, an incentive scheme will attract more winter tourism to Gozo for the low season.

Industrial land

In 2023, INDIS Malta will create new plots for various clusters to meet increasing demands for industrial land, with a pilot project on the manufacturing and aviation sector to address the needs of the industry by assisting in upskilling of current workers and training new workers.

Works on Taxiway Lima, which will continue to assist aircraft maintenance companies operating in the airport area, will be completed later this year.

In Gozo, new space will be opened next to the Xewkija industrial area for SMEs to have a workshop space and a parking space for large vehicles.