Reputation was never an issue under the PN, Kristy Debono says

The Nationalist Party reacts after an EY report found that only 37% of investors deem Malta attractive for business

Reputation and good governance were never primary concerns under the Nationalist administration, PN MP Kristy Debono said on Tuesday.

Debono was reacting to an EY Attractiveness Survey that found only 37% of foreign investors deem Malta attractive for business. Among the primary concerns listed were reputation, governance, and the recent FATF grey listing.

“These were never mentioned under the PN,” she said, adding how the survey has been conducted annually over the past 17 years. “They were only concerned about the small market size.”

At the same press conference, PN MP Mario De Marco pointed out that Malta’s fiscal regime remains a primary factor in attracting FDI. It’s for this reason that discussions on a global minimum corporate tax rate should be followed closely.  

“It’s important to internalise whatever effect this downward trend could have, including the impact of a minimum corporate tax on our fiscal system,” he said.

On the OECD proposal for a minimum corporate tax, De Marco emphasised that it shouldn’t take away from Malta’s fiscal sovereignty. “The devil is in the details, we must see how it will be implemented.”

He added the proposed tax pact could serve as a slippery slope towards fiscal harmonisation.

The EY survey found that Malta’s competitive tax regime makes it tremendously popular among foreign investors. However, De Marco said that Malta should focus on other ways to build attraction, including through human resource training, digital infrastructure, research and innovation.

The survey also discovered that Malta’s recent entry into the FATF’s grey list of jurisdictions has cast a dark shadow on its attractiveness. In this regard, De Marco said that government must do everything necessary to get itself off the grey list “today before tomorrow”.

“Till today, government hasn’t published the full reasons why Malta was grey listed. Government hasn’t specified what its action plan entails.”