The Maltese archipelago, consisting of the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, lies at the cultural, financial and geographical crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea. Malta, with Valletta as its capital, is the largest Island of the group.
Malta's status as an EU Member State since May 2004, and more so with the adoption of the Euro on 1 January 2008, enhanced the country's attractiveness as a centre for international business in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Internationally Malta is recognised as a safe and secure place to do business, with high economic, legal and political stability, and low risk. It boasts a highly-qualified and flexible workforce and a proactive business environment. Industry, exports, tourism and financial services are the pillars of the Maltese economy. The country's communication facilities are excellent, with a highly sophisticated digital telecommunications infrastructure that ensures a global business environment at all times. Maltese and English are the official languages of Malta. In addition, Malta is readily accessible from major European and North African destinations and has direct air links to most major European and North African cities, Middle East and Arab Gulf States. Malta also forms part of the Schengen travel area. All these key factors have made Malta the ideal location for foreign direct investment and international trade.
Indeed, Malta has always been a prized possession of all the dominant naval powers. When one considers the strategic geographic position of the Maltese Islands, at the confluence of the major sea lanes linking Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it comes as no surprise that Malta has, throughout the ages been at the centre of maritime activity in the Mediterranean. Indeed its geographical position places it a mere 6 nautical miles off the main Mediterranean sea-route between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. Indeed the development of Malta Freeport Terminals is reviving Malta's glorious maritime history by stimulating transhipment trade within its shores. With the ongoing investment being undertaken at Malta Freeport Terminals, the future of maritime Malta looks set to expand.