Contributed by Identity Malta
Attracting highly skilled, talented individuals who can share their expertise and business connections is the essence behind Malta’s Individual Investor Programme. Malta’s programme is not about reaching big numbers quickly; its ultimate objective is to bring added value to the country and enhance an already thriving economy.
Malta’s economy is getting used to a growth rate, which currently stands at around 6%. From a 4% deficit, Malta nowadays has a 1% surplus, debt to GDP ratio is down, and unemployment is non-existent. Malta is doing well in spite of the Individual Investor Programme, which is just one part of why Malta is doing so well. This makes the programme even stronger because Malta is not dependent on it.
The programme has put Malta squarely on the map, generating an interest in our market from all across the globe. Investor interest is at an all-time high, and ideas of possible mutually beneficial partnerships are flourishing. Malta is now also in a position to start making good use of the investment that the programme has directly generated, which will allow us to address long outstanding issues the country has faced and not yet resolved throughout the years.
Malta is also very aware that the success of the programme rests on its robustness and high regulatory standard. Like all service industries, the strength of the programme will always rest on its reputation, one that is guarded with high standards of due diligence and regulatory oversight. The way forward for Malta will never rest with a lax attitude but in striving to have the most rigorous process of checks and balances, as only in that way will we ensure that the right talent is attracted to our shores.
It is all too easy to fall for the temptation of the low hanging fruit, but such an attitude does not sit well with the country’s vision and ambition for the programme. Malta adopts a very stringent due diligence process in order to make sure that only reputable applicants are admitted to its exclusive citizenship programme. Experience has shown that most of the applicants were not the headline grabbers, known people. Most of the time they would fit the profile of being hardworking, self-made individuals, who have a strong global network.
Although the Individual Investment Programme has been running for the last three years, it is considered to be amongst the world’s best citizenship programmes and the only programme to bear the EU Commission’s final seal.
Indeed, Malta is considered to be the ideal destination for all those who are in hope for a better future and are seeking superior quality of life with high standard of educational and medical services. That is why; the Maltese Government reaffirms its commitment in renewing the Individual Investment Programme, once it reaches full take-up.
The experience of the Maltese nation since launching the Individual Investors Programme has been largely a positive one and as the gold standard in citizenship-by-investment programs, the IIP unit at Identity Malta is showing growing interest in sharing the lessons learnt so far, to contribute towards establishing the industry’s due diligence standards. Malta is now uniquely positioned to contribute to the RCBI industry, and with a unique CBI program such as the MIIP, Malta’s contribution to the industry in terms of sharing best practice and helping to set standards, may well be one of the most important turning points in the industry. Sources inform that this may be a Q1, 2018 event.
The MIIP has given Government a wide access to talent, provided it with a global network and Malta has experienced an unprecedented level of foreign direct investment. For Malta, the programme has resulted in a win-win situation.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.