Malta Industry

The manufacturing industry accounts for about a tenth of the gross domestic product (GDP). Small and medium-sized companies account for most of the production.

The manufacturing industry accounts for about a tenth of the gross domestic product (GDP). Small and medium-sized companies account for most of the production.

The major industries manufacture electronic components, optical instruments, food and beverages, clothing and shoes as well as machines and vehicles. In other factories, chemicals, metal products, paper and printed matter are produced. In recent years, an export industry for so-called generic medicines (copies of medicines whose patents expired) has emerged. At the same time, information and telecommunications technology has grown rapidly.

Since the 1990s, several laws have been introduced to attract foreign investors to the country, import duties on industrial goods have been removed and many companies have been privatized. Of the larger companies, however, the majority are still state-owned.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Malta. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.

Malta’s industry is facing fierce competition from low-wage countries in Asia. The shipbuilding industry has been going back for a long time with loss due to low efficiency and increased international competition.




The Maltese government receives criticism for dealing with journalist murders

December 3

An investigation delegation from the European Parliament believes that the legal investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has damaged EU-Malta relations. The seven parliamentarians who visited Malta are also concerned about the release of Prime Minister Muscat Chief of Staff Keith Schembri by police. According to the delegation’s chair Sophie in’t Veld from the Netherlands, the delegation of seven parliamentarians is “seriously concerned” that Prime Minister Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, “whose name has been found in so many different contexts, goes free.” Schembri has been identified as the one who planned the murder of businessman Yorgen Fenech who himself has been charged with involvement in the murder. Schembri was arrested by police a few days ago but released by police.

Prime Minister Muscat promises to retire in 2020

1 December

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announces that he will resign in early 2020 after his successor has been appointed by the Labor Party. Recently, demonstrations have been held in Valletta demanding that Muscat resign. He is criticized for obstructing the legal investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and two members of his government have left their posts as a result of the scandal.


Government crisis linked to journalist murder

November 26th

Government Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Minister of Tourism Konrad Mizzi choose to leave their posts after being taken in for questioning by police in connection with the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A businessman, Yorgen Fenech, who is suspected of having ordered the murder (see November 20) has identified Schembri as the one who planned the murder. According to Caruana Galizia’s articles, which are based on leaks from the so-called Panama documents, Schembri and Mizzi should have received payments from Yorgen Fenech’s shell company in Panama.

Businessman arrested for the murder of Caruana Galizia

20th of November

Maltese police announce that a businessman has been arrested in connection with the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia 2017 (see June 2019, as well as October and December 2017). Businessman Yorgen Fenech has been identified as the one who ordered the murder of one of the men detained for carrying it out. Fenech is one of the owners of the company Electrogas, which in 2013 won a contract to build a new gas plant in Malta. Fenech has also been identified as the owner of a company registered in Dubai under the name 17 Black. The journalist Galizia had described in his blog links between 17 Black and Maltese politicians.


The government sets up an independent murder investigation

September 20

The government announces that it is launching an independent investigation into the murder of journalist Caruana Galizia. In June (see June), the Council of Europe demanded that such an inquiry be prepared within three months. The investigation is to seek, among other things, whether the murder could have been prevented since Galizia reported that she had been threatened for a long time. Three men are to be tried for the murder and have been in custody since the end of 2017.


The Council of Europe calls for an independent investigation into journalistic murder

June 27

The Council of Europe adopts a resolution which, under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, requires that Malta, within three months, appoint an independent investigation into the murder of journalist Caruana Galizia in October 2017 (see October and December2017). The resolution criticizes the fact that the Maltese judiciary has not yet punished those who carried out and ordered the murder. The resolution is based on a May 2019 Council of Europe report that highlights several shortcomings in Malta’s political system and justice system. Among other things, the Prime Minister is perceived to have too much power when it comes to the appointment of judges and posts in various supervisory bodies. In addition, the report questions the Maltese police’s ability and capacity to investigate serious crime. The Government of Malta believes that the report is biased and that it has been influenced by opposition politicians and various groups that “have an interest in undermining Malta’s reputation and isolating the country from the rest of Europe”.


The Labor Party wins four seats in the EU elections

May 26

The ruling Labor Party gets about 54 percent of the vote in the European Parliament elections, which means it gets four seats in Parliament. The Nationalist Party comes second with about 38 percent of the vote and two seats.


62 migrants are allowed to go ashore

April 13

After spending ten days aboard a rescue vessel, 62 migrants are finally allowed to board ashore in Valletta. They will then be sent to a few different EU countries that have promised to receive them, including Germany, France and Portugal. A German relief organization is behind the rescue operation, where the migrants who were in a barely capable vessel were picked up outside Libya. The rescue vessel first tried to add to the Italian island of Lampedusa but was driven away by the Italian government.


Migrants are allowed to land

January 9

Malta, together with eight other EU countries, including Germany, France and Italy, reach an agreement that allows 49 migrants on two rescue vessels to land in Malta. The vessels had been refused to add to ports in both Italy and Malta since the end of December because no country wanted to receive the migrants. Now the eight countries will divide the migrants among themselves. At the same time, the agreement also reached an agreement on the division of an additional 249 rescued migrants who have previously been in Malta. 78 of them will be allowed to stay in Malta, while the rest will be distributed to the other eight countries except 40, which will be sent back to Bangladesh.

Malta Industry

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