According to Director and Head of Legal at PKF Malta, Marilyn Formosa, the first thing to keep in mind as the country steps into 2020 is that Malta supports diverse industries in a thriving environment, including advanced manufacturing, aviation, the film industry, medicinal cannabis, remote gaming and financial services.
“Especially in relation to the medicinal cannabis sector, Malta is on the right track,” Dr Formosa argues. “We’ve started by establishing a more liberal legislature in this regard. The speed with which the legislation was developed allows Malta to control the production of medicinal cannabis in a legal framework without hindering the owners of plantations with entangled laws. In fact, about 20 projects have already been confirmed.
“The next important step is to evaluate the positive effects this will have on the domestic economy. When the companies start to operate in 2025, our export figures will increase substantially, and PKF is keen to assist international companies in acquiring licences for this market. However, we’re sure that other European countries will eventually promote the legalisation of CBD oil medical use. With stiff competition from operators based in Spain, Germany and Netherlands, it is our task to promote the island and convince sustainable investors to locate here, attracted by our proactive legislature and other fiscal incentives.”
When reflecting on other sectors, Dr Formosa sees 2020 as a pivotal year for the sustainability of aircraft. “Efforts and investments have already been made to test run biofuels, design lighter airframe components and evaluate carbon footprint taxes,” she says. This is interesting when analysed in the context of Thomas Cook’s recent insolvency and especially with the implementation of Ryanair’s subsidiary, MaltaAir. “The Maltese market is undoubtedly going to change,” Dr Formosa affirms.
Furthermore, the realm of sustainability will continue to extend across businesses and sectors. “At PKF, we adopt business practices that are socially and environmentally responsible with the aim of making a positive difference,” Dr Formosa explains.
“Our team works in a modern building, using an open-plan arrangement that encourages teamwork and interaction with each other. We also support local start-ups in many areas and we offer the use of an equipped office space. We lead by example in corporate social responsibility activities, and we encourage our clients to do the same.”
In her final thoughts on 2020, Dr Formosa hopes that PKF, as well as the economy in general, will develop further across various sectors. “As an ambitious team, we hope to grow as part of the PKF International network and to strengthen our global connections, which have already opened up many opportunities for us.
“Above all, though, we hope that we can convince high-net-worth individuals from around the world to invest locally. As a result of the ongoing efforts of FinanceMalta and Malta Enterprise, Malta has attracted numerous applications from top investors every year. In particular, I’d like to see more investors from the Gulf countries attracted by the beauty and diverse business possibilities of our country.”