Malta’s geographic position is strategically placed in the major sea lanes linking Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Indeed its geographical position places it a mere 6 nautical miles off the main Mediterranean sea-route between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal.
Malta’s position in the centre of the Mediterranean has always given it immense strategic importance. The Maltese islands have been established as a centre of worship since 4000BC. Over the centuries several civilisations have settled on these shores, ranging from the Phoenician traders to the Carthaginians and the Roman conquerors.
Following a spell of Arab dominance from the 9th to the 13th century, the islands were once more ruled by Europeans such as the Normans and the Aragonese.
The Maltese culture is today a mosaic that resonates both European and North African vibes. After the Spanish dominance, the Maltese islands were bestowed to the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem who administered the Islands for 268 years until 1798, when Napoleon Bonaparte drove them from these shores. Following a brief occupation the French were forced to surrender after a land and sea blockade by combined British and Maltese forces. In 1800, Malta became a part of the British Empire.
In 1964 Malta attained its Independence and ten years later, in 1974, it was declared a Republic within the Commonwealth. During the latter period Malta was transforming from a Military base to an Industrial base thereby consolidating its identity as the smallest industrial nation in Southern Europe. Malta has been a member of the European Union since May 2004.
Malta has established itself as a major centre for financial services also as one of the leading shipping registries. It is a popular tourist destination, with around 1.6 million visitors to our shores each year.
Short Travel Times: By air, main European hubs and North Africa can be reached in two to three hours
Excellent ICT Connections: Satellite technology and high capacity fibre-optic submarine cables link Malta with EuropeMajor Transhipment Centre: Malta Freeport is a main regional hub
EU Member State: Passporting rights for services and companies
Regional Ties: Malta has cultural and historic connections to countries in North Africa and the Middle East
CET Time Zone: One hour ahead of GMT
Schengen Zone: Malta is part of the Schengen area, which allows travel between member states without internal border controls
Key facts info sources: http://www.nso.gov.mt