Malta’s business landscape is undergoing a major transformation with the rise of iGaming, including eSports and video game development. This sector, along with electronic games, is expected to be one of the key drivers of Malta’s growth in the next five years.

These insights come from EY Malta’s annual attractiveness survey, which gathers opinions from 130 foreign direct investment (FDI) companies operating in Malta. The survey was conducted in July and August 2023.

The survey reveals that 51 percent of respondents see Europe as their primary market, while 16 percent are focused on North America. This demonstrates the optimism among investors about Malta’s future prospects. Over the next five years, the growth of the tourism and leisure, gaming, and artificial intelligence sectors is expected to be the driving force behind Malta’s economy.

Tourism and Leisure remains the dominant sector, experiencing an impressive seven percent increase compared to the previous year. It now stands at 58 percent, approaching the levels seen before the pandemic in 2019.

The gaming industry, a burgeoning sector, closely follows with a 49 percent share, indicating its significant potential in shaping Malta’s economic landscape.

Artificial Intelligence ranks as the third pillar, with 45 percent of respondents recognizing its potential contribution to Malta’s growth. In the same category, aviation, payments, and FinTech all share fourth place, each attracting 32 percent of investor interest.

Malta’s appeal to foreign businesses remains strong, but there is room for improvement. The country’s corporate tax policy is a major draw, but international tax reforms pose a risk. Another challenge is the shortage of skilled workers, particularly in the iGaming sector. Reputational concerns, cost competitiveness, and banking issues also play a role. These insights provide a comprehensive understanding of Malta’s current business environment and shape expectations for its future economic growth. The biggest risks to Malta’s attractiveness for foreign investment are international tax policy changes, followed by skills shortages, reputational concerns, cost competitiveness, and banking challenges. It is worth noting that quality of life factors are gaining importance, while logistics and supply chain risks are decreasing.

The results of the EY survey highlight the exciting growth and potential of the gaming sector in Malta. This industry has the power to create jobs, attract foreign investments, and boost the country’s economy.

The survey reveals the strong confidence that investors and businesses have in the future of Malta’s gaming industry. Along with the thriving tourism, leisure, and artificial intelligence sectors, the gaming industry is set to become a major driving force in Malta’s economy.

These findings reinforce Malta’s reputation as an appealing location for businesses looking to enter the gaming industry. It also positions the country as a promising global destination for gaming-related ventures.

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