While attending a global citizenship conference in New York recently, the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat made a pitch to the high net worth individuals of the world, telling potential investors that they can enjoy “short legislative distance” from politicians and policymakers.
“Those who take decisions are accessible and ready to listen, and the system is small and nimble enough to be flexible around the concerns of investors, especially those who might be considered as just numbers in other countries,” he said.
In the conference Malta was showcasing its €1.15 million passport sale. “To be clear, Malta wants your talent, not your money. Your networks, not your accounts. This is because we are about the future, not the past,” said Muscat.
The Maltese Individual Investor Programme has already attracted over 130 applicants. “We believe that the concept of citizenship is fast evolving and we want to be at the forefront of this innovation.”
Muscat also talked about the achievements of the successful people of Mlata – John Zarb, former chairman of Nasdaq, John Pace, who cast America’s Liberty Bell, tenor Joseph Calleja, ‘lateral thinking’ creator Edward de Bono, and Arvid Pardo, who has been named ‘Father of the Law of the Sea’ by the United Nations. “This is so much talent. But put simply, we want more. This is the input we are after because we believe that these are the new borders of a brave new world,” Muscat said.
Muscat briefed the audience about the history of Malta and some of the country’s key attractions – the Megalithic temples, which are older than Egypt’s pyramids, and the global architecture “superstar” Renzo Piano’s City Gate project. He also elaborated on the variety of rulers who had lived in Malta – Romans, Arabs, Normans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Byzantines, Swabians, Araganese, French, Angevins, Castillians, the Knights of St John, and the British. “All these peoples have left their imprint on our mindset and lifestyle. I like to tell my foreign friends that the Maltese enjoy an Anglo-Saxon work ethic and a Mediterranean lifestyle. A happy mix, and thankfully it is not the other way round.”
Muscat also talked about Malta’s efforts in innovation and trade, referring to the microchip components made in Malta. “Yes, microchips are our main export, and we do not think that we have exhausted our potential as an export industrial base.”