Malta: A base for your future

Mar 28, 2019 | Editorials

The Malta Individual Investor Programme was established to attract talent and High Net Wealth Individuals (HNWI) to the Maltese Islands to positively contribute to our society by stimulating business, increase job creation, increase revenue and augmenting our human capital. Our safety and friendliness, our health care system, our highly educated workforce, and our culture and history are what make the Maltese Islands attractive to the investors. Furthermore, in the past few years, Malta has maintained strong growth in real GDP, making the country one of the most productive economies in the European Union.

“The programme’s success and robustness rests on three mechanisms intertwined in such a way that none can thrive without the other – due diligence, good governance and transparency.”

Citizenship is only granted to individuals who are indeed of good repute. The Agency’s responsibility does not start and end with the citizenship by investment (CBI) programme it conducts. We are committed to keep strengthening the integrity of the whole CBI industry. The programme’s success and robustness rests on three mechanisms intertwined in such a way that none can thrive without the other – due diligence, good governance and transparency.

MIIPA goes to a serious level of detail on each application, knowing that like all service industries, the programme’s reputation is guarded with very stringent due diligence and high regulatory standards, earning it the main advocate’s role within the whole industry. This potentially results in fewer applications being approved, since Malta’s ambition strives for quality rather than quantities. It is an all-good-enough reason why the Individual Investor Programme distinguishes itself from the rest. In turn, this proves to be beneficial to the parties on both ends, adding value to the country as much as to the individuals acquiring its citizenship.

MIIPA adopted a structured four-tier due diligence process taking a minimum of 4 months to complete. A multitude of checks justify this lengthy stage of the process, such as standard Know your Client (KYC) checks with law enforcement agencies, including Interpol and Europol’s databases, in-depth verification of completeness and correctness of documentation submitted, and outsourced due diligence. This allows the Agency to go beyond the simple investigation on the source of funds and wealth, but obtain as much information as possible from numerous sources. The information is then analysed and reviewed to expose any anomalies highlighting any potential risks.

MIIPA continues to have the most stringent due diligence process in place, yet it constantly seeks to improve its practices by advocating for higher industry standards across the board. It is also at the forefront in advocating for international sharing of critical information on rejected applications, through already well-established channels in institutions, such as FIAU and Security Services. Malta has been advocating for more cooperation between jurisdictions in the aspect of due diligence and background checks, and creating awareness on due diligence to the RCBI industry. The rigorous due diligence process we employ is the cornerstone of our success. However, we still need to keep advocating transparency and good governance in the way we administer the programmes.

Moreover, in our commitment towards transparency, Malta is one of few European countries that actually publishes the names of individuals who are granted citizenship. The nature of the due diligence checks is also public. Additionally, professional firms and practitioners are accredited and trained by MIIPA to guide them on the process of applications, gives an additional layer of good governance. Malta is also the only country that has a dedicated regulator, which oversees all the processes of the Agency. The regulator also presents a detailed report to Parliament on yearly basis.

Our aim has always been to carefully select, through the right checks and balances, and a rigorous due diligence process, the right global citizens that can see Malta as their natural home and the place from where they choose to shape the world of tomorrow. It takes more than an investment to become a true global citizen, and we believe this has been part of our success.

Over the past six years, the Government has sought foreign direct investment from all corners of the globe, we have engaged in new economic niches and are now in full force working to expand our potential to become leaders, amongst others in digital innovation technology, already being the first to push forward a regulatory framework for Blockchain technology and exploring on Artificial Intelligence as a new economic niche. Through our most rigorous process of checks and balances, we are thriving at attracting the right talent and investors to our shores.

Malta Individual Investor
Programme Agency (MIIPA)

Mediterranean Conference Centre
Old Hospital Street
Valletta, Malta VLT 1645

Phone: +356 21 225 232
E-mail: info@iip.gov.mt

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