Malta Leads Europe with Future-Ready High-Speed Internet Investment

Malta is set to further enhance its position as a European leader in internet speeds with a €50 million investment aimed at delivering speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second over the next seven years.

Currently, Malta is the only EU nation that offers country-wide internet speeds of up to 1Gbps, as per the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). This advancement is not just about speed; it’s about future-proofing the nation’s digital infrastructure for emerging technologies like AI.

The initiative also emphasizes sustainability, with a commitment to minimize environmental impact. Economy Minister Silvio Schembri highlighted the significance of high-speed internet for various local industries, including telemedicine, and described technologies like 5G as “game changers” for the nation.

Celebrating Heritage: A Tale of Two Nations – South Africa and Malta

Every September, two nations on opposite sides of the globe come together to celebrate their rich cultural tapestry and historical legacies. South Africa’s Heritage Day on 24 September and Malta’s Independence Day a little earlier on 21 September, share the spotlight in this month of cultural celebration, highlighting the significance of diversity, history, and tradition.

 

Diverse Cultural Melting Pots

Both South Africa and Malta are known for their diverse populations, a result of centuries of migration, trade and a developing multi-cultural, cosmopolitan landscape.

South Africa’s Rainbow Nation is a reflection of its multi-ethnic society, with influences from indigenous African, European, Indian, and Asian cultures.

Similarly, Malta, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, has been shaped by Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Norman, and British influences, creating a unique blend of cultures.

Culinary Delights

Food is an integral part of any cultural celebration, and both nations offer a gastronomic journey through their heritage. In South Africa, a traditional “braai” (barbecue) is the centrepiece of Heritage Day, bringing together people of all backgrounds to enjoy grilled meats and traditional dishes.

Independence Day in Malta is a celebration with elaborate parades, festivities and, of course, a culinary adventure across the country featuring local delicacies like rabbit, bigilla, and savoury pastries filled with ricotta or peas, known locally as pastizzi.

Music and Dance

Music and dance are universal languages that connect people across generations. South Africa has a vibrant local music scene which encompasses a wide range of styles, from traditional African rhythms to jazz and contemporary pop in all official languages.

In Malta, the “Għana,” traditional and unique Maltese folk singing, and “Festa” (religious) celebrations with colourful processions, lively dances and fireworks, offer a glimpse into the nation’s musical heritage.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Heritage celebrations often include visits to historical sites and landmarks that preserve a nation’s history. South Africa boasts iconic heritage sites like Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its archaeological significance. Malta, with its medieval towns, ancient temples, and fortified cities, offers a living history lesson in every cobblestone.

Cultural Pride and Unity

Perhaps the most significant similarity between the two celebrations is the sense of pride and unity they foster. Heritage Day in South Africa encourages people to embrace their diverse backgrounds and recognize the shared humanity that transcends cultural differences. In Malta, Independence Day is an opportunity for the nation to come together and celebrate its unique identity, despite its small size and historical challenges.

Malta shares so much with South Africa

South Africa and Malta are both members of the Commonwealth, which opens up opportunities for trade and benefits with other member countries. Apart from the diverse cultures in both countries and the shared enjoyment of the outdoors and the culinary delights in each, both countries drive on the left hand side of the road and English is an official language in Malta and South Africa. September is a special month for both countries as they celebrate their rich cultural heritage.

The month brings people together to celebrate their heritage and for South Africans living in Malta, the day is just as special as it is in South Africa.

On 24 September, South Africans in Malta can share this special day at a celebration in Malta. Booking is essential, contact saffasmalta@gmail.com to celebrate the heritage of South Africa.

Kom laat ons braai – kuier – our own biltong and boerewors and continue the rugby world gees.

While South Africa’s Heritage Day and Malta’s Independence Day may occur thousands of miles apart, they both stand as testament to the power of culture and heritage in shaping the identity of a nation. These celebrations serve as a reminder that, no matter where we come from, our shared histories and traditions connect us in meaningful ways, fostering a sense of belonging and unity that transcends borders.

 

Contact MaltaLifestyle.com for information on how to relocate, invest in or simply visit Malta:

Are you prepared for the worst-case scenario?

In case of injury or death when traveling or living abroad, are you prepared?

In this highly informative webinar hosted by Merle Whale, experts discuss the crucial legal aspects of preparing for safe foreign travel and provide solutions to dealing with the risks of medical emergencies, or untimely death when traveling abroad. All too often when assisting South Africans with moving to Malta or making decisions about other countries such as Portugal, Cyprus, Mauritius that it is vital to not assume anything. Hence ‘I keep my client informed via regular seminars and periodical newsletters’.

First, Michael Judin, of Judin Combrink Attorneys based in Johannesburg with extensive experience in International Trade Laws & Treaties, Labour and Property law to mention a few, shared the unexpected pitfalls and dangers of traveling abroad without the essential and often lifesaving, preparations. Michael shares some specific example on how clients can get caught unawares and gave some practical advice;

  • Will all your travel and insurance documents be understood by the people of the country of your destination? (i.e. Discovery Travel Insurance policy may not be understood in Japan)
  • Will you have instant credit card coverage if admitted to a foreign hospital for a medical emergency? Pre-advise your banks of travel activities.
  • Does your medical aid cover the cost of an unexpected eventuality? Don’t assume you will be in a position to talk to them after the event has occurred!
  • If you’re emigrating, or in a state of flux, do you have a document of permission from the South African government to hold dual citizenship?
  • When you emigrate, do you have your affairs in order in the event you want to return to live in South Africa? Don’t leave your affairs unsettled.

Next up is Joseph Abela, Abela & Abela Notary familiar with the drawing up of Wills for foreign clients—for those visiting Malta and for those residing there. Joseph advises us to consider the legal implications when foreigners from non-EU countries, who are invested in Malta, pass away. How to be prepared.

The following considerations are discussed:

  • The different customs and laws that regulate your Last Will – in South Africa and Malta (EU).
  • The different types of Wills available in Malta.
  • The importance of validating your Last Will, if drawn up in South Africa.
  • Death and taxes in Malta.
  • How dual citizenship affects your Maltese residency status.

Finally, Maltese funeral director Johann Camilleri, of Active Assistance Services and Camilleri Funeral Directors advises what to do in the event of a South African passing away in Malta and insight into the responsibilities of the undertakers. This includes:

  • Who to notify.
  • The importance of travel insurance.
  • Arranging a burial or cremation.
  • Repatriation.
  • Documents required by the undertakers.
  • Cost of the various options.
  • Check your policies before engaging with any services.
  • A regular family doctor is important.

Topic such as these are important aspects for South Africans considering relocating, obtaining residency or working abroad and nomad workers.

Email merle@maltalifestyle.co.za for further information or access to the recording for upcoming events see www.maltalifestyle.co.za

Top 5 reasons to live in Malta

As the new year begins, you may be reconsidering their residency options and looking to start a new chapter for yourself and your family – Malta might just the place for you!

This small Mediterranean island nation offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and modern conveniences that make it an appealing destination for retirees and expats. From its sunny beaches and crystal-clear waters to its fascinating culture and friendly people, Malta has a lot to offer. Below are some of our top reasons why Malta is an excellent place to live;

1. The Warm Climate

Enjoying 300 days (and 3,000 hours) of sunshine per year, Malta is ideal for year-round outdoor activities and soaking in that Vitamin D directly from the source!
With temperatures stabilized by the Mediterranean Sea, Malta experiences a climate of mild winters which rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius and hot, dry summers with an average temperature of 31 degrees Celsius.

2. Good Affordable Healthcare

Despite its small size, the nation has been regarded as offering some of the best healthcare in the world. Malta has a strong public healthcare system, which provides free services to all local and EU citizens. With a sizable and very well-equipped public hospital and a substantial network of clinics offering preventative, rehabilitative, and curative care. Furthermore, the country’s small size makes it easy and convenient to access healthcare nearby – no matter where you live.

Malta also has a network of private clinics and hospitals offering a broad range of services with considerably affordable pricing. Non-EU citizens living in Malta must obtain private healthcare insurance, the cost of which varies depending on age, health, and other needs. However, you will find that that the cost of which is also extremely affordable, even for a whole family.

3. English speaking

The two official languages of the country are Maltese and English with most of the local population fluent in English.

This official language status makes it easier to conduct international business and day-to-day activities. From healthcare to taxes the ability to communicate seamlessly in English is a primary reason many choose Malta as their newfound home.

4. Safe place to live

Malta famously enjoys a low level of crime – with most of the crime which occurs being non-violent and non-confrontational in nature, mostly described as petty theft. The island nation has also been rated as a low-threat location for terrorism and political, economic, religious, and ethnic violence.

5. Its proximity to mainland Europe

The island’s location in the center of the Mediterranean Sea makes it ideal for reached key cities across mainland Europe. Flights to cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Istanbul, Barcelona, Rome, and Milan are all just 1-3 hours away and available through direct flights.

Other noteworthy reasons include the island’s great food (with a strong Italian influence), rich history and culture, friendly locals, its welcoming expat community, great education system, strong and growing economy, appealing tax structure and many more.

Although it may all seem a little too good to be true, Malta offers a variety of different residency and citizenship options, including a retirement programme, which makes this all achievable.

Interested to learn more and find out if this could be the right move for you, your family, and your business? Get in touch with our experienced experts on malta@maltalifestyle.co.za who will be able to give you tips and suggestions based on your personal requirements.

Plan B, Diversification, Net a Plek?

Would you like some assistance for a bolt-hole, Plan B, currency hedging or ‘Net a Plek’. Find out first-hand and participate in this free express webinar on Thursday 15th April at 18h00 (SA) on aspects particularly relevant for South Africans considering their options in relation to alternatives for investments that meet taxation and foreign exchange regulations.

Malta still tops the score in providing EU Residency and has revamped the options particularly beneficial for Non-EU citizens. Despite global turmoil, Malta continues to surpass their European counterparts with the robust economy, financial infrastructure and laudable handling of the Covid pandemic and vaccination programme.

A safe, well-connected island located in the Mediterranean it’s a safe environment, comfortable year-round climate, friendly and mostly English speaking population.

If you’re looking for someone to be your guiding hand to getting set-up in Malta; whether it’s understanding the people, the places, the permits, the property, procedures, day-to-day living (banking, shopping, medical etc) as well as moving your beloved pets.

Email malta@maltalifestyle.co.za
Book to attend https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/149141741965

Bets on Malta being a Top post-Brexit trading centre

The Independent Malta writes:
Financial experts believe that Malta is second only to Cyprus in bid to become the trading capital in Europe post-Brexit, the world’s foremost provider of in-depth knowledge in the field of multi-asset trading reports.

Headlines in Finance Magnates, 22/02/2021 | “Post-Brexit World. Which EU Country Will Become the New CFD Capital? London used to be the main FX/CFD trading hub in the European Union.”
In the latest edition of the Quarterly Intelligence Report, Finance Magnates Intelligence examines what representatives of brokerage firms involved in European operations think about the changes that may await the market as the Brexit transition period ends.

According to a survey, industry experts believe Cyprus, which is already the leading and most popular licensing jurisdiction for brokers looking to locate in Continental Europe, stands to gain the most from the changes (35%).
Exactly 24% of respondents believe that Malta will take over a large part of the brokerage business, followed by Germany (16%) and France (13%).
The last piece of the brokerage pie is expected to be filled by the CEE market, with Poland, among others being mentioned, the report says. In contrast to other EU countries, Poland offers an additional category of retail clients with a higher price-to-book ratio.

“I do believe Cyprus and Malta have a lot of potentials; however, it all comes down to the fine balance between protecting client interests and leaving some freedom to the brokers. Whoever does this best, ultimately wins,” Natalia Zakharova, Head of Sales at FXOpen, said.

See report here

Malta on your radar

Finding your EU Schengen solution can be easier than you think?

Investment  |  Diversification  |  Lifestyle  |  Plan B

Malta has much to offer on returns on investment for the property. With traditional healthy capital growth and attractive rental returns, earning are in Euros. The property purchase process is simple and the full service is offered for the management of your investment.

No local council taxes. Low taxation on rental income (15%). No inheritance tax (5% duty, immovable property). No tax on worldwide earnings. Double-taxation treaties.

Let me help you find something to put your hard-earned money to good use, protect your investment and put you mind at rest.

Email invest@maltalifestyle.co.za

EU Defines Rules for Getting 5-Year Multiple-Entry Visa to Schengen Area

With the updated Schengen Visa Code that introduced new rules on the procedures of applying for a Schengen Visa, the process for getting a 5-year multiple-entry visa to the EU has never been easier and clearer.

Though in the past, the EU Visa Code enabled travellers to get multi-entry visas for travelling to the Schengen member countries more than once, the rules for getting one were not well and clearly defined.

Now, the updated Visa Code that came into force on February 2, and applies to the embassies, consulates, and visa centres of all 26 Schengen members states abroad, introduces certain rules that visa applicants must meet in order to be granted a Schengen Visa.

A multiple-entry Schengen visa permits its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, as soon as they do not violate the 90/180 rule. This means they do not remain in the Schengen zone longer than 90 days, within 180 days.

The Schengen Visa code has among others been updated to specify new, well defines rules regarding who will benefit from the multiple-entry visas. Among others, the code states that multiple-entry visas will be granted with a validity of one, three and five years, depending on applicants’ visa and travel history.

“…multiple-entry visas with a long validity shall be issued for the following validity periods unless the validity of the visa would exceed that of the travel document:

(a) for a validity period of one year, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years;

(b) for a validity period of two years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the previous two years;

(c) for a validity period of five years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for two years within the previous three years,” the updated Visa Code explains.

Aside from the frequency of travel to the Schengen Area, to get a multiple entry visa, a traveller must meet a few other requirements, as follows:

The traveller must have a reason why he/she needs to enter the Schengen Area multiple times in the following year(s).
The traveller must have a clean visa history, which means he/she never overstayed the validity of a visa in the Schengen Area or worked illegally.
The traveller must have a clean criminal record back at home.
The traveller must present traveller’s insurance for their first trip to the Schengen Area under the multiple entry visa applied for.

Source — https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

South Africans seek attractive investments in Malta

With uncertainties across the global economy, the world’s wealthier citizens are diversifying their investments offshore to spread their exposure and risk. The Mediterranean island of Malta has become an attractive destination for tax-free investments, especially for South Africans in the current economic climate, says Malta resident and investment advisor, Merle Whale, who is currently visiting South Africa to host investment and relocation seminars.

“Malta is a very attractive destination for investment and retirement. There is no death tax in Malta and Malta residents are afforded protection from double taxation within a network of taxation treaties,” Whale explains.

Whale is South African but has lived in Malta for 10 years, sharing her residency experience and advice with other South Africans considering retirement, relocation or investment in the island nation.

“Non-citizens living in Malta are taxed only on their Maltese source of income and capital gains, and not on their total global income. Foreign source capital gains are not taxed even if remitted to Malta.”

Malta has positioned itself to take advantage of the global retirement market, as well as the investment market wanting to diversify assets. There are a variety of residency programmes, from the Malta Retirement Programme; Ordinary, Long Term and Temporary Residence; a Global Residence Programme; and a Highly Qualified Persons Programme.

“The property market is also dynamic and non-residents who wish to invest a lump sum offshore, are advised to consider Malta, as there are lucrative opportunities in the buy/rental market,” says Whale.

“There are no council taxes, low rental taxation, and high demand for rental properties. Anyone can own a property in Malta, even without residency.”

A huge benefit, says Whale, is that English is widely spoken on the islands, and contracts are in English. “If you decide to purchase a property in Malta for an investment, there is no death tax, only a small death duty of 5% on immovable property; with buy to rent, there is only a 15% tax on that income in Malta; no council tax; insurance is low; and there is no charge for garbage removal or sewage, only water and electricity.”

Malta offers an enviable lifestyle with some of the best residency schemes and citizenship by investment programmes, in Europe – and without additional hidden costs,” Whale explains.

Malta also enjoys popularity as a top global destination to retire in, prioritising safety, health services and a competitive cost of living, with favourable residency/citizenship options.

“Because the island is so small, there are big drives for key business focuses around tourism, financial services, fund management and the aviation industry. iGaming is also big business in Malta; it’s also attractive for pharmaceuticals as it is easier for them to register product here within the EU, and Malta also boasts the largest registration of pleasure boats in the Mediterranean.

“I am seeing significant numbers of South Africans investing overseas and comfortably living off the money they invest offshore. Some are selling their homes in South Africa, investing in property elsewhere and living off the rental income, while renting another property locally.

“And with Brexit, Malta is giving all British citizens a 10-year Visa. No other country within the EU has done that.”

Investment Seminars
Seminars are being held on the following dates across SA to discuss the Malta investment options. BOOKING is essential:
JOHANNESBURG: 10 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm, Balalaika Hotel.
DURBAN: 12 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm, The Oyster Box.
CAPE TOWN: 16 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm; Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Limited pre-booked one-on-one consultations are available after each session

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6 Things You Need to Know During Your First Month in Malta

The smallest EU state in size, yet one of the largest in terms of personality and heart, Malta is a veritable paradise to those in search of a beautiful climate, friendly locals and a thriving economy. Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you’re one of the many who have decided on settling in Malta and making our sunny shores your home! As with any other move to another country, it’s good to familiarise yourself with certain issues beforehand; the team at Frank Salt Real Estate shares some tips on surviving your first month in Malta.

1. Summer Sweatin’, Happens So Fast…
(Apologies to any Grease fans out there).
Maltese summers are not to be underestimated! If you’re planning to move some time between the end of June and the beginning of September, be prepared for high temperatures. The good news is that the islands (including Gozo and Comino) are full of beautiful beaches and fun seasonal events held in several localities. Bring plenty of sunblock and start preparing those Instagram hashtags from now!

2. We Drive On the Left. Yes, the Left
One of the biggest culture shocks for new expats when settling in Malta is getting used to driving on the left instead of the right. It’s not uncommon to see a bewildered foreigner blinking in confusion just before a zebra crossing! However, once you get used to it, the distances are relatively very short, and there’s a lot to see and do while on the road.

3. When in Doubt, Catch a Bus…
If you’re not feeling up to braving the roads during your first month in Malta, we recommend getting a Tallinja bus card – the easiest and cheapest way to use the local public transport.

4. … Or a Boat
The Maltese and Gozitans hop between islands by means of a regular and inexpensive ferry service, which only takes about 20 minutes to and fro. The smallest island, Comino, can also be reached the same way.

5. Get Carded
To simplify your daily life in Malta, apply for a residency I.D Card. You’ll need your passport, work contract, an employment certificate from Jobsplus and a tenancy agreement. After you have all your documents in order, head over to the ID offices in Valletta (and afterwards, explore the wonders of this historical capital city!)

6. Accommodation
Maltese real estate has plenty to offer expats, from property facing the stunning sea to apartments or houses in the middle of a quiet village. Generally, renters are expected to pay a deposit along with one or two months’ rent upfront before moving in.

Are You Thinking of Settling in Malta?
The team at Frank Salt Real Estate is here to help you get through your first month in Malta! Contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly and experienced property consultants. Let one of our estate agents find your perfect home while you attend to other important matters of moving.

Article Written By Frank Salt Real Estate

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