The Business Guide
For a tourist who would love to network, meet business like-minds, probably close a deal or two, and enjoy every bit of his stay in Malta you have to read this. Malta is quite an easy location to meet these travel goals and with the following tips and facts about the Maltese businessmen and women, you can gradually move closer to them and pitch your next big idea with the snap of a finger.
International business in Malta: A country’s culture reflect the ways people think and behave. Knowledge of a country’s culture can, therefore, be of significant importance if you wish to communicate with your Maltese counterparts effectively.
Let’s take each detail below and learn a thing or two about Malta.
Majority of the Maltese people are bilingual in nature. They are fluent in both Maltese, Italian and English. Officially, many written publications are in both Maltese and English and most business and commercial documents are also in English language as well.
Choice of Religion:
The main religion in Malta is Roman Catholic, but freedom of religion is guaranteed as a constitutional right to all people.
Kind of Weather:
The climate is mild and temperatures vary between an average maximum of 30 °C in summer to an average minimum of 9° C in Winter.
This would help you If you want to work with flattery using the historical background of the governance in Malta. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, Knights of St John, the French and finally the British have ruled Malta.
The Republic of Malta is a representative democracy: the President of the Republic who is also Head of State and has a mainly representative role and is elected every five years by the House of Representatives. The Parliament is composed of the House of Representatives, (il-Kamra tad-Deputati), which has 65 members elected every five years. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic and represents the Executive power of the country.
The legal system is based on English common law. Judges are appointed by the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Since 1993 Malta has been divided into 68 local councils or localities which are responsible for the administration of regions or cities. Most financial, fiscal and commercial legislation is based on British law.
Malta has a diversified economy which relies mainly on tourism, financial services and manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, light engineering, and healthcare.
Recent Government policy in the tourism sector has focused on diversification of the tourist offerings promoting not only the ‘sun and sea’ aspects of Malta as a destination but also emphasizing the cultural and historical attractions for visitors.
Maltese people are friendly and courteous. Like people of other Mediterranean cultures, they are usually informal but they prefer to create an atmosphere of trust before doing business.
Manner of Speech:
During conversations and business meetings your Maltese counterpart may speak in an animated and excitable way and this is just a normal manner of expression. Great idea if you adapt easily to your current location and its people.
The Maltese have a strong sense of their own identity and yet are very Mediterranean with a typical European lifestyle. They are proud of their tolerant traditions and customs and are very tolerant of other customs or religious beliefs too. For this reason, there are many mixed marriages in Malta.
Malta has a rich cultural and social life that includes musical concerts, art exhibitions, and the traditional religious processions.
Sense of humor:
Maltese people have a strong sense of irony and a good sense of humor.
Business cultural taboos:
The Maltese people tend to be quite open minded but generally, politics, religion, and family are serious subjects for them and not ones that should necessarily be discussed at first meetings. If you do discuss one of these topics, especially during a first meeting, go with the flow because disagreeing might create a bad impression and get you off on the wrong foot.
These are some small facts that could do some good on your next travel to Malta that you may want to keep handy.
- Smoking etiquette: Since the introduction of a smoking ban in 2005 smoking in all enclosed public places is prohibited.
- Mobile etiquette. People often use their mobile phones in public places. It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, but it’s not unusual to see bus drivers talk on the phone at any time.
- Mobile Services. Prepaid SIM cards are readily available at many retail locations and markets throughout Malta allowing you to obtain a local mobile number. In Malta, there are no area codes and usually, mobile numbers have eight digits. The prefix of the fixed line telephone numbers are 21 and 27 while mobile telephone numbers have the prefix 79, 77 or 99. If you want to call Malta from abroad, you should first dial the international access code, then the country code +356 and the specific mobile number.
- Internet Access. Free WiFi is available at many cafes and restaurants, and some public access areas including MaltaInternationalAirport. All McDonald’s restaurants provide free WiFi as well as several WiFi hotspot providers offering WiFi services for fees ranging from €3/hour to daily and weekly options.
The Malta Communications Authority provides a list of their Free Wi-Fi hotspots here – http://www.mca.org.mt/wifi-hotspots.