The information and computer technology sector in Malta has seen a lot of impressive growth in the last few years. This little Mediterranean island nation is now Europe’s leading performer when it comes to next generation access broadband coverage, also known as NGA. Malta’s eGovernment services have also seen a lot of improvement over the years.
A 2017 report published by the European Commission on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) shows that Malta has above average performance when it comes to the provision of digital public services. Meanwhile, internet usage by businesses and businesses is at an all-time high. Out of all 28 EU member states, Malta sits at the number 12 spot in terms of the DESI index.
The only challenge facing the country is the extreme unavailability of skilled locals to drive the information and technology sector forward. As a result, the government has had to import a lot of skilled labour to help continue the acceleration of the ICT sector in Malta.
The State of the ICT sector in Malta
Malta’s former Ministry for Investment, Industry, and Information Technology has facilitated multiple Vertical Strategic Alliance investments. These include strategic alliances with big tech corporations such as HP, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, ESRI and SAP. Together, these corporations committed a 100 million Euro investment into ICT projects all across Malta.
One of the most notable of these investments was the Smart City Malta project which cost upwards of $300 million. The main goal of this project is to catapult Malta into a position as world leader in the ICT sector. The project is also expected to have created 5600 jobs by the year 2021.
Judging from the bold mission statement put forth through the Vision 2015 and Beyond project, the ICT sector is going to be one of the leading future drivers of economic growth in Malta.
Future Prospects for Malta’s ICT Industry
Although the Maltese government has made great strides in developing the country’s ICT sector, a lot still needs to be done. There’s a great demand for information technology jobs which the local population cannot fulfill alone.
Companies that do training and human resource management of ICT staff, especially from the U.S., will find that there are a lot of opportunities to partake in.
Businesses that supply e-commerce products and services also stand to benefit from the growth of Malta’s ICT sector, as do software management and support professionals. Internet Law practitioners will also have access to numerous opportunities as Malta looks forward to becoming a high-income economy with the ICT sector being one of its main growth drivers.
The Digital Gaming Sector
Although the gaming sector in Malta is still in its infancy, it’s one of the fastest growing industries in the country. This is not by accident. The Maltese government has strategically invested in the sector through a dedicated Digital Games Strategy. Part of this strategy involves leveraging financial incentives to attract gaming entities to the country who will help to establish Malta as a gaming hub.
This is in addition to the provision of new IT related courses that are aimed at upskilling the population in order to meet the coming demand for professionals in the gaming sector when it does eventually blow up, which it will.
Related read: Meeting the Modern Demands: 4 Steps to Becoming an IT Specialist
The Maltese government has also invested in a Smart City design that will enable IT businesses to not just survive but thrive. This is in addition to creating a Digital Games Fund in order to invest in viable digital gaming projects.
When it comes to the European continent, Malta is undoubtedly a leader in the iGaming sector, having helped to setup the infrastructure needed to effectively regulate gaming. Malta is also recognized as having one of the most comprehensive gaming policies and regulations in the industry.
The Maltese government has laid a very strong foundation for ICT growth in the form of advanced telecoms infrastructure and a skilled multilingual workforce. And if current trends are anything to go by, then Malta is set to attract big players in the digital gaming and ICT industries that will catapult the country into becoming a global ICT force to the reckoned with.