As the world’s most populous country with a population of over 1.44 billion people, China has also become the second largest economy globally. Additionally, it is recognised as the world’s third biggest country by sheer territory.
China’s high growth up to now has been based on resource-intensive manufacturing but its exports have seemingly reached its limits the last few years. To counteract this, the country is implementing efforts in restructuring the economy from low to higher-end manufacturing and services and moving from investment to consumption. Despite its successes in economic growth, Chinese emigration to Europe has increased over the past decade and Chinese moving to Malta is no exception. The main focus for immigrants from China has been the catering sector, but this is changing rapidly with many Chinese investing in import and export businesses, fashion and manufacturing and distribution.
One of the most attractive incentives for many Chinese to move to Malta has been the various residency options on offer by Malta through which Chinese have the opportunity to start their own businesses and also can invest in real estate and construction. Chinese citizens who obtain residency in Malta automatically get visa-free movement to the whole of the Schengen area. This also opens up a whole new world of trade with other countries in the EU block through Malta’s full membership of being part of the EU.
An added bonus for many Chinese moving to EU countries like Malta is the warm climate, the lifestyle, ease of language, investment options, the favourable tax system, affordable healthcare and much more.
Chinese personal income tax rates are anywhere from 3% to 45%. This makes Malta very attractive as a relocation destination because Malta offers many tailor-made tax incentives, not only for those in employment but also for anyone interested in starting a business. In Malta the tax on personal income ranges from 0% to 35% but the 35% tax rate is only reached when annual income is in excess of EUR 60,000. When it comes to starting a business, Malta favours the establishment and registering of companies and offers unbeatable tax incentives to anyone who wants to set up a business. Besides this, there are numerous advantageous assistance programmes available from the government to aspirant entrepreneurs in Malta.
Malta offers a low cost of living and a high quality of life meaning that money in general goes a lot further. Malta is very affordable when it comes to food, transportation and even rental housing. Although renting a property in Malta’s cosmopolitan urban areas is comparable to other European cities, some locations such as those that can be found on the adjacent island of Gozo are extremely affordable, starting at just €550 per month for a modern, two-bedroom, fully-furnished apartment!
According to Numbeo, most consumer prices are lower in China, but here are some examples that affect everyday life that are cheaper in Malta:
Price per square m for an apartment outside city centres are +190.9 % more expensive in Shanghai.
The average monthly salary is -9.5 % lower than that paid in Malta plus interest rates are higher at 4.86%.
Malta enjoys a temperate climate with good weather and does not have any snow during the winter. Enjoying more than 300 days of sunshine a year, it makes the islands irresistible to most people. Experiencing miserable weather for a better part of the year is one also of the major reasons Chinese nationals move to sunnier countries, as the added benefit is that their overall health and discomfort also improve in warmer climates. Another important factor is that the air quality in Malta is good year round compared to big cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai, which can be very unhealthy at times. In China’s metropolitan cities the biggest culprit is the consumption of coal which is used for up to 66% of the energy mix according to https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2018/06/11/helping-china-fight-air-pollution.
Malta has a vibrant and dynamic economy, offering many opportunities for both businesses and individuals. In the last few years, Malta has become a hub for i-Gaming companies (the biggest in Europe) and it has a favourable tax regime which is very attractive to all types of foreign investment. If you are an entrepreneur looking to expand, relocate or establish a business, Malta is an excellent investment destination to consider.
High-Quality Health Care
Malta is well-known for its excellent public and private healthcare systems. It has ultra-modern facilities and highly skilled medical professionals. The public healthcare system is free to all EU citizens and also to any residents that are in employment. Affordable private healthcare options are available for those who want fast access to medical services.
Multilingual Advantage and Friendly People
Maltese and English are the official languages of Malta and this makes it very easy for Chinese expats to communicate and integrate with the local community. Chinese also love the passionate way of living life in Malta as opposed to the more reserved nature that prevails in most of Chinese society.
Safeguarding Human Rights
Malta offers a safe and secure environment for individuals and families alike and violent crime is seldom heard of. Malta has also been chosen to host EuroPride from 7-17 September 2023 as it has consistently been regarded as one of the most progressive and safe places in the world for the global LGBTQ+ community. For many Chinese living in a host country and automatically being part of a minority leads to a better understanding of people in the same situation in their homeland, leading to a better life for everyone.
In China the cost of rental properties are expensive and the same goes for buying. Most of any Chinese citizen’s income is spent on rentals, utilities and schooling for children. It is important to note that cost can vary drastically from first-tier cities to tier-3 cities but for this article we based it on a first-tier city.
In contrast, Malta’s real estate market is driven by strong demand and a positive economic outlook and during the third quarter of 2022 the property price index rose by 5.2% (1.8% inflation adjusted) with continued year-on-year increases.
When looking at the economy of Malta, it is expected that it will grow by a healthy 5.7% this year according to the European Commission with the IMF putting it even higher at 6.2%. It is therefore no wonder that many Chinese citizens move to Malta in order to pursue a more prosperous life.
If you are interested in finding out about moving to and settling in Malta as a Chinese National, do not hesitate to give us a call. Frank Salt Real Estate has more than 50 years of experience in real estate and we can also advise you through our partners on the various residency options that are available for you and your family. We can show you around the islands, organise property viewings for purchase or rentals and we can also advise you on commercial business premises that will suit your needs best through our Commercial Division. To make things even easier, we have dedicated Mandarin-speaking personnel that can help and assist you throughout your entire visit to Malta.
Careers in IT and i-Gaming has resulted in many Chinese making Malta their home, as Malta is the EU’s leading hub when it comes to technology and online gaming.
Malta is no more than two and a half hours of flight time to all major European cities such as Paris, London, Barcelona, Rome and Milan from Luqa International Airport. Due to its location, Malta is perfectly situated as a hub between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East which is great for doing business.
Being at the crossroads of major continents and having been occupied by many nations over the millennia, Malta has a unique character and culture, unlike anything else in Europe. Influences on the region’s culture, cuisine and language can be traced to Spain, France, North Africa and even the Middle East. Malta is thus the perfect melting pot and a fusion hotspot.