A look at several business measures included in the 2023 Budget to spur investment in Environment, Social and Governance credentials, as well as to boost investment among private industry for mot digitalised and sustainable business models
In 2022, Malta Enterprise assisted 35 projects for start-up businesses, with a total investment of €22 million.
In 2023, Government will launch a one-stop-shop called Start in Malta. This will offer assistance services so that more start-ups can be established in Malta, while assistance can be given on application forms for Malta Enterprise schemes.
Government also intends to launch an EU Start-ups Summit in 2023, which would serve as an international conference attracting the best start-ups Europe has to offer.
New business incubation centre
With the greatest effort being made in the area of start-ups, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said the same can be said for Business Incubation Centres, which are being built to “the highest standards”.
Malta Enterprise, which manages the Kordin Business Incubation Centre, will be developing a European Business Incubation Centre through the use of European funds. The European centre will act as a “touch down facility of the highest standard” for innovative start-ups that continue to diversify Malta’s economy.
Investment in SMEs
In 2023, cash grants in the form of a €40 million Government investment in SMEs under the scheme ‘Business Enhance’ will be made available.
In addition, Malta will continue to participate in the InvestEU initiative which will provide other opportunities to enterprises. Financial instruments for businesses through the use of European funds will continue in the coming years, Minister Caruana said.
Digital Innovation Hub
A very important decision for Malta, the European Commission in 2022 accepted that a Digital Innovation Hub be financed through EU funds.
The hub is aimed providing SMEs and start-ups with opportunities for digital transformation through technologies such as AI, Cyber High Performance Computing and cloud solutions.
Government aid for businesses that invest in digital and sustainable models
Malta Enterprise will double financial assistance in the form of cash grants for local companies that invest in digital and sustainable projects. The grant will allow businesses to recover 50 per cent of eligible investment, at a maximum of €100,000.
Businesses in Gozo as well as start-ups will also benefit from an extra 10 per cent in the form of tax credits, which can go up to 20 per cent if companies invest in projects that reduce its carbon footprint created through its operations.
Government will double the tax credits when investing int their own companies. Indeed, local enterprises can benefit up to a maximum of €40,000 in tax credits when investing in digital projects, energy efficiency projects, and efficiency projects such as reducing the waste of raw materials or rubbish. From this increase, all businesses, including SMEs, will be eligible.
Increased assistance for companies to reach ESG credentials
Malta Enterprise will develop official guidelines for companies to reach the desired Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) credentials. This process is being extended in the form of technical support for SMEs through collaboration with European countries that also want to push businesses to make the jump in quality.
Venture Capital funds
Studies on the launch of a Venture Capital fund are ongoing. The aim is to have a framework for Venture Capital funds that will help establish industries in Malta.
Government confirmed that Malta will participate in the 2025 World Expo that will take place in Osaka, Japan. Malta will be among 150 countries promoting their economy, technology, tourism and all that the country has to offer.
Clyde Caruana in Parliament / Photo by Clodagh O’Neil
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