Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 at 10:13 am by Andre Camilleri
The National Foreign Direct Investment Screening Office (NFDIS) was inaugurated by the Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri, Chairperson of the NFDIS Mr Mario Galea, and Director General for Trade of the European Commission Dr Damien Levie. It will serve as a tool to ensure good governance by protecting Malta’s investment interests. The Office will ensure good governance and that the investment attracted to our country from outside of the European Union is secure.
Minister Silvio Schembri stated that the office screens investment of strategic importance in sectors such as energy, transport, health, artificial intelligence, infrastructure, and cybersecurity. He described how through this office, information can be exchanged, facilitating a transfer of knowledge and build-up of intelligence.
“The Malta Office will be busy screening and evaluating project proposals from investments being registered here and providing its observations, while at the same time giving its input on investments realised in EU countries”, said the minister.
“You are welcome in Malta. We will help you get established and succeed. We will carry out checks, but we won’t tie you up in bureaucracy”, continued the minister, assuring investors. He went on to say that in cases where the activities of an investor do not require screening or further evaluation, the Office can give the green light within days. This has been the case in almost 98% of all applications.
Statistical information outlined that in the past year NFDIS has:
- Evaluated more than a thousand documents of investments being made in Malta.
- Of these, 15 local investment proposals were circulated for EU and member state reviews through the screening mechanism. On all projects, the recommendations of the Malta office were upheld.
- Fewer than 10 local investment proposals were either aborted or failed. They did not meet the required due diligence or fell by the wayside for other reasons.
- The Office also reviewed more than 300 investment proposals occurring in other EU jurisdictions, such as France, Italy, Austria and Germany.
Mr Mario Galea, Chairperson of NFDIS Malta, pointed out that nowadays the competitiveness of a country is measured by its level of good governance, transparency and on how easy it is to conduct business in the country. He concluded by referring to the efficiency of the process, noting that the legislation and the screening mechanism provide clear deadlines for responses.