By RAJAN NAZRAN
Walking through the Maltese capital of Valletta you would be forgiven in thinking it was an active film set for a historical blockbuster. It instantly becomes obvious why it was selected as European city of Culture 2018 and is quickly becoming the favoured spot for recent Bollywood film productions; Thugs of Hindustan and Bharat. Every street corner is an orchestra of authentic culture that permeates through the exquisitely carved sandstone architecture, with live street musicians displaying studio-talented performances or families enjoying alfresco organic dining with warm dusky views of the calm Mediterranean sea (with one of the 365 historic churches nearby for good measure!). Malta is an interesting country that offers several opportunities for Global Indians. Do not get me wrong, she’s had her fair share of international incidents, including the European refugee crisis, but there is another narrative that our community would benefit from. One thing that is directly attributed to the success of this island is the strides made by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to bring Malta firmly onto the centre stage of European affairs. He activated the swift waves of economic reforms that changed the fate of the country; one that could be victim of the region’s financial turmoil, to one of the very few operating at a substantial surplus, including its technological presence as the Blockchain Island. As both an active member of the Commonwealth and the EU, he also actively engaged both parties by hosting a successful CHOGAM as well as gaining EU approvals for international reforms. With the strategic assistance of Henley and Partners, the Government released the Individual Investment Program (IIP), with the main idea to close the gap of international talent to Malta. As you will soon learn, citizenship and residency is now becoming a global phenomenon. Malta, along with a small number of reputable countries and service providers like Henley and partners and GICG, are leading the way in professionalism and reliability in this sector. The Maltese IIP program is a true maturity of product offering that provides direct access to the world markets whilst providing a range of protective instruments that could assist Global Indians. When you consider the fact that Indians are truly a global community, it’s a shock that the passport of India only allows you visa free access to 59 countries whereas the Maltese passport offers visa free or visa-on-access to over 183 countries. This combined with the added security of the EU citizenship and the various vehicles that are offered within the country for personal finance solutions through to corporate set ups through companies like KSI Malta, make the above interesting for a number of reasons, including ship registration opportunities, residency and fund management options. During my journey through Malta, I also invited 2 leading experts to accompany me: Jagjit Singh Nazran who was a former board member and head of legal for Santander Asset Management UK, NED of several FinTech companies and special advisor to a number of family offices for global Indians and Lawrence Narayan, Director of The Macquarie Group in Australia and private investor. Both provided their critical eye on the deeper conversations and tested the waters on the viability of the particular opportunities marketed by the Government. The reality is, we are the first testing call for our audience when considering opportunities globally. So with my eye for accuracy, I have elected to only involve within this feature companies that we collectively saw as being a credible fit for our community. Without further ado, I welcome you to your Global Indian series and introducing you to Malta.
Every street corner is an orchestra of authentic culture that permeates through the exquisitely carved sandstone architecture, with live street musicians displaying studio-talented performances or families enjoying alfresco organic dining with warm dusky views of the calm Mediterranean sea”