Foundations of an Economy

Before Independence in 1964¸ Malta was a Fortress economy¸ with a 160-year tradition of reliance on the British armed forces. The majority of the Maltese workforce was either employed directly by the British forces or in industries servicing the military machines. In the four decades since Independence¸ Malta’s leaders have laid the foundations for a sustainable economy based on tourism¸ industry and services. Apart from the natural beauty of the islands¸ with their golden limestone¸ crystal clear sea and charming rural landscape¸ Malta has no natural resources bar its people. And¸ while from the mid-60s to the mid-80s¸ Malta sold itself as a manufacturing base for products like textiles and electronics¸ using low wages and plentiful supply of labour as its main selling point¸ by the end of the eighties it was recognised that educating the workforce to include highly-qualified professionals would attract higher value added products and services to the island.