DECLARATIONS OF AFFECTION
Malta investors, elucidating their operations on the island, demonstrate that commercial reality robustly corresponds with
the intentions of the national government. Sergio Vella, managing director of Actavis Malta—a division of one of the largest
generics manufacturers in the world—explains the rationale that his company employed in choosing the island for a large-scale
facility. He concedes that the Bolar provision is a first enticement. But Vella explicates the more decisively persuasive
factors: "strong fiscal and legislative incentives;" the "quality and talent of the people;" the renowned regulatory system;
the "extremely supportive and proactive local authorities;" and Malta's recent EU membership.
Sergio Vella, Country Manager, Actavis
Other pharmaceutical companies in Malta reiterate and expand upon Actavis's praise. Ian Restall, general manager of Metallform
Malta—part of the German Metallform GmbH, a manufacturer of precision medical instruments—believes that his employees produce
a superior output that is "as good as it is in Germany"—sound tribute, given the distinguished German manufacturing tradition.
Another generics company, the Spanish Corporación Medichem, has two facilities on the island, one for the manufacture of generic
finished dosage forms—under the name Combino Pharm—and another for the development and manufacture of APIs, under the Medichem
name. The Medichem plant manager, Dino Mangion, fondly remembers that the national administration greatly helped his company
when Medichem first arrived, through "aid in the construction of facilities" and the supply of "professional advice and contacts."
Mangion's counterpart at Combino Pharm, plant manager Patrizio Allegrucci, will agree with the sentiments of his colleagues—and
add that, despite the seeming labor shortage inherent in a minute population, the government dynamically works with the pharmaceutical
players, doing its "utmost to shorten the gap" by partnering with companies to "embark on specific training programs."
Malta is a focal point of the global aspirations of its pharma enterprises. Actavis's Vella remarks, "The support and investment
Actavis has received from its parent company is indicative of the faith they have in the local operations." Indeed, over the
past six years, Actavis headquarters has invested about €50 million ($68 million) to develop and amplify its presence in the
country—and it certainly capitalized on its investment. The generics it develops and manufactures in Malta are exported not
only regionally, but also globally. And one of Malta's key functions is its capacity as a chief launch site for the group.
The Maltese subsidiaries of Corporación Medichem, too, accentuate Malta's role in the global activities of their principals.
Clearly, with the dual operations of two disparate plants, Corporación Medichem chose Malta as a global center to encompass
a comprehensive range of services. Mangion asserts, "In 2009, the Malta site contributed about 8% of the company's sales.
In 2011, this should increase to about 35%." These Maltese enterprises have grown, and will continue to grow.
Metallform's Restall declares, "My advice would be to come to Malta!" He continues: "You'll stay—and if you stay, you will
be successful." Foreign investors have no shortage of affection for this Mediterranean polestar.