Several industries have experienced growth in Malta since the early 1990s. The principal growth industries include shipbuilding and repair, construction, electronics, and textiles. Industry provides 24 percent of employment and manufactured products account for 90 percent of Malta's exports. The Malta Development Corporation (MDC) is a government venture that works to attract foreign industry to the island. The MDC also oversees the management of Malta's 12 industrial parks and provides low-interest loans for foreign companies moving to the islands. There are now about 200 foreign manufacturing firms in Malta of which the largest is SGS Thomson, a French company that employs 1,800 people in Malta and has annual sales of US$1 billion.
Malta's location along major commercial sea lanes in the Mediterranean has made it a major port area and gateway for products being shipped to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. The government has developed extensive storage facilities for goods, including grain silos and an oil terminal. Goods are shipped to Malta and then transported throughout the Mediterranean region. All aspects of marine services, including shipbuilding, repair, loading, and unloading of goods, have experienced growth in the past decade. The government has promoted the island as a major port by eliminating all taxes and tariffs on goods that are imported by companies licensed to trade in the Malta Freeport terminals.
New construction of homes and businesses is a steady benefit of economic growth. The construction industry has been bolstered by heavy government spending on massive road-building projects. The electronics industry has experienced dramatic growth since several computer manufacturing companies have opened plants in Malta. There are several manufacturing companies in Malta, producing everything from footwear to machine products, and automobile parts to cigarettes.