A nice wrap-up provided by malta-expatguide.com: "Following Malta's independence in 1964, the Maltese economy has evolved from one dependent on the stationing of British naval units on the islands, to a market-driven economy, with particular emphasis on higher value added economic activities in services, notably financial services and tourism. Challenges to the Maltese economy are the relatively small domestic market and the disadvantages brought about by insularity. In addition, Malta's only natural resources are its yellowish, porous limestone and very limited freshwater supplies. It only produces around 20% of its food needs and imports all of its energy, although some investment in promoting solar energy has been undertaken by government. Yet it also enjoys an advantageous location between Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, as well as a multilingual, productive workforce, factors which have attracted foreign investment. The economy depends on trade, manufacturing, tourism, and financial services.
St. Julians/Sliema - Malta's commercial hub.
Despite the economic and political instability that have affected the Mediterranean region in recent years, Malta's economy continued to perform well. GDP per capita in 2011 stood at around €21,000 or 85% of the EU average. Measures have also been taken to enhance the competitiveness and soundness of its growing financial sector, which is currently eight times the size of the economy and which has remained largely unaffected by the European ... read on."