Malta is located at the center of the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya. Malta covers just over 316 km², making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries. The Maltese Arhypelago is the smallest of the world and only the 3 largest islands are inhabited - Malta, Gozo and Comino.
The Islands are desirably located in the gateway between Africa and Europe. Malta is the largest of the three islands, and is the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and more known for its rich countryside and open spaces. Comino, while largely uninhabited, is a popular destination for day-trippers.
Malta got wide knows from its rich history of international trade and business, manufacturing and servicing. The island produced cotton woven goods and was full of large manufactories and trade buildings as it grew slowly to become one of the most important business centers.
For near to two centuries, Malta was the Royal Navy's Mediterranean home-port. This placed the foundations for the island's succeeding industrial expansion.
Numerous powers such the Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, the Knights of St. John, the French and British all realized the economic potential of the Maltese islands.
Malta gained Independence from Britain in 1964, became a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in 2004.