PM signs state-of-the-art $100 mil­lion cur­rency op­er­a­tion deal in Bos­ton

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - He­lena Grech

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat yes­ter­day af­ter­noon signed an agree­ment worth $100 mil­lion with a Bos­ton-based cur­rency printer that is to set up shop in Malta.

Speak­ing from Bos­ton, Dr Mus­cat said the in­vest­ment, be­ing un­der­taken by Crane Cur­rency, will cre­ate 200 jobs ini­tially – a num­ber that is ex­pected to rise to 300 in due course.

The fa­cil­ity will be lo­cated in Ħal Far, Dr Mus­cat said, and would her­ald a “turn­around” for the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. It will be op­er­a­tional in 18 months’ time and will take up roughly 20,000 square me­tres.

Dr Mus­cat said that the com­pany would join a “sig­nif­i­cant” com­mu­nity of Amer­i­can in­vestors in Malta, and that the in­vest­ment made good on the gov­ern­ment’s pledge to go be­yond Euro­pean shores when seek­ing in­vest­ment.

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat said that the op­por­tu­nity arose for Crane Cap­i­tal to con­sider Malta as the next lo­ca­tion to ex­pand af­ter it was an­nounced that De La Rue would be re­struc­tur­ing its main op­er­a­tions.

He also said that De La Rue, the big­gest cur­rency man­u­fac­turer in the world will re­main in Malta and will shift its busi­ness to an­other niche within the cur­rency print­ing sec­tor.

“To give one an inkling of the sheer sig­nif­i­cance of this in­vest­ment to our man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, I need only say that the last time that our coun­try man­aged to at­tract an in­vest­ment of this mag­ni­tude, with a com­pa­ra­ble num­ber of em­ploy­ees, was in 1981. At the time, SGS-Ates,

now ST Mi­cro­elec­tron­ics, started op­er­at­ing out of Malta with 127 em­ploy­ees, and 35 years later it is largest for­eign-owned em­ployer in the coun­try.

“The Crane story demon­strates how hard work, net­work­ing, per­se­ver­ance, and be­lief in our na­tional of­fer­ing can re­ally turn chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties. It shows that glob­al­i­sa­tion is a process in which one has to be in­no­va­tive, proac­tive in­stead of be­ing com­pla­cent be­cause of lim­i­ta­tions,” he said.

Crane was founded in 1801 by Ze­nas Crane in Bos­ton. It now has fa­cil­i­ties in the USA and Swe­den and is in­volved in the cur­ren­cies of more than 50 coun­tries.

“With Crane’s in­vest­ment, we are not only pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive to those who were al­ready en­gaged in cur­rency print­ing in Malta, but we are of­fer­ing young peo­ple new re­ward­ing ca­reers and qual­ity jobs.

“Over the next year where Crane will be pre­par­ing their op­er­a­tions in Malta, we will be en­gag­ing in pre­par­ing new train­ing cour­ses aimed at mak­ing sure that the young and not so young who want to ac­quire th­ese skills are able to do so, to land a job at Crane and other play­ers in the print­ing in­dus­try,” Dr Mus­cat said.

Ed­u­ca­tion and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Evarist Bar­tolo said that cur­rently talks are un­der­way with Job­splus, the na­tional train­ing, labour mar­ket re­searcher and job seek­ing en­tity, and MCAST in order to as­cer­tain what type of vo­ca­tional train­ing is needed to ful­fil the jobs.

Mr Bar­tolo said the fact that Crane Cur­rency will be set­ting up shop in Malta does not alone please him, but rather what he wants to see is the fac­tory em­ploy­ing Mal­tese peo­ple.

Asked whether the lo­cal work­force have the nec­es­sary skills to ful­fil the po­si­tions cre­ated by Crane Cur­rency, Mr Bar­tolo said 18 months is enough time to carry out the nec­es­sary train­ing.

Mr Bar­tolo made note of his plea­sure for Malta to have a mixed econ­omy, mean­ing that not only are the sec­tors di­ver­si­fied, but that there is also a va­ri­ety of coun­tries in­vest­ing in the is­land.

He ex­pressed his sat­is­fac­tion with de­creased re­liance on the heav­ily ser­vices based econ­omy char­ac­ter­is­tic of Malta, and noted how the EU has made ef­forts to move away from be­ing a solely ser­vices based econ­omy.

Crane Cur­rency CEO Stephen DeFalco said that in all his years as a busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive, the Mal­tese team has been “the most pro­fes­sional and re­spon­sive” team he has worked with.

Mr DeFalco said that Malta was an ideal choice for the com­pany in view of the 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence it has in cur­rency print­ing. He said that this was the first state-of-the-art cur­rency bank­ing fa­cil­ity to be built in this mil­len­nium, adding that this in­vest­ment is the cul­mi­na­tion of 15 years of the com­pany fo­cus­ing on cur­rency.

Malta En­ter­prise CEO Mario Galea said that the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try has con­tin­ued to strengthen through such an in­vest­ment – adding that the in­dus­try makes up a quar­ter of GDP and em­ploy­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.