PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER: Speech delivered by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the announcement of the collaboration between Crane Currency and the Government of Malta at the Crane Headquarters in Boston, United States

What is being announced today is a significant landmark achievement for our nation, and I believe it is an extremely pleasant coincidence that we are marking it on the 52nd anniversary of Malta’s Independence.

Crane, a fully integrated world-class American banknote printing facility, is committing to a $100 million investment and creating 200 productive, quality jobs which will likely increase to 300 within the currency printing business.

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.

We started engaging with Crane at roughly the same time during which another valued investor in this sector decided to restructure its operations in our country, shifting focus away from currency printing to another niche within the same sector. Whilst we supported the other company in its endeavours to invest further to secure its future in Malta, both Crane and ourselves saw that a new opportunity was being created.

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. This will be a challenge to which the Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo, MCAST and Jobsplus are totally committed.

Three years ago we said that this government would not restrict itself to seeking foreign direct investment from Europe but would adopt a global approach. Over this period of time we managed to attract investment from countries as diverse as China, the United States, Turkey, Singapore, Iceland, Jordan, India, Azerbaijan, Israel and, of course, Europe.

The latest official statistics, in fact, show that the stock of foreign direct investment in Malta’s industry has risen by Euros 333 million. And as a result, after years during which thousands of manufacturing jobs were lost, we are now seeing industrial employment rise again.

We are thrilled that with Crane we have now managed to attract the largest greenfield investment in manufacturing in 35 years. This major investment project from the United States of America will join a significant community of US-owned manufacturing industries in Malta, such as Baxter, Cardinal Health and Methode.

We have good reason to be happy for Malta, all the way from Boston. We are also thrilled that Boston now has a second link to Malta. In fact, Boston-based Partners Health Care International have recently announced their involvement with Vitals, who are investing Euro 200 million in Malta’s health care infrastructure. Partners Health Care International is the academic global arm of Partners Health Care, founded by the two oldest and largest teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.

I would like to conclude by thanking a number of people who were very important in getting things done:

Minister Chris Cardona; former Malta Enterprise Chairman Mario Vella, and his successor William Wait; Malta Industrial Parks Chairman Tony Zahra; Malta Enterprise CEO Mario Galea, together with George Francalanza and his team; Bank of Valletta Chairman John Cassar White and his team; the General Workers’ Union, particularly Josef Bugeja; Matthew Calascione; and my Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, who was the catalyst in making sure that things get done.

Finally, I would like to thank Stephen De Falco, Doug Prince, Annemarie Watson, John Scott and everyone at Crane for believing in this project. Over the past months we tested each other’s mettle. You showed us that once the business case was there, you put your money where your mouth is. I hoped we showed you we are a government, and a country, that can deliver at the same pace as the private sector, even to the tight timelines of an American corporation.

Source: Government of Malta