Three companies have re-affirmed their intentions to invest further in Malta.

Speaking on a panel in London about information and communications technology 'nearshoring' in Malta last week, officials from HSBC, Vodafone and De La Rue all said they were committed to their operations in the small European island nation.

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HSBC Bank Malta’s chief executive officer Alan Richards pointed out that his company was one of the largest private sector employers in the country, and that its business would be there for the long term.

He said: “The ambition of the [Maltese] government is to grow its financial services sector to 12% to 25% of its GDP by 2015. We are investing to be a part of that, and we will continue to do so.”

His counterpart at Vodafone Malta, Inaki Berroeta, gushed at the future opportunities for his firm in the country.

Mr Berroeta said: “40% of phone sales in Malta are smart phones. That is a rapid penetration rate and will require us to invest more.”