Swedish Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company Besedo is in the process of setting up a new service centre in Malta that is expected to generate more than 200 jobs over the next three years, Investment and IT Minister Austin Gatt announced yesterday.

"This is a very important addition to our economic scenario... it complements our whole IT expansion," Dr Gatt said shortly before handing over the letter of intent to Besedo Group CEO Jesper Lilliesköld.

Besedo offers its services to three types of internet sites: Classified sites, online financial services sites and the iGaming industry. The latter has a strong presence in Malta.

Mr Lilliesköld explained that Besedo, which was set up in 2002, aimed to set up teams to deal in three major areas: Contact management that was similar to customer services; content management that ensured a good online quality and that content was legal; and abuse management that aimed to prevent online fraud and theft such as credit card fraud.

He said that Besedo chose to set up a service centre in Malta "because it is an interesting place when it comes to the online services", has a strong iGaming presence and offers the possibility of finding competent staff that know the languages required namely English, Italian and French.

Discussions on the Malta project started early in 2007 and it is estimated to generate €5 to €10 million in new contracts from outsourced work.

Mr Lilliesköld said Besedo has already started the recruitment process and would be investing heavily in educating and developing its local staff.

Dr Gatt noted that the significance of this investment was not simply be the creation of new jobs, that would eventually lead to a total of some 1,000 jobs in BPO companies, but was "a quality leap" in the nature of the business Malta attracted. This, he said, was no ordinary call centre: "It uses our ICT infrastructure to provide a high value-added service to customers."

Since it was set up Besedo has registered growth rates of between 50 and 100 per cent per annum leading to its expansion. Recently the group set up another company in Malaysia.


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