|Host City||Canberra, Australia|
|Date||2010 - September|
ABOUT THE CONGRESS
Apart from the broader networking, economic and tourism benefits associated with hosting the MDC, the Mint was proud to be able to show off its newly refurbished facilities and upgraded production processes to heads of world mints and other representatives from the minting industry.
But the benefits of hosting this prestigious international conference did not stop there. Now, two years on, the Royal Australian Mint continues to reap the benefit from hosting the MDC.
With the help of a $30,000 grant from Tourism Australia, the Mint saw the MDC as an opportunity to invite members of the Pacific Islands Central Banks to visit the Royal Australian Mint. Delegates from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga joined other delegates taking advantage of the chance to build relationships and exchange knowledge.
Having the opportunity to showcase the Mint’s expertise and facilities to its neighbours helped pave the way for a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and agreements with Pacific Island Central Banks to be signed, laying the groundwork to work cooperatively on coinage reform programs, supply agreements and the provision of other coinage related services and advice.
“The MDC 2010 assisted the Mint to forge a special relationship with its South Pacific neighbouring countries. The Mint now not only designs and manufactures coins for Samoa and the Solomon Islands; it also provides technical advice on coin related issues. It has helped us reaffirm the Mint’s position as a world class producer of coins for both general circulation and for commemorative occasions, “said Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint, Mr Ross MacDiarmid.
The Solomon Islands was suffering from a coin shortage, but the cost of producing their existing range of coins was greater than the value of those coins and coin reform was desperately needed. The Mint has not only been able to assist the Solomon Islands to establish a more efficient monetary system but is now producing $2, $1, 50c, 20c and 10c coins for this Pacific nation. [The attached image shows Mr Denton Rarawa, Central Bank Governor of Solomon Islands, operating one of the presses making Solomon Islands coins at the Mint.]
Similarly, the Central Bank of Samoa had announced in April 2011 that it would be making major changes to its currency as its existing coins had lost their appeal and relevance. Under the Mint’s long term contract with the Government of Samoa, the old Samoan coins are being replaced with smaller and lighter coins, each with a new design. Also, the 2 tala notes were replaced by a uniquely designed 2 tala coin that features the Samoan national emblem.
“The Royal Australian Mint has designed and produced coins that are low in cost and reflect a more modern Samoa,” Mr MacDiarmid said of the new coins.
While the Mint’s venture into international waters clearly demonstrates its business viability and confirms its future in the international minting community, it also creates broader opportunities for Mint staff, with Mr MacDiarmid noting that “these contracts are a great opportunity for staff to further develop their skills as the coins differ in metal and even sometimes shape from the Australian coins, with one of the most interesting being a scalloped coin”.
The Mint plans to continue to actively pursue opportunities to demonstrate its expertise in coin reform and its status as a world leading minting facility as it builds on relationships established at the XXVI Mint Directors Conference it hosted in Canberra in 2010.
Another step in this direction was the recently held Pacific Islands Coinage Seminar which was aimed at developing the understanding of international coinage issues and trends, and to equip Pacific Islands officials with the necessary knowledge and tools to evaluate the effectiveness of their own coinage system.
Nine countries were represented at the seminar and relationships were further developed with future opportunities on the horizon for the Mint.
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