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Hans Wijers, CEO of Dutch multinational Akzo Nobel has disclosed details of plans to set up a new regional head office in Shanghai.
The decision to establish a new base in the city marks another milestone in the Company’s ongoing efforts to consolidate its activities in one of the world’s most important emerging markets. “We more than doubled our sales in China in less than five years and our ambition is to repeat that,” said Wijers. “We are strongly committed to further expansion in China, which has a key role in the Company’s growth strategy.
In the space of just ten years, Akzo Nobel has strengthened its presence in China considerably. This expansion has seen the Company surge from a position where it imported products through five representative offices to the stage where it is now a dedicated organization with around USD 500 million in sales and runs more than 20 Chinese operations employing 3,000 people.
Nearly all of Akzo Nobel’s businesses have some active involvement in China, where nearly 70 percent of all locally manufactured goods are sold in the country itself. Bearing this in mind, China has become an important strategic region for the Company. “Our approach with regards to China and its enormous market potential is based on the firm strategy Akzo Nobel follows across the globe,” added Wijers. “We are actively obtaining leadership positions in selective markets in healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. We look for market segments with attractive structural profitability and we are developing the necessary critical mass to play a significant role in our industries. Our entrepreneurial way of doing business is the best way to encourage further growth, and our continued expansion in China will be accelerated by directly serving the fast-growing Chinese market. The new Shanghai office will play a vital role in supporting our businesses in this important part of the world.”
Akzo Nobel sales in China in 2003 were USD 484 million, having more than doubled in five years. The Company’s Coatings group is the major player (63%), followed by Chemicals (28%) and Pharma (9%). In total, Akzo Nobel is represented at 21 locations in all major areas.
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