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The world's largest chemical company, Bayer ag, has reshuffled its global business plans and the Asia-Pacific region is at the centre of it. As a major strategic step, the company has announced the construction of its largest investment project in China: a us $340 million joint venture project with China's Shanghai Chloride Co Ltd to produce 200,000 tonnes of polycarbonate 2006 onwards. According to the agreement signed on November 26, 2003, Bayer will have a 90 per cent stake in the plant and the Shanghai firm will own 10 per cent.
Bayer chairperson Werner Wenning, speaking to the press 2 days later, said the idea was to develop a world-class production base in China. The project was part of Bayer's capital input plan for China, its most prominent investment area in the region, Wenning said. Till 2010, Bayer Materials Science will allocate 75 per cent of its global strategic investment to the construction of production facilities at Caojing, Shanghai. The total investment is expected to be us $ 3.1 billion. (Bayer Materials Science is one of the three subgroups formed through the re-organisation of the global Bayer Group. The reshuffle was aimed at focussing the company's financial and management resources on such core businesses as health care, nutrition and innovative materials.) "Growth will come primarily from products containing newly researched active ingredients, from the consumer health care business and from Asia," Wenning said.
Bayer's sales revenue in the Asia-Pacific region has more than doubled over the past decade. In that period, China became the fourth-largest consumer of chemical products in the world, after the us, Japan and Germany.