“These investments will considerably strengthen our position in China and enable us to respond to market demands quickly and flexibly,” said Rudy van der Meer, Member of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management responsible for Coatings. “The facilities will also serve as a platform for the further expansion of our activities in the region. It is one of Akzo Nobel’s stated strategic goals to increase our market share in the fast growing Asian economies, and China is a key market.”
The site in Suzhou, near Shanghai, will house three of Akzo Nobel Coatings’ core businesses, car refinishes, powder coatings and transportation coatings, creating about 150 new jobs. “The construction of the shared site in Suzhou underlines our strategy to exploit the common interests of our different coatings businesses,” Van der Meer added. “This combined solution offers very promising long-term perspectives: we have ample space for growth, not only for the businesses that will use the site initially, but also for some of our other activities. We will also benefit from cost synergies.”
The other site, in Dongguan City, between Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Southern China, will initially produce industrial wood coatings. The plant will have about 100 employees. There are plans for other industrial coatings activities to follow in the course of 2001. “The Dongguan investment will solidify and further develop our already strong position in the Chinese wood coatings market”, said Van der Meer. “Akzo Nobel has a long term commitment to the rapidly growing furniture industry in China, one of the major furniture producing countries in the world.”
Both projects are planned to be completed before July 2001.
Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings, and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 1999 (excluding Acordis) totaled some EUR 12 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8 billion). At the beginning of 2000, the Company employed 68,000 people in 75 countries. Financial results for the second quarter of 2000 will be announced on July 26, 2000.