Clariant Seeks Enhanced China Presence

02.05.2016 -

Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant has unveiled a new strategy for upgrading its presence in the Greater China market. In a talk at the recent Chinaplas exhibition in Shanghai, the company said the strategy will rest on five local components: Local Insight, Competitiveness, Empowerment, Innovation and Partnerships.

To emphasize its commitment to being a “China Insider,” Clariant plans to shift decision- making authority for the region to the People’s Republic as well as strengthening R&D capabilities locally. Here it is following the lead of competitors such as Germany’s BASF and relocating a member of its executive committee to China.

Christian Kohlpaintner, member of the Swiss company’s executive committee, took up his duties in the country on May 1. Commenting on the decision to post a senior management member there, Kohlpainter said China is a decisive market for Clariant, where the specialty chemicals market can expect growth of about 7 % per year.

At Chinaplas, Jan Kreibaum, the company’s regional head for Greater China, provided details of the new strategy. In particular, he pointed to plans for the One Clariant Campus, a new integrated facility located in Shanghai.

The new regional innovation center is designed to facilitate internal communication and strengthen customer interaction and cooperation, particularly from a R&D perspective. Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the end of 2016. To enhance its local competitiveness, Clariant has earmarked 40 % of its 2017 capital spending budget for investment in China.

Since establishing its first representative office in Tianjin in 1995, the company’s local business has grown to include production facilities and offices in 17 major cities across Greater China with more than 1,500 employees.

In 2015, Clariant recorded sales of 640 million Swiss francs – 11% of its global sales total –  in the region, which includes Taiwan and South Korea in addition to mainland China.