Chemical giant BASF said on Sept. 29 that it would invest two billion euros (US$2.9 billion) by 2013 in the Asia Pacific region to double its sales there by 2020.
The group also said it would hire at least 5,000 new staff, bringing its total in the area to around 20,000, and generate 70% of its sales from local production.
"The current economic situation does not change our positive expectations of the long-term potential of these dynamic markets," a statement quoted BASF regional director Martin Brudermueller as saying.
Among the Chinese cities where investment was planned were Nanjing and Chongqing.
The German group is present in 15 Asia Pacific countries, with major operations in China, India, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.
In addition to the planned investments, BASF said it would reduce costs by at least 100 million euros per year by 2012 through increased efficiency at its existing operations.
BASF was hit hard by the international economic crisis, and said in July that it expects a significant decline in sales and earnings this year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009