Rapid expansion in recent years has seen the company significantly increase both its presence and its sales in China, and the chairman-who expects 20% of revenues to originate from the Asia Pacific region by 2012-is confident that this accelerated growth momentum will gain further impetus as the investment continues.
"China is clearly fundamental to our global strategic vision and we are fully committed to expanding our activities in what is one of the world's most important emerging markets," said Wijers. "We have revised our sales target for China a number of times in recent years and this reflects not only the extent of our ambition, but also the confidence we have in the sustainable success of our businesses.
"By hitting our targets we will have quadrupled our revenues in China in well under ten years. We also expect the Asia Pacific region to have almost doubled its contribution towards the company's global revenues in the next five years.
"We have a balanced approach to investing and although we will always keep our financial discipline, we are looking to accelerate growth both organically and through selective acquisitions in order to increase profitability and create value," Wijers continued. "It's all about being fit for the future and firmly establishing ourselves as one of the world's leading and most respected industrial companies."
The last few years have seen significant Akzo Nobel activity in China, where the company's 2006 revenues totaled $800 million. As well as recently announcing a €250 million investment for a new chemicals multi-site in Ningbo, Akzo Nobel has also opened new coatings facilities in Suzhou, Langfang, Tianjin and Jiashing, bringing the total number of plants to 22 and the number of employees to almost 5,000.