Profiling so many companies, common themes begin to emerge. While the rising cost of raw materials and the formulation of greener technology are major driving forces in today's industry, globalization continues to be the major trend influencing the top paint and coatings firms. As has been the case for the past several years, the Asia-Pacific region† is the hottest spot, fueling much of the growth. Whether its setting up joint ventures, breaking ground on new manufacturing sites or increasing technical and sales support, build up continues to gain momentum in Asia, particularly China. In addition, more and more firms from the West are investing their dollars in other growth markets, such as Eastern Europe and India.
We're proud to say that each year our list of companies continues to grow. This year we included 67 companies in our ranking. The top ten has not changed much aside from BASF and RPM swapping the seven and nine slots. The top ten are, in order, Akzo Nobel, Henkel, ICI, Sherwin-Williams, PPG, DuPont, RPM, Valspar, BASF Coatings and SigmaKalon. Two of last year's top companies are no longer listed. Akzo Nobel acquired Sico making it the leading manufacturer in Canada, and Ameron was taken over by PPG.
As Coatings World continues to extend its global reach, the magazine is finding its way into the hands of coatings professionals across the world that want to be included in this report. This year we welcome for the first time Russian Coatings, which represents the second Russian coatings firm included in our report, Looser Holding AG of Switzerland and Inver SpA of Italy. Moving ahead, we look forward to hearing from and learning about others that deserve to be ranked among our Top Companies. Please contact me and let me know about your company for possible inclusion.