Bayer to spend €1 billion on China expansion

Germany's Bayer Group said Thursday it would spend €1 billion ($1.3 billion) over five years to expand its high-tech materials business in China to capitalise on the growing economy.

Bayer to spend €1 billion on China expansion
Photo: DPA

The company will invest in five separate projects to expand its production facilities in Shanghai, the financial hub of the world’s second largest economy, Bayer said in a statement.

The new investment is in addition to Bayer’s €2.1 billion investment in the city as part of a long-term project due to be completed in 2012. The latest plan signals Bayer will intensify its focus on the Asia Pacific region, where it expects consistent growth in its customer industries, the company said.

“The strong economic growth in China and in the whole region offers us outstanding opportunities, and we want to make the most of them,” Bayer MaterialScience chief executive Patrick Thomas said in the statement.

It also announced Thursday plans to move the headquarters of its polycarbonates business to Shanghai from Leverkusen in western Germany and expand its Shanghai research and development centre for polymers.

Polycarbonates are a type of plastic used in the automotive, electronic and construction industries.

China’s economy expanded 9.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter. The World Bank expects the economy to grow 10 percent this year before slowing to 8.7 percent in 2011.


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Germany toughens China travel warning over ‘invasive’ Covid tests

Germany has toughened its advisory against travel to China, warning that travellers could be placed under hospital quarantine for weeks upon arrival and subjected to "invasive" medical tests even if they have previously recovered from the coronavirus.

Germany toughens China travel warning over 'invasive' Covid tests
A plane flying from Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

In its latest travel advisory update, the Foreign Ministry said that the stringent measures were imposed on “people cured of Covid-19”, as well as others who test positive for antibodies because of an undetected illness, or others who had arrived on the same flight and who test positive for the coronavirus.

“Medical measures applied by the Chinese side are invasive and include in part daily blood tests and computer scans,” the Foreign Ministry said.

All travellers arriving in China are required to serve a 14-day quarantine at a location determined by the government.

While small children are “as a rule” allowed to spend their quarantine with their parents, those aged 14 years and up can be placed in isolation away from their family.

The Süddeutsche newspaper reported that the ministry had heightened its warning after two German nationals were held in hospital quarantine for several weeks.

Both had recovered from the coronavirus previously and had tested positive for antibodies, added the report, noting that they were nevertheless forced to undergo medical tests.

The newspaper said the Foreign Ministry had filed protests with the Chinese government over how the two Germans were treated.