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Thermo to increase investment in China
By Chen Qide (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-28 08:51

The US Thermo Electron Corporation will invest US$10 million to launch an expansion project in East China's Shanghai Municipality, according to Ken Berger, president of Thermo Electron China.

Berger said the investment was part of the corporation's commitment to the Chinese market.

The investment will be used to enlarge a current 4,000-square-metre factory at Pudong's Jinqiao to 20,000 square metres and more production lines will be installed.

"We will move more products to China and the new facility will more than triple our capacity to produce locally," he said.

As the new workshop goes on stream at the end of this year, China will, for the first time, replace Japan to become Thermo's second largest market in its global business, according to Berger.

Thermo generated global sales of US$2.2 billion last year, with 70 per cent going to life and lab sciences instruments and 30 per cent to measurement and control apparatus.

"Our business in China has the same percentage, but as the market expands, the sales will go up quickly," Berger said.

At present, Thermo's sales in China have exceeded US$100 million, making up 5 per cent of its global business. It would rise to 10 in two to three years, he said.

"Thermo will continue to expand its presence and capability in China to serve the fast growing life and lab sciences, environmental protection and industrial process control markets," Berger said.

He said it would acquire Chinese firms to enlarge its production capacity, and that is expected to increase investment.

Berger didn't give any figures for the future expansion.

Thermo recently restructured its China operations by consolidating its business units into one commercial and manufacturing organization,a key step towards its objectives.

Berger said the company is planning to set up a research and development centre in Shanghai in two to three years to provide technical support for its operations in China and other Asian countries.

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