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January 15, 2010

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Home » Business » Manufacturing

City lures Roche as base for HQ

LOCATING Roche's regional headquarters in Shanghai will help maximize the drug firm's performance in Asia Pacific, and "it's an easy decision" because of the city's attractiveness as a hub for high-tech companies, Luke Miels, the firm's head for the Asia Pacific region, said yesterday.

The world's fifth-largest producer of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products has decided to move its Asia Pacific headquarters from Australia to Shanghai. Since this year, the Chinese market has been listed as one of six core markets for Roche, ranking it with developed markets such as the United States and Germany, Miels said.

"We have a long-term commitment to China, and Shanghai is the most attractive hub for high-tech firms to locate their regional headquarters," Miels said.

He said the firm decided on Shanghai as the base for its regional headquarters due to several factors, including its highly educated workforce, well-built infrastructure, amiable investment environment and the local government's support for foreign firms.

Since entering China in 1994, Switzerland-based Roche has set up a complete pharmaceutical value chain in Shanghai, from research, development, manufacturing to sales and marketing. Shanghai, San Francisco and Basel are the only three cities which boast a complete value chain.

Although China's contribution to Roche globally remains relatively small at present, the firm estimates the country will become the world's third-largest market for Roche in 2013, after the United States and Japan.

"Roche will continue to invest in China and our Chinese team will be deeply involved in global research and development decisions to produce more drugs designed for Chinese clients," Miels said.

According to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, 79 multi-national companies decided to locate their regional headquarters in Shanghai last year, boosting the total number to 755 and making the city the top spot on the Chinese mainland for regional headquarters of MNCs.


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