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Dow to shift headquarters to Zhangjiang High-tech Park

Dow Corning, a world leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, will relocate its China headquarters from People's Square to Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park this summer.

The strategy is to move all the downtown marketing and sales staff to the Zhangjiang plant where the science technology team that drives innovation is based.

"The sales and marking people, who know better about our customers' needs, can cooperate with the science technology people, so they can develop new products faster," says Tom Cook, corporate vice president and also president for China and Northeast Asia.

Initially about 400 employees will move to the new site in Pudong. "We've got enough space to grow," says Cook.

Zhangjiang industrial park offers excellent infrastructure, preferential business policies launched by the government and a university town. Over the past 20 years it has drawn hosts of companies to set up high-tech innovation and R&D centers.

"Pudong is also a world-class gateway with its shipping ports and the international airport for the rest of the world's global organizations to be able to come in and support China's development, as well as our Chinese employees to travel outside to support the rest of the Asia and the world," says Cook.

"The place also has a very large talent pool and lots of talented people and professionals come here, which is also very attractive to us," he says.

China is one of the priority markets for Dow Corning and an engine of growth.

The company began to actively develop its China business more than 35 years ago when it opened its first office in Hong Kong in 1973.

The last few years have seen rapid growth in China and investments total more than US$840 million.

"This truly reflects the company's long-term commitment to the nation and to Chinese customers," the president says.

Dow Corning has seven offices, three manufacturing sites and a dedicated application center in China, bringing the world's advanced silicone-based products, services and production technology to the country.

Dow Corning established its first manufacturing site in China in Songjiang District in 1997.

Investment has been ongoing. The China Application Center was built in 2002 to provide world-class technical services to clients in China and Asia.

With a joint investment of US$1.8 billion, the company, together with Wacker Chemie AG, is building China's largest integrated silicone manufacturing site in the Jiangsu Yangtze River Chemical Industrial Park in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province.

Covering one million square meters, this integrated site includes two new upstream production facilities of siloxane and pyrogenic silica, which are jointly operated by Dow Corning and Wacker. It also includes finishing plants of both companies, which are owned and operated separately with independent marketing and sales by Dow Corning and Wacker.

The combined capacity for siloxane and pyrogenic silica is planned to be approximately 200,000 metric tons per year.

The first phase of the joint projects went into operation in 2008.

It is expected to operate a full capacity by the end of this year. Through the Zhangjiagang production complex, Dow Corning intends to serve growing customer demand for silicone materials in China and throughout Asia.

Silicones have enormous potential to enhance, transform and create a better quality of life for people in many industries such as automobile manufacturing, textiles, solar energy, personal care and construction.

The silicone industry therefore plays a key role in meeting consumers' demands for high performance, innovative and reliable materials.

"As a global leader in this field of science and technology, Dow Corning is strongly committed to playing its part in China's success by making the benefits of this fascinating material more easily available," the president says.

The innovative products and solutions from Dow Corning have already been widely used in some of China's most visible infrastructure projects, such as the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the National Center for Performing Arts and the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, among others.

"We've got very great support for the local government and developed a very cooperative relationship," Cook says. "We believe we have a bright future ahead of us."

Headquartered in Midland, in the US state of Michigan, Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide and offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning and XIAMETER brands.

It has 45 production plants and warehouses as well as over 10,000 employees around the globe.

In 2008, the company's sales revenue reached more than US$5 billion, over half of which came from outside the US. Innovation is at the core of what Dow Corning does.

Dow Corning has invested about 4 percent of its sales revenue annually in research and development, and currently holds nearly 4,500 effective patents.


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