In a strategic move to be closer to its key markets in the region, BASF has opened a Leather Technical Services in Shanghai.

The new leather laboratory will allow BASF to be highly responsive in addressing these requirements by delivering customised solutions and technical support more promptly. The new service centre is equipped with a laboratory and pilot plant.

It will be run by experienced international leather technicians and is housed at BASF Colorants and Chemicals Co Ltd, where BASF is also producing a wide range of auxiliaries for the leather industry.

BASF hopes the new centre will give it the edge over its rivals in the highly competitive Asian market. Operating a regional leather technical service centre close to the key markets in the region will shorten response time and further support the growth targets of BASF as lead supplier of leather chemicals in Asia, the company claims.

The market for leather chemicals in Asia is expected to have the biggest growth rates worldwide, with China and Taiwan showing the highest potential. To better serve customers across the strait, BASF has formed a Greater China team to handle its leather chemicals business in this fast growing sub-region.

About BASF
BASF is a return-focused global company generating long-term growth and profitability from its activities in chemicals, health and nutrition, and oil and gas. The company's product range includes high-value chemicals, plastics, dyestuffs and pigments, dispersions, automobile and industrial coatings, crop protection products, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, crude oil and natural gas. With sales in 1999 of 29.5bn euros (about $29.5bn) and a workforce of 105,000 employees, BASF is one of the world's top chemical companies. BASF's Internet address is www.basf.com.