High-tech industrial business The Oerlikon Group has opened its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai as part of efforts to develop its presence in Asia.

The company said the new headquarters will consolidate its eight offices in Shanghai and unite all of its business operations under one roof.

"China has become Oerlikon's most important market, said Oerlikon's global CEO Michael Buscher.

"The opening of our new Chinese headquarters marks another milestone in the Group's successful expansion strategy in Asia and is designed to spur further growth in the country. We have a strong commitment to China and we have demonstrated this through our investment of more than CHF38m (US$36.7m) in China over the last three years."

The new Shanghai building will be the global headquarters for Oerlikon Textile, the group's largest segment. This will allow the global textile business to be directly led from Shanghai and for innovation created in China to be rolled out to other markets, the company said. By the end of the year, 40% of the division's senior management will be based in Shanghai.

It said that in 2011, the group generated 28%, or CHF1.2bn of its sales in China, with a growth rate of 32%. Asia accounted for some 49% of the group's total sales in 2011.

"Oerlikon's new headquarters in Shanghai also reflects how the Chinese economy has developed from a source of low cost production to a market with more developed and technology driven industries. To benefit from this trend, Oerlikon is not only enhancing its production capabilities in China step by step with engineering know how but is also developing China as a source of new technologies to benefit its business globally," said Buscher.

"There is still huge potential in the Chinese market which we have not developed yet. The new headquarters gives us an additional push to take advantage of this very significant opportunity."