The company says that by establishing the affiliate it will be better able to directly serve its existing and new customers in the region, by providing a more personalized level of service.
Cognis says that its business in the Asia Pacific region has been growing fast in recent years and that it now represents its third biggest market, behind that of Europe and North America.
The company says that it established the affiliate in Malaysia because it falls in with its focus on high-growth markets, particularly driven by the wellness and sustainability trends.
Malaysia growth set to return in 2010
Unlike established economies in the west, many of the Asia Pacific markets suffered little under the economic slowdown experienced during the course of 2009.
Although GDP fell slightly in 2009, the Asian Development Bank predicts that the country’s economy will return to growth during the course of 2010, estimating that GDP will expand at a rate of 4.5 percent.
Cognis says that the affiliate will employ technical and commercial managers, who will represent all three of the company’s business areas – Care Chemicals, Nutrition and Health and Functional Products.
Aiming to double Malaysian sales
“We believe that Malaysia and the whole Asia Pacific region has significant growth potential that is fully in line with Cognis’ strategy,” said Jimmy Lau, the Cognis legal representative for the new division.
“We aim to double Cognis’ sales in Malaysia over the next five years by helping our customers to gain the competitive edge they need to succeed,” he added.
Back in November the company announced that cost savings had helped to counteract falling sales across the companies three business divisions worldwide during the first three quarters of the year.
The company reported a drop in sales of 11.8 percent compared to the first three quarters of 2009 with particularly large declines in Europe, which it attributed to the economic downturn, while sales for the Care Chemicals division fell by 14.3 percent.
However, changes to its ingredient portfolio and investments in more sustainable products helped the company to achieve particularly strong earnings growth in the third quarter of 15.7 percent compared to Q3 2008.