BEIJING - Dow Chemical Co will increase investment in China this year, which emphasizes the importance of the Chinese market amid economic uncertainties, the company said.
"Dow Chemical's investment growth rate in China will increase by double-digits this year," said Peter Sykes, president of Dow Greater China. "In addition to our current multibillion-dollar coal-chemical project in Shaanxi province, our investment in the country will total several hundred million dollars this year."
Dow Chemical's sales revenue in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 18 percent of its global total last year, while China contributed 42 percent to its Asia-Pacific sales revenue in the first quarter of this year, the US chemical maker said.
"China is the second-largest global market for Dow Chemical," said Sykes. "Since 2000, the company has achieved 20 percent annual growth in China with more than $4 billion in total sales revenue last year."
In addition to the joint venture coal-chemical project with Shenhua Group, the US chemical giant has also partnered with Haier Group to deliver a new series of energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers.
Last month, Dow Chemical announced its first quarter earnings. The company earned 83 cents a share during the first quarter and net income, buoyed by increasing demand, rose 29 percent to $710 million. Quarterly revenue increased by 20 percent compared with the same period last year to around $14.7 billion. Dow Chemical is a multinational corporation supplying plastics, agricultural products and advanced materials. Its plastics business accounted for almost 42 percent of Dow's $53.7 billion in global sales last year.
After releasing its first quarter earnings, Moody's, a credit rating agency, raised its outlook on the chemical company, noting the improved first-quarter performance and predicting that annual revenue will be higher than previous projections. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also lifted Dow Chemical's rating earlier this month, citing several quarters of increased revenue as well as debt reduction.
"This improved financial forecast indicates that Dow should be able to strengthen its credit metrics to levels that would support a higher rating over the next three to four quarters," Moody's said.