BERLIN, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- German firm BASF, the biggest foreign chemical investor in China, stands by its decision to step up its commitment to the country with the construction of the integrated Verbund site for 10 billion U.S. dollars in Zhanjiang in south China's Guangzhou Province.
Verbund sites are chemical production sites with highly interlinked product flows.
Germans should "step away from China-bashing and look at ourselves a bit self-critically," BASF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martin Brudermueller said on Wednesday, calling on the government in Berlin to come up with a more comprehensive "resilience strategy."
BASF counts on continued growth in China, which is already an important market for the company, Brudermueller said when presenting the company's financial results for the third quarter of this year.
Last month, BASF inaugurated the first plant of its new Verbund site in Zhanjiang. It will produce 60,000 metric tons of engineering plastics annually, to be used in particular by China's car and electronics industries, according to the company.
"Overall, we came to the conclusion that it is advantageous to expand our involvement" in China, Brudermueller said.
Once completed in 2030, the Zhanjiang Verbund site will be one of the company's largest sites, serving as a "role model of sustainable production both in China and globally," BASF noted in a statement back in September.
"We benefit from China's policies of widening market access," Brudermueller said at the inauguration ceremony in Zhanjiang. BASF plans to power the entire site with electricity from renewable sources and targets to achieve 100 percent by 2025.
Between January and September this year, BASF's sales in China rose 5.8 percent year-on-year to 9.2 billion euros (9.2 billion U.S. dollars), according to figures released on Wednesday. The company's total sales increased by 15.6 percent to 68 billion euros.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) decreased slightly to 6.5 billion euros in the first nine months. Due to high energy and raw materials prices, earnings in the third quarter (Q3) of the year slumped by 29 percent.
"Despite the significant weakening of the economic environment since the third quarter of 2022," BASF did not lower its forecast for fiscal 2022 and expects sales to rise to between 86 billion euros and 89 billion euros. (1 euro = 1 U.S. dollar) ■