INFORMATION systems company Unisys has forecast double-digit sales growth in China this year despite the continued credit squeeze that resulted in zero growth last year. Its sales last year dropped and growth rate reached zero, compared with 1992 and 1993, when growth was more than 70 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. 'Only in terms of orders has the growth rate dropped; growth in revenue still shows an increase,' said Unisys Asia president Thomas Yam. 'Despite the tightening credit policy of the Chinese Government, there are ways for vendors to approach the market. 'We feel that China has the highest growth potential for Unisys in the division, and possibly the world, which is why we are focusing our attention more closely on China.' He declined to reveal the firm's turnover but said it ranked second in non-personal computer products in China. The company recently formed a Beijing-based wholly owned subsidiary, which was seen as a move to make inroads into the China market. It also has branches in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Beijing headquarters has become the centre of Unisys activity in the China market and the previous headquarters in Hong Kong is to be an independent subsidiary. To consolidate the back-up for the expansion in China, Unisys has set up a support centre in Taiwan. 'Three other support centres are in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. They are serving the Asian market as a whole,' Mr Yam said. Meanwhile, Unisys has reached an agreement for a joint-venture project with a Beijing factory to set up a personal computer manufacturing base in China. Most of the products are expected to be for domestic sale but the company has also entered a US$4 million contract with the China Meteorology Administration to provide weather radars for airports. The project marked the first transfer of Unisys' defence technology to commercial use. 'We are considering setting up a manufacturing joint venture with a China partner,' Mr Yam said. He said in the first phase of production products would be for domestic sale, whereas in the second phase, the products would be exported to Asian countries. Other projects on the mainland included a computer terminal manufacturing project with Yunan Electric and Electronic Factory, and a joint-venture company with Nan Tian to make computer software. For the Hong Kong market, Stephen Kucia, general manager of the Hong Kong subsidiary, said the company would be choosy about entering infrastructure projects. 'We shall choose the one best to win,' Mr Kucia said. Service provision and the client base of the company grew 24 per cent and 26 per cent respectively last year, amounting to 40 per cent of the firm's revenue.