Accounting firm Price Waterhouse (PW) is planning extensive expansion in Asia, including China, the firm's world chairman Dominic Tarantino says. Asia accounts for about 15 per cent of the company's total revenue, he said yesterday. He predicted the figure would rise to about 30 per cent or a third of total income within four years. 'Asia is the fastest economic growth area in the world and there are many business opportunities there,' he said. 'Multinational companies from around the world have invested significantly to expand their business in developing markets. 'We will obviously expand our services in these markets to serve multinational clients' needs.' World managing partner Howard Hughes said the firm had a four-year plan for China. 'PW recognises the potential development of China. We have medium-and long-term projects in China and we expect to increase our employees [in the country] from 600 to 2,000 by the year 2001.' PW's office in Beijing, one of four the company operates in China, was the first to be opened independently by one of the big-six foreign accounting firms. Previously, China allowed foreign accountants to operate only in joint ventures with local partners. Mr Hughes said his firm wanted to employ more local Chinese accountants and auditors to make it a national firm.