German chemicals conglomerate BASF will expand its Hong Kong offices, even as it raises investment in eastern China over the coming year, according to a company official. Erich Brinckli, president of BASF East Asia, said the company would establish a regional headquarters in the SAR, following a corporate restructuring set for July 1. 'Up to now we were directly led by the central headquarter in Wolfsburg, Germany,' Mr Brinckli said in Shanghai yesterday. 'From July we will be fully empowered to make our own decisions.' As a part of the restructuring, the Japanese market will come under the control of the Hong Kong headquarters, and add about 30 staff. He also said the company would be pouring as much as five billion euros (about HK$35 billion), or 80 per cent of its regional investment, into the Yangtze River delta. Much of this will be made in Nanjing, where BASF expects to break ground in September on a 2.6 billion euro chemicals project, partnered with Chinese oil giant Sinopec.