Nanjing has attracted investment from multinationals such as BASF, a major chemical company from Germany which has operated a joint venture in the city for more than 10 years. The operation has been so successful that the company is to expand. Martin Brudermueller, vice-chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF, with responsibility for Asia-Pacific, explains the reasons for choosing Nanjing in 2000. 'These include significant demand for chemicals in industrialised provinces like Jiangsu; the high standards of our partner Sinopec [China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation], including a shared commitment to sustainable development; and the opportunity to integrate our operations with their nearby facilities,' he says. 'We also received strong support from local and central government officials. 'There is great demand in China for energy efficiency, and the products from the facility contribute directly to helping China reach the goals of its 12th five-year plan.' Brudermueller says Nanjing is an attractive city for an international company such as BASF. 'The local partners and suppliers in Nanjing are very strong, there is excellent demand and a thriving local industry, and there is strong support from the local government,' he says. BASF's joint venue in Nanjing, the BASF-YPC, is with Sinopec, China's largest oil and chemical enterprise. It produces quality chemicals and polymers for the mainland market. It also has a gas-fired power plant and an international port on the Yangtze River to ensure optimum energy supply and logistics. The expansion will include the construction of new facilities and increasing capacity at existing plants. This is expected to require US$1 billion in new investment. Brudermueller says the Nanjing facility plays a crucial role in the company's Asia-Pacific strategy. 'We hope to double our sales to the region from 2009 to 2020 - and we aim to invest in the region to produce 70 per cent of that locally,' he says. 'The Nanjing facility is our largest production site in the region, so the development of this facility is core to the success of our strategy. 'BASF operates all of our production sites around the world at the same high level. The dedication by both partners to high standards of sustainability has been crucial to ensuring the success of the partnership.'