While foreign investment in Qingdao has been dominated by South Korean and Japanese companies, in recent years trade and investment from the United States has risen. The Qingdao Sub-Council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade says since its establishment in 2003, it has helped seven American companies - Walmart, AMT, Griffith Food, Asbury Graphite Mills, Wanhui Leisure, Wanhui Industry and UPS - to invest US$114 million in the city. Two major US companies have expanded in Qingdao. Ball Corp, a supplier of packaging for beverage, food and household products, has acquired its partners' 60 per cent interests in a metal beverage can plant in Qingdao, and is building a new plant in the city. The equipment from the existing facility will be relocated to another Ball location on the mainland. 'Our volumes in China in the first half of 2011 experienced strong growth due to increased market demand and the acquisition of our Foshan joint venture beverage can plant in June 2010,' says Raymond Seabrook, executive vice-president and CEO, global packaging. 'The relocation of the existing Qingdao plant offers an opportunity to build a larger, high-speed plant to supply growing demand for beverage cans in northeast China.' Meanwhile, Affinia Group, a global manufacturer in the on- and off-highway replacement parts, has opened its new brake parts manufacturing centre in Laixi, north of Qingdao, focusing on the production of friction components, disc brake pads and accessories. When fully operational, the 383,000 sqft facility will employ about 500 people and have an annual capacity of 10 million pad sets.