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Covestro on China

Covestro chief bullish on China

By ZHENG XIN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-26 08:04


Covestro chief bullish on China

Patrick Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of Covestro. [Photo/China Daily]

The firm's new materials can achieve higher energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, says its chief

Patrick Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of Covestro from the Bayer stable, believes the future of plastic in China is bright as economic growth still remains robust albeit slower.

He heads a company that was spun from the Material Science business of German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer. "China continues to be strategically important for us and we are also well-positioned to further contribute to the market."

As China moves into a more mature phase of its economic development, there will be more business opportunities that call for sustainable approaches and solutions, said Thomas.

"The chemical industry in China is at a crucial point now and should join forces to tackle these challenges, including loss of social trust in the industry, intensified competition and a stricter regulatory environment," he said.

"For our part, we will continue to promote collaboration within the industry and along the value chain for a powerful voice. At the same time, we shall support government priorities as well."

Covestro became a legal entity and an independent company on Sept 1. It went public soon after, listing on the Frankfurt bourse. Bayer intends to float Covestro on other stock markets by mid-2016.

The name "Covestro" is a combination of words that reflect the identity of the new company, he said. The letters "C" and "O" come from COllaboration, while "V", "E", "S" and "T" signify the company is well inVESTed in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. The final letters, "R", and "O", show the company is stROng, in innovation, in the market and with a strong workforce.

Thomas was CEO of Bayer MaterialScience-Covestro's earlier avatar-from 2007. He said being separate would give Covestro greater flexibility to independently pursue its business goals.

"I'm absolutely convinced that the new identity and vision will help boost the company towards a new path in the future," he said.

The Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are together a key region for Covestro as it is now the third-largest market. Covestro is working to develop the region into its second-largest market.

"In the past few years, we have successfully positioned China as one of our strategic global decision-making centers, as the headquarters of our polycarbonate business unit, and one of our global innovation hubs. One of our three largest production facilities is located in Shanghai," said Thomas.

"We can rely on highly skilled, loyal and dedicated employees in China, as well as on a strong and experienced management with a proven track record of excellence and a full commitment to further grow our business in the country."

According to Thomas, protecting the environment and helping conserve our planet's limited resources is among the company's highest priorities-not only in China but across the globe.

"We use, and supply others with, eco-friendly processes that save energy and cut emissions and simplify production so that companies can also save money," he said.

"Many of our products and solutions also contribute significantly to environmental protection, including the high-tech plastic polycarbonate and our polyurethane insulation materials that help achieve higher energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in the cars and construction industry."

Thomas said his biggest achievement so far is the successful listing of Covestro on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. He is proud it is a business that has leading positions in all segments of its portfolio and is well invested to grow in the high growth industries that it serves.

The share price of Covestro increased by 10 percent soon after listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on October 6. The shares were priced at 24 euros ($27.3) for Covestro's IPO, but the price rose to 26.99 euros on the first day of trading.

"We are proud now to be a listed company, which puts us in an even better position than before, enabling us to build on our strengths in the global competitive arena," he said.

When it comes to office, there is never a "typical day" and that's "what is so attractive about my job", he said.