Bosch opens Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore

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German industrial group Bosch on Wednesday opened its Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore focussing on environmentally clean technologies.

The office will be the new location for Bosch's solar energy operations in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, the company said in a statement.

"Within five years, we will invest a good 15 million euros (19 million US) here, studying how this technology can be used to generate electricity from solar radiation in the future," Bosch chairman Franz Fehrenbach told a news conference.

The Singapore office will also house Bosch's business divisions providing resource-saving and evironmentally friendly innovations and technologies for the region, the company said.

Fehrenbach said the Singapore base will help Bosch strengthen its expansion into the Asia Pacific market, its second largest next to Europe.

The Asia Pacific last year accounted for 20 percent of the firm's global sales, or 7.7 billion euros, which for the first time surpassed revenues from the Americas.

Bosch aims to increase the region's share to 30 percent by 2015.

Fehrenbach said worldwide sales fell 15 percent, or 38.2 billion euros, last year due to a drop in automotive and consumer goods production as a result of the economic crisis.

The company will use this year for "catching up, especially as the global economy is continuing to recover", he added.

Bosch's 92-million Singapore dollar (66.4 million US) headquarters is a showcase for green technology and has an energy consumption that is 32 percent less than that of comparable industrial buildings.

This is in line with the company's aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions worldwide by at least 20 percent by 2020.

© 2010 AFP

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