Clariant establishes its first Asia Pacific Center of Excellence in Greater Kuala Lumpur

29 June 2015 - For specialty chemical companies like Clariant, Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) possesses the right balance of local content and global capabilities to make it an ideal location to locate its new Asia Pacific Headquarters for Oil Services Business. Headquartered in Muttenz, Switzerland, Clariant was formed in 1995 as a spin off from Sandoz, which was itself established in Basel, Switzerland in 1886. Through this association, Clariant has amassed knowledge and experience of the chemistry industry spanning approximately 150 years. “State-of-the-art technical facilities and expert personnel were big factors when making this decision,” says Pete Dodgeon, Vice President of Clariant Oil Services in Asia Pacific.

Clariant, like numerous other multinational companies, have decided to extend their global footprint in the Greater KL region to capitalise on these resources. Greater KL is well-positioned to support the continued growth of Clariant’s capabilities in the oilfield services industry, as the city transforms into an oil and gas hub for Asia. Its choice to invest in Greater KL is key to its regional business growth plan.

" Greater KL is at the hub of the growing oil and gas industry in Asia, and many of our customers have regional offices here. "

Pete Dodgeon, Vice President of Clariant Oil Services in Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific contributes the second-largest proportion of Clariant’s worldwide revenue, bringing in 23% of the group’s total worldwide revenue. Additionally, 25% of Clariant’s worldwide staff is based in Asia Pacific, which makes its positioning in Greater KL all the more crucial.

“The opportunities for Clariant to grow in Greater KL with the government’s initiatives of providing better infrastructure, communications, services, availability of skilled workers and ease of doing business in Malaysia, are all essential to Clariant’s operations,” says Dodgeon.

Clariant’s Regional Center of Excellence In Greater KL

To support its growth in the region, Clariant invested in its Center of Excellence for the Oil Services Business and according to Dodgeon, the lab will minimise response time to Clariant’s customers in Asia Pacific by being closer to them.

“The Oil Services Regional Center of Excellence, located in Greater KL, is also centrally located in Asia, which is key to serving our customers’ needs in a suitable timeframe,” he says. “It demonstrates our commitment to providing innovative and sustainable solutions that will help improve their production, increase efficiency and mitigate operational risk.”

In Malaysia, Clariant has a working presence in all the oil and gas production areas in the country.

“We see Malaysia as a key growth area for Clariant Oil Services, given the extent of future growth in the hydrocarbon sector. We are active in Greater KL and Malaysia with investments in production, service headquarters and our technical center in order to be closer to our customers in industries with high growth,” says Dodgeon.

Greater KL’s Value Proposition and Fluid Ecosystem

According to Dodgeon, Greater KL’s attractiveness can be summarized into three main points: the ease of doing business, the local talents in the oil and gas and chemical-based industry, and its competitiveness in terms of cost of living compared to its neighbouring peers.

“The infrastructure in Greater KL makes it easy for business set up and development,” says Dodgeon. “With the support of the government’s 12th Entry Point Projects under oil, gas and energy, the cost of doing business in Greater KL is boosted, and the connectivity and services are boosted as well.”

“Our move to set up our operations in Greater KL is not only based on a business-friendly environment, but also to allow Clariant to focus on growing industries sectors. Our chemistry goes into different parts of industry processes and end products; therefore, our products and solutions are widely applied,” says Dodgeon.

Invest KL’s Role and Facilitation

Clariant credits InvestKL’s efforts to facilitate and help large multinational companies to invest and set their operations in Greater KL. “Our regional strategy identified Greater KL’s drive to provide a stable, modern business environment that supports large international companies such as ours. Malaysia is seen by many as the regional center for oil and gas,” says Dodgeon.

Additionally, the Malaysian Government is transparent and helpful to foreign investment in Greater KL, he says. In their time in Greater KL, Clariant has also expanded to other areas such as in East and West Malaysia, which shows the company’s confidence in the region.

“Our decision to locate the Clariant Center of Excellence in Greater KL was defined by a number of key requirements that must be met before investing here,” says Dodgeon. “InvestKL addressed key concerns such as sustainability, infrastructure development and local authority requirements.”

While Clariant Oil Services’ new facility is designed to support their growth plans for a number of years, Dodgeon says they would certainly be looking to expand their presence if necessary.

" We are active in Greater KL and Malaysia with investments in production, service headquarters and our technical center in order to be closer to our customers in industries with high growth. "

Pete Dodgeon, Vice President of Clariant Oil Services in Asia Pacific

Greater KL As The Center of Asean

Dodgeon sees a promising future ahead for Greater KL, especially with Malaysia, due to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.

“InvestKL has provided support to Clariant in both deciding and executing the investment here. In chairing ASEAN, InvestKL has the correct forum to promote the recent growth and track record in pulling MNCs into Greater KL,” he says.

“Greater KL has clearly demonstrated consistent growth over a number of years, with many companies setting up operations here. Clariant anticipates that, with on-going infrastructure improvements and the provision of a sustainable business environment, this trend will continue,” says Dodgeon confidently.

“I believe with a mandate from the government and a good track record, there will be more companies setting up their operational headquarters here.”

Source : The Edge Malaysia

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