Unilever commits $100m to China

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BEIJING -- Unilever will invest at least $100m more in China during the next few years in a bid to expand production and increase training for Chinese employees, Co-Chairman Morris Tabaksblat told the Chinese news agency Xinhua in an interview during a visit to Shanghai.

Since 1986 Unilever has invested $350m in China to set up 11 joint ventures, two independent businesses and one wholly-owned company. Unilever's products in China include more than 10 branded washing powders, cosmetics and toothpastes. Unilever's sales in China are expected to surpass $602m this year, according to Tabaksblat.

Tabaksblat said that he does not believe the entrance of foreign brand names will threaten the existence of domestic labels. Unilever selected brand names in accordance with local consumer preferences. For example, Zhonghua toothpaste has become a major product of Shanghai Unilever. Since the joint venture was established less than three years ago, the sales volume of the toothpaste has doubled.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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