Bayer plans to invest EUR 100 million in Brazil
Wenning: “Brazil is our biggest market in Latin America”
Leverkusen / Belford Roxo.– Bayer plans to invest roughly EUR 100 million at its Brazilian sites through the end of 2009. This was announced by Group CEO Werner Wenning at a press conference held in Belford Roxo, near Rio de Janeiro, to mark the 50th anniversary of the site’s founding. “Brazil is our biggest market in Latin America, and we want to further expand our position in this growth region,” Wenning said. In 2007 Bayer achieved sales of EUR 3.2 billion in Latin America. Of this figure, Brazil accounted for about EUR 1.2 billion – or more than one third – and is thus one of Bayer’s top ten markets worldwide in terms of sales.
The announced investment program will focus on Belford Roxo, where EUR 40 million will be spent on modernization and technical upgrading of the production facilities for plastics precursors and crop protection products, as well as on infrastructure projects. In addition, partner companies have announced that they will invest a further EUR 55 million at the Bayer industrial park in Belford Roxo. The projects to be implemented by Bayer and its partners will create 800 new jobs in the Belford Roxo area in addition to the current 2,000 positions at this location. A further amount of roughly EUR 60 million is to be invested at the other Bayer sites in Brazil.
“The size of this investment underscores our commitment and is meant as a clear vote of confidence in Brazil,” Wenning stressed at a ceremony attended by more than 500 guests from politics, industry and society – including Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Rio de Janeiro state governor Sergio Cabral.
Bayer has been active in Brazil since 1896 – first of all through an agency. The first Bayer company in the country was founded in 1911. Almost exactly 50 years ago, Bayer’s first production facilities in Brazil were inaugurated in Belford Roxo by then Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek and Professor Ulrich Haberland, at that time Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. Today, the site’s importance goes far beyond the borders of Brazil. It is home to Bayer CropScience’s second-largest formulating plant worldwide for crop protection products, while Bayer MaterialScience supplies the entire South American market with MDI, a raw material used in the production of polyurethane foams, from Belford Roxo. Also produced at this site are coating raw materials for the automotive, furniture and construction industries. Together with its partner companies in the industrial park, Bayer is the biggest employer in Belford Roxo, a city of 500,000 inhabitants. In addition, Bayer HealthCare operates three production sites in Brazil. The Bayer Group currently employs a total of 3,300 people in the country.
Bayer also maintains a high level of social commitment in Brazil. Among its nearly 20 social projects is the Bayer soccer academy, founded in 1993 in the immediate neighborhood of the Belford Roxo site. Children are only permitted to train at the school if they can prove that they regularly and successfully attend classes at the local school. In addition to soccer practice, the curriculum includes Portuguese, writing and computer classes.
The latest social project in Brazil is also aimed at improving the education of young people: “PontocomCiencia” is a Brazilian adaptation of Bayer’s “Making Science Make Sense” program, which has proven so successful in the United States and other countries. The program, designed to arouse students’ interest in science and research, got under way just a few weeks ago at two schools near Bayer’s headquarters in Sao Paulo.
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