By Karolin Schaps
LONDON (Reuters) - Germany's BASF, the world's largest chemicals maker by sales, will continue to invest in Asia, albeit at a slower rate, as it weighs a recent slowdown against long-term growth prospects that remain well above the global average.
"Planned investments of around 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion) between 2016 and 2020 will focus on areas where BASF is technologically leading, has a competitive advantage and expects robust market growth," BASF said in a statement on Friday.
The 700 million euros to be invested on average per year are less than the 750 million euros spent per year over the 2012-to-2015 period, presentation slides posted on BASF's website showed.
"We have competition everywhere. We are under attack all the time. Are we worried about this? No," Sanjeev Gandhi, executive board member in charge of Asia, told journalists in London.
Growth in the region has slowed recently, the company cautioned.
"China did not grow as fast as we had assumed. We saw low growth in mature Asian markets. India and South East Asia are picking up slightly. Overcapacities in some commodity product lines have contributed to a changing business environment," the company statement said.
In a sign of how burgeoning Chinese rivals can become a drag on BASF's home markets, the company last week said it would trim European production capacity for a key precursor material for engineering plastics by 20 percent.
($1 = 0.8917 euros)
(Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Tina Bellon and Adrian Croft)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)