The German communications firm Deutsche Post DHL is expanding its presence in Asia.
China's growth rate has slowed down dramatically and sparked concern on the markets. However, Deutsche Post DHL sees no reason to panic and sees no sign of an economic slump.
"There are always such predictions," says CEO Frank Appel. "But they are never as bad as people imagine."
Last week, DHL opened a brand new hub in Shanghai which will deal with the whole flow of goods to northern Asia. Some 40,000 packages and letters will be sorted per hour and then further dispatched to Japan or South Korea. Costing some 143 million euros, the project represents the company's biggest investment in the Asia-Pacific realm.
However, it is not the only one. Just one day after the hub opened in Shanghai, DHL inaugurated its new Hong Kong headquarters - a project costing some 63 million euros. The building, which has been built to the highest environmental standards, houses both storage space and offices. Some 300 million euros are expected to be invested over the next three years.
DHL's business on the Asian market already makes up 20 percent of its annual sales and Appel wants to reach the 30-percent mark over the next five years.
Ahead of the competitors
The German logistics company is well ahead of its competitors UPS or FedEx on the Chinese market, where it has been present since the beginning of the 1980s. Appel says a company should strive to maintain good relations with lawmakers if it wants to establish itself anywhere in the world. It is important "to understand why a government makes a certain decision," he adds. He also makes it clear that he is on personal terms with a high-ranking functionary of China's postal service.
So as to understand China better Appel will be running the whole business from Shanghai along with his colleagues on the board of directors for a few weeks.
He is not afraid of the current pessimistic climate regarding China's economic situation. He says he is calm when many are pessimistic and would be more worried if the majority was optimistic.
Author: Jun Yan / act
Editor: Shamil Shams