1998 - 2002
Two years after the letter of intent for the construction of the integrated Verbund site in Nanjing was signed, BASF and its Chinese partners reached an important milestone in February 1998. The Chinese State Council – China’s central government headed by the prime minister – approved the project proposal for the construction of the chemical complex.
At this time, BASF already had a leading position as a foreign chemical investor in China, was integrated into ten joint ventures and employed more than 2,000 people.
At the end of June 2000, the Chinese government had given its final approval to the construction of the integrated Verbund site in Nanjing. The Chinese Head of State Zhu Rongji, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer participated in the signing ceremony at the State Council Building in Berlin. The Sinopec Chairman Li Yizhong and BASF Chairman Strube signed the agreement, which finally sealed the largest-ever German-Chinese chemical investment at a scope of 2.9 billion U.S. dollars.
The groundbreaking ceremony with the participation of high-ranking politicians and business representatives, who were able to enjoy numerous events during the festivities, took place on September 28. Professional “lion dancers” in magnificent, colorful costumes demonstrated their skills to traditional Chinese music and uniformed school children from Nanjing belted out cheerful songs.