Air Liquide celebrated its 30th anniversary in China gathering French and Chinese government officials, customers, partners, and employees at an event in Shanghai. Over the past three decades, Air Liquide has made significant contributions to China's economic and social development with customized solutions for industry, hi-tech, healthcare, energy, science and research.
Since the official opening of its first wholly-owned subsidiary in China in 1990, Air Liquide has developed a strong presence in the country's key coastal industrial areas, and further expanded into the central, southern and western regions. With around 120 sites in over 40 Chinese cities, Air Liquide now serves tens of thousands of customers, from small and medium enterprises to large companies in essential sectors, such as industrial markets, electronics, energy and healthcare.
In order to provide tailor-made solutions for the local market, Air Liquide has also built up world-scale Engineering & Construction (E&C) capabilities in China, focusing on the design, manufacture and installation of advanced air separation units, hydrogen production units and other industrial gas facilities. With a new E&C base under construction in Yantai City, Shandong Province, Air Liquide will continue to combine local resources with its expertise to provide customers with low-emission, low-energy and cost-effective solutions.
Air Liquide is also extensively woven into the fabric of China's innovation ecosystem. In 2016, it set up one of its five Innovation Campuses in Shanghai, which allows the Group to offer new technologies and adapted solutions in energy efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, waste-water treatment, urban air quality, food safety and healthcare, and built strong partnerships with Chinese Universities and Research Institutions.
While deeply anchored in China's economic development and technological progress, Air Liquide is committed to cooperating closely with the authorities and giving back to the communities. Under an umbrella program named "Air Liquide Care", the Group conducts a series of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in the country. For example, "Air Liquide Computer Classrooms" have been set up in rural areas in eight cities to advance computer education in primary schools or to provide e-commerce training for local residents, contributing to the national poverty alleviation and rural revitalization program efforts. "Green Action", an annual nationwide tree-planting campaign started in 2009, has also been fruitful in promoting sustainability among employees, reducing carbon emissions, as well as enhancing biodiversity.
China provides numerous opportunities related to carbon reduction, energy transition, high-end manufacturing and demographics. Air Liquide will continue its strategic investments in the country to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen energy in both mobility and industrial fields, to enhance the manufacturing capacity in electronics materials and to develop customized digital home healthcare solutions for the aging population.
Laurent Bili, French Ambassador to China, said: "As one of the first French companies to enter China, Air Liquide is an important component of the partnership between France and China on topics including industry, new energies and healthcare. Air Liquide's active participation in the French Eco City Club and the French Healthcare Alliance contributes to promoting France's expertise in both sustainability and healthcare. I would like to express my sincere congratulations on this significant milestone and wish Air Liquide greater achievements in China."
Huang Feng, Chairman of Shanghai Foreign Investment Association, said: "Through taking root in Shanghai and expanding presence across the country, Air Liquide has followed a safe, eco-friendly, low-carbon and sustainable path and delivered brilliant results in China over the past 30 years. The Shanghai Foreign Investment Association will continue to promote exchanges and cooperation between all stakeholders, and take concrete actions to drive China’s higher-quality opening-up to the outside world. I wish Air Liquide will seek synergy from China and Shanghai’s development and make further progress in China."
Benoît Potier, Chairman & CEO of Air Liquide, commented: "The Group experienced a spectacular development in China over the past decades, and as the country is rapidly transforming, the future is full of opportunities. Thanks to the expertise of its teams and its solutions for a more sustainable world, Air Liquide is well positioned to capitalize on trends in a number of high-growth areas. In particular in new energies, cleaner mobility, electronics, healthcare and digital, alongside our existing markets, we are committed to supporting our customers and developing our markets during the next decades and beyond."