A Bayer employee performs tests on products at the company’s R&D center in Qidong, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Having launched varieties of consumer health goods customized for the Chinese market, Bayer Consumer Health China, a unit of German life sciences giant Bayer AG, said it will continue its investment in the country, said a top company official.

“With increasing health needs from Chinese consumers, we see tremendous opportunity to improve quality of life through new science and technology that can help people live better and healthier,” said He Yong, general manager of Bayer Consumer Health China, adding that the country is a critical market for the company.

On May 12, Bayer launched Bellerain, a new skincare brand designed exclusively for the Chinese market. Facing diversified needs from Chinese consumers, the brand aims at offering gentle skincare solutions to users with sensitive skin, those with tattoos, nail art lovers and beauty industry practitioners.

Last month, the company also launched both the adult and child versions of its vitamin C chewable tablets in China.

The research and development processes were all completed in Bayer’s R&D center, namely the Bayer Consumer Health Development Center China, in Qidong, Jiangsu province.

As one of Bayer’s four R&D centers for consumer health globally-and also the only such facility in the Asia-Pacific region-the center supports the development and manufacture of all of Bayer Consumer Health’s products in China, thus offering better healthcare solutions for Chinese consumers.

“Consumption in China is upgrading quickly and consumer awareness of disease prevention and healthcare continues to improve, placing even higher requirements on us. China deserves an exclusive R&D facility where we are able to acquire information about local consumers and the retail environment quickly, better support homegrown brands and bring more worldwide renowned brands to China,” said Gu Ping, head of the Bayer Consumer Health Development Center China.

According to the company, the R&D center in Qidong is equipped with multiple laboratories that can develop solid, semisolid and liquid preparations. The R&D center is expected to provide category innovation, product line expansion and technical support for existing products.

Wang Chikun, an independent economist, said: “The trend of multinational pharmaceutical companies establishing R&D centers in China is a result of international division of labor. With economic globalization, international labor already shifted from the manufacturing link to R&D, design and marketing, multinational corporations setting up their development centers in China is an inevitable trend.”

Ding Jihua, an expert at the corporate compliance committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that setting up local R&D centers helps MNCs better reach the market, and lowers costs of supply chains and personnel.

To further tap the local market, Bayer is also partnering with Chinese research organizations and companies. For example, in November, Bayer inked a deal with Jiangnan University in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, focusing on the development and clinical studies of China patented strains to develop probiotic solutions exclusively for Chinese consumers.

“We are dedicated to innovating and exploring closer cooperation with local research institutions and innovative enterprises in China to bring customized solutions to Chinese consumers,” said He.

While sticking to the strategy of “In China, for China”, Bayer recognizes the country’s efforts in optimizing the business environment for MNCs in recent years.

The Ministry of Commerce said that in the first four months, newly established foreign-invested companies surged 50.2 percent year-on-year to 14,533, and actual use of foreign capital grew by 38.6 percent on a yearly basis to 397.1 billion yuan ($62.4 billion).

According to a report issued by the World Bank, the revolutionary efforts taken by China to optimize its business environment provided references for other economies around the world, and effectively improved the overall level of global business climate.