Siemens AG is planing to make major inroads into the Asia-Pacific region and will invest $750m in China over the next five years, Reuter reports. The company predicts that its annual sales in the region will increase nine-fold to $10,000m by 2000. The main areas targeted will be telecommunications, power generation and transportation systems. The telecommunications market has been given a new boost following the Chinese government’s efforts to achieve 12% nationwide telephone coverage by the end of the decade, which will equate to 20m new lines a year. Siemens opened a new telephone plant in the Pudong area of Shanghai yesterday and has also set up 30 joint ventures so far in China in order to service all three markets. A further 20 are currently said to be under negotiation. Siemens said that it expected to employ 30,000 people in these ventures by 2000. Curently, its European sales account for 65% of total sales, the US, 20% and Asia 10%. In the energy sector, experts estimate that nearly 1m MegaWatts will be needed by 2000 if economies in the Asia-Pacific region continue to boom. Siemens plans to service this demand by building 400 new plants in the next few years, each with an output of 500 MegaWatts. The company is also involved in the subway systems in Shanghai and Guangzhou in south China, the Singapore metro and a light-rail system for Bangkok and has formed joint ventures in both Korea and China. Total Siemens sales to China rose 30% to $1,000m this year.