Bluestar hosted its annual work conference in Beijing on January 28. Following the ChemChina work conference, the meeting summarized the work done in 2017, examined the current situation and arranged priority tasks for 2018. It featured a speech by ChemChina Chairman and Party Secretary Ren Jianxin, the thematic report entitled “Build up Global Competitiveness through Reform, Innovation and Quality Improvement” by Bluestar Chairman and Party Secretary Hao Zhigang, and a work report by Bluestar CEO Michael Koenig.
In 2017, under the leadership of ChemChina, Bluestar seized opportunities at home and abroad, pursued steady progress, earnestly followed the Five Major Development Concepts and the 13th Five-Year Plan for corporate development, and focused on improving quality and increasing benefits. While advancing the supply-side structural reform, it adjusted the asset and capital structure, explored markets, accelerated business streamlining, and stepped up efforts in quality and efficiency improvement and in Party building, making progress on all fronts. By the yearend, the business revenue, EBITDA and profits had all grown sharply from the previous year.
ChemChina Chairman Ren fully recognized Bluestar’s achievements in 2017, and asked it to better align its corporate goals with ChemChina’s, and in particular to quicken the pace of going global. Bluestar should optimize its business structure through capital operation, accelerate the handling of “non-core” business, and clear and utilize the idle assets of subsidiaries at the third tier and below via the Bluestar asset management platform. Leveraging ChemChina’s global resources and reputation, Bluestar should seek M&A opportunities in silicon business, animal nutrition, water treatment and industrial cleaning to sharpen its edge. It should continue to consolidate domestic subsidiaries by giving overseas subsidiaries the leading role, and introduce advanced incentive/restraint mechanisms and business models to quantify the performance of each and every link of production and customer service. It should make more efforts in recruiting professional managers and outstanding Ph.D. holders to provide intellectual support for its international development. It should also bring in more strategic investors and employ intermediary services to advance business restructuring for further corporate development.
After looking at the external situation, the meeting believed that the global economy would continue to grow and China would continue to play a big role in it; and that while the in-depth restructuring of the global chemical industry coincided with the latest round of technological revolution, Bluestar should shift its principal business towards high-value-added new chemical materials and specialty chemicals, to adapt to the development direction of the global chemical industry. To sum up, the market is good on the whole, but there are some challenges from outside and inside. The company should take such issues as product safety, environmental protection, capital structure and industrial structure seriously, take the initiative to make groundbreaking changes, and strive for more efficient development.
As to the work plan for 2018, the meeting proposed to follow the instructions of the 19th CPC National Congress and ChemChina’s goals and tasks for the new era, advance the supply-side structural reform, aim at more efficient development, strengthen collaborative innovation, optimize the industrial layout, and continue to reduce excess capacity, inventory and cost, deleverage and make up for weakness. The purpose is to make products safer and greener, improve the quality and efficiency, increase the growth momentum and build Bluestar into a global leader in new chemical materials and specialty chemicals as soon as possible. Special efforts should be made to: (1) continue to optimize the industrial layout based on the international development strategy and gradually form three pillar business units of materials science, life science and environmental sciences; (2) develop the modern enterprise system, perfect the legal-person governance structure, advance the mixed-ownership reform, and form effective incentive and restraint mechanisms; (3) realize more efficient development, increase efforts in marketing and deleveraging, properly handle “non-core” business, and explore new operating models of “growth hacker” and “intelligent manufacturing”; (4) strengthen Party building according to the instructions of the 19th CPC National Congress.
The meeting also included work information release by functional departments of the head office, comments on the performance of directly affiliated subsidiaries in 2017 in key tasks, and a brief account of priority tasks for 2018. Two reports on intelligent and digital manufacturing were given to explore man-machine integration in chemical industry. The attendees also watched a video on model employees in honoring the Five Major Development Concepts with deeds. Panel discussions were then held to study the work reports of ChemChina and Bluestar and exchange ideas on how to adjust the business structure and improve development efficiency.
The meeting gathered an audience of 166 including Board directors and management, subsidiary executives, head-office executives and employee representatives. After the meeting, subsidiary representatives expressed the determination to align Bluestar’s corporate goals and tasks with their own, follow up the meeting decisions through concrete actions, and strive to elevate corporate development to a new level.