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GM ditching China for Singapore

2013-11-14 09:25

DIDI TANG

BEIJING, China - General Motors is to move its international headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore, a trophy for the sub-tropical city-state that's  aggressively promoting itself as a global business centre.

The automaker said the new HQ would have 120 employees to oversee GM's businesses in Africa, south-east Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Korea, and the Middle East as well as Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. The Shanghai office will remain with about 250 employees for operations in China, which has overtaken the US as the world's largest new-vehicle auto market.

The move will happen in the second quarter of 2014.

POLLUTION PROBLEM

Lori Arpin, spokeswoman for GM's international operations, explained that in 2004 GM decided to move its Asia-Pacific regional headquarters from Singapore to Shanghai, then a nod to the rising importance of China to the US. automaker. Several years later GM set up a division for international operations in Shanghai but a recent reshuffle split GM China from the international unit, which is seeking a new start.

China's appeal for foreign professionals has been diminished by pollution in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing though GM did not cite that as a reason for the shift.

Arpin added: "Singapore would offer closer proximity to our key markets."
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