Explore The Reform, Accelerate The Expansion

As the decade of domestic turmoil ended in 1976, Sinochem found new development opportunities. In particular, Sinochem welcomed a high-speed growing period following the reform and opening up initiated in 1978.

In early 1980s, to adapt to the reform of foreign trade system, Sinochem took the initiative in exploring new development roads, by setting up branches and joint ventures abroad, uniting trading companies with petrochemical manufacturers and conducting various types of trade, including third-party processing and compensation trade. In 1984 and 1985, Sinochem’s foreign trade turnover came to USD 10 billion in two consecutive years, making it one of the biggest specialized foreign trade enterprises in China and laying a solid foundation for further advance.

In 1987, the company raised the strategic goal of “three transformations and three conversions” which meant transforming from import and export trade to international trade, from commodity trade to multi-functional operation, from China’s nationwide foreign trade company to a multi-national company and creating a socialist company with modern management, international operation and group-like organizational structure. On Dec. 19, 1987 Sinochem was approved by China State Council to take the lead in conducting experiment on “mandated operation” which gives Sinochem more leeway of conducting businesses. During the two rounds of experimental “mandated operation”, the company developed foreign trade actively, set up more overseas branches in shorter time and carried out multi-functional operations, enabling its scale of operation to grow swiftly and itself to develop primarily into an integrated, cross-industry, multi-functional and multi-national group.

Based on experience in international operation and taking the reference to conglomerate trading companies in Japan and Korea, Sinochem came up with the idea of experimental conglomerate trading company. On December 31, 1994, the State Council permitted the company to establish the first experimental conglomerate trading company in China and to include China Foreign Economy and Trade Trust Co., Ltd. (FOTIC) as one of its affiliates, with an aim to establish an international, industrialized, diversified and group-like comprehensive trade company that integrates such functions as trade, manufacturing, technology, finance and information.

As from 1996, Sinochem started two-year clean-up and rectification to solve the problems resulting from over-speed expansion.