Business & Economy, IM Posts, by David
Sir Anthony O'Reilly, the chairman of Waterford Wedgwood Plc., the owner of the Royal Doulton brand, met with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the presidential palace in Jakarta on the 2nd and announced that Waterford Wedgwood/Royal Doulton, a manufacturer of ceramic and china dinnerware, would expand its factory at Tangerang, Banten (western Java, near Jakarta) at a cost of 125 million US dollars.
Waterford Wedgwood, which apart from its famous Royal Doulton china cups, plates, and saucers also produces figurines, has two factories in Asia, with the other being located in India. However, according  to Trade minister Mari Pangestu's recollection of conversations with Sir Anthony, Indonesia is the preferred location due to the workforce here being more skillful and patient. 150,000 Royal Doulton branded pieces are produced each week at the Indonesian factory.
Ninety-seven percent of the output of Royal Doulton's Indonesian operations are exported, at an annual value of around $30 million. With the new investment, which will also see the development of some research and design facilities, carried out over three years, the company has hopes that this figure will double.
Sir Anthony O'Reilly said on May 20th 2007 that the company plans to raise its ceramic wares production capacity in Indonesia from 6 million to 12 million pieces per year, with manpower requirements going up from 1,350 at present to about 2,000, and a further $25 million being invested.