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GSK to set up new global HQ for Asia in Singapore

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said on Wednesday it was establishing a new global headquarters for Asia in Singapore, strengthening its presence in the city-state.

BRITISH drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on Wednesday said it will set up in Singapore a new global headquarters for Asia, as it ramps up its commitment in the region.

GSK has signed an agreement with Boustead Development Partnership joint-venture entity to develop and lease a new building which will house the new HQ.

It is located at the one-north development in the Rochester Park area and the drugmaker will move some 600 employees based in Gateway West to the new office in the second half of 2017.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

The new eight-storey building spanning 15,000 square metres will have capacity for up to 1,000 employees across GSK's pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare businesses.

Andrew Witty, GSK's CEO, said: "If you look at GSK over the last 7 or 8 years, the importance of Asia has gone up significantly and what's critical is that we have an Asian business run by Asian leaders making decisions in Asia, rather than having an Asian business waiting for instructions from London.

"So what we really want to try and achieve is a greater accountability in the region, a greater autonomy in the region, so that people who know the region the best, are able to make as many decisions as possible."

The announcement comes as the drugmaker battles declining sales, tough pricing environment and rising cost pressures.