Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, The European market represents close to 80% of our business and has the potential to grow significantly in the coming years. Suntech has already established very mature and capable sales, technical and support teams across Europe, however, we are committed to increasing this investment to ensure that our customers have the best support available. We plan to double the size of our European team over the next three to six months.

Shi added, Schaffhausen’s proximity to key, established solar markets, such as Germany, France and Italy, and to nascent markets in Greece, Portugal and the countries of Central Europe, is ideal for Suntech as we enhance localized service and support for existing and prospective customers. Its well-regarded, internationally experienced workforce and reputation as a global financial center should also serve us well as we move to further penetrate European demand for solar.

Jerry Stokes, Suntech Europe’s vice president of strategy and business development, said, We spent considerable time researching the best location for our European headquarters and were very impressed with the support we received from the Canton of Schaffhausen. The central location and excellent transport infrastructure — with reliable rail, road and air links — were also key factors in our decision.

The Swiss Government recently introduced an incentive program for PV and we will be aiming to quickly secure a leading market position there as we have elsewhere in Europe, added Stokes.