Concurrently, in 1995, RGM started its diversified investments through first project in China through APRIL, by investing in the development of the CHANGSHU PAPER MILL in the Jiangsu province. The Company took on a strategic partner UPM-Kymmene of Finland. The mill was finally completed in 1999, and the company’s assets included a paper converting plant in Suzhou.
Due to the Asian financial crisis and shareholders’ conflicting priorities, the Changsu mill was later divested to UPM-Kymmene in 2000, with APRIL retaining ownership of the Suzhou converting plant. This Suzhou base was integral to RGM, as it provided a foothold in China for the Group’s future expansion.
It was also at this time that Sukanto Tanoto decided to establish SINGAPORE RGM OFFICE in April 1996, underpinning RGM’s outreach into the region.