ARNHEM, Netherlands - Paint has officially started to flow off the production line at Akzo Nobel's new decorative coatings plant, just seven months after construction work began. Run by the company's Decorative Coatings International (DCI) business, the plant - located in an expanding industrial area outside Ho Chi Minh City - was commissioned after the previous operation outgrew its old facility.

Building work began last year on a 40,000-square-meter Greenfield site at the AMATA Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province, with Vietnamese management hoping for a late-2004 startup date. This swift turnaround time raised a few eyebrows in some quarters, but the deadline was met and a solid foundation for increasing the company's distribution and market share in Vietnam has been laid.