Dow Corning Corp., Midland, MI, and Wacker Chemie GmbH, Munich, announced plans to launch a joint venture in Asia to manufacture silicone intermediates and fumed silica for various industrial and consumer markets. The companies said they plan to jointly develop manufacturing operations at a fully integrated silicone intermediates and silica production site at an unidentified location in Asia, with each company also developing and operating its own manufacturing facilities for finished products at the same site. The proposed venture is subject to regulatory and government approvals. Each company would continue to compete and operate independently in the marketplace in Asia and elsewhere, the companies said. Top executives of the two companies said the venture would offer cost and quality advantages and help develop local markets.