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Sewing machine maker Brother Industries Ltd. said Tuesday it will launch a wholly owned wholesale unit in China later this month to enhance sales in the fast-growing market.

The unit, Brother (China) Ltd., will integrate Brother’s marketing operations in China to expand its sales network and improve customer services, the firm said.

Brother has so far sold sewing machines and information systems in China through agents and manufacturing units.

The unit’s sales are projected to reach 17 billion yen in 2006.

The Chinese government’s approval of the wholly owned unit came in mid-February, the company said.

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