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Environmental Protection in China thanks to Quality Growth

MUNICH, December 17, 2013 - The Chinese government is planning to ensure the far-reaching process of urbanization currently taking place in the People's Republic progresses in as tolerable and acceptable way as possible. This also includes paying more attention to ecological aspects. A direct consequence of this is a massive rise in investment in environmental technology.

IE expo, China's leading environmental technology trade show, will be gathering together the supply and demand side of this industry in Shanghai between May 20 and 22, 2014. The Chinese economic boom of recent decades has had a high ecological price – for example in terms of the natural resource of water: The World Bank estimates that the damage to the economy of the People’s Republic as a result of water shortages or pollution is as much as 2.3 percent of GDP. The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources puts the number of Chinese who have no access to clean drinking water at around 300 million, and says that roughly two-thirds of cities have a problem with water shortages.

Attention has focused more strongly on the large communes in China and their role in national development. Achim Haug, an expert in China at the German economic promotion agency Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), reports that "since 2011 more people in China are living in urban areas than in the countryside. Following the expansion of the metropolises on the east coast, the cities inland are now also growing strongly. On a global scale, this means that now roughly one tenth of the world’s population lives in Chinese cities."

As more Chinese live in urban areas and become more prosperous, they demand more of their environment. Dr. Stefanie Schmitt from GTAI knows that "in the cities in particular more and more people are unhappy with the permanent smog that threatens their health." The political leaders in the People’s Republic are well aware of these challenges. "The last government under Minister-President Wen Jiabao tried in the Five Year Plan for 2011 to 2015 to put an emphasis on the quality of growth. The new leadership around Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang is keen to point out that it wants to make further progress in this area", adds Schmitt. According to this GTAI expert, international environmental technology firms are looking to benefit from this political will in the form of new sales opportunities – in particular because in China, too, there is a growing awareness of the importance of integrated solutions.

According to the current – the twelfth – Five Year Plan, around 430 billion RMB (around 52 billion euros) are to be invested in the drinking water sector by the year 2015. Of that around 427 billion RMB will go into plant and systems. Already a good 244 billion RMB have been earmarked for improving existing waste-water pipes and laying new pipelines, 104 billion RMB for new waste-water treatment plants, and roughly 14 billion RMB for modernizing existing sewage works. In addition almost 35 billion RMB are to be invested in sewage sludge treatment plant and more than 30 billion RMB in water recycling plant. Finally, almost three billion RMB are to be spent on introducing and installing monitoring, control and measurement technology.

IE expo represents an outstanding opportunity for local and international companies to present themselves on the Chinese market. The International Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Refuse, Recycling, Air Pollution Control and Energy Conservation takes place from May 20 to 22, 2014, in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). The show also features an extensive technological and scientific conference program.
In May this year, IE expo 2013 achieved a new record, attracting 834 exhibitors from 28 countries and some 33,000 visitors from 67 countries.
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