Plans revealed to boost Tibet's water industry

Updated: 2014-11-28 10:27

By Zhu Wenqian(China Daily)

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Tibet autonomous region is aiming to attract new investment into its natural water industry to boost sales nationally and overseas and make the sector one of its economic growth engines.

Among a raft of measures being introduced by the local government, natural drinking water manufacturers will now be exempt from all corporate tax for five years, starting from the first year a company starts making profits.

Companies registered in the autonomous region currently pay 15 percent tax, as part of China's West Development Strategy.

The authorities are hoping to raise Tibetan natural drinking water output to more than 5 million metric tons over the next three to five years, which could be worth 40 billion yuan ($6.5 billion).

Estimates suggest that could create 10,000 new jobs and increase the region's share of China's natural drinking water to more than 15 percent.

Miao Wei, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said: "The ministry will strongly support the growth of the natural drinking water industry in Tibet, allowing the sector to take full advantage of its niche status to lead regional economic growth and help promote the upgrade of China's food industry.

"The natural drinking water industry in Tibet has huge potential, based on the strength of public demand for safety and green consumption."

Tibet has 27,000 square kilometers of glaciers, accounting for 47.6 percent of the nation's total. Rivers originating on the plateau give it the largest water reserves in China. Per capita water resouce in Tibet is 60 times the national average.

Among other measures aimed at boosting the local industry, the government has proposed preferential financing policies for companies registered and founded in the region, or enterprises that are registered elsewhere but pay income tax to Tibet.

Newly established enterprises will also be allowed bank loans at an interest rate that is 2 percentage points lower than the national average, and natural drinking water companies will be offered tax refunds on up to $30 million of their imported goods.

Losang Jamcan, chairman of the autonomous region, said: "Tibet's natural drinking water companies are highly competitive. They produce high-quality, unpolluted, low-alkaline water that is among the world's best.

"Many of its upmarket bottled-water companies have the potential to make further inroads into domestic and foreign markets."