Danish firms eye China's water sector

Updated: 2012-09-26 17:11

By Lan Lan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Danish companies are eyeing opportunities stemming from China's 4 trillion yuan ($634 billion) investment plan for water resources over the next decade.

Denmark's Environment Minister Ida Auken is in Beijing this week to offer the country's water technology solutions to Chinese policymakers, seeking to create more jobs amid the lingering recession in the eurozone.

"We have lots of experience and lots of leading companies in many of these areas, we would like to bring more of them to China to help solve the problems, and of course also create exports and jobs for Denmark," Auken said in an interview with China Daily.

The water resources area employs 35,000 people in Denmark and generates annual revenue of more than 4 billion euro ($5.17 billion).

Last year, China announced a plan to invest 4 trillion yuan to build water resource facilities in the next 10 years.

Investment in water resources increased to 345.2 billion yuan in 2011 in China, compared with average annual investment of about 140 billion yuan from 2006 to 2010, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Auken said it's important for China to make large investments in the water sector and solve the water problems using an integrated approach.

Earlier this year, China and the European Union established the China-Europe Platform to further cooperate in the water sector. The platform aims to promote dialogue, joint research and private sector cooperation on water management.

"We are following up with concrete steps," Auken said.

She pointed out three priority areas for cooperation: sewage treatment, water efficiency and ground water protection.

Denmark is a leading player in water management and conservation.

Water losses in the water distribution system have been reduced to less than 7 percent in Denmark, while many European countries see 20 to 40 percent of water leakage.

In China, the average loss in the country's water supply system is about 50 percent.

Auken is also seeking to promote Denmark's new urban management models to Chinese officials, such as transportation solutions and measures to reduce air pollution.

Separately, Auken said that the United Nations climate change summit, which will be held in Doha, Qatar, in late November, is facing more political and economic uncertainties this year.

"2012 is a politically important year, and there are lots of changes going around, both politically and economically, but the EU thinks it's very important to stick to the 2 degree target," said Auken.