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People's Daily Online>>China Business

'More funds for water projects'

By Diao Ying and Fu Jing in Marseilles, France (China Daily)

09:08, March 16, 2012

Minister says favorable policies will encourage foreign firms to invest

China will offer a package of favorable policies to encourage the private sector to tap into the country's multi-billion-dollar water conservancy infrastructure construction sector, said Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei.

Both Chinese and overseas investors have pinned high hopes on obtaining stakes in hydro-power plant construction, flood-prevention projects and water-saving investment after Chen revealed that China will channel about $636 billion into the projects through 2020.

At the 6th World Water Forum, Chen said China will use foreign funds such as loans from the World Bank and foreign government loans for water conservancy infrastructure construction, and will also attract private investors by offering favorable policies in terms of land use and taxation in the water sector.

"China encourages enterprises and individuals to invest in water conservancy by means of sole proprietorship, equity joint ventures and joint-stock cooperative ventures," he said.

President of World Water Council Loic Fauchon said China is faced with environmental challenges after years of rapid urbanization and industrialization.

"China should balance well its economic development and ecological protection," said Fauchon.

Paul van Meel, team leader of the China-EU River Basin Management Program, said: "This creates opportunities for the innovative private sector both in China and Europe."

Van Meel said that so far there is no European private sector involvement in China's water conservancy infrastructure construction sector, but said that there should be opportunities in the future.

Many European private-sector companies specialize in water management, such as the planning of river basin management and flood control, according to Van Meel.

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