The Chinese government’s $97-billion pledge to clean up the country’s dire water situation has afforded foreign water firms market opportunities typically denied them in the past. Even so, roadblocks still prevail as China continues to put the breaks on importing the international expertise it needs to help with its water recovery.
This report by Reuters notes the rare opportunity China’s latest pledge offers to foreign water firms that have struggled for years to gain market share in China due to frequent regulation changes.
“The advantage that we have now is that there’s quite a strong and hard push for the government to do something about cleaning up the water,” said Ealden Tucker, general manager of global water at environmental engineering firm Clean TeQ, which is looking to enter China six years after its last attempt. “That’s where things have changed for us.”
China’s water market could be worth “anywhere between $50 million to $300 million” for Clean TeQ, Tucker told Reuters.
Firms like Clean TeQ are aiming to participate in projects from producing drinking water to treating sewage, now that private investors have been invited to improve the quality and quantity of China’s water, which is in short supply in almost half of the country’s 657 major cities.
Although foreign companies have permission to participate in projects, barriers to entry still exist, reports Reuters.