China turns to environmental investments

China's is now officially committed to spending 2-3% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on environmental investments, according to members of the environmental industry.

Feb. 27, 2001—China's is now officially committed to spending 2-3% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on environmental investments, according to members of the environmental industry. The first ever sewage treatment plant for Zheng Zhou (population 2 million) is an example.

Flygt China recently received its largest pump order ever — U.S. $1.05 million — for a complete submersible pump/mixer package to be installed in a sewage treatment plant for the city of Zheng Zhou in the province of Henan.

"This order represents another vital step in positioning Flygt China as the 'fluid handling partner' in the Chinese market. Our service and product performance at Zheng Zhou will play an important role for future projects," commented Peter Mui, Contract and Application Department manager, Flygt China.

This is the first sewage treatment plant for Zheng Zhou, which has a population of over 2 million. In many ways, this project is a preview of things to come for China and Flygt China, Mui said.

The official environmental target is to allocate 2-3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for investment in environmental improvements, but the local authorities will have to raise a certain percentage of this by themselves. The actual investments will vary from province to province. For example, ShanXi province announced it will use 10 percent of its GDP for environmental improvement.

With the World Trade Organization issue ahead, a fast-improving living standard and an increase in foreign contracts, China is under strong pressure from within and from neighboring countries to improve its environment.

Most major cities are without any municipal wastewater treatment, and only industrial wastewater is being treated, Mui said. Take Shanghai, for example. The estimated wastewater volume is 5.7 million cubic meters per day, but the sewage treatment capacity for secondary treatment is less than 10 percent.

"[Flygt] started as a joint venture in early 1995 and became 100 percent owned by ITT Industries by the end of 1996," Mui said.

"We have a production plant in Shenyang Liaoning province and a Sales and Marketing office located in Shanghai. Being located in China is very important. It is not easy doing business in China. Personal trust is the most important factor. Unlike other countries, where most communication is through phone and fax, most business discussions and negotiations in China have to be done face to face. Most of the time, important messages are passed during dinner or after office hours in informal meetings."

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