Where there is crisis lies opportunity. There may be no other sector in China where this mantra is more relevant than the water treatment sector. China supports 20 percent of the world’s population with a mere 7 percent of the world’s freshwater resources. And fresh water resources are disproportionately concentrated in China’s southern regions, leaving China’s north extremely arid, despite having a comparable amount of economic activity. To make matters worse, two-thirds or more of China’s freshwater resources are polluted. Industrialization and urbanization is projected to lead to a significant growth in water demand in China, and by 2030 up to one-quarter of China’s demand will not be able to be met by domestic supply.
It is no wonder that the central government is stepping up measures by setting water conservation standards, raising artificially depressed water prices, and increasing investment in water infrastructure. Foreign investment in China’s water infrastructure will play an important and ever-increasing role.
I had the chance to sit down with Anthony Goh last month in Beijing as part of our clean energy economy fact-finding trip to China. Mr. Goh is president of U.S.-Pacific Rim International, an American consulting firm with an office in Beijing that assists U.S. companies with China market entry. He has helped a number of American water technology companies manufacture and sell their water purification technologies in China in recent years.
In this short video interview, Mr. Goh discusses the attractiveness of China’s water market to foreign investors, America’s competitive position with China in environmental technologies, and the issue of intellectual property rights protection in China.
Julian L. Wong is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress.