On 9 June 2021, EU SME Centre participated in the 16th China International Water Business Summit held at the China Optics Valley Convention & Exhibition Center in Wuhan, Hubei China and attracted more than 100 representatives who attended this meeting.
The meeting was joined by organisations from both Chinese and European government bodies, scientific research institutions and enterprises.
Deputy Director of International Cooperation and Science and Technology Department, Ministry of Water Resources of PRC, Mr. Li Ge and the Portuguese Ambassador to China, H.E. Mr. José Augusto Duarte representing the European Secretariat of China Europe Water Platform (CEWP) attended the conference and gave their opening remarks.
An introduction to the development priorities and market demands was given, which was followed by a policy interpretation section. In this section Huang Yan, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Yangtze River Water Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources, gave a report on the support and guarantee of water conservancy to promote the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
Anabella Rebelo, expert from the Portuguese Environment Agency, introduced the urban water development and wastewater reuse policies and opportunities under the EU’s carbon neutral goals. Yang Xiaoru, Deputy Director of the Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design Institute of the Ministry of Water Resources, interpreted and analysed the water conservancy tasks in the “14th Five-Year Plan” outline. This was followed by a discussion around potential cooperation opportunities of water conservancy during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period in order to efficiently promote exchanges and cooperation between China and Europe in the field of water.
During the technical exchange session, EU SME Centre’s Operations Manager Liam Jia gave an introduction to market access for European businesses in the Chinese Water sector. In his presentation, the challenges facing the Water Sector were explained, and these challenges can, to a very large extent, be addressed if already existing solutions were fully utilized. Although the need for technological innovation still exists, the main need for systemic innovation regarding water management and market functioning are still prevailing. Lastly, Liam explained in his presentation that cheaper bulk solutions in China are preferred due to the lack of adequate financing models, economic frameworks promoting long-term sustainability as well as inadequate regulatory frameworks.
Experts and representatives from the Danish Geological Survey Bureau, the Sino-French Haihe River Basin Water Resources Integrated Management Project, Veolia China, Onika Water Treatment from Hungary, UROS from Finland, SOMMER Testing from Austria have shared their experiences and successful cases in their operations in China.
EU SME Centre and China Europe Water Platform have been collaborating since phase II of the project on activities related to the water sector. From March to May 2021 a webinar series of four webinars have been organized by the EU SME Centre and the China Europe Water Platform, to explore the management of the Urban Water Cycle in Europe and China. The webinar series was organized and held prior to the Aquatech China exhibition 2021 in Shanghai, which was held from 2-4 June 2021. At the Aquatech fair, a joint EU SME Centre-CEWP booth was organised to support the European companies present at the fair and to offer free face-to-face consultations. Additionally, two hybrid seminars were organised on the second day of the fair, with both online and offline participants at the Aquatech fair with the topic of Digitalisation and Circular Economy of the Water Sector respectively. The webinar series and the hybrid seminars gathered in total close to 400 participants.
You can find the recorded webinar on Youtube: