The output value of environment-related businesses in China is expected to increase by 15 percent annually in the next five years, said Yu Dehui, an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) at a seminar Monday.
Yu said the growth rate will reach at least 12 percent from 2005 to 2010 and the industry's output value may account for 2 percent of China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ten years later.
Yu noted that the country's investment in the environment- related cause has kept expanding since 1999 and it accounted for one percent of China's GDP last year. This could be regarded as a positive signal for the industry's rosy future.
"However, more efforts will be made toward developing the environment-related business market," Yu said.
"A market type of environment protection framework will be effective, especially under China's socialist market," said Kurt Tong, science counselor with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
This market framework will bring broader participation of government, experts, non governmental organizations and common citizens and also provide a "cost and benefit" tool for the country to make the environment-related decision, he added.
Tang also suggested that a more accurate calculation method of the cost of environmental problems be introduced with the market framework.
The Chinese government has encouraged professional firms, including foreign companies, to engage in running the environment protection facilities, such as processing rubbish or polluted water, said Xu Shufan, another SEPA official.
Private companies will be eager to enter the environment- related businesses if the profit can be guaranteed and the risk be reduced, said James Gao, chief representative of Suez Lyonnaise Des Eaux, a major French water company.
(People's Daily 03/27/2001)