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Private Investment Encouraged in Environmental Protection
The government welcomes private enterprises to invest in the environmental protection industry, Zhao Yingmin, vice-chief of the State Environmental Protection Administration’s Science and Technology Standards Department has said.

Zhao said the central government would adjust the relevant policy to support and cultivate more environmental protection enterprises and groups, with private enterprises included in accordance with market regulation, according to China Industry and Commerce Times.

According to Zhao, private enterprises have become one of the most active investors in the environmental protection industry. In 2000, there were 2,980 private enterprises involved employing some 17,4000 people, and earning 972 million yuan (US$117.4 million) in annual profits. Among them, 187 had earned ISO9000 certification. A total of 2,736 environmental protection technology projects had been developed by them independently.

During the tenth Five-Year Plan Period (2001-05), the total investments required for environmental protection is 700 billion yuan (US$84.5 billion), accounting for about 1.3 percent of GDP in the period, and for 3.6 percent of the social fixed assets investment, one percentage point higher than that in the ninth Five-Year Plan period, Zhao said.

At present, the government investment accounts for 56 percent of the total requirement for the environmental protection industry. The investments of enterprises, occupying the remaining percentage, involve money spent by enterprises themselves in the treatment of industrial pollution in accordance with the principle of “who causes pollution should dispose of it.”

According to Zhao, the participation of private enterprises in the environmental protection industry is to be realized through social investments, which means the mechanism of market should be utilized to motivate and absorb social funds through reforming the fee-charging system of sewage discharge and the investment and financing systems of environmental protection.

He said more and more private enterprises would be involved in this field as the demand for environmental protection investment would expand to a large degree in the coming few years. Facing such opportunities, private enterprises can actively carry out management activities in the environmental protection industry using their own advantages.

(china.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, August 8, 2002)

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