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S. China Province Steps up Environmental Protection
Guangdong Province in south China is exploring ways to expand cooperation with foreign partners to step up environmental protection, according to local officials.

The province plans to invest 44 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) to handle pollution in the Pearl River and to inject another 21.7 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion) into solid waste materials disposal in the coming eight years, said Vice-Governor Xu Deli.

Meeting with Hans Christian Schmidt, the Danish minister of environment and energy, who led a delegation on a visiting tour in Guangdong last week, Xu said by 2005 about 45 percent of the province's urban household wastewater is expected to be treated.

The rate would go up to 60 percent by 2010, he said, adding that in the coming five to ten years, the province will establish large-scale infrastructure facilities for environmental protection.

Xu said the province welcomes foreign investors to come to participate in the construction of these facilities.

Presently, many foreign environmental protection enterprises have shown deep interest in wastewater treatment and solid waste materials disposal projects in Guangdong.

Denmark, which has advanced technology and managerial expertise in wind and rubbish-burning power generation and wastewater treatment, has participated in the construction of wastewater treatment plants in Dongguan and Shenzhen cities of the province.

Yuan Zheng, director of the Guangdong Provincial Environmental Protection Administration, said that to diversify Sino-foreign cooperation in the sector, the province encourages foreign investors to establish solely-funded or jointly-funded enterprises,or use advanced technology and equipment as investment.

He suggested foreign investors make the utmost effort to have their technologies and equipment localized so as to reduce the cost of their ventures in the province.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2003)

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