SUEZ to invest more in green market
The booth of SUEZ Group during an expo in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo/China Daily]
SUEZ Group, a French environmental solutions provider, will invest more in China's water and waste management market, thanks to the priority the Chinese government is giving to environmental initiatives, said a top company official.
"We expect revenue from the Chinese market to continue growing during the 2023-27 period, as China's top policymakers have assured greater efforts to attract foreign capital, widen market access and promote further opening-up of modern service industries," said Sabrina Soussan, SUEZ chairwoman and CEO, in an interview in Beijing on Thursday.
"We see massive business potential in the country, a key market for the future of our group and our growth plans. After 50 years in China, during which we aided the country's transition to a low-carbon economy, we will continue working with local partners and develop a long-term strategic partnership in China."
At the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday, the company signed a cooperation agreement with its Chinese partners Wanhua Chemical Group and China Railway Shanghai Engineering Bureau Group for a seawater desalination project in Penglai district of Yantai in Shandong province.
The new project broadens SUEZ's scope of cooperation with Wanhua and furthers the ambition of the three partners to build a green industrial ecosystem for sustainable development. It will also strengthen SUEZ's commitment to China's ecological transition, it said.
Soussan said China will remain one of the top growth areas for SUEZ, if not the top one.
"China is already one of our strongest growth markets and we aim to grow even more quickly in the water and waste management sectors in the country through partnerships with local enterprises," she said.
China's steady average growth rate of 5.2 percent over the past five years indicates that the long-term fundamentals of the economy remain strong. "The projected growth rate of 5 percent for 2023 also signals overall improvement of the economy and a return to its potential growth rate," she said.
"We can see the environmental agenda is the priority in the country with substantial progress made in the environmental and ecological sectors in recent years. SUEZ is committed to further step up investment as well as expand its existing business in water, waste and energy management sectors in China this year and in the years to come."
Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, said as the Chinese government has continued to prioritize environmental protection, there has been and will be massive growth opportunities for foreign companies.
It is believed opportunities arising from China's environment sector would offer excellent prospects for foreign companies to contribute their technology and expertise, he said.
To date, SUEZ has built more than 400 water and wastewater treatment plants in China, providing drinking water and waste services to over 25 million people.
The company's new hazardous waste management project, in partnership with Shanghai Chemical Industry Park and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, will be commissioned around June or July, it said.