The following blog was first posted on the U.S. Department Commerce website. The original link is http://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2015/04/chinas-long-term-play
China’s Long-Term Play
April 20th, 2015 – Guest blog post by Margaret Wong, President and CEO of California Center (Golden California Inc.) and McWong Environmental Technology
As a participant of a special 24-American company delegation to China, led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, I came prepared to share with U.S. and China leaders about the latest in U.S. capabilities and the business opportunities for U.S. environmental and energy efficient technology and services to be utilized in China. In particular those technologies related to clean water, smart cities and the latest wastewater treatment techniques – with a highlight on unique solutions we use to treat specific contents of wastewater, by using mainly membrane and thermal technology in the zero liquid discharge processes. Thanks to U.S. leadership like that of Secretary Pritzker and Deputy Secretary Dr. Sherwood-Randall, there has been a very positive top-down approach to help build public-private partnership allowing businesses like ours to create bottom-up solutions that have been warmly received. Not only have I found a warm welcome by the numerous leaders we have met with along the way, but I have found a common thread that speaks to the larger picture, which is the deep interest to create better and improved methods for smart and sustainable growth in China.
A lot has been made about recent reports indicating a slow-down in China’s economy, noting a reduction from 10 percent annual average GDP gains from 1980 to 2012 to the latest numbers Wednesday, indicating that China’s first-quarter gross domestic product grew 7 percent, the slowest pace since the 2009 global recession. However, very little is being discussed about what I call “China’s long-term play,” to turn China’s economy into a more sustainable one. A recent Bloomberg article also illustrates this point by noting that at the same time that many are noting a reduction in GDP gains, they are failing to point out the “scent of fast money hovering over Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, where stock markets are enjoying explosive rallies. The Shanghai Composite Index is up 94 percent over the last 12 months and some $4 trillion has been added to the total market value — now $7.3 trillion — of companies listed on domestic exchanges over the past year.”
The article goes on to point out that the services sector for the first time accounted for more than half, at 51.6 percent, of GDP in the first quarter and that consumption growth was also solid. These factors cannot be ignored. It is clear from our meetings with key government representatives, that China is focused on creating new and innovative solutions to not only sustain economic goals but also to improve living conditions and build more environmentally sound/efficient long-term investments into their cities. The U.S. has a unique opportunity to step up in these areas and assist China in meeting these admirable goals.
However, such investment in creating sound and sustainable growth will not come without some growing pains. My personal experiences and discussions during this trade mission lend credence to the notion that China is committed to the long haul. McWong Environmental Technology will do all it can to create sound clean energy solutions to assist in those efforts, to improve the overall quality of life in China – which in turn has global benefits for us all in terms of economic stability and improved health!