Keeping the market open for green industries
There are many ways to drive forward the energy saving and environmental protection industries in an ecologically fragile area like Northwest China's Gansu province, but not if the market is shut and centered on local government's decisions, Chinese advisors said.
"What's left for the local government is to make sure that the market is running in an orderly way under certain mechanisms, and that everyone in these industries is getting equal opportunities, so that the competition is fair and square," he added.
A clear-cut line between the market and the government could help draw more investors from home and aboard, bringing in advanced experiences while pumping money into research and development in technological innovations and products, he said.
He made the remarks during a keynote speech at the International High-level Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Industries Promotion Conference of the Central and Western Regions, also known as IPCW, which was held on Jan 19 in Lanzhou, capital city of Gansu province.
The meeting was co-organized by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and International Energy Conservation Protection Environmental Association (IEEPA), at a time when environmental deterioration is starting to weigh on the cash-strapped western province.
Gansu province has been stepping up efforts to bring down its energy consumption and restore the environment, joining the tide of a nationwide green transformation.
According to Hao Yuan, vice governor of Gansu province, the output value of the energy-saving and environmental protection industries is predicted to hit 50 trillion yuan ($8.26 trillion) in 2015, and will grow at an annual rate of more than 15 percent in years to come.
"Energy-saving and environmental protection industries could be a new growth engine for Gansu province in years to come, if we really create an equal environment for companies as the major player in the industries," said Wang Yuqing, deputy director of Committee of Population, Resources and Environment, pointing out that environmental protection is an industry that's largely hinged on government policies.
However, local companies in the province have been scrambling to scale up along the years, largely because they lack enough political and financial support, according to Wang.
"We are very much willing to think big and work hard to push forward the transformation, but we need help," said Niu Yunfei, chairman of Gansu Hongxinyuan Energy-saving Environmental Protection Co Ltd, a local company that provides comprehensive energy-saving services.
"If we get more support from our government, chances are we could get more money from our investors. That's when our businesses will start to take off." he added.
He vowed to establish an international platform for energy conservation and environmental protection in central and western regions in three years, in a bid to help facilitate local firms to find investors in the industries, and vice versa.
"We hope this platform could better coordinate all kinds of resources in the industries, and bring in more opportunities for the regions," said Jon Li, IEEPA's secretary general.