China thirsty for BC wa­ter, in­vestors buy up sources

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG RU wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Two Chi­nese busi­ness­men re­cently bought two wa­ter sources in Bri­tish Columbia, Canada.

Im­mi­gra­tion con­sul­tant Alex Liao said in an in­ter­view with Reuters last week that he had clients look­ing to spend at least $20 mil­lion to buy a well and set up a bot­tling plant to ex­port moun­tain wa­ter to China.

“One of my clients is ex­port­ing – I can­not be­lieve it – 200 con­tainer loads of min­eral wa­ter from B.C. to China ev­ery sin­gle month,” Liao told Reuters. “Lots of peo­ple, right now, are buy­ing wells.”

An­other Chi­nese busi­ness­man re­port­edly bought an­other wa­ter source in Chilli­wack in BC prov­ince for $17 mil­lion.

“Canada is fa­mous for its rich and clean fresh wa­ter, which is very cheap and suit­able to de­velop bot­tled­wa­ter busi­ness,” said Yuan Zhan­ling, for­mer eco­nomic and com­mer­cial coun­selor of the Con­sulate Gen­eral of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China in Van­cou­ver.

“To in­vest in wa­ter re­sources, Chi­nese busi­ness­men need to be familiar with the re­lated laws of the Canadian gov­ern­ment and pay at­ten­tion to is­sues such as en­vi­ron­ment and the in­ter­ests of the lo­cal peo­ple, in­clud­ing the First Na­tion in Canada,” Yuan sug­gested. “Canada of­ten leaves Chi­nese con­sumers an im­pres­sion as re­source­ful, nat­u­ral and clean, which is an ad­van­tage of bring­ing Canadian bot­tled wa­ter to the mar­ket with vast needs, es­pe­cially the emerg­ing high-end wa­ter mar­ket.”

Daniel Cheng, a 33-yearold Bei­jinger who of­ten buys for­eign bot­tled wa­ter brands, said he hasn’t found any Canadian bot­tled wa­ter brands in the high-end su­per­mar­ket in Bei­jing so far, but he would love to try.

“My im­pres­sion of Canada is that of a coun­try with many snow-capped moun­tains and clean air, so I think the wa­ter qual­ity must be very good, es­pe­cially com­pared to China,” he said.

Wang Xi, a new mother with a nine-month-old baby, who vis­ited Canada in 2011, said she ex­pected to have some bot­tled wa­ter from Canada for mak­ing for­mula milk for her baby and for her dog, a grow­ing mar­ket as well.

Hav­ing 9 per­cent re­serve of the world’s fresh wa­ter, Canada has de­vel­oped a bot­tled wa­ter in­dus­try and nu­mer­ous high-qual­ity wa­ter sources that open to pri­vate in­vestors.

Bot­tles of im­ported wa­ter

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