Ris­ing tide

In­vest­ment is flow­ing into wa­ter sec­tor of Guizhou

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHI JING in Shang­hai and YANG JUN in Ton­gren, Guizhou Con­tact the writ­ers at shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn and yangjun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Guizhou’s rich re­serves of wa­ter are help­ing the south­west­ern province at­tract in­vestors from both home and abroad.

A to­tal of 266 bev­er­age com­pa­nies such as San Benedetto from Italy and Chi­nese brand Wa­haha par­tic­i­pated in the 1st Guizhou (Ton­gren) In­ter­na­tional Nat­u­ral Drink­ing Wa­ter Expo 2016, which ended on Mon­day.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment signed 49 busi­ness pro­mo­tion projects with com­pa­nies, with a to­tal in­vest­ment of more than 11.8 bil­lion yuan ($1.7 bil­lion), and agree­ments were signed for 14 trade projects worth around 3.18 bil­lion yuan.

Ao Hong, deputy di­rec­tor of the province’s eco­nomic and in­for­ma­tion com­mis­sion, said there are 727 bot­tled wa­ter pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies in Guizhou, pro­duc­ing more than 3.28 mil­lion met­ric tons of bot­tled wa­ter last year. With this, Guizhou has risen to be the sev­enth-largest bot­tled wa­ter sup­plier in China.

“Drink­ing wa­ter is an in­dus­try larger than what we have ex­pected. Con­nect­ing with the health­care in­dus­try, it can also help the de­vel­op­ment of agri­cul­ture and ser­vice in­dus­tries in Guizhou. We will make greater ef­forts to in­tro­duce strate­gic in­vestors,” he said.

Es­tab­lished in Fu­jian province 22 years ago, Hao­caitou set up its Guizhou branch last year, thanks to the province’s po­ten­tial in wa­ter re­sources, ac­cord­ing to Chen Zhong­shi, chair­man of Hao­caitou Fu­jian Food Co Ltd.

Its first fa­cil­ity in the province was put into oper­a­tion in Fe­bru­ary, pro­duc­ing yo­gurt, pas­tries and can­dies.

“A new plant is un­der con­struc­tion, which we ex­pect to be put into oper­a­tion in 2017, cre­at­ing 2,000 jobs,” he said.

Yang Jian­guo, deputy di­rec­tor of the All-China Pri­vate En­ter­prise Fed­er­a­tion, said that the drink­ing wa­ter in­dus­try in Guizhou should ex­pand fur­ther.

“The lo­cal gov­ern­ment can help set up a wa­ter theme in­dus­trial park, an in­cu­ba­tor, a core plat­form and an in­dus­try fund,” he said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Visi­tors show in­ter­est in bot­tled wa­ter on dis­play at an in­ter­na­tional nat­u­ral drink­ing wa­ter expo in Ton­gren, Guizhou province, which ended on Mon­day.

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