CEWP Business Conference, which took place in Turku, Finland on 21 and 22 September 2017, was a high note in bilateral water technology and business relations between the European Union and China. Largest event of its kind in 2017 between China and Europe, the whole conference was attended by 400 people of 22 different nationalities.
The Business Conference, attended over two days by about 250 people, was built around prearranged matchmaking meetings. Over 160 meetings were attended by 37 Chinese and 55 European companies, assisted by 50 interpreters and 20 volunteers.
Besides matchmaking, the event had high-level speakers: the minister of Environment from Finland (Mr. Tiilikainen) and representative from the World Bank (Mr. Guangzhe Chen). Other program included a panel discussion, organization and company presentations and a pitching session, which included both Chinese and European companies.
Radisson Blu Marina Palace was bustling especially during coffee breaks, when attendees were queueing shoulder to shoulder for the 60 exhibition stands in place around the venue and discussions continued long after the official program had ended.
The two day event ended on Friday with visits to the Turku underground water treatment plant at Kakolanmäki and a local water treatment company, Clewer Ltd.
China Europe Water Platform High-Level Business Conference was a success both in number of participants and companies active either in presenting themselves or attending matchmaking meetings. New friendships were struck up and cooperation visions planned. As water related issues remain a major public topic in both China and Europe, new connections between the two sides are continue to be needed for future cooperation.
Round table meetings
Finnish Water Forum (FWF) organised two roundtables and had a separate meeting with CWEC representatives. In the Industrial Water Saving Round Table, Chinese counterparts presented their needs and plans, and Finnish companies their relevant offering. One point of discussion was wastewater sludge treatment and it was agreed that Finnish side will start more detailed discussion on this with the lead of three large companies Outotec, Kemira and Valmet. The Dam Safety Roundtable discussed China’s needs to ensure safety of the large amount of dams in the country, and Finnish companies abilities to support in this. A group of Finnish companies is preparing a cluster-approach, and further visit to China is planned too. FWF and CWEC deemed both that the matchmaking event was successful and more should be arranged in the future, and based on their mutual MoU agreed to start planning of a professional training visit of selected Chinese water sector representatives to Finland.