Business Cooperation

The Chinese market for Water Technologies is estimated to be among the largest in the World, estimated at $100 bio in 2016, and with an expected growth rate 2016-2020 to be 28% (Global Water Intelligence, 2017). Both public and private investments are of a substantial scale. The public investments are directly related to recent Government regulatory initiatives and adjoined investment programs.

However, due to a variety of reasons, including language barriers, becoming established and expanding at the Chinese Water Tech Market may pose huge difficulties, however competitive the products of services of the international companies. Similar difficulties exists for Chinese companies aiming for the European Water Tech Markets.


In the following, the CEWP Business and Innovation Program and other activities are introduced, and also, as a core part of the contributing to the overall CEWP objective of promoting business development, links to organizations and key sources of information is provided in order to constitute a basic starting point for European companies focusing on the Chinese Water Tech Market.

The CEWP Business and Innovation Program

CEWP will in the coming 3 years host a series of Business and Innovation Program Events, which will help European Companies in getting access to the significant Chinese Market for Water Technologies. The Business and Innovation Program will provide insights on current and, in particular, future market requirements for water tech solutions (taking into account key game changers  – upcoming regulatory changes, circular economy and digitalization), and offer matchmaking for building of innovation partnerships as well as open innovation processes based on concrete challenges.

The events of the program will take place as side-events at selected Water Tech Expos, distributed evenly all over China, and with a focus on market segments which suits to the priority water challenge of this part of the country. Further, a number of events will take place in Europe.

Urban Water – Priority Market Segment 2020-2021

During 2021, the CEWP Business Program organized a series of webinars focusing on Urban Water Management.

The program was launched at side-events @Aquatech Amsterdam on November 5th-6th, 2019. Due to the Pandemic, follow-up events were not held until 2021. You can learn more about the launch events here.

You can find PPTs and reports from each of the webinars here.

Also, two physical events were held in Shanghai on June 3rd, 2021, and Wuhan on June 9th, 2021, respectively. You can find more info here.

A Summary Report from the webinar series and the physical events in Shanghai and Wuhan can be found here.

The Urban Water Webinar Series organized by the CEWP Business Program during 1st half of 2021 concluded that challenges facing the Water Sector could to a large extent be addressed, if already existing technical solutions and services were fully utilized. Needs for technological innovation still exists, with the main needs being systemic innovation improving sector integration and allowing for a holistic approach to the full water cycle, e.g. in order to facilitate increased reuse of water.

In addition, state-of-the-art solutions offers stronger resilience to climate change and a better take-up of the potential related to digitalization and circular economy. Digitalization will allow for significant larger amounts of data to be analyzed, hereby de facto leading to actual realization of the intentions behind various concepts about integrated approached developed within the water sector during recent decades. Circular economy-based solutions will in particular imply a stronger integration of water and energy, hereby leading to new business models to be developed.

While state-of-the-art solutions are in general costlier, they have a significantly better Operational and Maintenance costs profile, whereas bulk solutions using simpler technologies are cheaper to procure. However, a.o. due to lack of adequate financing models, economic frameworks promoting long-term sustainability as well as inadequate regulatory frameworks, the cheaper solutions are preferred during a majority of most tender processes. Further, lack of pricing based on true costs of water and energy, as well as total cost of ownership, also adds to the picture of inefficient use of funds in the water sector.

Rural Water – Priority Market Segment 2022

Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure is subject to substantial improvements and investments in small and medium cities, as well as villages in rural areas.

What are the investment needs and market opportunities? What are State-of-the-Art solutions, enabling a circular economy approach with wastewater treatment plants becoming Resource Recovery Facilities and water supply facilities having low water leakage rates? What are options for adding a whole water cycle perspective and allowing for substantial water reuse? How to ensure maximum long-term value of government investments in the water sector?

This will covered in webinars and at sideevents during 2022:

  • Webinar, April 19th, see the program here
  • Webinar, May 31st, program will follow.
  • Side-event @Aquatech Shanghai, June 8th-10th, program will follow.
  • Combined Side-event and Webinar @Water Tech Expo, Jiangxi, June 16th, program will follow.


Overview of the Chinese Water Tech Market

An comprehensive introduction to the Chinese Water Tech Market can be found here: PIANO Project Report: Water Market in China.

An overview presentation of the Chinese Water Tech Market can be found here: An introduction to the Chinese Water Tech Market

The CEWP China Water Market and Technology Outlook Report 2021 can be downloaded here.


What is in it for businesses?

  • Access to support reg market framework conditions: CEWP partnership with EU SME Centre and EU Chamber of Commerce Environment Working Group
  • Access to potential partners in China: business partners, project partners, sales partners, investors. Join our events and join the market promotion activities of our network of European Water Technology Business Organizations.
  • Visibility: possibility to present your experiences and competences at CEWP webinars and physical side-events @selected expos in China and Europe


Organisations offering Business Support Services

The EU SME Center

The EU SME Centre is a European Union initiative that provides a comprehensive range of hands-on support services to European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), getting them ready to do business in China. Further info here.

The Center’s team of experts provides advice and support in four areas – business development, law, standards and conformity and human resources. Collaborating with external experts worldwide, the Centre converts valuable knowledge and experience into practical business tools and services easily accessible online.

The China IPR SME Helpdesk

The China IPR SME Helpdesk is a project founded by the European Union to provide free, business-focused advice for European Small and Medium Sized Enterprises on the protection of intellectual property rights in China. Its services include an enquiry helpline (; training events in Europe, China and online; information resources and online services.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce China – EUCCC

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China was founded in 2000 by 51 member companies that shared a goal of establishing a common voice for the various business sectors of the European Union and European businesses operating in China. It is a members-driven, non-profit, fee-based organisation with a core structure of 43 Working Groups and Fora representing European business in China. Further info here


Draft Policy Recommendations for improving market functioning:

To support companies in entering the Chinese Market, the 2 side-events @Aquatech Amsterdam with approx. 60 participants discussed the market potential, challenges and barriers, hereby providing valuable input to the CEWP China Water Market Outlook 2021 Report. The report can be downloaded here.

The report contains a.o. four Draft Policy Recommendations to improve market functioning for fostering a sustainable water sector. The Draft Policy Recommendations will be updated prior to the CEWP Joint Steering Committee meeting anticipated for June 2022.