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Environmental survey launched nationwide

By Wu Wencong (China Daily) Updated: 2012-10-17 07:22

A nationwide survey examining China's environmental protection industry was launched on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The survey aims to compile scientific data for the nation's policymakers, and will cover the manufacture and operation of resource recycling and environmentally friendly products in 2011.

Services related to the environmental protection industry, including the operation of environmental protection facilities and the construction of environment-related projects, will also be included in the census.

Wu Xiaoqing, vice-minister of environmental protection, said China's environmental protection industry is working hard to transform from a manufacturing industry to a service industry, in line with international trends.

An environmental service industry, as described in the survey guide, includes pollution control services, environmental policy planning and consulting services, environmental assessment and evaluation services, environmental education services and environmental financial and trade services.

Fu Tao, director of Tsinghua University's Environmental Protection Industry Research Center, told China Daily that the number of businesses providing environmental services is growing, indicating a maturing of the industry.

"Environmental service businesses occupy about 50 percent to 60 percent of developed countries' environmental protection industries," he said. "The figure in China is somewhere between 15 percent to 20 percent now."

All officially registered corporations in the Chinese mainland with independent accounting and an operating income above 2 million yuan ($319,000) in relevant sub-industries, State-owned or not, will be asked to participate in the survey before the end of February.

Only data from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2011, will be collected.

The final report will be released to the public before August and will be updated on a regular basis from then, said Wu from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

"The industry has been growing fast. About 3 million people are providing 30 million kinds of environmental protection products and services in roughly 30,000 enterprises," he said. "And I strongly doubt these figures are still the same by now, which we can tell after the survey is finished."

According to data released in the Development Plan of Energy-saving and Environmental Protection Industry during the 12th Five Years (2011-15) in late June, the total output value of the whole industry is estimated to reach 4.5 trillion yuan by 2015, forming 2 percent of the GDP.

"The environmental protection industry is very likely to become a pillar industry of the national economy in the next 20 years," said Fu from the research center at Tsinghua University.

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