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French giant VE sees wealth from waste
By Jiang Jingjing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-18 06:41

Its transportation division is seeking partnerships in China, and is in talks with large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, Mora reveals in an interview with China Business Weekly.

Although there is no timetable for the business' entry to China, Mora believes that VE will make great achievements in managing public transportation in the next few years.

Mora attributes the company's success mainly to the increasing awareness of environmental protection among the public.

"I am amazed by the people's strong will and determination to protect the environment. If you open a newspaper, there is a lot of coverage on the environment; and laws are being promulgated to protect the environment," Mora says.

What impresses him most is the active approach of the government. "Green GDP (gross domestic product), which requires both economic growth and sustainable development, is being promoted throughout the country," he says.

Mora says that local governments are the main partners of the French company.

"One cannot convince the public until he has convinced the local government."

"At present, we are putting a lot of effort in communicating with the governments," he continues.

The firm has a joint programme with Tsinghua and Yale universities, training about 50 government officials each year; and all the officials all realize the importance of sustainable development, he says.

"There is an urgent demand for environmental protection here since China's economy is growing at a high speed. If you do not take effective action now, there will be disasters in 10 years' time," he warns.

Mora says many of the local governments are willing to tackle the environment issue, but face financial difficulties.

"I always convince them that improving the environment does not cost a fortune. Rather than simply looking at crude figures, they have to realize a better environment is the base for any social activity," he says.

Mora cites the example of of waste management in China.
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