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Investment flows into drinking water sector in Guizhou province

By SHI JING and YANG JUN ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-11-24

Investment flows into drinking water sector in Guizhou province

Visitors show interest in bottled water on display at an international natural drinking water expo in Tongren, Guizhou province, which ended on Monday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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.

Contact the writers at shijing@chinadaily.com.cn and yangjun@chinadaily.com.cn

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