Date: June 11 - 17, 2017


The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA), is organizing an Executive-led Wastewater Treatment Business Development Mission to China from June 11 - 17, 2017. This mission is a follow-up to an April 2015 Smart Cities - Smart Growth Business Development Mission to China led by Secretary Pritzker. This mission will promote U.S. exports to China by supporting U.S. companies in launching or increasing their business in the marketplace products and services relating to wastewater treatment, including industrial wastewater treatment. Key elements will include business-to-government and business-to-business meetings, market briefings, and networking events.

The delegation will be composed of executives from 12 to 15 U.S. firms, service providers or trade associations, representing the mission’s target sector. This mission highlights the importance of China as a critical overseas market for U.S. business interests.


Overview of China

In November 2013, following the Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress, President Xi Jinping rolled out an ambitious agenda to re-shape the Chinese economy and fully embrace the market as the “decisive force” in shaping the country’s economic future. In order to continue China’s labor force evolution to fuel its unprecedented growth, Xi directed his administration to implement policy changes that increase domestic consumption, stimulate domestic innovation, and develop a world-class services sector – all the while expanding China’s middle class and moving millions of rural Chinese citizens to urban centers.

U.S. goods exports in 2013 to China were $121.7 billion, up 10.2 percent from the previous year. Corresponding U.S. imports from China were $440.4 billion, up 3.5 percent. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $318.7 billion in 2013, up $3.6 billion from 2012. China is currently the 3rd largest export market for U.S. goods.

U.S. exports of private commercial services (i.e., excluding military and government) to China were $37.4 billion in 2013, and U.S. imports were $14.3 billion. Sales of services in China by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $36.5 billion in 2012 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority China-owned firms were $1.7 billion.

Overview of Environmental Technologies

China’s dire environmental situation has galvanized the government to initiate political objectives to invest in new technology to combat water, air, and soil contamination. Under the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020), investment in environmental protection is estimated to reach US$1.37 trillion. Of that amount, about US$291 billion will be dedicated to water pollution control.

Investments are to focus mostly on monitoring of pollution, as well as control action plans to decrease contamination amounts. Since the environmental market has been identified by the government as a strategic industry, it is expected to continue its growth over the next few years, and likely even beyond given the scope of the work to be done. From 2011 to 2015, the industry grew at an average annual growth rate of over 15 percent. It is expected to maintain its growth at an annual average rate of 30 percent. In the next ten years China’s environmental technologies market is expected to grow exponentially, eclipsing the $275 billion U.S. market and becoming the largest global consumer of environmental technologies by 2025.  As a global leader in producing and implementing environmental technologies, the United States’ environmental technologies industry is poised to grow dramatically if the U.S. can successfully position itself as China’s primary provider of these technologies and associated services.

U.S. companies are well positioned to take advantage of immediate opportunities in air pollution monitoring and control; water and wastewater treatment and protection; and waste management.

Overview of Wastewater Treatment

Over the next decade, China’s municipal solid waste (MSW) generation is expected to increase on pace with its rapidly growing and urbanizing population and is likely to reach 1.39 million tons per day by 2025. Of the MSW that currently is being collected and recorded by municipalities, approximately 82 percent is landfilled, 15 percent is incinerated and 3 percent is composted.12 China outlined its goals for recycling and solid waste in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011 – 2015), which included comprehensive resource recovery from bulk solid waste such as public associated mineral resources, coal powder, coal gangue, industrial by-product gypsum, refining and chemical waste, tailings, construction waste, as well as straw, livestock wastes and waste wood. The Government of China aimed to achieve a comprehensive utilization rate of 72 percent by the end of the Five-Year Plan period.

Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment and Plant Development

Aggressive construction of water treatment plants continues as China works to improve water quality and enhance access to drinking water and sanitation services. In the April 2015 China’s State Council Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and Control (Water Ten Plan) aims to neutralize effluent from factories in the ten worst water-polluting industries: paper mills, tanneries, textiles, dyes, oil refineries, smelters, electroplating and pesticide producers. Small factories must comply with national policy standards and industrial regulation by 2017, or be shut down. 1 Furthermore, the South-to-North Water Diversion Project mandates the construction of 426 wastewater treatment plants along the eastern route to treat heavily polluted surface waters. Tightening of national regulations will provide retrofit opportunities for existing plants.

Process and Produced Water

New effluent standards and better enforcement thereof are driving growth in produced water treatment, while continued industrial expansion and water reuse targets promote the process water market.  The State 12th Five-Year Plan targets nine sectors for improved produced water treatment: paper and pulp, raw chemicals, petroleum refining, textiles, dyeing, pharmaceuticals, ferrous metals processing, food processing, and power generation. The CGTI has developed a list of top tier client industries using government prioritization, pollution reduction targets, discharge volumes, and treatment profitability measures. They include pharmaceuticals, beverages, paper and pulp, raw chemicals, textiles, agricultural food processing, and coal mining and washing. Second tier industries include ferrous metal processing, petroleum refining, tobacco, food manufacturing, and chemical fibers.[2]

Water Efficiency and Reuse

China’s scarce fresh water resources have made water efficiency and reuse a national priority designed to limit further economic disruptions due to water shortages. These priorities will be a boon to membrane, non-revenue water management, and industrial water efficiency technologies. It is estimated that water reuse will lead to 30 percent annual growth over the next five years in the membrane technology market.[3]

Sludge Treatment

China discharges approximately 22-30 million tons of untreated sludge annually,[4] a growing and persistent environmental challenge. Recent government action has led to the development of technology standards for sludge treatment, a requirement that municipalities install sludge treatment systems, and a central government capital development investment of RMB 60 billion for sludge treatment facilities. Nonetheless, lack of domestic operational expertise and technology for sludge treatment remains a challenge for China that could provide sludge treatment opportunities for U.S. firms. In February 2011 the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) issued plans for developing sludge treatment demonstration projects using advanced technologies. U.S. involvement in those demonstrations could enhance down-stream export opportunities. The municipalities of Beijing, Guangdong, Hebei, and Hubei are top prospects.[5]


This mission will demonstrate the United States’ commitment to sustained economic partnerships in China. The mission’s purpose is to support the business development goals of U.S. firms as they construct a firm foundation for future business in China and specifically aims to:

  • Assist in identifying potential partners and strategies for U.S. companies in the target sectors.
  • Confirm U.S. Government support for the activities of U.S. businesses in China and to provide access to senior decision makers in the Chinese government.
  • Listen to the needs, suggestions and experience of individual participants to help shape appropriate U.S. Government positions regarding U.S. business interests in the region.
  • Organize private and focused events with local business and association leaders capable of becoming partners and clients of U.S. firms as they develop their business in each region.
  • Assist development of competitive strategies and market access with high level information gathering from private and public-sector leaders.


The mission will stop in Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou. In Beijing, the capital of China, the schedule will primarily consist of scene setting briefings and engagements with Chinese officials. The mission will coincide with the China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference (CIEPEC). CIEPEC is the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s biennial sponsored trade show and conference. CIEPEC draws officials from all regional Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs) and municipalities, providing access to the tendering organizations that are developing water and wastewater treatment plant projects. Participants will have an opportunity to walk this trade show floor, as well as have a series of one-on-one meetings with pre-screened potential agents, distributors, and representatives as part of the Beijing portion of the mission. In Nanjing and Guangzhou, participants will also have one-on-one meetings with pre-screened potential partners, as well as meet end users and government officials.

Following the stops in Beijing and Nanjing, the delegation will travel to Guangzhou, where they will meet with pre-screened potential partners, end users and government officials. In each city, the participants will also attend market briefings by U.S. Embassy officials and other industry experts, as well as networking events offering further opportunities to speak with local business and industry decision-makers.


Monday, June 12 and

Tuesday, June 13


  • Market/industry briefings and roundtable discussions
  • U.S. company presentations and one-on-one matchmaking meetings with pre-screened Chinese environmental companies.
  • Participation in the China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference (CIEPEC) and catalogue show at CIEPEC.
  • Networking Reception

Wednesday June 14 and Thursday June 15


  • Half day one-on-one matchmaking meetings with key end users of waste water treatment technologies.
  • Site visit to industrial park to meet waste water treatment end users.
  • Reception with key government officials, such as the Environmental Protection Bureaus from Nanjing and Jiangsu Province as well as local leaders.

Thursday, June 15 and

Friday, June 16


  • Welcome reception at an industrial zone with officials and SOE leaders.
  • U.S. company presentations and one-on-one match-makings with companies from the industrial zone.
  • Tour of the industrial zone/major SOEs and discussion on project cooperation.


All companies interested in participating in the Business Development Mission to China must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 firms, service providers, and/or trade associations/organizations will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicant pool. U.S. companies doing business in China, as well as U.S. companies seeking to enter the market for the first time may apply.

Fees and Expenses:

After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. Upon notification of acceptance to participate, those selected have 10 business days to submit payment or the acceptance may be revoked. This fee will include entrance to the China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference (CIEPEC) show and matchmaking in all three mission stops. The fee schedule for the mission is below:

Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou

  • $5,700 for large firms
  • $5,300 for a small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)2
  • $500 additional firm representative (large firm or SME – limit one additional representative per company)

Participants selected for the trade mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, including, but not limited to, air travel, lodging, meals, communication, incidentals, unless otherwise noted. Participation fees will cover transportation once the mission starts. Participants will be responsible for transportation to the hotel in Beijing to begin the mission and transportation to the airport upon completion of the mission. Participation fees do NOT include the cost of interpreters for one-on-one meetings. If a participant needs an interpreter for one-on-one meetings, Commerce staff will facilitate finding a suitable interpreter. In the event that the mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a trade mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled trade mission may be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the mission.

Business or entry visas may be required. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such visas are not included in the participation fee. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain necessary business visas.

Conditions of Participation:

An applicant must sign and submit a completed application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company’s products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If an incomplete application form is submitted or the information and material submitted does not demonstrate how the applicant satisfies the participation criteria, the Department of Commerce may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the application.

Each applicant must also:

  • Certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51% U.S. content.
  • Certify that the export of the products and services that it wishes to export through the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export controls and regulations;
  • Certify that it has identified to the Department of Commerce any business matter pending before any bureau or office in the Department of Commerce;
  • Certify that it has identified any pending litigation (including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that involves the Department of Commerce; and
  • Sign and submit an agreement that it and its affiliates (1) have not and will not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in connection with a company’s/participant’s involvement in this mission, and (2) maintain and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of foreign officials.

In the case of a trade association/organization, the applicant must certify that each firm or service provider to be represented by the association/organization can make the above certifications.

Selection Criteria for Participation: Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Suitability of the applicant’s products or services to the mission goals and the markets to be visited as part of this trade mission.
  • Applicant’s potential for business in each of the markets to be visited as part of this trade mission.
  • Consistency of the applicant’s goals and objectives with the stated scope of the mission.

Balance of company size and location may also be considered during the review process.

Referrals from political organizations and any information, including on the application, containing references to political contributions or other partisan political activities will be excluded from the application and will not be considered during the selection process. The sender will be notified of these exclusions.


Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr), posting on ITA’s business development mission calendar (http://export.gov/trademissions) and other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

Applications can be completed on-line and are available on the China Wastewater Treatment Mission website at http://www.export.gov/DOCWastewaterMission or can be obtained by contacting the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Business Liaison (202-482-1360 or BusinessLiaison@doc.gov).

Recruitment will begin immediately and conclude no later than May 12, 2017. The application deadline is May 1, 2017. The Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions until a minimum of 12 and maximum of 15 companies are selected. Applications received after the May 1 application deadline will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.


Applications can be downloaded from the business development mission website (http://www.export.gov/trademissons/chinawastewatermission) or can be obtained by contacting the Office of Business Liaison (see below).


General Information and Applications:

The Office of Business Liaison

1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5062

Washington, DC 20230

Tel: 202-482-1360

Fax: 202-482-4054

E-mail: BusinessLiaison@doc.gov

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