Water Sector Needs to be Reformed and Restructured for Financial Sustainability
The fulfillment of reforms and liberalization processes in the water sector started in the late 1990s in most of the central and eastern European (CEE) countries is crucial for the region’s steadily growing municipal water and wastewater treatment equipment market.
To strengthen the water sector reforms process, private companies have to increase their investments and the municipal sector needs to secure loans. This will help the sector meet the treatment standards and attain financial sustainability.
An analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Central and Eastern European Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets, reveals this market-generated revenue of $0.80 billion in 2004. Total market revenue is expected to reach $1.40 billion in 2011.
“A key challenge to this market is that the member countries and other CEE nations are still in the process of harmonizing the EU directives,” notes Mr. Fredrick Royan, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Harmonization involves transposing the water directives into national legislations, formation of river basin districts and classifying sensitive areas under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD).”
The state institutions in the candidate as well as new member countries that deal with the implementation of legislations are under tremendous pressure to comply with the legislations. This results in difficulties with meeting deadlines, ultimately delaying water and wastewater treatment equipment sales.
Furthermore, the differing economic growth levels in the CCE countries result in varying priority levels for water and wastewater treatment investment across these nations. While countries such as Poland are prospering economies, others such as Ukraine and Croatia are still experiencing instability.
“Manufacturers can counter this situation by identifying the markets to focus on and creating innovative strategies that ultimately provide customized services to the individual end users,” stresses Royan.
Overall, treatment equipment suppliers need to follow a long-term approach when they venture into the CEE market. Suppliers that establish themselves in the initial tenure of ten years gain when the developed CEE municipal sector offers qualitatively enhanced opportunities.