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Clean water for Asia will be the focus of a regional conference to be hosted by the governments of the United States and Thailand, July 10-12, in Bangkok. The event will bring water and environment officials from the United States and 10 Asian countries together with U.S. suppliers of water-related technologies and financial goods and services.
The Partnering for Clean Water in Asia Conference will engage U.S. technology and service providers in the implementation of large-scale projects in the areas of water supply for industrial, commercial, and residential use; wastewater treatment; desalination; irrigation; decontamination of potable water; and flood control and flood forecasting. The combined value of projects to be presented at the conference is expected to exceed several billion dollars.
The conference agenda will address three issues critical to project development in the water sector: financing of water projects, institutional development and governance practices, and application of non-conventional technologies. The three-day event is being organized by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership.
Countries being invited by the U.S. and Thai governments to participate in the conference include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
Representatives of water utilities and other state-owned and private-sector water supply and treatment facilities in the region will take part in the conference and present details on more than 30 projects currently on the drawing boards. A series of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings will enable U.S. company participants to meet privately with the project sponsors. A technology showcase will also allow interested U.S. companies to distribute information or demonstrate products and services.
Also expected to participate are U.S. commercial service officers from the region, and representatives of local companies interested in partnering with American firms. Officials from international lending institutions, including the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, will also be on hand to discuss financing and loan guarantee programs available for water projects.
"Water is a scarce and precious resource, which must be managed by all stakeholders to avoid severe shortages in Asia and throughout the world. U.S. companies have leading-edge expertise and technologies that enable U.S. manufacturers, suppliers, designers, builders and financiers to play a leading role in meeting this challenge," noted TDA Director Thelma J. Askey.
Each U.S. participant will receive a comprehensive resource guide and CD-ROM outlining the projects presented, including critical economic information, export potential, time lines, equipment needs and key contacts. "This conference will provide an unprecedented opportunity for U.S. companies to learn about new water and environmental project opportunities in Asia," said Askey.
Trade and industry organizations supporting the conference include the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the U.S.-China Business Council, the U.S.-India Business Council, the U.S.-Thailand Business Council, the California-Asia Business Council, the Water Environment Federation, the International Private Water Association, and the Bond Market Association. Corporate sponsors include LightStream Technologies, Inc., Earth Tech and Klean Earth Environmental Company.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps form mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. private-sector companies and overseas sponsors. An agency of the U.S. government, TDA provides assistance in more than 60 nations around the world each year.