On 21–22 September 2017, a high-level political conference on water cooperation between China and the EU is organised in Turku, Finland. On Thursday 21 September, China, the European Commission and several EU Member States signed the Turku Declaration to strengthen water cooperation between the EU and China.

The aim is to join forces to promote sustainable development and improve water security. China and the EU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish dialogue on water policy.

– Finnish water expertise has a lot of demand in China, both in water protection and in the control of dam and flood risks. For example, our companies have sold equipment for the treatment of sewage sludge and monitoring dam safety. Joint efforts are also made to improve the state of Lake Taihu, the third largest lake in China. The work started by research in 2012 and now continues with practical measures as part of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Water Resources of China. The lake is the source of drinking water for many large cities, including Shanghai. The Finnish model of public-private cooperation and successful practical experiences, such as the restoration of Lake Vesijärvi in Lahti and Lake Pyhäjärvi in Säkylä, serve as encouraging examples, says Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen.

China-Europe Water Platform 2017 in Turku. Photo by Suvi Elo, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

The event is also the Annual High Level Dialogue Conference of the China-Europe Water Platform CEWP. CEWP is a collaboration network of the European Union and the Ministry of Water Resources of China for the governance, research and companies in the water sector.

The conference venue is Turku Castle. In addition to Minister Tiilikainen, other representatives include Minister of Water Resources of China Chen Lei, Minister of the Environment of Estonia Siim Kiisler, Minister for the Environment of Sweden Karolina Skog and Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Environment. There will be almost 400 participants from 20 countries in the conference and business events. 

Doors to China opened for companies in the water sector

In connection with the conference there will be an extensive Business Event for Chinese and European companies in the water sector. Customised visits will be organised to Finnish companies striving to gain access to the Chinese markets. There will also be an innovation event for representatives from universities and research institutions.

The event is organised in cooperation between the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland, City of Turku, Regional Council of Southwest Finland, Regional Council of Satakunta, Southwest Coast Platform for Water Expertise and several partners in Finland and abroad, the Ministry of Water Resources of China and the EU Commission

Finland is very active in the work of the CEWP. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will head the EU CEWP Secretariat in 2018–2019. This will further strengthen Finland’s position in the CEWP.

More information about the conference: 2017cewp.fi

More information about the B2B Matchmaking: b2match.eu/cewp2017

Twitter: #2017CEWP #CEWP