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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                           MEDIA INQUIRIES:

  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357

USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS COOPERATION IN WATER QUALITY
IMPROVEMENT IN SHANDONG PROVINCE

 

BEIJING, CHINA – (November 13, 2006) Identifying potential water quality improvement projects needed for the South-to-North Water Transfer Project in China is the objective of a USTDA grant awarded today to the Shandong Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau (Shandong EPB). The $343,480 grant will partially fund a study of the most cost-effective methods of improving water quality, and the development of a plan for point and non-point source pollution controls, in the Nansi Lake watershed as a critical component of the overall project’s success.

 

The grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Beijing. USTDA Deputy Director Leocadia I. Zak and Shandong EPB Vice Director General Zhang Bo signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Chinese governments, respectively. U.S. Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt and State Environmental Protection Administration Director General Xu Qinghua signed as witnesses to the grant agreement. Deputy Director Zak is in China as part of the business development mission being led this week by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez. Secretary Gutierrez and China’s Ministry of Commerce Deputy Director Jin Xu observed the signing of the grant agreement.

 

The government of China began the South-to-North Water Transfer Project in 2002 to alleviate water shortages in northern China. The project consists of eastern, central, and western pathways that divert water from the Yangtze River to more arid areas in northern China. The water in the Nansi Lake provides an essential component of the eastern pathway, and Shandong EPB is interested in improving the pollution controls there.

 

The USTDA grant awarded today will help Shandong EPB to prioritize its water treatment goals for the Nansi Lake watershed. Shandong EPB has selected BioChem Technology Inc., based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to conduct the study. In addition to the USTDA grant awarded today, BioChem Technology Inc. will contribute additional resources toward the completion of the study.

 

Since 2001, USTDA has funded over 80 activities supporting important development objectives in China. The agency’s China program targets development projects that represent opportunities for U.S. commercial involvement in the areas of transportation, energy, the environment, and other priorities.

 

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

 

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