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June 2008 Issue No.7Home
Trade Agenda
The tide turns on China's polluters

China's economic rise has won plaudits in almost every respect except one: the cost to the environment. The haphazard pattern of China's economic growth has been palpably damaging to the ecological infrastructure and pollution has in turn been damaging to the economy.

The Chinese government estimates that the economic bill for the country's pollution was Rmb511.8 billion in 2004 (the year for which the latest official figures are available), accounting for 3.05% of GDP. Of this, water pollution accounted for 55.9% of total costs, while air pollution was blamed for 42.9%.........

The PRD's "green" balance sheet

The PRD's rapid economic growth has come at an environmental cost. Some examples: serious sulphur dioxide, SO2, pollution affects the air in most PRD cities, while water quality in many stretches of the Pearl River, especially around Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan, is worse than the Class Five national standard, which makes a river system unsuitable for irrigation, aquaculture or recreation.

Because of the deteriorating water and air quality, as well as power outages and rising energy costs, regulators in the PRD have begun imposing stricter emissions standards, introducing new requirements in areas such as building regulations, appliance efficiency and energy consumption.........

The Green Olympics and Hong Kong's "gold"

The 2008 Beijing Olympics will certainly be remembered for its two most distinctive venues: the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. The Bird's Nest is the national stadium where the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and the track and field events are to be held. The Water Cube is the national aquatics centre, which will be the venue for swimming and diving competitions.

These two Olympic landmarks are special not only for their innovative and distinctive exterior design, but also because they embody a host of state-of-the-art, high-tech environmental protection features.........

Europe's growth of green

Northern Europe's icy winters have ironically become an environmental bequest. It's notable that Sweden, Norway and Denmark along with Germany have the most "green" homes in Europe. The cold winters make it imperative to maximise heat efficiency and energy, so Scandinavian and German-style sealed homes have been developing swiftly. Theyve also been excellent sellers well beyond their borders, from the UK to the US and Canada.

Surrounding this trend have grown the expertise and technologies that have rapidly gained pre-eminence, as "green" concerns have exploded across Europe.........

Hong Kong exports 2008: Still signs of life

"In with a bang but out with a whisper: that's the likely diagnosis on Hong Kong's trade performance through 2008, as the US-led global slowdown sees Hong Kong exports projected to tick along to a modest 7% growth year on year, unchanged from HKTDC Research's last forecast.

Hong Kong's export performance in the first quarter of 2008 was better than expected, as growth of total exports, recorded at 9% last year, quickened to over 10% during the January to March period. This robust showing, in spite of the US-led global slowdown, has been prompted by galloping intra-Asia trade particularly with the Chinese mainland.........