China clean tech market could be worth up to $1 trillion

Government support and widespread adoption of green technologies seen as key to sector growth

China's booming clean tech market could soon be worth up to $1 trillion (£605bn) annually, according to a new report that credits the government's support for the sector as central to its recent stratospheric growth.

The China Greentech Report 2009, released last week, looked at businesses that could feasibly be launched in the country in areas such as clean energy, construction, transport, water and other industries.

The sectors could eventually generate between $500m and $1tn per year, with the higher figure equal to the nation's forecasted GDP for 2013, said the study, which is the first to be issued by China Greentech Initiative, a collective of more than 80 technology firms, non-governmental organisations and policy advisers that are mostly based in the West.

The report predicts that, with the help of government support, China will grow into one of the world's largest clean tech markets.

However, it warns that despite the growing role of private sector investment in the industry, state policies that would foster the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly technologies will remain vital.

"The story that has emerged is largely optimistic, tempered by the complexity of China's markets and the challenges that must be overcome," the report said.

Richard Gledhill, head of climate change services in London for consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, which helped compile the research, noted that "the market for clean technology very often hangs on policy framework".

He told Beijing-based news portal that "the Chinese government has set out a very bold agenda in many areas for implementing green technologies," although it is still at an early stage.

"Getting that new regulatory framework and incentive scheme implemented throughout China is a challenge. It is a huge country, and it takes time," he added.

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