Background & Objectives
The Australian Water Partnership Advisory Committee, in cooperation with DFAT, has adopted a regionally-based approach to international partner engagement and funding. Within each of four major Indo-Pacific regions, one country (or one regional organisation in the case of the Pacific) has been identified as a priority for initial partnering (AWP Years 1-3). These countries are: East Asia - China; South-East Asia - Myanmar; South Asia - India; Pacific - Pacific Water & Wastewater Association (representing 22 Pacific Island nations).
Strategic approaches and partnering programs are underway in Myanmar, India and the Pacific. However, only limited AWP engagement and partnering has commenced in China. There are many reasons for this, not least of which has been the difficulty for DFAT and AWP in choosing the ‘best’ partnering and project options across a huge and complex water management and use domain.
Many AWP partners have been working in China on water projects - research, advisory and consulting – for a decade or more. I know also from conversations with you that several new collaborative and commercial projects have been developed in the recent past, and others have been mooted for the near-future (including direct approaches being made to the AWP). The Government of Australia also holds two water-related MoUs with the Government of China, and there are numerous state-, city- and organisational-level MoUs.
The objectives of the AWP China Roundtable are (i) to bring together partners to share their experiences – old and new, good and bad - working on water projects in China, and (ii) to see if, together, we can identity strategic ‘centres of gravity’ in existing and near-term work (thematic and/or geographic), and to begin to describe ‘preferential pathways’ for AWP engagement in China.
We are trying to keep the roundtable open and informal -– you can put your name down for a five minute ‘speaking spot’ when you arrive at 10.00 am, or otherwise just contribute from the ‘floor’. I look forward to meeting with you in Canberra for the China Roundtable.
CEO Australian Water Partnership