China has been promoting the overseas application of its technical standards for water resource projects and is actively participating in the draft of the international standards as Chinese companies enhance their capabilities to contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the country's top water resource authority.
Liu Zhiguang, director for international cooperation, science and technology of the Ministry of Water Resources, said Chinese companies have been involved in water resource and hydropower projects in at least 70 countries and regions.
They have offered technology consulting services or supplied equipment for the development of small hydropower stations in 30 countries and regions, he added.
He said his ministry has translated 38 of China's water standards into English, including those on the construction of dams and small hydropower stations, and water and soil conservation. Twenty-seven of them have been published.
"While some of the standards have won recognition and been applied in countries in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, the ministry has also been in discussions with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization since September 2018 over cooperation on jointly drafting an international standard for small hydropower stations," he said.
On Friday, the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboratively promoting the draft work with UNIDO and China's standardization administration authority.
Many Chinese enterprises have also been preparing to help BRI countries in their development of water resources and hydropower projects.
Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research, the designer for the Three Gorges Dam, has contributed its expertise in water governance and hydropower development in over 50 countries and has set up branches in at least 10 countries, including Pakistan and Nepal, said Niu Xinqiang, head of the institute headquartered in Wuhan, Hubei province.
In addition to sending employees overseas for training, the company has also brought in international talent to improve its capability in the international market, especially BRI countries, according to Niu, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Since 2005, the company has sent more than 120 of its employees to the United States for three-month training sessions on international project management and has also been facilitating its employees to win internationally recognized engineering qualification certificates, he said.
With one foreign senior adviser for international business development and three foreign technical experts in its China office, he said, the company plans to bring in more international talent, hoping that they could help train their Chinese colleagues on overseas projects.
Bei Fang Investigation, Design and Research Co, which is headquartered in Tianjin and specializes in water resources and the electricity sector, has established regional branches in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. It also has representative offices or branch companies in seven countries, including Laos, according to the company.
The company, which has been involved in more than 100 projects in 50 countries, said it has sent about 100 employees to the US for training since 2011.