A cross-regional perspective of the US$10bn Southeast Asia market

Opportunities to get a slice of the US$10 billion water market in Southeast Asia await delegates of the Singapore International Water Week 2009 come June. They will get a first-hand account and cross-regional perspective to the water developments and projects from the Laos and Brunei ministers as well as high-level officials and industry leaders representing other regions at the Southeast Asia Business Forum. Southeast Asia is one of the key water markets to be featured in the eight business forums, a flagship programme of the Water Week.

About 20 ministers and distinguished speakers and representatives from Southeast Asia will be taking part in the Water Leaders Summit and the 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region during the Water Week.

HE Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam, YB Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia, and Honourable Edgardo Angara, Senator, Philippines will be attending both the Water Leaders Summit and the 7th Ministers Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region. HE Sommath Pholsena, Minister of Communications, Transport, Post and Construction, Laos will be attending the Water Leaders Summit. (More information is available at www.siww.com.sg)

The Water Leaders Summit will be chaired by Professor Tommy Koh Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Water Forum Governing Council and Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. It will have a special focus on infrastructure and technology, in line with this year's theme 'Sustainable Cities Infrastructure and Technologies For Water'. The theme will also resonate across other flagship programmes like the Water Convention, Water Expo and Business Forums, as well as highlights like the 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region, the International Water Association's 6th Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies (LET) and the official opening of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant which will be held alongside the Water Week.

A global platform for water solutions, the Singapore International Water Week brings policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world. Close to 10,000 delegates and trade visitors are expected this year, of which 70% are expected to be overseas attendees. The inaugural Water Week in 2008 saw more than 8500 delegates and business deals exceeding US$27million sealed.

Southeast Asian Ministers Share Water Situation and Project Opportunities

Speakers from Southeast Asia will touch on the business opportunities in the region at the Southeast Business Forum on 24 June. HE Sommad Pholsena, Minister of Communications, Transport, Post and Construction, Laos and HE Ek Sonn Chan, General Director, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Cambodia will provide a local perspective and how to venture into the water market in their respective countries.

Development plans for Brunei and Malaysia will be shared by HE Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Tan Sri Zaini Omar, Chairman, SPAN, Malaysia.
Mr Diosdado Jose M Allado, Administrator for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Philippines will share on water projects in Manila, while Mr Eddy Santana Putra, Mayor of Palembang will focus on opportunities in Indonesia.

'Working with the support of the Singapore Water Association, Asian Development Bank and South East Asia Water Utilities Network (SEAWUN), we have come up with an interesting line-up of speakers for the Southeast Asia Business Forum with high-level representation across ministers, mayors and leaders of water authorities to share valuable insights into this multi-faceted and booming water industry. We see immense interest in the Southeast Asia market. More than 250 participants have signed up for the forum to date, surpassing last year's participation,' said Mr Michael Toh, Managing Director, Singapore International Water Week.

Also new to the Southeast Business Forum this year is a CEO Panel discussion which focuses on the impact of the financial crisis on business opportunities in the water sector in Southeast Asia. Panelists include several speakers from the Business Forum as well as Mr Alan Yau, CEO from Dayen Environment Limited, Mr Wong Fong Fui, Executive Chairman, Boustead Group and Mr Dick Fox, Chairman and CEO, Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.

The business forums are an example of the high-level exchanges and business networking during the Water Week. To be held on 24 and 25 June, these sessions will match participants to key decision makers and potential business partners from all the different Southeast Asian countries as well as other key water markets like Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Middle East and North Africa, and North America. North Africa and North America are the latest additions for business forums this year.

Southeast Asia's Water Market Estimated to go Beyond US$10 Billion

The water market in Southeast Asia is estimated to be worth US$10 billion and is expected to grow by about 20% annually. It is an emerging market as more and more government and private investments are being made in infrastructure, industrial and real estate developments.

Coupled with the ageing water infrastructure, rapid economic development and population growth, achieving sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is becoming a key focus.

The largest investments are likely to come from Indonesia and Vietnam which are expected to invest US$700 and US$450 million respectively within the next few years through loans from aid agencies such as ADB, JBIC and World Bank.
Increasing Singapore presence in Southeast Asia

Several Singapore-based water companies such as Black & Veatch, Boustead Salcon Water Solutions, Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM), CH2MHill, CPG, Dayen Environmental Limited, Glowtec Solutions, Hyflux, MWH, Sembawang Engineers and Constructors, Sembcorp and Teacly are active in the Southeast Asia region, mostly in the industries-related projects in Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Dayen undertook the Phase 2 Expansion of the Chrouy Chang War Water Treatment Plant for the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Cambodia. The plant, with a project value of US$10million, was officially open by its Prime Minister Hun Sen last month.

Boustead Salcon handled the water and wastewater treatment for Tanjong Jati B Expansion project in Indonesia.

CDM provided the design review and construction services for a new 200MLD water treatment plant for Kenh Dong as well as the feasibility study, detailed design and construction services for a new sewage collection and flood control project serving 1.2 million people in the Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

CDM, Black & Veatch and CH2MHill have designated Singapore as their regional headquarters for operations in Southeast Asia. The International Water Associations regional office set up in Singapore in 2007 also acts as a gateway between Asia Pacific and the rest of the world.

According to CH2MHill, they continue to see great business potential in Southeast Asia given its population growth, rapid economic development, consumer and healthcare needs, environment and infrastructure needs, sustainable development and clean energy needs. CH2MHill currently has projects in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Registration for the Water Week is now open.

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