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India's environment industry seen at US$ 20 billion by 2020  December 14, 2005

Currently pegged at US$ 1 billion, the growing need for advanced technological solutions to tackle pollution could turn India's environment industry into almost US$ 20 billion market by year 2020, according to a Canadian official.

"With the growing urbanisation, the pollution levels in the country are also rising. High-end technological solutions are required for this. Hence, the country's environment solution market could increase", Saroj Mishra, Trade Commissioner (climate change and energy), Canadian High Commission told PTI in Mumbai.

"For Canada's environmental technologies and services, India represents significant opportunities estimated at $3.1 billion. It is expected to grow up to $20 billion by 2020," Mishra said.

"The Indian market offers a full range of opportunities, including water and wastewater treatment, waste management (including waste-to-energy), hazardous waste management, transportation and alternative fuels, green buildings, air pollution, wind energy, biomass/cogeneration, small hydro and solar energy," he said.

According to him, the largest chunk of investment in the country is being made towards wastewater management. "Almost 60 per cent of the $3.1 billion market is devoted towards waste water management due to the enormity of the problem."

However, the pegged growth can only happen if the inventions are made in full scale. But there are few hindrances, he added.

"We have to first work on having viable projects for Indian kind of waste - liquid and solid. Industry wants to know more about technologies available and their implementation in Indian conditions," Mishra said.

"The next hurdle is how far would the companies go in terms of meeting the government standards. Also the Indian industry is looking for cost effective solutions", he said. Currently, there is also the issue of protection of patents of Canadian companies in case of technology transfer.

"Though technology transfer is an area of interest for foreign companies to further the trade ties here, they are concerned about the protection of their patents in India," he said.

"However, the signing of MoUs between the Indian and Canadian governments on cooperation in the field of science and technology could probably create the confidence amongst the companies," Mishra said.

He noted that since India was a signatory to the WTO agreement on patent rights, the foreign companies could also take heart from the success story of India's pharmaceutical sector in protection of foreign patents.

India's strong manufacturing sector could also provide an added boost to the prospects of joint ventures in environment sector, Mishra said.

"We have some success stories like Canadian firm Dynatic partnering with Indian firm. Similarly Hydrogenics has signed up with electric car manufacturer Reva. More such success stories are needed," the official said.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.