Dr Congzhang Zhou – German-Chinese co-operation in the supply of drinking water leads to joint venture

Dr. Congzhang Zhou is General Director of the Beijing ASTK Technologie und Entwicklung GmbH. The Chinese water treatment specialist company has been active on the domestic market for many years now.

In participating in the BMWi Manager Training Programme, Zhou aimed to learn about business culture in Germany. “The German experience in quality control and management know-how was particularly important to me.”

It was equally important to Zhou to come into direct contact with German companies for the first time. During his time in Germany, the Chinese engineer met with the management team of a hi-tech manufacturer of water-treatment machinery. The medium-sized company developed a special UV procedure for disinfecting water. Both sides rapidly expressed an interest in a co-operation, and subsequently signed an agreement that Zhou would develop an exclusive distribution agency in China.

He consequently set up the Jiangmen Purion Water Treatment Technology Center Co. Ltd. The joint venture will offer special environmental products, which – based on ASTK’s business profile – are attuned to Chinese demand and market. The Chinese company is looking forward to this new task: “The purification of contaminated water and development of new technology specifically for this field is a huge challenge, but also a great opportunity for environmental protection in China.”

He has already begun developing a prototype for a mobile water container to be used in emergency situations when regular drinking water supplies are interrupted. He is planning to supply the Chinese market from 2011.

For Zhou, the BMWi Manager Training Programme was a real door-opener: “Thanks to the programme, I was able to identify suitable partners to initiate progress in the field of environmental protection, which is so very important to China. The German-Chinese co-operation will advance and reinforce the opportunities for sustainable environmental policy in China.”

Name: Congzhang Zhou
Company: Beijing ASTK Technologie und Entwicklung GmbH, Beijing, China
Sector: Water management
Position: General Director
Training in Germany: 18 November – 17 December, 2008
Training centre: Carl Duisberg Centren, Cologne