A trade mission to London, United Kingdom organized by the U.S. Commercial Service Romania took place November 15-18, 2011 to highlight the U.S. technical expertise in the water sector. The program included meetings with high-level government officials, workshops as well as site visits. The Romanian delegation was made of senior representatives of the major Romanian water and wastewater utilities, local authorities as well as engineering and construction companies.
The trade mission was organized with the support of Patronatul Apei, as the first joint action under the American – Romanian Water Partnership. On September 28, 2011 the U.S. Commercial Service of the American Embassy in Romania signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Patronatul Apei, the leading association of water utilities in Romania. The partnership seeks to introduce and promote American solutions to the Romanian water and wastewater market, and provide a platform for the exchange of expertise between Romanian and American professionals.
The Romanian delegation was greeted by Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service who was on an official visit to the U.S. Embassy in London. Mr. Kumar highlighted his support of the MoA, and pointed out the importance of these technical site visits. They are an efficient way of providing the best solutions for developing sustainable water infrastructure in Romania, a pivotal element in any country’s economy.
The program continued with a financing workshop at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Since the beginning of its operations in Romania, EBRD has been a steady partner for Romania in helping local water utilities to bring their services up to EU environmental standards. Will Center, Commercial Officer detailed to the EBRD, helped secure valuable individual meetings between the delegates and relevant EBRD executives. (EBRD Presentation)
At the center of the visit was an opportunity to meet directly with U.S. companies directly engaged in the water industry. The delegation met with two U.S. companies at their regional headquarters in London.
A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in more than 100 countries and is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including water. AECOM showcased their expertise in the field of process optimization, smart model/rehab optimization and deterioration modeling/GIS. These are solutions to some of the challenges the Romanian water utilities encounter on their day-to-day operations.
The second company that presented cutting-edge technologies to the Romanian delegation was 3M. Colin Thackeray, Business Development Manager EMEA Water EBO presented a selection of the large range of 3M water infrastructure solutions. A short briefing was made on 3M trenchless technologies for water pipe replacement. (3M Presentation)
A final highlight of the trade mission agenda was a visit to a site belonging to the Victoria Mains Replacement Program. This initiative plans to replace more than 1,300 miles of London's oldest water mains, to reduce leaks and bursts and improve supplies for the city's growing population.
Maria Cristina Nitoiu
U.S. Commercial Service Bucharest