This paper explores the extent to which private sector participation has had an impact on Shanghai's water policy since the late 1990s. This study focuses on the private sphere where private companies in the Shanghai water sector have adapted to new changes in political and economic circumstances. Recent findings based on fieldwork and data from 2000 to 2004 disclose that the Shanghai government has been committed to implementing reforms for private sector participation in the water sector. In response, private companies have actively participated in the process of privatisation. Such private sector participation, however, is unlikely to continue on a smooth path unless the Shanghai government establishes adequate legal and regulatory frameworks for private companies. The study concludes that privatisation in the Shanghai water sector will be an unavoidable process for the rationalisation of water services stimulated by the programme of economic reforms initiated in the late 1970s. But this process has been and will continue to be, balanced first by the government's role in regulating privatised water services, second by the contribution of private companies in service provision and third by the continuous interaction between the government and private companies to achieve provision of high quality water in Shanghai.

You do not currently have access to this content.