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Medical pilot zone to foster global cooperation
 updatetime:2019-10-10 10:00:00   View:0 Source:China Daily

Fangchenggang area will benefit the public, create opportunities for international communication in healthcare sector.

South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region is hoping to foster international exchanges and cooperation in the healthcare sector by building a medical pilot zone in the city of Fangchenggang.

The International Medical Opening-up Pilot Zone in Fangchenggang was proposed at the first International Medical Innovation and Cooperation Forum (China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization) in the city in late May.

It was raised by SCO member states because the development levels of SCO member states are uneven in the medical and health sector, and their demands for high-quality medical services are growing rapidly, creating great potential and opportunities for bilateral and multilateral exchanges and cooperation.

The proposal was supported by President Xi Jinping during the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on June 14.

During the recently concluded 16th China-ASEAN Expo in Guangxi, an international medical industrial park project in Fangchenggang was signed. Worth more than 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), the project was jointly launched by Cuba-headquartered medical group BioCubaFarma and Guangxi Fukang Medical Investment and Management Co Ltd.

Through the cooperation, the two sides will jointly produce nine world-class medicines in the pilot zone, to be used in the treatment of cardio-cerebral vascular disease, skin cancer, brain cancer and chronic hepatitis B, among others.

"We want to build a cooperative platform to increase the public's overall health. The Fangchenggang pilot zone, which interconnects with ASEAN countries by land and sea, offers us good opportunities. We are looking to boost cooperation and contributions," said Ricardo De La C. Silva Rodriguez, general manager of the Beijing representative office of BioCubaFarma.

Noting that good health for everyone is the common aspiration of mankind and a key part of the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, Xi said advancing the global health cause is also important in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"The medical pilot zone will create unprecedented opportunities for regional medical cooperation. All sides present will proactively participate in the establishment of the pilot zone, strive to eliminate policy, technology and trade barriers in medical cooperation, and share the accomplishments of mutually beneficial cooperation," the SCO said in a statement.

According to the statement, all parties are devoted to facilitating policies, which will allow new technologies and new products that conform to international standards to enter the pilot zone, to be produced, applied and transported, as well as obtain preferential financial, customs, taxation and personnel policies. The participants are also ready to offer assistance to this initiative, and expect that the pilot zone can provide a new platform for medical innovation and cooperation in the region.

The pilot zone's location in Guangxi also facilitates support from ASEAN member states, as the region interconnects China with ASEAN.

"The SCO and ASEAN account for roughly half of the global population, and the potential in international medical cooperation is tremendous," said Fang Chunming, vice-chairman of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

It is hoped that using medical opening-up and innovation as a link, the pilot zone will promote all-round cooperation between SCO member states and ASEAN member states in humanities exchanges, economic and trade exchanges, and scientific and technological cooperation, he said.

According to Li Yanqiang, Party secretary of Fangchenggang, since its approval, great importance has been attached to the pilot zone, and both central and regional governments, and civil societies have been actively taking actions to support the construction of the pilot zone.

Specifically, the Fangchenggang government has been boosting communication and interaction among government authorities, SCO member states and other important sectors, promoting major project planning and investment, as well as facilitating international innovation and cooperation, he said.

According to the organizing committee of the Fangchenggang pilot zone, around 20 projects are under discussion, with investment reaching 15 billion yuan. Medical enterprises involved come from countries such as Cuba, India and Switzerland.

"Advancing the global health undertakings is not only what China is good at, but also China's responsibility. Traditional Chinese medicine is a treasure worth developing," said Wang Haiyun, senior consultant at the China Institute for International Strategic Studies.

"It is hoped that SCO member states and ASEAN member states can actively get involved, and introduce advantageous pharmaceutical enterprises into the pilot zone. The pilot zone will make great progress in the short term and benefit all mankind," Wang said.


A worker from Guangxi Xiancaotang Pharmaceutical Co produces artemisinin, a drug to treat malaria, at the company's plant in Rongan county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

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