Special zone connects mainland and Macao for TCM promotion

Updated: Apr 13, 2023 By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou China Daily Print
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Authorities and companies in the GBA targeting coordinated development

After quitting her first job as a senior manager of a State-owned company in Hengqin of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, Nicole Ni, a resident of the Macao Special Administrative Region, together with her business partners, established a pharmaceutical company there in September 2021.

"As a Macao resident, we should take the opportunity to develop traditional Chinese medicine in Hengqin, as there have been a series of incentives to promote TCM development in the cooperative area between Guangdong and Macao," she said.

Ni's company, Aoyeas Health and Science Co, located in a cooperative TCM scientific and technological industrial zone in Hengqin, focuses on research and development of eye health products.

Ni's company is a typical investment in the zone. As of March, there have been 233 registered companies in the zone, of which 61 were invested by Macao pharmaceutical businesses.

The zone was established in 2011, helping promote market entries of TCM products in Macao and the mainland, according to Li.

In recent years, authorities and pharmaceutical companies in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have been promoting coordinated TCM development.

Citing sources from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the Wen Wei Po newspaper said in early April that the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region would establish commissioners to strengthen development and policy coordination in the area.

Some Hong Kong media also reported that the region's government intends to establish a development administration bureau to promote TCM development and enhance its status in the special administrative region.

According to a survey by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong in March, more than 60 percent of residents had sought TCM services last year, with over 80 percent believing that such services in the special administrative region need to be further developed and promoted.

"Mutual recognition of TCM products between Guangdong and the two special administrative regions, together with cultivation of research and professional talent and establishment of unified standards and approval systems, will help promote TCM development in the GBA," said Li Chuyuan, chairman of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings.

Leading companies, universities and medical institutions, and venture capital funds in the GBA should jointly build an innovation system that closely integrates industry, research and medical investment, according to Li.

As one of China's leading pharmaceutical and TCM companies, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings has already established its international headquarters in Macao.

"Industrial cooperation such as the introduction of TCM products from Hong Kong and Macao to Guangdong will not only promote integrated TCM development in the Greater Bay Area but help further expand Chinese medicines to Portuguese-speaking countries and regions and the overseas market related to the Belt and Road Initiative," he said.

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