State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) Commissioner Wang Guoqiang said Monday that as the mainland has created a favourable environment to develop traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as an industry and as Macau is opening up new development opportunities, TCM was set to become an important area to drive Macau’s economic diversification.
Wang, who also is a vice-minister for health, made the comments during a meeting at the SATCM headquarters in Beijing’s Dongcheng district with Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and his entourage regarding TCM co-operation between the mainland and Macau.
While the meeting was behind closed doors, informed sources told reporters afterwards what was discussed by the two sides.
Wang said in a speech addressing the meeting that as “the promotion of the development of TCM affairs in Macau” was included in the central government’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), it provided a firm policy guarantee for Macau to develop TCM.
He also said that based on the 12th Five-Year Plan the related departments in the mainland were required to assist Macau in becoming a world tourism and leisure hub, as well as a platform for economic and trade services between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Wang also said that his office would actively co-ordinate with the Macau government to meet its TCM development needs, promote co-operation, and follow and serve Macau’s economic diversification to contribute to its prosperity and stability.
Wang also said that Chui’s visit to the SATCM at the start of his new term as chief executive indicated that Macau pays a great deal of attention to the development of TCM, which also showed Macau’s high expectations on strengthening co-operation between the mainland and Macau in the development of TCM. Wang added he believed the TCM industry in Macau will, like the city’s economy in general, experience further development.
Chui said at the meeting that TCM was an important step for Macau to diversify its economy, pointing out with that the support of the Ministry of Health and the SATCM, Macau has trained a number of TCM practitioners over the past decade, set up the State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine at the University of Macau and established the Guangdong-Macau Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park on Hengqin Island, for which 10 agreements have already been signed.
In addition, Chui said the government had almost finalised talks with the World Health Organisation (WHO) about building a TCM centre in Macau.
According to a SATCM statement, both the mainland and Macau reached a consensus during Monday’s high-level meeting to work together to build a WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine in Macau, and for Macau to be the key to promote TCM as a whole.
The statement also said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed in due course to better allocate resources to complement one another in order to create a new phase for TCM co-operation between the mainland and Macau.
Meanwhile, Chui Monday also met Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan to discuss further promotion of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and its supplementary agreements, as well as strengthened human resources training in the mainland and Macau, according to a statement from the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS).
Chui will meet National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Xu Shaoshi Tuesday to discuss regional co-operation. Chu, who arrived in Beijingon Sunday, is scheduled to return to Macau Wednesday.
His entourage includes Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac. (macaunews/macaupost)