SAR 'well positioned for world's TCM accolade'

Updated: 2017-03-15 07:55

By Luis Liu(HK Edition)

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SAR 'well positioned for world's TCM accolade'

The Hong Kong government should use the city's reputable quality control system to transform it into the world's top traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) center, said Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a National People's Congress deputy from Hong Kong and trade union leader.

The industry could be a new engine for Hong Kong's economy and help the Chinese mainland bring its traditional treasures to the global market, said Ng, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU).

A traditional medicine center would be a perfect development for the Lok Ma Chau Loop innovation and technology park on the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary, he said.

The mainland's TCM industry generated $80 billion last year, according to the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies. The amount has increased 30-fold over the past 20 years. The global TCM market was worth $173 billion last year, the federation estimated.

In recent years, increases in Western medicine prices have inflated many countries' welfare spending, and TCM could gain a greater share of this market, Ng said.

"By combining Hong Kong's world-renowned quality control system and mainland professionals and medicinal materials, the TCM industry can become standardized and give people confidence," Ng said.

He believed confidence matters the most for the medicine industry. He cited the FTU's 10 TCM clinics as an example. "Though we charge more than many other TCM clinics in town, customers still come to us because we put a lot of effort into quality control."

He foresaw the TCM business as a new engine for Hong Kong's economy that could create considerable employment.

As global demand continued to rise, Ng hoped Hong Kong could stand out as the world's TCM center. "Whenever foreign customers want to buy TCM or try TCM treatment, they think about Hong Kong," Ng said, envisioning the city's future.

This also facilitated the mainland's "go out" policy for enterprises, Ng said.

(HK Edition 03/15/2017 page8)