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Tap TCM's potential, premier says

By Hu Yongqi in Kunming, Yunnan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-25 08:13

Li urges medicine companies to develop diversified products to improve health

Premier Li Keqiang called for traditional Chinese medicine producers on Tuesday, during a visit to Yunnan province, to introduce advanced methods from developed economies to make diversified products and improve people's health.

The premier spoke with managers and researchers of Yunnan Baiyao Group Co in Kunming, the provincial capital. The company is renowned for making traditional medicine products from Baiyao, or white medicine, which was invented in 1902 by the Yi ethnic group and is famous for its efficiency in stopping bleeding.

The medicine enjoys a high reputation in China.

Li said traditional Chinese medicine has great potential for development of new products and expanding in overseas markets. In the bigger picture, the company can develop more manufactured goods under the category of dietary supplements.

In some developed countries, dietary supplements are sold in supermarkets to meet demands of people of various ages of both genders, Li said. "I hope your company can introduce innovative ways from Western medicine to make such products," he said.

Since 1999, the company has targeted the rising market of bandages, toothpastes and curing sprays for sprains, said Zhu Zhaoyun, the company's chief scientist, who has won the country's top award for science and technology.

Now the company ranks first in the sales of bandages and curing sprays, with revenue of 20.7 billion yuan ($3 billion) in 2015, which earned the company 2.7 billion yuan in net profit.

Yunnan has the country's second-largest number of natural plant species, and the company has collected more than 100,000 plants for medicine over the past 40 years, Zhu said.

Zhu later presented the premier with a book that features photos and descriptions of around 1,000 natural plants used for medicine.

"Many companies around the world are using natural plants to make medicine. So I hope your company can make more progress in the Chinese market and expand in the international market," Li said.

On Tuesday, the premier also met with former professors and students of the National Southwest Associated University, which existed in Kunming from 1937 to 1946, during a visit to the university's former site. After that, Li also went to Yunnan Energy Investment Group Co to check on how big data helps manage power grids.

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