PCJCCI keen to collaborate with China for producing herbal medicines

LAHORE:Pakistan-China Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Moazzam Ghurki said on Wednesday that the joint chamber was keen to collaborate with China for producing herbal medicines, saying that global market for herbal medicines was expected to reach US$107 billion by the next year and US$178.4 billion by 2026, creating a vast room for Pakistani herbal medicines.

In a think-tank session held here at the PCJCCI Secretariat, he said that almost 30,000 herbal medicines, cosmetic and healthcare production companies were operating in Pakistan and to empower the sector, the government should set up a specialised herbal research institution to develop the industry and educate the health regulators in the country.

Ghurki added that China was pioneer in the world of herbal treatments based on research of more than 2,500 years, while Pakistan in its Himalayan range is enriched with naturally growing herbs which are of high value in pharmaceutical industries. Their proper utilisation could lead to socioeconomic development of individuals and the country. Following the Pak-China cooperation in the economic and military sectors, both the brotherly nations should also collaborate in the area of traditional medicines and conventional medicine experts, so that they could learn from the experience of each other to benefit millions of people in both countries, who could not afford costly treatment at the prevailing modern system of health.

Fang Yulong, senior vice president PCJCCI, said that amalgamation of Pakistani and Chinese herbal medicines, techniques and procedures would revolutionise the arena of the herbal curative system and treatments besides capturing a handsome share in the international market for herbal medicines. He added that herbal and plant medicine was a billion-dollar industry and the world was gradually moving towards organic and herbal medicines. Therefore, the industry provides Pakistan with an opportunity to market its miraculous herbal medicines around the world. He highly appreciated the idea of PCJCCI president and deepening collaboration between the two countries over the years, and said that the Sichuan province of China had one of the largest manufacturing bases of traditional Chinese medicines. He said that there were 1,800 hospitals and 78,000 clinics in the province whereas over 5,000 species of herbs were being used to develop traditional Chinese medicines in the province.

FPCCI Vice President Hamza Khalid said, "We have to create a link among the herbal research centres, the teaching institutes, universities, researchers, academics and experts that will ultimately aid the exchange of information required for the capacity building of Pakistan in the herbal sector. The exchange of knowledge and information will be followed by the setting up of a mutual department of herbal and traditional medicine through which common masses will be able to get advanced herbal treatment."

While the joint chamber's Secretary General Salahuddin Hanif hoped that this process would create a new dimension in business productivity and development of innovative herbal products and cures. It is notable that the Chinese, Indian, European and USA represent the largest markets that have created consumer confidence in the efficacy and safety of herbal medicament.