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Canada, Hong Kong Collaborate in Chinese Medicine
Signing of Four MOUs a Major Step Forward in Cooperation


The Canadian Life Sciences Trade Mission has been visiting the annual ICMCM for the past four years. Photo shows (left to right) Ralph Chow, Director of the TDC, Penelope Marrett, mission leader, and James Gilmour, Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner of the Canadian Consulate, at the networking luncheon, organised by the TDC and the Canadian Consulate today in Hong Kong.

Penelope Marrett (front, left), President and CEO of the CHFA, and Angela Lau, President of the HKHFA, sign an MOU promoting information exchange between the two organisations.
Dr Murray McLaughlin (left), Chairman of AFMnet (left) and Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director of the HKJCICM, sign an MOU encouraging R&D development.

August 15, 2007 - Chinese medicine received a significant shot in the arm today with the signing of four memorandums of understanding between Canadian and Hong Kong institutes.

The four MOUs cover collaboration in the research, technology transfer, commercialisation and promotion of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and health products in the two markets. Signed during a luncheon hosted by the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the agreements bring together:

  • The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association (MCMIA)
  • The CHFA and the Hong Kong Health Food Association (HKHFA)
  • Canada's Advanced Foods and Materials Network (AFMNet) and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine (HKJCICM)
  • and Bell Alliance International Inc and Zigen Pharmaceutical Ltd

The MOUs are the result of a Canadian Life Sciences Trade Mission, which has been visiting Hong Kong's annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine and Health Products (ICMCM) since 2004.

"The trade mission's objective is to encourage Canadian and Hong Kong partnerships in the life science sectors, including buying and selling, joint ventures and research cooperation," said Andrew Yui, Director of the TDC's Toronto office, which has played a key role in organising the missions to Hong Kong.

The MOU between the CHFA and MCMIA supports mutually beneficial developments, particularly in exchanging knowledge and market information and sharing updates on regulatory requirements.

"The new Natural Health Product Regulation opens a clear path for high quality TCM to be introduced to Canada as natural medicine. Similarly, Canadian natural health products can also be introduced to the Greater China region. CHFA and MCMIA members should find plenty of opportunities to do business between Canada and China using Hong Kong as an efficient portal," said Abraham Chan, President of MCMIA.

The agreement between the CHFA and the HKHFA establishes similar cooperative links, with an emphasis on optimising the resources of both organisations to support mutually beneficial developments and activities.

"The MOU between AFMNet and HKJCICM strengthens scientific and resource planning and technology transfer of R&D deliverables, raising the return on investment from research to applications," said Dr Rickey Yada, Scientific Director of AFMNet, and Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director of HKJCICM.

The commercial MOU between Bell Alliance and Zigen creates a long-term partnership between the two parties, particularly in the development of international markets for health products. "Our companies are working closely together to introduce Chinese medicine formulations and active ingredients to Canada, positioning them as pharmaceuticals and natural health products, which are legally recognised as drugs in Canada, rather than health foods or dietary supplements. We hope to leverage on our success in Canada to introduce these products to other countries around the world," said Albert Wong, Managing Director of Zigen Pharmaceutical Ltd.

"The MOUs are a milestone in the ongoing efforts of the TDC and our consulate to promote Chinese medicine and health foods. We are proud of this development and will ensure that the collaboration continues to build," said Francois Rivest, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner of the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong.

Media Enquiries

Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Lyann Li
Tel: (852) 2584 4525
Email: lyann.my.li@tdc.org.hk

Katherine Chan
Tel: (852) 2584 4537
Email: katherine.cm.chan@tdc.org.hk

Canadian Consulate
James Gilmour
Tel: (852) 2867 7355
Email: james.gilmour@international.gc.ca

About the TDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 12 in the Chinese mainland, the TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit www.tdctrade.com.

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