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Wang Yang: Cooperation in Public Health and Healthcare is New Highlight of China-US Economic and Trade Cooperation

On November 22, 2015, when attending the 26th session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Guangzhou, Vice Premier Wang Yang jointly attended the seminar on China-US cooperation in public health and healthcare with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman of the US.

Wang Yang expressed in his speech that public health and healthcare is a major livelihood issue.. As China's economy grows constantly and the peoples' awareness of and expense on healthcare increase significantly, the health industry enjoys broad development prospects.

Wang Yang pointed out that currently China has become the second largest market of health industry worldwide next to the US, bringing vast business opportunities to Chinese and foreign enterprises. The US is a major country in public health and healthcare and the continuous and rapid development of China-US cooperation in this field has become a new highlight in China-US economic and trade cooperation. China attaches importance to the needs of US enterprises and stands ready to gradually foster more favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation. The Chinese side decides to step up the reform of examination and approval system of drugs and medical equipment and improve their overall quality. At the same time, China will ease the market access in an orderly way and strengthen the efforts in Intellectual Property Protection (IPR) on medicines and others. China hopes that the US government and enterprises will pay attention to China's concerns, deepen their understanding of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and advance relevant legislation work to allow TCM institutions to be set up in more US states. The US should consider positively the demands of developing countries including China, shorten the patent protection duration of drugs appropriately, and prevent the abuse of intellectual property. China hopes that US enterprises in China will operate within the law and actively assume their social responsibilities.

Penny Pritzker said that a close and fruitful partnership between the US and China is critical to a stable and rising global economy. The two countries witness a soaring bilateral trade with unparalleled scale and vigor, bringing opportunities while inevitably incurring problems to be solved. The US-China JCCT is exactly the key platform to address challenges as well as expand opportunities. Cooperation in medical treatment and healthcare is doubtlessly an important topic in the JCCT's concern and discussion and is believed to be a significant component of the vast US-China economic and trade relations.

Michael Froman expressed that public health and healthcare involves not only the import and export of medicine and medical equipment but also medical insurance and other fields of service industry. It is believed that the US and China will view the role of public health and healthcare in US-China economic relations with a broader perspective. It is hoped that the trade and investment policies of the US and China will further boost each other's development in public health and healthcare and bilateral cooperation in this field as well.

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