Wednesday, January 19, 2022
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

Hong Kong to lead way in medical innovation: Lam
 
25/11/2021
 
<p>Hong Kong will push to become a center for medicine and medical innovation under China&#39;s 14th five-year plan, chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told the inaugural Asia Summit on Global Health yesterday.</p><p>More than 70 speakers from around the world, including senior government officials, investors, business leaders, financial and professional service providers, as well as renowned academics, are attending in the event online or in person, which is being organized by the government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.</p><p>Lam said Hong Kong has been given the mission to develop an international innovation and technology hub under the 14-5 Plan, and Beijing has helped the city to overcome the political challenges that have impeded progress in many respects.</p><p>&quot;The government will expedite the legislative process for registration of drugs containing new chemical or biological entities with a view to making relevant pharmaceutical products available in the market as early as possible, supporting the development of life and health technology and benefitting more patients in need,&quot; said Lam.</p><p>Lam also touched on the new development plan of acute hospitals in the proposed Northern Metropolis, saying the new hospitals will shoulder a stronger role in supporting clinical research.</p><p>This echoed the plan revealed by Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun a week ago, that the government has reserved land near the forthcoming Kwun Tung MTR station for a new hospital providing over 2,000 beds, and potentially to join Queen Mary Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital to be the teaching hospitals for medical school students.</p><p>Meanwhile, Hong Kong Exchange has recently received more inquiries from European and foreign biotechnology companies, said chief executive Nicolas Aguzin, after the bourse eased the listing rules to allow loss-making biotech companies to go public in 2018.</p><p>He said the healthcare sector is the fastest-growing among the bourse that the total market values of healthcare-related firms grew to US$600 billion (HK$4.68 trillion), and more than 55 companies are applying to be listed in Hong Kong. The exchange may launch new investment products for the sector such as ETFs to adapt to the change in market appetite.</p><p>As investors are eyeing the opportunities arising from an aging population, Aguzin expected the annual healthcare expenditure in China will triple in the next ten years to exceed 3 trillion yuan (HK$3.66 trillion), after the threefold growth over the past ten years.</p>

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