Two flagship events attract global healthcare elites, affirming confidence in Hong Kong’s stronger role in the medical and healthcare sector in the region.
Global healthcare sector leaders streamed into Hong Kong for the second International Healthcare Week, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). As the flagship Healthcare Week events, the third Asia Summit on Global Health (ASGH) and the 14th Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair (Medical Fair) featured fruitful discussions on a wide range of topics including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as an innovation powerhouse, complemented by exchanges on Chinese-Western medicine, ageing and women innovators. This flagship event has confirmed Hong Kong’s status as an international R&D and business healthcare platform, where university research projects have been linked with potential investors and innovative medical devices promoted to international markets.
The ASGH attracted over 2,500 participants from 40 countries and regions. The Medical Fair welcomed over 10,000 visitors from 56 countries and regions. More than 300 one-on-one deal-making sessions and over 600 business-matching meetings were also arranged to help participants seize business opportunities.
Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, said, “Drawing on its strengths in scientific research, a world-class medical system, a highly skilled workforce, strong financing and fundraising capabilities and advanced logistics and transportation infrastructure, and backed by the huge market of the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is the preferred hub and perfect springboard into Asia for the growing healthcare market.
“The strong support from the healthcare industry for the Healthcare Week is overwhelming. It has created synergies for medical and healthcare industry professionals and unleashed Hong Kong’s strengths in upstream and downstream healthcare industries, Hong Kong is ready to play a bigger role in the medical and healthcare fields in the region,” Dr Lam added.
ASGH: thematic sessions examine hot topics
ASGH, co-organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the HKTDC, continued to bring together healthcare leaders, innovators and investors. The first-day Plenary Session: Reimagining the Future of Healthcare invited Sir Jonathan Symonds, CBE, Chair, GSK as one of the speakers. He said, “When COVID struck, the world didn’t collaborate in the way that it should have. There will be another COVID. We cannot operate in the same way as we did. We must tackle global problems globally.” Another speaker, Mr Tatsuo Yasunaga, Representative Director, Chair of the Board of Directors, Mitsui & Co., Ltd, noted: “In implementing value-based healthcare, we try to achieve both clinical outcome improvement and cost savings. We expect to achieve the first goal through new drug and medical device developments and health risk management. We are also moving towards personalised healthcare to bridge the gap between medical care and prevention.”
The Unleashing Opportunities in Integrative Chinese-Western Medicine session today examined research, treatment and medicine developments that transformed markets in Asia and abroad. The session showcased the potential for complementary, integrative healthcare and highlighted the business opportunities that collaboration between Chinese and Western medicine presented.
Mr Abraham Chan, Founder, Chairman, CEO and Executive Director at PuraPharm said modernising Chinese medicine included standardising products by creating standardised granules from herbs. Computer programmes let practitioners diagnose conditions and dispense treatments. Big data collected by practitioners helped improve products and perform drug discovery.
Noting Hong Kong’s high life expectancy and increase in the elderly population, panelists at the Ageing Well: Breakthroughs and Investment Landscape in Longevity session said this presented both challenges and opportunities, such as drug discovery, research financing and monitoring gadgets.
Dr Donald Li, Chairman of the Elderly Commission, said higher demand for a wide range of healthcare products and services generated opportunities. This was especially true of monitoring devices allowing the elderly to live at home safely.
Medical Fair: A proven platform reaching out to global buyers
The Medical Fair, organised by the HKTDC and co-organised by the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA) ran under the HKTDC’s EXHIBITION+ hybrid model. The physical fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) successfully closed today, while exhibitors and buyers from around the world can continue conducting business online via the Click2Match smart business-matching platform until 25 May.
University projects showcased
In recent years, the Hong Kong SAR Government has actively promoted collaboration between the government, industry, academia and researchers by bringing together enterprises, universities and research institutes to cooperate and promote technological innovation.
At ASGH, the hybrid InnoHealth Showcase and exhibition zone featured projects and solutions from more than 140 healthcare-related innovative technology enterprises, from which 50 of the enterprises and projects are presented by five local major universities, namely CUHK, HKBU, HKU, HKUST and PolyU. The Co-founder, Director & Chief Scientific Advisor of exhibitor Gut Rhythm R&D (Hong Kong) Limited Prof John Anthony Rudd said, “The event was highly successful for us. We gained a lot of exposure and were able to attract several potential investors. We also learned a lot and are very confident we could move forward.”
Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) and Cyberport joined ASGH as Health Innovation Partners from which ITC showcased 16 health-related InnoHK R&D centres to demonstrate Hong Kong’s strength as a global innovation powerhouse.
Numerous companies in the healthcare industry as well as six local universities and various enterprises supported by the universities, which are commercialising their research and development accomplishments, joined the Medical Fair to showcase cutting-edge medical products and technologies. Among the university-affiliated companies are Sramek Insight Limited, Herbap Biotech, Agilis Robotics, Metasurgical Technology, Cellomics International and Greater Bay Biotechnology.
This year’s fair, the largest in its history, assembled more than 300 exhibitors to feature the latest medical technologies and equipment, healthcare products and solutions and related services, drawing many buyers and industry professionals to source both onsite and online.
“I am glad that I met nearly 100 representatives from various medical organisations, our main target customers. I estimate that this fair will make over 60% of our yearly sales,” said Mr King-Wah Tai, a sales representative for medical facility manufacturer Janley Limited (HK). The company has participated in the Medical Fair since 2014 and has benefited greatly from this year’s fair. “Taking this chance to interact with people from the sector, understand what they need and how they think is very important to our business. The fair is not just for generating sales but also the perfect place to gain insight,” Mr Tai added.
Mr Valentin Cipian Pantea, Manager of Neomed S.R.L. from Romania, visited the Medical Fair to look for new medical-uniform manufacturers. “I plan to order about US$200,000 worth of products and hope to build a long-term relationship with them. Besides, using the Click2Match platform, I made a valuable business connection with a manufacturer from Mainland China. The platform is very helpful in getting to know people entirely out of our usual circle.”
A number of content-rich events, including the highly anticipated HKMHDIA Medical Fair Forum, were held during the Medical Fair with keen participation from industry professionals. Those who missed the seminars can watch replay videos on the fair’s website at https://bit.ly/3DNBBXy. [APBN]