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Pakistan, China must explore herbal medicine market

By Our Correspondent
September 14, 2023

LAHORE: The global market for herbal medicines would likely reach $107 billion by 2024 and $178.4 billion by 2026, which provides vast room to the 30,000 Pakistani herbal drugs, cosmetic and healthcare companies to expand their horizons.

Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Moazzam Ghurki said that there was a need to empower the herbal medicine and other related companies by establishing a specialised herbal research institution. He was speaking at a PCJCCI think tank session on Wednesday.

He said that the establishment of a herbal research institute would help develop the industry and educate the health regulators in the country. He also added that China is the pioneer of herbal treatments based on research of more than 2,500 years, while Pakistan in its Himalayan range is enriched with naturally growing herbs that are of high value in pharmaceutical industries. “Their proper utilisation could lead to socio-economic development of the individuals and the country,” Ghurki said.

Following cooperation in the economic and military sectors, both the brotherly nations should also collaborate in the area of traditional and conventional medicine to learn from each other’s’ experiences.

The PCJCCI hoped that this process would create a new dimension in business productivity and development of innovative herbal products and cures. PCJCCI Senior Vice President Fang Yulong said it is notable that China, India, European countries, and the United States of America represent the largest markets that have created consumer confidence in the efficacy and safety of herbal medicaments.

“The 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 further added that herbal and plant medicine is a billion-dollar industry and the world is gradually moving towards organic and herbal medicines. Therefore, the industry provides Pakistan with an opportunity to market its miraculous herbal medicines around the world. Yulong appreciated the idea presented by the PCJCCI president on collaborating in the herbal medicine field, and said that the Sichuan province of China has one of the largest manufacturing bases of traditional Chinese medicines.

He informed 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.

PCJCCI Vice President Hamza Khalid said, “We have to create a link between 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.”