A high-level delegation of Chinese scientists and Industrialists visited the COMSTECH secretariat on Thursday to promote cooperation for research and development in the fields of natural products, biotechnology, public health and traditional medicine through institutional and industrial linkages between China and OIC member states.
The delegation visit also aimed to help strengthen academic and research initiatives between the People’s Republic of China and the OIC member states.
The delegation consisted of top-tier leadership of industries in the area of traditional medicine. Participants from several OIC member states also joined the discussions virtually.
OIC member states such as Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia are already exploring traditional medicines in their own capacity. Through this collaboration, COMSTECH seeks to liaison between OIC member states and Chinese institutions for strengthening cooperation in the field of healthcare.
To strengthen this collaboration and enhance networking, COMSTECH organized this dialogue which included a series of key talks on the subject by scientists, and representatives of pharmaceutical industries of China.
The event was attended by researchers, relevant personnel from the research laboratories and industries and representatives from the embassies of the OIC member states in Islamabad. The aspects of collaboration such as set up of Joint labs, exchange programs for scholars of OIC member states and product-based research were also discussed.
Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary gave a comprehensive briefing to the delegation on COMTECH programs and initiatives, its scope and avenues of collaboration.
He explained the avenues for Sino-COMSTECH collaboration for the development of natural products, biotechnology, public health and traditional medicine in OIC member states.
Prof. Choudhary briefed the delegation on various ways of institutional cooperation, capacity building, the establishment of traditional Chinese medicine clinics and research labs.
President of Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Prof. Dr Aiguo Dai, said, “Our meeting will promote the international cooperation of traditional medicine between our school and ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ countries.”
He said that the relations between China and Islamic countries were traditionally friendly. Prof. Dai said that China attaches great importance to friendly relations with Islamic countries and regards the OIC as an import bridge for China to cooperate with Islamic countries.
Science Commissioner of the Embassy of China in Islamabad, Yin Shengxin appreciated the Sino-COMSTECH initiative. He said that the work of Dr Iqbal Choudhary was a good example of nurturing cooperation.
He reiterated time tested Sino-Pak friendship. Shengxin said that traditional Chinese medicine cures diseases and brings health to the people.
Director General (EC & OIC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Asima Rabbani, said that China had a rich history of traditional medicine, which has been practiced for over two thousand years.
She said the Sino-COMSTECH initiative on strengthening cooperation in traditional medicine and allied biomedical sciences in OIC countries was a “significant step” towards promoting collaboration between China and OIC states.
Rabbani said that COMSTECH played an important role in the development and promotion of institutional linkages in the field of science and technology.
Chairman of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association, Syed Farooq Bukhari said that the Sino-COMSTECH collaboration initiative provides an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to learn from the experiences of China and other OIC states, and develop strategies and policies that are tailored to its own needs and priorities.
The representatives of different Chinese pharmaceutical companies addressed the occasion as well. The Chinese delegation members met and exchanged ideas with scientists and experts in the field during the networking session.