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ACOLINK CEO showcases China opportunities for UK life sciences sector

2019-03-22 7 minute read UK; Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine

Anita Zhang, ACOLINK's CEO and a senior representative for Zhengzhou Food and Drug Supervision Association, is a guest speaker at DIT Life Sciences Roadshow in Nottingham / ©ACOLINK

Seven-stop Life Sciences China Market Access Roadshow organised by DIT concluded on 19 March 2019. It brought together a range of experts to discuss and highlight key developments within this fast-growing industry.

As a rising voice in China export market knowledge, ACOLINK’s Anita Zhang was invited to share her exploration of the industry from China’s perspective. She not only represented ACOLINK, as the lead for the LetsDoChina.org initiative, but also the Zhengzhou Food and Drug Supervision Association (ZFDSA). Due to ACOLINK and ZFDSA’s long-standing strategic alignment in mission and ethos, Anita was appointed as senior representative Secretary-General for the Association. Working together to bring more commercial opportunities to its members and fulfil the procurement needs in the province’s healthcare sector.

The association is based in Zhengzhou, one of China’s fastest-growing inland upcoming Tier 1 city. It covers over 3,000 members, many from the life science and healthcare sectors. This includes 200 hospitals in Henan province alone and the largest hospital in Asia, with 10,000 beds. The association is one of only two associations in China that also has supervisory authority.

Anita Zhang speaks at the DIT (Department for International Trade) China Life Sciences Roadshow in Leeds / ©ACOLINK

Speaking in Leeds (13th May) and Nottingham (14th), Anita deep-dived into provincial level opportunities; focusing particularly on Henan, inland China, and Hainan – southernmost China island province making important waves in China’s Life Sciences industry.

She leveraged ACOLINK market intelligence, gained through a network of partnerships, and ZFDSA’s direct insights to rally UK export to one of the most lucrative, high-growth markets in the world.

Alongside ACOLINK’s provincial-focused presentation, the roadshow spanned the full ecosystem of life sciences, biotech, pharma, and healthcare in China. From government policy and regulations to updates delivered by DIT (Department for International Trade) and case studies: among others, Keith Jackson, CEO of Brandon Medical, the newly-awarded NPH Export Champion, shared his journey of taking the UK Life Science brand to China.

Keith Jackson, CEO of Brandon Medical, shares his journey of taking a Life Science business to China / ©ACOLINK

The role of e-commerce in the future of Life Sciences exports was also a hot topic. Among the key developments, especially for Pharmaceutical and Medical Import in China over the last year, Anita highlighted government encouragement.

“Last year in April, Premier Li encouraged common and cancer drugs into China through cross-border e-commerce,” she said. “Import tariffs for common and cancer drugs were reduced to zero and NMPA also published a list of urgently-needed pharmaceutical drugs eligible for a special channel (fast-track registration process).”

BIOCITY hosted the event in Nottingham; BIOCITY Nottingham (in partnership with University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University) is the UK’s largest bioscience innovation and incubation centre / ©ACOLINK

Anita explored how government restructuring and policy upgrades are simplifying export routes for businesses. She also stressed that UK businesses with their eyes on China need to consider it as a partially-segmented market. She explained China’s national strategy to build Hainan as the next Free Trade Zone by 2020, a Free Trade Port by 2025 and it’s strategy dedicated to becoming a top medical tourism destination. It’s an example of where the export opportunities are for UK businesses and how strategies could differ to consider and take advantage of regional factors.

ACOLINK’s provincial perspective strived to show businesses that although it may seem daunting, this can be an advantage. With a strategic entry-point – in emerging and less saturated markets, businesses can establish themselves while getting their product to market faster.

Anita Zhang presents up-to-date opportunities for Pharma, MedTech, BioTech and Healtcare businesses at the China Life Sciences Roadshow in Nottingham / ©ACOLINK

Life sciences, biotech, pharma, medical and related industries can all further benefit from dedicated preferential policies designed to allow seamless and regulated entry into a growing industry.

Through the LetsDoChina.org initiative, Anita’s knowledge, recommendations and insights are being made available to enterprises wanting a straight-forward, visionary kickstart to trading with China.

Next step

We currently have an active demand for a number of pharmaceuticals (approved in the US, EU/UK, or Japan), medical equipment, and other related products and services. We’re eager to share eligibility requirements for businesses wanting to take advantage of a provincial route-to-market.

If you’re a supplier or manufacturer of common and cancer drugs or would like to find out if your product is on the Urgently-Needed list, please get in touch.