Chinese Medicine Goes Global:

Besides Quality There Are Also Channels

With “The Belt and Road” promotion, Chinese medicine has ushered in the golden period of going worldwide. However, in order to gain a firm foothold in the mainstream markets in Western countries domestic enterprises should improve not only the quality of their products, but also establish their own overseas channels for commodity circulation.

With the country's vigorous promotion of international cooperation of “The Belt and Road”, the golden period of "going global" for Chinese medicine is rapidly approaching. Data show that Chinese medicine has been exported to 185 countries and regions worldwide. In the first three quarters of 2017, the amount of import and export of Chinese medicine was 3.761 billion U.S. dollars, up by 7.40% over the same period of previous year, of which export was 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and import was 1.116 billion U.S. dollars.

Chinese medicine has a bright future in overseas development, but there are bottlenecks that still need to be broken. How to break through the bottleneck of traditional Chinese medicine trade, increase the export share, and promote the healthy and stable development of internationalization of Chinese medicine have become the focus of common concern of the industry.

Foreign countries have formulated or raised relevant technical requirements so that the promotion and use of Chinese medicine in the world are limited by many restrictions. The high threshold for registration admittance is the unavoidable reality in the internationalization of traditional Chinese medicine.

Experts from the Chinese Medicine Department of Chinese Medicines and Health Product Chamber of Import and Export Trade pointed out that at present, Chinese medicine products mostly enter overseas markets in the form of foodstuffs, health products, dietary supplements and food additives, while their real “identity” has not been widely recognized.

In addition, the relevant technical requirements have been formulated or improved abroad, and many Chinese herbal medicine products do not meet the requirements of the Western Pharmacopoeia, which limits the worldwide popularization and use of Chinese medicine.

The lack of overseas circulation channels is also one of the obstacles. Experts from the Medical Insurance Association pointed out that most of the traditional Chinese medicine products lacked their circulation channels in foreign countries. In addition, since the main purpose of the international trade of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is to simply export products, the targeted production is not based on the new trends in international markets and R & D varieties, which to a certain extent also limits the sales and circulation of TCM products.