Fostering economic and financial relations with China has been a priority for Hungary in recent years. One of the cornerstones of this policy has been cooperation in the health economy, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the “Gateway to Health” conference and exhibition, organized jointly by China and the CEE countries. The progress achieved within the health economy means that people become healthier, economic growth accelerates and Hungary’s competitiveness improves, he stressed.

The event held in Budapest was aimed at assisting participating countries’ development in the field of health economy, scientific partnership as well as research and development, and thus to help them achieve health policy objectives.  For the CEE countries, being connected to the European Union is a major factor, but it is also important to bolster relations with China and thus switch into a higher gear in terms of economic growth, Mihály Varga noted, adding that the People’s Republic of China has become the number one trade partner among the countries targeted by the “Opening to the East” policy.

Hungary’s pharmaceutical research and production sectors have indisputably belong to the best in the world, and Hungary was one of the first countries where pharmaceuticals production was industrialized, he noted.  The pharma industry can be seen as the most innovative sector in Hungary, he said, which receives some 40 percent of R&D expenditures. There is a supportive background behind the industry: Hungary has an internationally-recognized academic and university-level education, innovation and R&D base, Mihály Varga pointed out. Manufacturers of medical equipment and apparatus, bio-technology enterprises and the health tourism sector play a significant role in Hungary, he said.

Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin has also participated at the talks, and the two parties signed an MoU on health industry cooperation with the aim of organizing joint conferences that can facilitate health policy-related scientific programmes and research projects.

(Ministry for National Economy)