Traditional Medicine: The B2B Conference & Expo along with National Arogya Summit, held in Guwahati recently under the aegis of Ministry of Ayush under India’s presidency of SCO, has successfully brought together 25 SCO countries to promote Traditional Medicine so as that it can contribute in the economic development, environment protection and achieve the goal of Health Security among the SCO nations.
The event witnessed active participation of H.E. Dr. Thet Khaing Win Minister of Health, Myanmar, H.E. Safiyya Mohamed Saeed Deputy Minister of Health, Maldives and Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai MoS for Ayush and Participation of China, Russia and Pakistan in technical sessions through virtual mode was also noteworthy. The Conference and Expo cum Summit was inaugurated by Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping &Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal.
India attained the SCO full member status in 2017 and after assuming the Presidency of SCO Council of Heads of State for the year 2023 on 17th September 2022 at Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had remarked that India would take the initiative for a new SCO Expert working Group on Traditional Medicine. Accordingly, Ministry of Ayush has taken various initiatives on Traditional Medicine during India’s SCO Presidency viz., organized virtual conference of experts and practitioners of Traditional Medicine, conducted First Expert Working Group (EWG) on Traditional Medicine wherein Draft Regulations of the EWG on Traditional Medicine were approved at expert level and will be further subjected to other respective country administrative procedures and finally to be adopted at the Head of the States Summit. It is in this light that the Guwahati SCO B2B Conference and Expo acquire importance and could successfully take the momentum further.
On the sidelines of the SCO B2B conference, Ministry of Ayush also had a bi-lateral meeting with Myanmar to discuss the cooperation on Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine. The MoU for the same was signed between the Ministry of Ayush, India and Ministry of Health, Myanmar on 29th August 2016, which is automatically extended and valid up till 28th August 2026. The Indian side was led by Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister for Ayush and Ports, Shipping & waterways. Myanmar side was led by H.E. Dr. Thet Khaing Win, Minister, Ministry of Health, Myanmar.
This Conference was attended by a total of 214 participants, out of which 83 were international delegates from 16 SCO Countries and 131 were Indian delegates. A total of 30 presentations were made during the said event of which 19 were from SCO Countries. 11 presentations were delivered by the Indian side, including presentations from Ministry of Ayush and the industry. A total of 11 sessions were held during the said conference. Active participation by all representatives across various discussions/presentations, trade activities and concurrently running National Arogya Summit/Expo was a remarkable achievement.
While 56 exhibitors, including industries, educational institutes and Ayush services providers exhibited their products, institutions & infrastructure, were involved in the B2B expo in Guwahati, the encouraging response came from 60 buyers from 11 countries in the form of keen interest. During the conference and the Expo more than 125 one-to-one meetings were held between buyers & sellers. The trade interest was received from 13 SCO countries in the fields of Ayurveda Education, Traditional Medicine Products and developing Infrastructure for providing Ayurveda and Yoga for Medical Value Travel. These B2B meeting participants were from Tajikistan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India.
The B2B conference was organized in line with the theme “SECURE” SCO, where ‘S’ stands for Security for Citizens, ‘E’ for Economic Development, ‘C’ for Connectivity, ‘U’ for Unity, ‘R’ for Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Unity and ‘E’ for Environment Protection. These themes were covered during the SCO events in India in the following manner:-
The SCO nations together deliberated on various issues pertaining to Traditional Medicine, easing up of trade for traditional medicine within the SCO nations and promotion of Traditional medicine. These issues were discussed upon to achieve the goal of Health Security among the SCO nations, which relates to the Security (Health) theme of SCO.
Keeping the theme of Economic Development into consideration, 10 LOIs were received during the event along with direct trade interest of over INR 590 Crore. Likewise, the opportunities will also be available for other SCO countries. 16 SCO nations brought together under one umbrella for deliberating on key agenda of development of traditional medicine and its active promotion highlights the Connectivity theme of SCO.
Consensus was developed among the Experts from SCO Member States on the Regulations of the EWG on TM under SCO which relates to the Unity theme of SCO. This event held by the Ministry of Ayush, under the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was not only a crown jewel in the SCO deliberations and co-operation efforts under the presidency of India, but also highlights the potential for growth and synergies between SCO Nations in the global Traditional Medicine sector.