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China’s growing demand for health solutions presents Australian business, universities and research bodies with unprecedented opportunities, according to the President of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), John Brumby.
Delivering the keynote address at the Australia China Health Summit in Melbourne, the former Victorian Premier said there’s never been a better time to trade with China in health and education.
“Less than 10 percent of all Australian businesses are currently doing business with China, so we want to encourage more Australian businesses, universities and not for profits to engage with China,” Mr Brumby said.
“They are in every sense of the word, a huge economic opportunity.”
Mr Brumby believes Australian business and R&D has a special role to play in helping China to address the rise in lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, and to develop policy responses focused on prevention.
Partnerships and collaborative research projects such as Burnet’s R&D initiative Nanjing BioPoint Technology Limited, he declared, are the ideal way to proceed.
“Think about what you can do as a company wanting to start up,” Mr Brumby said.
“Think about the Free Trade Agreement where you can be a 50-percent equity partner in a new hospital in China. Think about what you can partner in terms of preventative health and diabetes management programs.
“These are huge opportunities for Australia.”
Mr Brumby noted that by 2020 China’s spending on health care is forecast to reach $1trillion, which is two-thirds of the size of Australia’s current entire economy.
“As China moves up the curve, they spend more, they live longer, they are concerned about their health, and they will be spending more and more, and this will be a huge driver of this new economy,” he said.
Co-hosted by AusBiotech and ACBC, and partnered by Burnet, the Summit brought together key Australian and international stakeholders to discuss the health industry and opportunities afforded by the Australia-China relationship.
Burnet Deputy Director, Associate Professor David Anderson presented a case study on Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostic Technology Ltd.