China and Cuba have increased bilateral exchanges in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology field, with new projects for years to come.
CGTN’s Luis Chirino reports.
The China-Cuba Joint Biotech Working Group held its 10th session in Havana where China and Cuba agreed to bolster ties over the next five years in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical sectors.
The bilateral document was penned by Cuban Foreign minister Rodrigo Malmierca, and by Ren Zhiwu, Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
“Biotechnological cooperation has played a key role in developing the two countries pharmaceutical industries and has deepened bilateral economic and commercial exchange to improve the health and wellbeing of the two peoples,” Ren said.
Ren toured the most recent project set up in Havana, a soft gel plant that uses Chinese technology.
“This plant has a production capacity of 200 million soft gels annually, some 45,000 per hour,” said Yadira Carmenate, a Production Manager at the plant. “We aim to produce two different medications, an antioxidant supplement and another that prevents prostate hyperplasia or swelling.”
The new plant reflects the priority given by China and Cuba to the joint development of biotechnology in the benefit of their peoples′ health and quality of life
“At present, both countries′ political will encourages new joint collaboration projects not only between companies but also by Cuban and Chinese scientific research centers,” said Eduardo Martinez, President of the Conglomerate of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Companies.
Both sides stressed major advancements over the past years in research, technology, medication sales, and three China based joint ventures that aim to improve the quality of life of the Chinese people
“Before the setting up of the Biotech plant we had no monoclonal antibodies locally produced in China and this is now very important to help cancer patients in our country,” said Xianhong Bai, President of Biotech Pharmaceutical, Chinese Cuba Joint Venture.
But achieving this joint goal will take time and professionalism.
“We are talking of the introduction in China of new technologies which suggests close and joint efforts by Cuban and Chinese workers, with different culture and languages, but with the single aim of creating products that solve health problems affecting the Chinese people,” said Mayda Mauri, Vice-President of the Cuban Biotechnology Conglomerate
The two-day conference concluded after announcement of new projects to further boost bilateral cooperation, including the setting up of a new joint venture at the Special Development Zone in western Cuba. The next conference will be held in China in 2021.