The Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, joined the launch of the Chinese Medicine Research, Education and Clinical Centre in Western Sydney on Tuesday.

The Centre is a collaboration between the National Institute of Complementary Medicine, Western Sydney University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

The Centre’s aim is to develop new treatments for patients around the world, contributing to Australia’s expanding complementary medicine trade.

“The complementary medicine industry is already worth around $3.5 billion annually and this includes significant export sales to China,” Assistant Minister Pitt said.

“It is projected to grow to around $4.6 billion by 2017-2018, employing around 45,000 people.

“Traditional Chinese Medicine in particular has significant potential and the China Australia Free Trade Agreement supports increased ties through harmonised standards and accreditation.

“Australia is the only Western nation to have unified national registration of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, adding to its strong reputation within China for quality and safety.”

The Centre will further develop Traditional Chinese Medicine research and teaching links built up between China and Australia over the last 10 years, with the support of Austrade.

It will be housed within the National Institute of Complementary Medicine, already one of the world’s largest complementary medicine research concentrations, running clinical trials in dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and women’s health.

As well as joint research focusing on both clinical and laboratory based work, the Centre will boost education links with China.

“International education is worth about $20 billion to Australia annually and there are around 142,000 Chinese students currently enrolled here,” Assistant Minister Pitt said.

“Projections suggest that could increase to around 230,000 by 2025, with similar potential for increased research collaboration and this means more local jobs.
“In the other direction, China is an increasingly popular destination for Australian students. Almost 5,000 were enrolled in universities there during 2014 and China is the most popular destination for New Colombo Plan and Endeavour Awards recipients.”

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest higher education institutions in its field and has more than 27,000 students.

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