The permanent secretariat of the Western Pacific Regional Forum for the Harmonization of Herbal Medicines (FHH) will be established at the University of Macau (UM). The secretariat will assist the Macao SAR government in promoting economic diversification by developing the Chinese medicine industry into a signature industry of Macao, so as to elevate the role of Macao in the international development of Chinese medicine.
According to the Second Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of the Macao SAR (2021-2025), Chinese medicine R&D and manufacturing is an entry point to the development of the health industry in economic diversification of Macao. The Chinese medicine industry is also listed as a signature industry of Macao and one of the new industries for promoting economic diversification of the city in the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. As an international public comprehensive university in Macao, UM is dedicated to promoting the Chinese medicine industry in the city and has established the State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, the first laboratory of its kind in the field. Over the years, the university has attained outstanding achievements in industrial cooperation, talent development, the establishment of international cooperation platforms, as well as the standardisation and internationalisation of Chinese medicine. The establishment of the permanent secretariat of FHH at UM will support the forum in further leveraging its role as a platform as well as its international influence.
The permanent secretariat of FHH is committed to facilitating the operation and long-term development of FHH, building a service platform for economic and trade cooperation in the Chinese medicine industry, and promoting research and related work for establishing regional and international standards for herbal medicines and developing technical requirements for product registration with Macao as a coordination platform, in order to promote the development of the Chinese medicine industry in Macao.
FHH was found in March 2002 with seven countries and regions as its founding members, namely China; Hong Kong, China; Australia; Japan; South Korea; Singapore; and Vietnam. Macao, China began joining the meetings of the FHH Standing Committee as an observer last year and formally submitted its application for FHH membership this year. After a discussion of the 20th FHH Standing Committee, Macao, China was approved to become a member of FHH. As a technical forum, FHH holds meetings to discuss the quality, efficacy, and safety of herbal medicines with the goal of promoting the coordination and development of traditional medicines and herbal medicines in the Western Pacific region. The forum also strives to improve the quality, efficacy, and safety of herbal medicines and promote the health of residents in the region and beyond.