The Belt & Road Initiative has brought Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to more countries and boosted exports of Traditional Chinese Medicinal materials from these regions, according to a recent forum on TCM development in Beijing.

The Belt & Road Initiative has significantly boosted bilateral exchanges on TCM in recent years, according to attendees at the forum.

Lui Tuck Yew, Singaporean Ambassador to China, said TCM has a long history in the city state and is included in Singapore’s healthcare system. He also said Singapore has encouraged further development of TCM in recent years.

“Acupuncture for niche areas like pain management and stroke rehabilitation is now available at public hospitals. TCM research in Singapore though nascent, is growing,” said Lui.

“We established a TCM research grant five years ago for clinical research purposes, setting aside a total of 40 million yuan (5.7 million U.S. dollars) to help healthcare providers deliver clinically proven and cost-effective TCM treatments”

Booming exchanges have also driven the exports of traditional Chinese medicinal materials from these countries.

For example, exports of deer velvet from New Zealand and Brazilian ginseng have been on the rise.

“The New Zealand deer industry has been investing in research and development, including research into the health benefits of deer velvet and the incorporation of this traditional Chinese medicine in modern applications,” said Clare Fearnley, New Zealand’s Ambassador to China.

“We are also exploring opportunities to export New Zealand grown Ginseng to China,” Fearnley said.

The Forum, the third of its kind, was co-organised by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Beijing municipal government. It aimed to promote international cooperation on TCM.