U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews Delivers Remarks at China Hospital Association


Monday, October 17, 2016

Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews delivered remarks at a luncheon hosted by the China Hospital Association as part of the health care business development mission in Beijing. Deputy Secretary Andrews is leading the mission and is joined by Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mary Wakefield and representatives from 12 U.S. companies. The mission is designed to strengthen health care resources in both countries, and promote U.S. exports to China by supporting U.S. providers of health care products and services.

In his remarks, the Deputy Secretary began by outlining his overall vision for the trade mission, and explained the main goals of the trip were to learn, and develop new opportunities for collaboration. Furthermore, the Deputy Secretary highlighted the work of the companies involved in the trade mission, and the need for greater health care cooperation between the United States and China.

In closing, Deputy Secretary Andrews urged the China Hospital Association to partner with U.S. firms which would reduce regulatory delays, and increase access to cutting-edge healthcare technology. 

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Ni hao. Thank you for that warm welcome. It is my pleasure to address the China Hospital Association today.

I know that I speak for our entire U.S. delegation when I say that we are honored to be here with such a distinguished group of hospital leaders. I would like to recognize the leaders of the China Hospital Association who made this wonderful luncheon possible. First, I would like to thank Chairman Huang Jiefu for his support, despite not being able to attend today’s discussion. I also want to express my gratitude to Secretary General Xue Xiaolin, Deputy Secretary Wang Lingling, and the entire China Hospital Association staff for graciously hosting our delegation.

I am delighted to be back in Beijing for my second visit of 2016. In February, I had the pleasure of visiting for the launch of the U.S.-China Tourism Year, a bilateral effort to increase travel and tourism between our countries.

This week, I am here in yet another effort to expand our economic cooperation and build bilateral relationships – this time in our health care sectors. Joining me on this trade mission are the leaders of 12 diverse and innovative American health care companies. We are spending the first part of our trip here in Beijing, and the second half in Chongqing.

So let me begin sharing with you a bit more about what we hope to achieve during our visit to China.

The first goal of this trade mission is to learn. Our companies are leaders in diverse fields, from medical devices to hospital management to biotechnology. Yet they all share a desire to better understand recent trends in the Chinese health care sector, and to learn more about China’s health care reform goals. That means getting your perspective, as Chinese hospital leaders, on your vision for the future.

Our second objective for this trip is to form new connections and explore new opportunities for business and collaboration. The Department of Commerce is the lead U.S. Government agency focused on increasing our trade and economic engagement around the world. And we see tremendous potential for greater cooperation between United States and China on health care.

As the world’s two largest economies, our countries have countless opportunities to build commercial partnerships in virtually every industry. Together, we already generate 35 percent of global economic output and nearly a fifth of all international trade. Yet, there is perhaps no greater opportunity to increase cooperation than in our health care sectors.

The China Hospital Association is already a strong voice for greater collaboration between our countries. Earlier this year, you joined our Health Care Global Team, the U.S. Embassy, and the American Chamber of Commerce in China to co-host the 2016 U.S.-China Patient Day. Our event brought over 180 hospital leaders, physicians, and policymakers together to discuss the future of China’s health care sector - including Chairman Huang Jiefu. The Chairman spoke about the need to encourage innovation, enhance sustainability, and embrace the concept of “patient first.” The United States shares these goals. And our businesses are well-positioned to help you deliver the best in patient care.

Let me tell you about Inova, one of the companies on this trade mission. Inova already provides advanced infertility treatments in China. Yet back home in the Washington, DC area, their hospital network is a leader in patient-centered precision medicine. How might your hospitals benefit from Inova’s approach to care? How might your patients benefit?

Akers Biosciences is also here today. This small firm manufactures low-cost, rapid diagnostic tests for conditions that range from drug allergies to heart disease to sexually-transmitted infections. How could your hospitals reduce costs using Akers’ technologies? How could their rapid screenings help you serve more patients? I share these two brief examples with you to make a simple point:  collaboration between the United States and China is both good for business and good for patients.

Building stronger ties between American health care companies and Chinese hospitals will mean better care for the people you serve each day. Our companies are excited about doing more business in China. You have a fast-growing health care market. You have consumers with rising incomes who seek better medical coverage. And, like the United States, you have rapidly-aging population that will need new types of care in the years ahead.

These trends all point to growing demand for higher quality health services in China and the need for more collaboration between our nations. The United States wants China to succeed. We want you to build a cutting-edge health care system. And we want your patients to receive the highest quality care. But to do so, we need your help to overcome trade barriers, enable market access, and ensure small firms like Akers have a fair shot in China.

Onerous technical requirements, regulatory delays, and other trade barriers do not only hurt businesses. They also hurt patients. China’s 1.3 billion citizens deserve access to the latest therapies, effective treatments, and life-saving technologies. We must work together to increase trade in health products and services – from testing to medical equipment to e-health technology. If you are looking for a new medical device, a new drug therapy, or a new health-IT system, I encourage you to consider partnering with a U.S. firm. Our companies offer some of the world’s most cutting-edge, innovative technologies – and they can help meet your goals.

Today’s luncheon is about having conversations, making new connections, and finding new opportunities to collaborate.

  • How can our companies better compete in your markets?
  • How can we work together to ensure Chinese hospitals can access the latest products and services?
  • What kind of technologies and products do you want to see in your hospitals today - and what is your vision for tomorrow?

Allow me to close by again thanking the China Hospital Association for graciously hosting our delegation.

I look forward to our conversation today, and to working more closely together in the future. Thank you.

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Last updated: 2016-10-17 13:31

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