ITC Partners with the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Business Information Services
Access to business information and international market intelligence in the area of traditional and complementary medicine remains a major obstacle to the development of sustainable trade and export competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) active in this sector in Malaysia.
In this context, the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysian Herbal Corporation (MHC) have entered into a partnership to strengthen the business information system, GlobinMed™, of the Ministry of Health Malaysia, a global information hub in the areas of traditional and complementary medicine.
With the significant increase of the role of traditional and complementary medicine in contributing to the maintenance of human health, the Ministry of Health Malaysia has developed the portal, GlobinMed™, in accordance with the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the Commonwealth Health Ministries. The purpose of this portal is “to establish an information hub on integrated medicine for the World through Malaysia, utilising smart and strategic partnerships with other nations, international organisations and non-governmental organizations”.
Taking account of ITC’s expertise in this field, the Ministry of Health Malaysia requested the Trade Information Services of ITC, through its Market News Service programme, to provide information support and advisory services on the development of the portal with specific content on traditional and complementary medicine.
“This partnership marks our commitment to develop the GlobinMed™ business information portal. Drawing on ITC expertise the initiative will act as a catalyst both now and for future SME activity in traditional and complementary medicine”, commented Patricia R. Francis, ITC’s Executive Director.
“We are dedicated to make GlobinMed™ the main reference portal for traditional and complementary medicine. This partnership with ITC will definitely help us to provide comprehensive data from trade and business point of view which will be one of the main features in GlobinMed™”, commented Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Hj Mohd Ismail Merican, Director General of Health Malaysia, Ministry of Health Malaysia.
This collaboration reinforces the work done by ITC in the field of business information technical support to SMEs from developing countries engaged in the trade of traditional and complementary medicine.
Further, as a partner in the UN BioTrade Initiative, this innovative approach is endorsed by ITC as it promotes trade and investment in indigenous biological resources in support of sustainable development. Promoting the commercialization of biodiversity-based products, or ‘biotrade’ is being increasingly recognized as a means of providing incentives for the sustainable management of biodiversity while simultaneously creating employment opportunities and livelihoods.
The partnership with ITC, which started in March 2010, calls for ITC to contribute content for the GlobinMed™ portal and to create capacity within the MHC to deliver efficient business information services to SMEs as well as creating awareness of the business opportunities of the region.