HK gets Greater Bay health check with dose of Chinese medicine

HKTB’s Hong Kong Convention Ambassadors help win 18th World Congress of Chinese Medicine to set up city’s role as GBA medical conference capital

HONG KONG Tourism Board’s convention ambassadors are credited with bringing one of the world’s largest academic events in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the city for the first time and setting the stage for rising role of TCM worldwide.

Bidding efforts by the Hong Kong Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners Association, which is a member of the Hong Kong Convention Ambassador (HKCA) programme, in collaboration with the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies secured the 18th World Congress of Chinese Medicine (WCCM).

The hybrid event hosted from Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre attracted more than 2,000 TCM academics and experts, generated over 3.8 million views from over 60 countries and regions.

WCCM is being positioned as the first of several key medical conventions taking place in the city over the next few months as Hong Kong becomes a “core international city in the Greater Bay Area”. This extends to the city being a “super-connector in the Belt and Road Initiative, and the ideal platform to promote TCM on the global stage”, according to a Hong Kong Tourism Board press release on the WCCM event.

The International Annual Congress of the Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA) 2021, and the Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium (HKIDEAS) 2021, both of which are led by Hong Kong Convention Ambassadors are due to be held at the city’s main convention centre.

Strict anti-Covid measures that impose quarantine in a hotel-room for up to 21 days have led to the switching of other business events to other cities and airlines suspending flights to Hong Kong. Locally organised events with government backing through Hong Kong Trade Development Council have been held as the city resumes conferences under safety protocols.

Despite the event industry’s criticism of a policy to focus on the reopening of the border crossings with mainland China instead of internationally, events like WCCM still serve to highlight Hong Kong’s role as a conference city and an important player in the Greater Bay Area.

“We are pleased to host this edition of WCCM in Hong Kong for the first time. Embracing Chinese philosophy and culture, Hong Kong is the ideal place for academic and cultural exchanges to explore the way forward for furthering the global development of TCM, and its role in combating the pandemic through collaboration between practitioners and public sectors,” said Ma Jianzhong, president of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies.

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Dane Cheng, Hong Kong Tourism Board executive director, said: “Hong Kong enjoys unique geographical and cultural advantages, and is the ideal destination for international conventions. Many such events have taken place recently, demonstrating Hong Kong’s ability to host large-scale global events safely and efficiently.

”Apart from TCM, Hong Kong will continue to leverage the city’s advantages as an East-meets-West showcase to promote the very best of Chinese heritage,” Cheng said.

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The congress received extensive support from government and industry bodies. The National Administration of TCM and the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau acted as advisors, and it was organised by the WFCMS, along with the Hong Kong Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners Association and the WFCM (Hong Kong) Council Members Association as local hosts.

The convention ambassador programme gathers leaders from business and professional bodies to make Hong Kong the premier choice for regional and global meetings, conventions and exhibitions. HKTB provides professional support and services to the ambassadors, including event planning, bidding and preparation.

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