The conference and expo intend to bring increased awareness, best practices, understanding of the regulatory provisions among SCO countries’: Sarbananda Sonowal Union Minister of State Dr Mahendrabhai Munjpara, His Excellency Union Minister of Health, Myanmar, Dr Thet Khaing Win, His Excellency Dy Minister of Health, Maldives Safiyya Mohamed Saeed along with Secretary, Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha attended the session Delegates from Armenia, Bahrain, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, UAE & Uzbekistan are attending the conference in person Guwahati, 2 March, 2023: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the first ‘B2B Global Conference & Expo on Traditional Medicine under Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’ here today. More than 150 delegates from 17 countries are attending in this first of its kind four day international summit here. Union Minister also inaugurated the B2B expo today. Earlier, speaking at the curtain raiser press conference yesterday, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to greet the Health Ministers, experts, officials, Business delegates from different SCO countries as well as from India for joining this important B 2 B conference and Expo on Traditional Medicine organized by Ministry of Ayush under India’s Presidency of SCO Council of Heads of State 2023. This is a very important initiative where we have found a common ground to work out a possible framework to further the rich usage of traditional medicine for the enrichment of human lives and improve the quality of living for people around the world. There is no denying the fact that the rich heritage of traditional medicine has proven boon for patient care for centuries. This rich wisdom of ours must be honed and adapted for wider usage. Our collective strength through our rich heritage of traditional medicine can elevate the patient care to a new level. With systematic and scientific adaptation of the best practices of traditional medicine along with modern medicine, it is a wonderful initiative for the betterment of humanity.” The inaugural session of the SCO conference today was also attended by the Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women & Child Development, Dr Mahendrabhai Munjpara; His Excellency Union Minister of Health, Govt of Myanmar, Dr Thet Khaing Win; His Excellency Deputy Minister of Health, Govt of Maldives, Safiyya Mohamed Saeed and Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha among others. The Union Minister further added, “Our food and diet has a major role in maintaining our physical as well as mental health. Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine has led high focus on specific health benefits of various food items and their recipes in treating minor health issues as well as to supplement the therapies provided to treat various diseases. Millets play a major role in providing necessary minerals, fibers and other ingredients to the body in bio-available form. On India’s proposal, the United Nations has declared 2023 as ‘International Year of Millet’. Since the start of year 2023, millets according to the regional choice of people are being integrated in daily diet.” Speaking about India’s commitment to the promotion of traditional medicine, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, India remains invested deeply to revive the traditional medicinal practices with a rich heritage of patient care for thousands of years. The establishment of WHO Global Centre of Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, India is a step in this direction. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi at the SCO summit at Samarkhand on 16th September, 2022 has remarked that India will take the initiative for a new SCO Working Group on Traditional Medicine. Our effort through this august conference and expo is another attempt to work collectively to rejuvenate the proven & rich properties of traditional medicinal practices. With your support & discussions here, we hope & believe that the results will be taken forward to further the reach of traditional medicine in the world for the betterment of humanity.” The conference was declared open on an auspicious note after the guests of honour lit the lamp. The welcome address was given by Dr Manoj Nesari, Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of Ayush followed by an address by Padmashree Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush. The delegates were addressed by HE Union Health Minister of Myanmar, Dr Thet Khaing Win along with HE State Minister of Health, Govt of Maldives, Dr Shah Mahir. The Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women & Child Development, Dr Munjpara Mahendra also addressed the august gathering. The presidential address was given by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal. Speaking about the host city, Guwahati, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji’s vision for rejuvenation of Northeast is happening as more and more international conferences of repute are now happening beyond the major Indian cities. As Guwahati hosts this important intergovernmental conference on traditional medicine, it is likely to give a huge impetus for the traditional medicine practitioners, experts and enthusiasts of the region to further immerse themselves towards the goal of a Swastha Bharat, a vision of Modi ji. I am sure the people of the Northeast region has this unique opportunity to visit & experience the expo where traditional medicinal products are being displayed as well as avail the free healthcare camp held here. I also convey my best wishes to all participating delegates and request everyone to enjoy the beautiful land of Assam.” The B2B Conference & Expo on Traditional Medicine under SCO is being held from 2nd to 5th March, 2023 at Guwahati, Assam. The Conference and Expo will provide an opportunity to regulators, industries and business leaders in all the SCO and partner countries to deliberate on various aspects of Traditional Medicine aspects such as products, services, education, skill development, cosmetics, Herbal extracts and further deepen the trade and friendship among each other in the area of Traditional medicine and allied ﬁeld. More than 150 delegates from 17 countries including India are participating in this event, which includes high level delegates such as Health Ministers, official delegates, and foreign buyers from SCO & partner countries. The total 75 foreign officials and business delegates from 13 countries have confirmed their participation in physical mode. Official delegates from China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will be joining online. The conference will witness many interesting sessions like ‘Regulatory Framework for Traditional Medicine Products’, with detailed presentations by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India. The discussion is aimed at understanding trade patterns as well as market scenario from Pharma & drug manufactures point of view. It is also likely that the showcase of products of native importance and popularity, opportunity for trade, discussion on innovation will foster an enviornment for deeper cooperation and economic partnerships with wider market access among the SCO countries. India assumed the Presidency of SCO Council of Heads of State for the year 2023 on 17 September 2022 at Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi at the SCO summit at Samarkand has remarked that India would take the initiative for a new SCO Expert Working Group on Traditional Medicine. The Ministry of Ayush has been working on various initiatives under the SCO mandate. On February this year, a virtual conference of experts and practitioners of traditional medicine was organised where experts from 25 countries of SCO participated. As per the vision of Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi ji, the draft terms of reference of Expert Working Group on Traditional Medicine was approved during a meeting of experts held at New Delhi last month. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is an Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance of eight member multilateral organisation, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China. SCO includes 08 member states, 03 observers and 14 dialogue partner countries. India was granted Observer status at the July 2005 Astana Summit and the status of full member on 9 June, 2017 at the SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. The draft approved at expert level will now be subjected to other administrative procedures of respective country and will be finally adopted at the Head of the States Summit. The B2B conference will witness detailed presentation and deliberations from SCO and partner Countries on Regulatory Framework for Traditional Medicine Products and practices including Pharmacopoeia, Quality assurance and Research, Herbal extracts, Nutraceuticals, etc from Manufacturers and Suppliers of SCO & Partner Countries and Government interventions to promote Traditional medicine in them. Sessions are also planned like ‘Know your buyer’ and ‘B2B meetings’ for discussing on specific product-wise, export & import opportunities and for deeper economic partnerships with increased market access across SCO countries. The Expo on Traditional Medicine on the sidelines of the SCO event is aimed at opening up trade opportunities in traditional medicine amongst SCO & partner countries. The Ayush industry as well as Foreign Traditional Medicine industries/exporters/importers will be showcasing their products and services in the Expo.