Bio Korea 2018 and Medical Korea 2018 kicked off for a three-day run in COEX, southern Seoul, Wednesday.
|Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon|
Hosted by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) and North Chungcheong Province, Bio and Medical Korea 2018 meets its 13th anniversary enhancing the status of Korea's bio-healthcare industry through various programs and promoting Korean pharmaceutical and medical device technology to the world.
“Advanced countries such as the U.S., Japan, China and Europe are introducing new strategies to nurture their healthcare industry,” Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon said during his opening speech. “In line with such strategies, the government has already announced plans to foster the health industry as one of the key strategic industries.”
Lee emphasized that some of the government’s plans include leading the economic growth and creating jobs by raising pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics industry.
“Korea's exports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices exceeded $10 billion for the first time in 2016 and are continuing to grow,” Lee said. “Regarding jobs, over the past 30 years, some of our brightest young minds have entered the medical field, and the government will do its best to back their potentials.”
Lee also noted the 4th Industrial Revolution Committee, which is under the direct supervision of the president, as one of the plans set by the government.
“Starting in 2018, the committee will cooperate with various ministries to implement detailed plans for health industry development,” he said. “We will systematically implement and support R&D investment and support, system improvement, the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and expansion of overseas markets.”
Lee also stressed the importance of eradicating medical polarization and asked the medical community to help the government with its new medical insurance scheme, also known as “Mooncare.”
“The healthcare industry will surely bring hope to mankind while giving a sense of accomplishment to healthcare workers,” Lee said. “However, there are still challenges that the health industry should not ignore such as medical polarization.”
Some low-income people in medically advanced countries cannot receive treatment due to high medical expenses, he added.
“The government believes that such citizens also need to be taken care of,” Lee said. “That's why the government has been working to strengthen our health insurance coverage, and we will greatly appreciate cooperation and support from the medical field.”
The exhibition, which involves 600 companies from 45 countries, offers more than 400 booths, business forums that deal with domestic and foreign companies, conferences where experts in various fields talk about the latest technology trends. The event will also include an “Invest Fair,” where domestic pharmaceuticals and medical device companies meet local and foreign investors.
Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Thursday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Admission fee is 10,000 won ($9.3).
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