October 19, 2011 (Shanxi Province) – In the developing city of Tongchuan, locals and international guests gathered to celebrate the Medicine King Festival. The festival kicked off Tongchuan’s transition from a black economy to a green one as the local mayor put it. Over the years, Tongchuan was heavily involved in the coal industry. However, the local government wants to shift the economy and create new jobs by embracing the regions ancient past. Tongchuan is famous for two important aspects of Chinese culture, pottery and its also the hometown of the Sun Simiao the “King of Medicine”.

Sun Simiao lived during the Sui and Tang Dynasty dating back to 581 AD. His contributions to herbal medicine are still in use today. It is thought with out his writings and extensive research into herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine would not be the same today.

The festival was rip with cultural events including an expo, music concert and numerous industry conferences around the city focusing on the herbal industry. Together with a variety of Ambassadors from around the world and international industry heads, the U.S.-China Health Product Association was invited to present at a conference organized by Tongchuan local government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Chinese Medicine Association and China Health Care Association. Jeff Crowther the association’s executive director gave a 30 minute presentation on U.S. regulations and market environment for herbal products.

The overall tone of events like this is a need to increase natural health products to the growing elderly population in China, which are not only cost effective when compared to pharmaceutical drugs, but also are preventative in nature. As China’s population continues to age the government sees that healthcare costs will continue to escalate. A clear solution is to promote health and wellness through natural means. Natural health products like herbs and other dietary supplements clearly fit this role.

The U.S.-China Health Products Association continues to advocate for more transparency and openness in China’s current regulations for dietary supplements. China presents the market with the most potential for growth for these products. However, current regulations are impeding the industry from realizing its true potential. For marketers and manufacturers of dietary supplements, consider joining the association and support its efforts in China. Although the market is currently restrictive, it will open as time passes with the consist message coming from the association, local organizations and industry leaders. So don’t wait, join up and start solidifying your China business today!

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