Chinese Minister of Sciences visits Ghent biotechnologists

06/13/05

Ghent - The Chinese Minister of Sciences, Ma Songde, and Flemish Minister for Science and Innovation, Fientje Moerman, are today visiting the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) in Ghent. With this initiative, Minister Moerman highlights the importance that the government attaches to this sector for the future of Flanders.

During the visit, Minister Moerman will explain to her Chinese colleague the prominent position occupied by the Flemish biotech industry. The encounter could also be an impulse for Flemish biotech to establish collaborative ties and to become acquainted with the Chinese market.

Biotechnology has become an important sector in China as well. Between 2000 and 2005, the Chinese government has injected some 500 million euro into the field. A thriving industry has sprung up - especially around Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen - in vaccines, medical equipment, and immuno-diagnostics.

China and Flanders could collaborate, for example, in the area of genetically modified crops. Among other activities, the Chinese have developed a technology for producing rice and wheat with higher yields and better uptake of water and nutrients.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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