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Korea, Latin America speed up expanding cooperation in healthcare

Lee Han-soo  Published 2019.10.08  18:04  Updated 2019.10.08 18:04

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The Ministry of Health and Welfare plans to expand cooperation between Korea and Latin America in the healthcare sector.

Park Chang-kyu, director of the division of global health care affairs at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, gives a welcome speech during the 5th Korea-LAC Business Summit held at Shilla Hotel Seoul, Tuesday.

To achieve the goal, the ministry held the first digital healthcare cooperation seminar and one-on-one meetings between local and Latin American companies during the 5th Korea-LAC Business Summit held at Shilla Hotel Seoul, Tuesday.

"It is the first time that we held a seminar to establish a partnership in the healthcare sector," said Park Chang-kyu, director of the ministry’s Division of Global Healthcare Affairs, to Korea Biomedical Review. "The importance of cooperation in the healthcare sector is expanding rapidly, as 20 healthcare companies, or half of the total 40 Latin American firms, are visiting Korea for this year’s business summit."

The seminar was designed to share Korea’s experiences of digital healthcare with Latin American countries and come up with a solution on how governments can collaborate with the private sector and enter the Latin American market, Director Park added.

He stressed that the ministry, along with the Ministry of Drug and Food Safety, plans to use the seminar to support the increase of exports to the region and help Korean firms win approvals there through close discussion.

"The pharmaceutical and medical equipment markets in Latin America have great potential, as shown by Korea’s exports increasing every year," Park said. "However, companies are talking about difficulties due to problems such as long distance, time difference, and language."

It might take some time to see results as such a meeting has just started, he added.

"This is the first time we have held the conference, so it is too early to say when we will see results," Park said. "We will tally up results from the one-on-one meeting as soon as it ends."

The ministry expects that the seminar and one-on-one meetings will help local companies to enter Latin America more actively, he added.

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