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News

We are constantly adding new articles to the Industry News page. If you would like to contribute any news or latest announcements about your company, please contact us at aiki@altecopia.com

 

New Product for San Mark Limited - conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Sanmark Limited (Dalian, China) have now added high purity conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to their product range for the dietary supplement market.

The new products contain a minimum of 90% CLA produced from safflower oil using proprietary technology. Another product with 95% CLA is also available.

Sanmark guarantees that all of their CLA products are pure, clear and odorless due to their unique process, which removes undesirable components and residues. They also claim that their CLA products have high concentrations of 1:1 ratio of the two active CLA isomers (c9, t11 and t10, c12) in its regular CLA products.

"Sanmark CLA 90 and CLA 95 are value-added products that can be used in both oral and topical applications. We are proud to be the first company that offers such high purity and high potency CLA products in the North American market. The successful launch of these products again demonstrates our commitment and ability to bring out the best products of nutritional oils and specialty lipids for the benefits of public health" says Michael Qu, the president of Sanmark Limited.

Sanmark also supplies special CLA products with 90% single isomer either as c9, t11-CLA [9(Z), 11(E)-Octadecadienoic Acid 90%] or as t10, c12-CLA [10(E), 12(Z)-Octadecadienoic Acid 90%] for research use. The company also manufactures other nutritional oils. These include black currant oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and perilla oil.

Last year, Sanmark opened a new 50,000 square-foot oil processing facility with in-house research laboratories, quality control laboratories and a fully equipped pilot plant. Sanmark has a US office to service its customers in North America. (17 March 2003)

Double Certification for Sanmark Limited

On 26th March 2003, San Mark announced that its new $2 million specialty oil processing facilities in Dalian High-Tech Zone had received ISO 9001 Certification from CQM, a member of the International Certification Network based in Switzerland.

In December 2002, Sanmark's operation in Dalian High-Tech Zone was inspected by OCIA who determined that the operation is in compliance with the US National Organic Program (NOP) and OCIA International Certification program for the production of evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil. Subsequently, on 27th March 2003, Sanmark was awarded the Organic Certificate issued by Organic Crop Improvement Association International (OCIA).

Since early 2002, Sanmark has manufactured many of its products in the new facility using the latest mechanical extraction, refining and other oil processing technologies. The new facility also houses its research laboratories, quality control laboratories and fully equipped pilot plant. Sanmark also runs another specialty oil manufacturing plant that is also ISO certified.

OTC Medicines

According to a report by SDA South Medicinal Economic Institution, the total of pharmaceutical drug sales in China in 2002 was approximately US$15 billion, US$3 billion of which was over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. 65% of total OTC sales are branded products from multinational pharmaceutical companies with established joint ventures in China such as Xian Janssen, BMS, GSK, Pharmacia and others. Sales of Chinese herbal formulations are over US$12.5 million. It was suggested that as well as OTC remedies for common coughs and colds, companies should consider OTC formulations for slimming, gynaecological infection, urinary infection, male libido remedies, and general tonic type supplements.

It also suggested that companies should concentrate in developing unique OTC products to attract consumers and to avoid fierce competition. New products should be supported by effective advertising promotion and training programmes for retailers. Product distribution should include hospitals as well as the retail outlets.

The pharmaceutical market in China will continue to grow not only due to the ever increasing population, but also due to increasing wealth. Over the past 20 years, it is estimated that China's middle class has reached 127 million. Economic success is likely to increase general health awareness. Sales of OTC products are also set to rise due to the Government's healthcare reform and the country's ageing population.

A year after China joined the WTO ....

Are there any changes to it's pharmaceutical industry?

Since its accession to the World Trade Organisation a year ago there have not been many changes in the pharmaceutical industry in China. Foreign joint ventures were mainly set up during the 80's & 90's and there has been little increase during the past year. New drug development has been scarce. Generic drug producers are working to improve production efficiency by restructuring their organisations. The import of pharmaceutical drugs remain at 24% of total pharmaceutical sales.

The pharmaceutical distribution sector remains unchanged. Foreign companies are taking the 'wait and see' attitudes due to the difficulties in understanding local logistics and their management systems.

However, there have been changes made to Government policies, which include the setting of ceiling prices for certain pharmaceutical drugs, encouraging tender purchasing, healthcare reform and the introduction of medical insurance. These changes will speed up the sales of OTC products which saw an increase of only 2 to 3 % in 2002.

It could be sometime before the effects are felt, but Chinese companies are gradually improving themselves to anticipate market competition.

Increased Overseas Investment in China in 2002

According to figures released by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC), the total amount of foreign direct investment in China from January to November 2002 was US$48 billion, a 14.59% increase over the same period last year. These investments are primarily in the development of telecommunications, transport, energy and environmental protection projects.

It was reported that this surge of increased foreign investment was due to China's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which helped to boost the confidence of overseas investors. China's WTO membership would gradually create a stable and open policy environment for companies who wish to enter this vast and mostly 'untouched' market.

New Quality Control Measures

China is going to tighten the quality control and safety management of food and farm produce. Director of the State Administration of Quality Supervision and Quarantine, Mr Li Changjiang, said that his administration will impose strict controls over pesticide and veterinary drug residues, and will put vets and plant protection officers in businesses where they can help to ensure the required quality is met. From May 2002, China began to issue certificates to enterprises that produced products related to the health and safety of consumers and animals. From 1st May 2003, any products that do not have the China Compulsory Certificate mark will not be allowed to be exported.

China WTO Updates

Since China secured its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in December 2001, the Chinese Government has issued more than six laws and regulations on imports since January 2002, and seven on the access of foreign capital. These cover law, telecommunications, finance, insurance, international marine transport and travel. It has also amended three laws on direct foreign investment, and three more are underway concerning trademark, copyright and drug management.

According to the report by China Daily, the average tariff rate of more than 5,000 products has dropped from 15.3% to 12%. Industrial products have been reduced from 14.7% to 11.3%; while agricultural products have come down from 18.8% to 15.8%.

Following WTO negotiations, pharmaceutical distribution and medical treatment services will be opened up, and regulations on imports of large-scale medical equipment will be relaxed. A report in China International Business indicated that approximately 2,000 import licenses for pharmaceutical products have been issued by the State Drug Administration (SDA).

World famous brand are becoming common in the market, and 20 of the 25 largest multinational pharmaceutical companies have established a presence in China. According to China Daily, there are nearly 1800 pharmaceutical joint ventures, with contractual foreign investment totalling US$200 million.

WTO Brings Competition in Medicine Distribution

Domestic Chinese medicine distribution has 3 years to improve its performance before foreign counterparts can freely enter the market (China Daily). In line with China's commitment to the WTO, the medicine retail and wholesale business will be opened to foreign investors, with no capital or geographical limitations, by Dec 2004.

By then, joint-venture trials will be undertaken in the key cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Under the terms of the trials, any foreign trader can apply to the State Economic and Trade Commission to set up a joint venture subject to minimum assets of US$200 million in the year before the application, and annual turnover limits of US$2 billion in each of the previous three years. Companies operating in China's central and western regions will have a lower threshold.

According to Mr Wang Jinxia, Chairman of China Medicine Commercial Association, the industry is crowded with small companies but lack conglomerates. In 2001, the number of authorised medicine wholesalers in China reached 17,000, with 120,000 retailers. By comparison, in the United States, there are 50,000 medicine retailers but only 70 wholesale companies.

The average spending on logistics in China is 12.56% of total costs, compared to 2.9% in the US. Unsurprisingly, China's medicine distribution industry has reported losses in 15 provinces for the past 3 years.

China's Foreign Trade Growth

As reported by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation - a research and advisory service affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, China's foreign trade, in 2002, is expected to grow by 6% to US$540 billion. This indicated that during the first quarter of 2002, China's trade volume reached US$122.04 billion, a 7.7% increase on the same period in 2001. Imports were up 9.9% to US$64.66 billion and exports up 5.2% to US$57.38 billion.

The report also indicated that machinery, electronics and hi-tech products provided the main boost to foreign trade growth. China's export growth to the United States, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries, remains high compared to their exports to Japan and the European Union.

Trade Relations Between China and the United Kingdom

The UK is one of the main trading partners of China in western Europe, according to the information published by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom. The Sino-British trade volume was US$6.548 billion in 1998, ranking 2nd among EU countries. During the period of January to September 1999 it reached US$5.49 billion - 18.9% higher than that of the same period of the previous year, of which China's export volume was US$3.36 billion and import volume at US$2.13 billion.

Among the EU countries, the United Kingdom is one of the largest investors in China with a total of 2484 projects with total investment of US$7.396 billion in August 1999.

Zero Tolerance Campaign on Unqualified Medicine Manufacturers

The Chinese Law Enforcement cracked down on some 480,000 cases of manufacturing and marketing of counterfeit drugs last year with a market value of US$56.8 million (RMB 470 million).

According to a report by China Daily more than 1,300 manufacturers were forced to halt production, before restructuring, in order to meet the national quality standard.

More than 8,000 illegal drug distributors were permanently closed down. Mr Zheng Xiaoyu, Director of the State Drug Administration (SDA) disclosed these statistics at the opening session of the Ninth National People's Congress. His releases echo the views of many legislators who have continually called on the government to be tougher on the counterfeit medicine market. Mr Zheng said the SDA will shut down about half of the existing healthcare product manufacturers in 2002.

China Cracks Down on Misleading Advertisements

A recent survey by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce reports that 50% of the advertisements in 57 newspapers around China are found to be 'deceitful' and 87% of advertisements about drugs and medical services were 'misleading'. A report by China Daily indicated that the State Administration for Industry and Commerce is to work closely with the State Drug Administration (SDA) to crack down on misleading drug adverts.

The State law on drug administration, which took effect in December 2001, rules that the SDA has responsibility for checking the contents of medicine adverts regularly and should report results to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce(SAIC). SAIC will then punish those responsible for these illegal drug adverts. They will also investigate complaints from customers.

Insurance Against Malpractice in Hospitals

China's lawmakers are urging hospitals to insure their doctors against medical malpractice suits, in a bid to protect the interests of both the doctors and patients. Under current regulations, medical disputes are judged by experts and doctors from local hospitals and according to a report by China Daily, their judgements are biased.

Mr Wang Weizhong, Deputy to the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) said that the government is reviewing current regulations and that current legislations should include legal medical experts and specialists in the courts to ensure that fair judgements would be made. An announcement is expected sometime in 2002. Mr Wang also suggested that the government should set a ceiling on the compensation for medical accidents, estimated at a maximum of US$24,200 (RMB 200,000).

Other Technology News .... (source Xinhuanet)

Mobile Phones

According to the report by Xinhuanet, China is becoming the World's leading mobile phone market with more than 200 million users. The country's annual output value gained from the mobile telecommunication industry reached 200 billion yuan (US$24 billion). To cope with the growing demand, Chinese telecom departments are speeding up the development of 3G (third generation) mobile standard, which is to be ompleted by the end of 2002, for commercial operation to begin in 2003. China has also placed 4G development on the agenda.

Internet Users

China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) reported that, by the end of 2002, the number of Internet users in China would have reached 58 million, a rise of 28.7 million compared to that in 2001. The report also showed that China's Internet users are mainly males, the majority of which are below the age of 35 and unmarried.

According to a report released in November 2002 at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, there will be about 655 million Internet users World-wide by the end of 2002.

Pollution-Free Electric Bikes

Most traditional electric bikes are fuelled by lead-acid batteries, which could bring pollution when the battery is disposed of.

The first pollution-free battery operated electric bike was launched on 23rd Dec 2002 in Shanghai and is ready for mass production. The bike is equipped with zinc-air battery, a device that generates power by way of ionic reaction, and converts chemical energy into electric energy. The bike was co-developed by Shanghai Greenlight Electric Bicycle Int'l and Powerzinc Electric (Shanghai) Int'l. The zinc-air battery, which provides 0.2 kwh of power per kilogram, runs more than 200 km continuously - about 4 to 5 times the range of a lead-acid battery.

China produced 400,000 electric bikes in 2001 and in 2002, expects to produce 900,000.




 
 
 
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