Wellness Industry Is a New Stimulus for China's Economy
    2009-12-11 10:06:47     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang Xu
As China undergoes its economic transformation, the wellness industry is gaining more attention as an emerging growth sector and consumption stimulus.
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U.S. economist and writer Paul Zane Pilzer gives a speech in Centennial Hall at Peking University during the China Nutrition Industry Forum in Beijing on Thursday, December 10, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH]

By Liu Wei

As China undergoes its economic transformation, the wellness industry is gaining more attention as an emerging growth sector and consumption stimulus, a government health official said Thursday.

Yu Xiaodong, Director of the Public Nutrition and Development Center under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), made the comment at the center's fourth China Nutrition Industry Forum in Beijing to discuss the development strategy for the country's health and nutrition industry.

Quoting U.S. economist and writer Paul Zane Pilzer, the three-day forum put forward the concept of "the wellness revolution," which sees people's pursuit of a healthy lifestyle as a new power to trigger a major industrial adjustment.

Of the 300 million people in the United States, about 50 million people are becoming healthier and fitter as they grow older, Pilzer during a speech at Peking University where the conference was held.

"These people go to health clubs, take supplements and are very careful about what they eat," Pilzer said. "They are at the beginning of a whole industry which I called the wellness industry."

It is estimated that 95 percent of the money that the U.S. government pays for the medical treatment of its citizens is used to treat diseases that can be prevented through nutrition, he added.

Yu Xiaodong said China has many advantages in developing a health industry, including its several thousand years of theory and practice in traditional Chinese medicine and health preservation, rich natural resources, self-contained industrial foundation, and strong domestic demand.

"The development of a health industry will get various sectors involved," Yu said. "It will result in a quality-oriented economy, enhancing the quality of our bodies, our lives, the industry itself, and the country's economy."

According to research by Euromonitor, global sales of vitamin and dietary supplements exceeded $64 billion in 2008 and are expected to reach $77 billion in 2013. Sales in China account for more than 11 percent of the total amount, ranking it third in the world after the United States and Japan.

"About 60 percent of Amway's turnover comes from our nutrition product line", said Xu Hongmin, an official with the Chinese branch of the direct-selling company. "the Chinese people now attach more importance to nourishments and I think the industry will play an important role in the development of China's economy."

 

With Amway's Nutrilite as the No. 1 selling health supplements brand in China, Xu thought the company "is not doing bad in the market, but still has a long way to go considering the performance of the whole Chinese economy."


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