New Deli:Prime minister, Narendra Modi Wednesday inaugurated the Global AYUSH Investment & Innovation Summit at Mahatma Mandir in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar.

Prime minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and the director general, World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus were present on the occasion. Union ministers Dr Mansukh Mandavia, Sabananda Sonowal, Munjapara Mahendrabhai and Gujarat chief minister Bhupendrabhai Patel were among those present.

The three-day summit will witness 5 plenary sessions, 8 roundtables, 6 workshops, and 2 symposiums, with the presence of around 90 eminent speakers and 100 exhibitors. The Summit will help uncover investment potential, and give a fillip to innovation, research & development, start-up ecosystem, and the wellness industry. It will help bring together industry leaders, academicians and scholars together and act as a platform for future collaborations.

Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said that the establishment of the Centre is historic and will prove to be a game changer. He informed that the Centre is designed to be an engine of innovation to drive the agenda of evidence, data and sustainability and optimization of use of traditional medicine. The DG commended the Prime Minister and Indian government for harnessing the power of innovation in public health. He appreciated use of data and integrated information sharing systems in Indian hospitals. He praised the AYUSH ministry for fostering the spirit of collection of data for research in traditional medicine. Noting the rising global demand and investment in the Ayush products the DG said that the whole world is coming to India and India is going to the whole world. He emphasized long term investment in innovation ecosystem in health in general and traditional medicines in particular; developing traditional medicines by innovators, industry and government in environmentally sustainable and equitable manner.

Describing the strides made by the Ayush sector the prime minister said “we are already witnessing unprecedented growth in the production of AYUSH medicines, supplements and cosmetics. In 2014, where the AYUSH sector was less than $3 billion, today it has increased to more than $18 billion.” He said that the Ministry of AYUSH has taken several major steps to encourage startup culture in the field of Traditional Medicines. A few days back an incubation center developed by All India Institute of Ayurveda has been inaugurated, Shri Modi informed. Describing the current age, the era of unicorns, the prime minister informed that in the year 2022 itself, so far 14 start-ups from India have joined the Unicorn Club. “I am sure unicorns will emerge from our AYUSH start-ups very soon”, he hoped. Noting that the production of medicinal plants can be a good means of increasing the income and livelihood of the farmers and the scope of employment generation in this, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of facility to easily connect with the market for the farmers involved in the production of medicinal plants. For this, the government is also working on modernization and expansion of AYUSH e-market place, he said. “India is a treasure trove of herbal plants, it is, in a way our ‘Green Gold’”, the prime minister stressed.

The prime minister described the unprecedented efforts made in the past years to promote the export of AYUSH products. Emphasis has been laid on mutual recognition of AYUSH drugs with other countries. For this more than 50 MoUs with different countries in the last few years. “Our AYUSH experts are developing ISO standards in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Standards. This will open a huge export market for AYUSH in more than 150 countries”, he said.

Modi also informed that FSSAI has announced a new category named ‘AYUSH Aahar’ in its regulations last week. This will greatly facilitate the producers of herbal nutritional supplements. Similarly, India is also going to make a special AYUSH mark. This mark will be applied to the highest quality AYUSH products made in India. This AYUSH mark will be equipped with the provisions of modern technology. “This will give people all over the world the confidence of quality AYUSH products” he added, the prime minister added.