Participants at the Ayush Conference held in Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: India seeks better cooperation with the UAE to promote traditional, complementary and alternative medicines, a senior Indian diplomat said here at a conference on Ayush (Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy).

“Ayush is essentially based on the premise that health, disease and treatment are holistic and that every individual is unique and no aspect can be ignored. With UAE’s focus on health care and high health consciousness amongst people, as evident by huge turnout at our international yoga day, I am hopeful that both sides will have meaningful discussions on quality health care, research and enhancing cooperation in capacity building and training,” said Smita Pant, deputy head of the mission at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Science India Forum in the UAE and the Indian Ministry of Ayush organised the conference on Wednesday evening as a run up to the second World Ayush Conference to be held in UAE in 2019. The first Ayush Conference held last year in Dubai received enthusiastic response and attracted participation of over 20 countries, 700 delegates and 25,000 visitors.

The diplomat said the $2.5 billion (Dh9.18 billion) Ayurvedic products market in India is expected to reach $8 billion by 2022. “We have a vast infrastructure with 800,000 registered practitioners and over 90,000 units engaged in manufacturing of Ayush products,” she said.

With more than 100 government-run Ayurvedic hospitals along with several private health centres, India is becoming a preferred destination for health and wellness tourism. The country permits 100 per cent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment Policy) in these sectors, Pant said.

She said India has concluded Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the field of traditional medicines with several countries including China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Bangladesh and Hungary and will soon conclude with other countries. Switzerland in 2015 to recognised and sanctioned Ayurveda medicine and therapy, making it the first western country to do so, Pant said.