One Belt One Health

In a 300 million Euro investment, Alcorcón in Madrid has been selected by the Chinese government for the site of a large health complex from where it can spread the qualities of traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy to Europe.

Known as the International Health Center, it will be the first installation to combine Western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine and it is expected that there will be five other centers within it: a hospital of traditional Chinese medicine, a medical center of Western medicine, a university of Chinese medicine, a Center of congresses and expositions of Chinese medicine and a dedicated combined research center.

To make it happen, an area of 60,000 square meters has been set aside in Ensanche Sur which was originally slated for Eurovegas.

TIGHTENING THE BELT

According to the city of Madrid, the centre will be funded by One Belt One Road, a Chinese initiative led by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Private investors will also be involved. This is in addition to several interests the country already has in Spain while One Belt One Road is an organization which aims to connect China to more of the world.

It is believed a delegation from China is due to visit Alcorcón in February to promote the project which is headed by China Europe Business Development Services. Its CEO Robert de Vos held several meetings with bodies such as ICEX, Invest Madrid and the Community Health Council of Madrid. These meetings led to the decision of the location.

CEBDS, which calls itself the bridge between Europe and China, said, on its website, ‘After conducting several investigations in Europe [we have] selected Alcorcón as the best possible location for the creation of this center. It is the only project of these characteristics which has the full support of the Chinese National Government.’

Announcing the project, the municipal government of Alcorcón said, ‘New jobs will be created, the area will be enriched and its surroundings will attract more tourism focused on health. [There is also] the possibility of creation of new businesses and the possibility of attracting more investment from China.’

ONLY THE BEGINNING?

The mayor of Alcorcón, David Pérez (PP), said he was very pleased about this development in his municipality, saying it ‘reinforces once again the brand of Alcorcón as a leading city in the attraction of investment.

‘This project will turn Alcorcón into a reference city in health sciences.’ Backing this up, the municipality already has a public university hospital and a private university -Quirón Sur – as well as two university campuses that teach science subjects – King Juan Carlos University and CEU San Pablo University.

More projects could be on the way with the Mayor saying this was just the start of the One Belt One Road program in Spain following the China-Madrid cargo train. The longest train line in the world at almost 10,000 kilometers, it made its first deliveries from China to Madrid in December 2014.

To develop cooperation between Alcorcón and China, the Chinese delegation has suggested starting a “twinning procedure” with the city of Anguo which is also known as Medicine Capital.

This is part of a continuing trend of Chinese interest in Spain with 2015 being a watershed year as investments from China increased dramatically.

For more information, please contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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