The international presence at the global event for biotechnology was in full-force this year, with more than 5,400 international attendees. This year’s Convention attracted more than 100 international public officials and numerous international delegations touting the benefits of investing in biotech within their borders. Some highlights:
Canada continues to hold the number one spot for the largest international delegation at the Convention. More than 750 attendees and numerous Premiers, Ministers, Mayors and other leaders represented Canada. Foregoing the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony at their pavilion, Canada brought a dose of creativity with a puck drop ceremony on Tuesday morning to open their pavilion to visitors. The event provided an opportunity for delegates to hear from federal and provincial ministers and government officials. In addition, BIOTECanada hosted a bio-economy roundtable with Premier Dexter from Nova Scotia and at least 4 provincial Ministers from throughout Canada and other industry leaders to discuss the next opportunities for success as Canada grows its bio-economy. The meeting featured a focused discussion on key opportunities to grow the industry while hearing from each of the political representatives about their efforts to keep the industry building in their respective provinces.
Malaysia has made the BIO International Convention a high priority in its efforts to attract investment and business development within its borders. “The government has always looked upon the United States to establish a base in Malaysia. Besides eyeing normal industries, focus has been given to new industries like biotechnology and to win the hearts of American investors to invest in Malaysia,” said Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States. Deputy Prime Minister Tan sri Muhyiddin Yassin presented at the BIO Exhibition Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and, together with BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood, announced the co-organisation of the BioMalaysia 2011 Conference and Exhibition and the 2011 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.
Belgium was one of the top 10 delegations this year with 285 attendees. Most significantly, His Royal Highness Prince Philippe and His Excellency Steven Vanackere, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium attended the event. You can read HRH Prince Philippe’s speech at Belgium’s International Case Study session here. Belgium also hosted a ribbon cutting at their pavilion on Tuesday morning.
Representatives from Russia have been coming to the Convention for many years, but this year’s event was the strongest showing from Russia to date with exponential growth compared to 2010. For the first time since 2003, Russia had a Pavilion within the BIO Exhibition at this year’s BIO International Convention. Russian attendance more than quadrupled from the previous years, with 70 attendees and, for the first time, Russia had a government delegation. Russia sent ten public officials, including the Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade and the Deputy Minister of Economic Development. As a BRIC country, Russia was profiled in this year’s Scientific American Worldview Report and Scorecard, which was the focus of a Super Session at this year’s Convention.
China’s commitment to the biotech industry was clear and apparent at this year’s Convention. China sent numerous public officials, including representatives from the SFDA (State Food and Drug Association), the National Center for Biotechnology Development and the Chinese Embassy. China has been one of the top 10 largest delegations at Convention for two years running and increased its attendance this year compared to last year. China also was featured in this year’s Scientific American Worldview Report and Scorecard.
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