Photo taken on Nov 2, 2020 shows the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the 3rd China International Import Expo, in East China’s Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor’s Note: Three years have passed since the first edition of the China International Import Expo. This new series of stories highlights the achievements and changes that enterprises have attained or experienced because of their participation in the annual event.

Buoyed by the positive impact of taking part in the China International Import Expo, Varian Medical Systems, a United States-based maker of devices and software for cancer treatment, is planning to expand its manufacturing facility in Beijing to better serve demands in the Chinese market.

“Our participation in the CIIE over the past three years has reinforced our confidence in the Chinese market,” said Zhang Xiao, vice-president of Varian and head of operations in China.

According to the company, the expansion, which would be operational in July, will strengthen its research and development and talent cultivation capabilities in artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things technologies, as well as boost export volume by 40 percent.

“We have introduced both advanced products and production lines to the Chinese market to better serve domestic customers,” said Zhang.

Last year, the company displayed its ProBeam 360° Proton Therapy System, which features a powerful particle accelerator that can be used to treat cancer, at the third CIIE in November in Shanghai.

During the expo, Varian also signed an agreement to provide the system to the proton therapy center of Wuhan Union Hospital in Hubei province.

The company also credits the second edition of the CIIE for helping drive sales of its TrueBeam system, an advanced radiotherapy system integrating advanced imaging and motion management technologies.

“The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases will be about 25 million by 2030. Sadly, only about half of these patients will have access to appropriate technologies for treatment,” said Dow Wilson, CEO of Varian.

Wilson said a huge challenge ahead is that demand for skilled clinicians far outweighs supply. By 2035, 150,000 new technicians, physicians and physicists will be required to deliver the care needed globally.

“We believe by bringing people, technology and data together, we can develop a fully integrated and smarter way to fight cancer, and CIIE has enabled so many productive dialogs for us with essential players in the healthcare and cancer care industries, with important policymakers and the public,” he said.

Data showed the company signed more than 40 memorandums of understanding in 2019, more than half of which have become contracts for technology and services.

“More radiotherapy professionals in China are being empowered by our latest technologies to help their patients beat cancer, survive longer and live better lives,” Zhang said.

Thanks to China’s opening-up, Varian, which entered the Chinese market in 1983, has made several significant advances in radiation oncology.

“The CIIE happens to be a catalyst more than others to stimulate the dual-circulation development for the company and the industry, therefore benefiting more patients,” Zhang said.

“We see a promising future for China’s economy and industrial chains and will increase investment in the domestic market to promote the globalization of the high-end medical equipment industrial chain in the country,” said Zhang.