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Xu Jinghe elected chairman of GHWP

Updated: 2023-02-17

On Feb 16, Xu Jinghe, deputy commissioner of China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), was elected chairman of the 27th Global Harmonization Working Party (GHWP) in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. This is of great significance in the process of China’s internationalization of medical device regulation.

The GHWP is an international medical device regulatory and technological exchange platform involving the participation of regulatory authorities and industry representatives. Its predecessor was the Asian Harmonization Working Party (AHWP) and was officially renamed as the GHWP in 2022. With its growing number of members and increasing international influence, the membership of the GHWP has expanded from Asia to the Middle East, North and South Americas as well as Africa, covering 33 countries and regions. The population of the countries and regions involved accounts for more than half of the global total, with nearly 80 percent of members being located along the Belt and Road.

The 26th GHWP Annual Meeting and Technical Committee Meeting was held from Feb 13 to 16 in Riyadh. The event included open forums on regulatory reliance, digital therapy, innovative medical devices, regulatory capacity building, the GHWP Technical Committee Meeting, and the GHWP Annual Meeting.

Experts from GHWP member countries and regions, the GHWP Technical Committee and related working groups, capacity building program and representatives from the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF), member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies, and other international coordinating organizations shared the latest progress in global medical device regulation. One of the main tasks of the GHWP annual meeting is to elect a new term of the GHWP leadership. According to the Terms of Reference and House Rules of the GHWP, Xu Jinghe, deputy commissioner of the NMPA, was elected the new chairman of the GHWP by the vote of the representatives.

Xu's election as the new chairman of the GHWP demonstrates that China's well-organized medical device regulatory system and effective regulatory work are widely and highly recognized by the international community. In his acceptance speech, Xu said that over the years, every step the GHWP's action has written its own history of rapid growth, and its work has been fruitful and influential. This annual meeting adopted the 2026 strategic framework and set out the development goals of the GHWP from 2023 to 2026. Working together with other members of the GHWP, he will devote himself to the coordination of global medical device regulatory rules and the common improvement of regulatory capacity among members.

Xu also said that during his term as chairman, he will prioritize the following six aspects of work. First, he will focus on the cutting-edge technology and promote the harmonization and unification of regulatory rules. Second, he will promote the research on regulation sciences and bring innovative products to the market at an early date. Third, he will strengthen laws and regulations training and improve the regulatory capacity and standards of member countries and regions. Fourth, he will push forward regulatory reliance and accelerate the realization of regulatory mutual recognition among member countries and regions. Fifth, he will advance the application of technical guidance and the sustainability of regulatory capacity. Sixth, he will bolster industrial cooperation and facilitate trade among member countries and regions.