New World LifeTech has scaled back its proposed $20 billion Chinese medicine port project because government commitment has yet to be received. Executive chairman Dominic Lam Man-kit said the company would postpone some Hong Kong projects. Plans to build core facilities such as manufacturing plants and research and development centres had been put on hold, Mr Lam said. He said New World LifeTech had been in talks with the Government since April. The company is a joint venture between New World Development and United States-based LifeTech Group. 'We will still make Hong Kong our headquarters [for the Chinese-medicine project],' Mr Lam said. He said plans to modernise Chinese-medicine would not be affected. Also, he said New World LifeTech would continue to collaborate with US drug companies as well as universities and municipal governments in the mainland. The company has committed about $800 million to Chinese-medicine projects in the mainland. Mr Lam said several ventures valued at about $500 million were still under negotiation. He said the company planned to invest up to $200 million to build about 100 pharmacies in the mainland in the next two years. New World Development has said it wanted to build a Chinese-medicine port beside Science Park in Tolo Harbour. Managing director Henry Cheng Kar-shun has also urged the Government to support the Chinese-medicine industry by providing subsidies, as its development would take enormous resources. However, Director-General of Industry Francis Ho Suen-wai has indicated that the provision of subsidies to the industry, especially in the form of land, was unlikely. According to recent reports, the Government has turned down plans by developers to build a Chinese-medicine port and proposals for a Government-run Chinese medicine research centre in the Science Park have been scaled back. However, an Industry Department spokesman said the Government had not come to a decision on the need for a Chinese-medicine port. The plan was initiated by a number of developers such as New World Development, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land and Hutchison Whampoa. Mr Cheng said New World Development would continue its Chinese-medicine business without Government support.