Launching this autumn, the joint scheme from the Department of Health and UK Trade and Investment will aim to link NHS hospitals with foreign governments which want access to British health services.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, David Stout said: "This is a real opportunity - the NHS has always been very well regarded internationally. We've often had international companies, organisations and countries come in to talk about the NHS, about how could we help, but we have never been very systematic about how we respond to those opportunities."
Not distorting what NHS offers UK patients
Responding to concerns that the scheme could shift focus away from local services, Mr Stout said: "This is not about distorting what the NHS offers to UK citizens, this is about how we can exploit the brand of the NHS internationally.
"If this initiative diverted attention significantly away from running local health services into work internationally, I agree that would be a problem. But I really don't think that's what's going to happen."
Supporting NHS locally
He added: "The healthcare industry internationally is estimated at four trillion US dollars (GBP2.54 trillion). If the NHS can help bring in some of that income to both support the NHS locally and UK PLC, if we can see the health service as something that generates income as well as generates spend, I think that's absolutely right and we should do that."