I found the following sentence in an archive of the Financial Times articles dated August 29, 2007, which was titled “Chinese? Don’t get ill.”
The problems of the health system are tangled up in the country’s larger policy conflicts. How much of a role should be allowed for the market? The health ministry, which stands to profit from the industry’s growth, is resisting giving too much ground to the private sector.
As I can’t get the exact idea of Chinese Health Ministry “stands to profit” from the industry’s growth, I consulted the meaning of “stand to” with several dictionaries;
Neither of Cambridge or Merriam-Webster Dictionary registers “stand to” as an idiom though both carry “stand up to stg” as an idiom, Oxford Dictionaries provides the definition of “stand to” as;
Military stand ready for an attack, especially one before dawn or after attack. Example: Orders come to the guardsmen to stand to.
Sanseido’s Wisdom English Japanese dictionary carries “stand to” as an idiom meaning “stand ready for.”
The freedictionary.com defines “stand to” as “to rise to (or maintain) an upright position on the feet.
To me, none of the above definitions does seem to comfortably fit to the context of the line, “(Chinese) Health Ministry, stands to profit from the industry’s growth.
What meaning does “stand to” have other than “stand ready for” as an idiom? Or it’s not an idiom, it’s simply a verb (stand) ＋to do (profit) - from the industry growth.