By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
Exports of Malaysia’s medical devices for 2018 are expected to hit RM23 billion, compared to the RM19.78 billion of products exported in the previous year.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) lifestyle and life sciences director Abu Bakar Yusof (picture) said the projected growth is partly attributed to the agency’s involvement in international trade events.
“Malaysia’s exports of medical devices for the first 11 months of 2018 broke the RM20 billion mark to reach RM21 billion, and we are expecting to breach this further by achieving between RM22 billion and RM23 billion export sales for the whole year
“Such an increase can be partly attributed to our participation in large-scale trade events such as the Arab Health (exhibition),” he said in a statement yesterday.
Abu Bakar said under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government has identified the industry as one of the high-growth sectors in the country.
As such, he said about 19 firms are participating in the four-day Arab Health exhibition — dubbed as the largest healthcare trade event for the Middle East and North African (MENA) region — in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from yesterday.
“The local companies are mainly in the medical devices sector covering medical furniture; infusion and transfusion sets; medical gloves; test kits; medical and healthcare furnishings; disinfectants and airway tunings,” he said.
Abu Bakar added that Matrade, which is participating in the flagship event for the 15th year, is looking to leverage on the huge Gulf countries market via the exhibition.
“The event itself has more than 4,200 exhibitors from over 150 countries. Furthermore, the MENA region is a strategically important market as healthcare spending in this region is expected to reach RM780 billion by 2020,” he said.
Last year, the national trade promotion agency’s participation in the exhibition generated RM367.1 million in export potentials — which came from a broad range of markets including the UAE, Egypt, Germany, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Iraq, Italy and Saudi Arabia — for Malaysian medical devices.
Abu Bakar also said the companies representing Malaysia in the event had realised 410 business meetings, which generated 1,029 enquiries and 1,346 business contacts.
“Matrade is convinced that our presence in such a trade event will elevate Malaysia’s medical devices sector and enable our companies to grow further in years to come,” he said.
Moving on towards 2019, the agency is expecting a multiplied increase in response and interest towards products offered by local firms, taking into account the 17.9% increase in exports of medical devices registered for the MENA region.
Meanwhile, LKL Advance Metaltech Sdn Bhd group GM Lim Pak Hong, who is taking part in this year’s Arab Health exhibition, is optimistic of a positive outcome from the trade mission.
“The opportunity to exhibit alongside other Malaysian counterparts further solidifies our brand positioning.
“We are expecting some positive outcomes this time around as we have received a number of serious enquiries from the Gulf region, as well as prospects from the growing African continent for our medical beds and specialised ward furniture during the event last year,” he said.