TUESDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), helped create export opportunities for Malaysian medical devices and healthcare services in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region by spearheading the participation of Malaysian companies in Arab Health 2020 Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The event, which took place from 27 to 30 January 2020, saw 18 Malaysian companies accumulated a potential export value of RM700 million.
Among the products and services promoted to over 100,000 global visitors at the event included medical consumables, healthcare and wellness services as well as digital healthcare technology. This year also marked MATRADE’s 16th participation in the event.
According to the Director of Lifestyle and Life Sciences MATRADE, Naim Abdul Rahman, “The participation in Arab Health 2020 was in line with MATRADE’s strategy to boost exports of Malaysian medical devices and healthcare services particularly to the MENA region.
The effort was also aimed at diversifying our exports markets from the usual Western Europe markets to emerging markets in the MENA region.”“Malaysia’s total export of medical devices to the region in 2019 was valued at RM 657.7 million, accounting for 2.75 per cent share of Malaysia’s global exports. There is still a lot of potential to be explored. Participation in large-scale events such as Arab Health helps to boost our country branding among the buyers there,” Naim said.
“Over the years, we can see that Malaysian medical devices are well accepted in the region, supported by Malaysia’s reputation as the world’s leading exporter of medical gloves and catheters – which are some key products categorised under Medical Devices,” Naim explained. He added that Malaysia’s total export of medical devices reached RM 23.9 billion in 2019, registering an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to 2018.
In addition, according to MATRADE’s Trade Commissioner in Dubai, Omar Mohd Salleh, the UAE Government has allocated USD1.32 billion for its healthcare sector’s development in 2020 – a nine per cent increase compared to 2019. “This shows the importance of the healthcare sector to the country and it can translate into business opportunities for Malaysian2companies. During Arab Health 2020, our Malaysian companies have reported to receive enquiries and buyers not only from the GCC countries, but as far as the United States of America, Brazil, Belgium, Peru, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana too,” Omar shared.
The top-five export destinations for Malaysian medical devices in MENA region last year were Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman. Collectively, these markets contributed 73.3 per cent of Malaysia’s exports of medical devices to the region. Malaysia’s exports of medical devices to MENA region showed a steady growth of 64.4 per cent for the past five years from RM 400 million in 2014 to RM 657.7 million in 2019.