A TECHNO-ECONOMIC NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEDICAL PLASTICS AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Our 12th Year of Publication
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Cover Story

Successful EU market entry for medical devices and medical laboratory equipment with the CBIís export development programme

Jan Nijenhuis, Programme Manager, Trade Promotion, 
The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI)'

To international entrepreneurs, Europe is potentially one of the most profitable markets in the world. At the same time it is also a very complex, competitive and dynamic market. Its structures are changing constantly and buyer motives today are different than they were five years ago. Exporters are constantly facing new regulations and market standards, especially with regard to safety, quality, packaging and the environment. Exporters eager to access the EU market must prepare themselves carefully and thoroughly.

But the time is ripe for export to the EU. Rising production costs are forcing many European companies to purchase outside the EU and imports have shown major growth in recent years. This means there are good opportunities for aspiring exporters. The only question is: how do you turn them into profitable business?

To help you export to the European market or to improve your export position, the CBI has developed a very practical export development programme for medical devices and medical laboratory equipment. The programme is run by independent consultants whose extensive knowledge and networks throughout Europe guarantee high-quality, specialised and up-to-date content. As an approved participant, you will receive individual support over a number of years by means of on-site consultancy, training schemes, market information, trade fair participation and business-to-business activities. Depending on its specific needs, your company may also receive support in the field of product and production improvement, quality control, export marketing and market entry. On the other side of the negotiating table, our programme is geared to helping EU buyers obtain new supply sources in developing countries.

A powerful development programme

Our new export development programme for medical devices and medical laboratory equipment is meant for ambitious manufacturers and exporters in the medical industry who are eager to expand their export activities in the EU. The programme is accessible for companies that meet the following criteria:

  • up to 500 employees;

  • compliance or the willingness to comply with EU market requirements;

  • internationally accredited ISO certification;

  • competitive prices and sufficient production capacity;

  • willingness and capacity to invest in adaptations of, for instance, product assortment and production processes, if and as required by the European market.

For more detailed information on our admission criteria, please visit our website: www.cbi.nl/subweb/medical.

An easy procedure

Each CBI export development programme operates on a step-by-step approach that is clear and simple to follow. Our programmes include certain regular features but are also flexible and tailored to participantsí individual needs.

Different stages

The programme for medical devices and medical laboratory equipment consists of the following stages:

Stage 1. Selection

Based on the incoming application forms, a CBI consultant makes a pre-selection of companies that meet the general admission criteria. Factors such as export experience, product development, quality assurance systems, capacity, products, production facilities and marketing know-how are taken into consideration.

After pre-selection, a CBI consultant will visit your company to carry out a so-called export audit. This audit, together with a SWOT analysis and action plan, will assess the possibilities for your company on the EU market and provides advice on the necessary steps for export. Based on this visit, the final selection will be made. 

Stage 2. Technical support

The export audit and action plan that have been made during the selection stage, form the basis for further technical assistance. In this stage you will be visited again by a CBI consultant and you will receive feedback and support on all crucial factors of the export audit, such as your production facilities and capacity, the organisation of production and export, price, packaging, marketing, management, product features, international competition, certification, environmental, safety, quality and consumer health regulations, as well as labour conditions. 

The implementation of the action plan is further supported by distant guidance and coaching from the CBI consultant. 
A third visit of the consultant, later in the programme, should secure that your company complies to the technical standards of the EU markets.

Stage 3. Export marketing training

In the third stage, participants are invited to a so-called EXPRO seminar in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The seminar consists of lectures, discussions, case studies and practical assignments in the areas of export marketing, management and sector-specific topics. During the seminar, participants may also visit a European trade fair and a leading buyer and receive individual counselling. Before the seminar, the CBI makes use of the Internet for preparatory e-learning sessions.

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