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ASEAN Medical Devices & Plastics Sectors : Immense Market Potential


ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nation). Economy


The ten member states making up ASEAN include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. ASEAN’s fertile consumer base with a combined population of over 600 million and a combined GDP of US$ 2.6 trillion, as well as presence in the global market, enables the region to tap the right opportunities, hinging on the region’s rising middle class sector and substantial consumer base. One of ASEAN’s top export sectors by value is plastics and plastic products earning US$ 39.3 billion in export revenues in 2013, the International Trade Statistics reported.


The sector’s production rates have witnessed a steady average growth over the recent years, especially in the ASEAN-6: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which account for more than 95 % of regional GDP, according to McKinsey & Company. Countries like Cambodia and Myanmar are growing strongly, with increased economic liberalisation and development, but will still contribute only a small percentage of manufacturing foreign direct investment (FDI) in the coming years.



ASEAN’s Plastics Industry


ASEAN’s plastics industry is anticipated to expand in the coming years.


In the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey , by the American Chamber of Commerce Singapore and US Chamber of Commerce, it was revealed that 19 % of ASEAN businesses themselves plan to shift investment or business from China into their own region. Respondents also identified Indonesia as the most attractive country for new business expansion, followed by Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. The availability of low-cost labour in countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam could be a competitive advantage.


With the growth of ASEAN countries’ consumer bases, broadening of plastic import and export markets, and expanding foreign trading powers, ASEAN’s plastics industry offers significant opportunities.


ASEAN Medical Devices Industry : Immense Market Potential


Medical manufacturing is one of the key growth areas in countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A rapidly expanding middle class is largely responsible for a projected near doubling of the medical device market in these countries, from $4.6 billion in 2013 to $9 billion by 2019.


Three ASEAN countries - Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand - account for approximately 65% of the current medical device market among the 10 member countries, according to Matthew Zito, Benedict Lynn, and Emily Liu of business intelligence firm Dezan Shira & Associates. The other seven are Singapore, the Phillipines, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.


Medical device markets within the region have been charting double digit growth rates in recent years, and will likely continue to do so. “With the increased demand for better healthcare, encouraged by governmental focus on healthcare as a priority sector for trade and service liberalization . . . the upside market potential for medical devices in the region is immense,”.


The individual medical device markets across ASEAN’s 10 member countries are in various stages of development. Those with the greatest presence in the medtech market can be broken down as follows:

  • Malaysia and Indonesia, which are rich in rubber, lead global production in latex products such as surgical gloves and syringes. Malaysian exports in diagnostic
    imaging have expanded in recent years, according to research by Espicom, which estimates the country is likely to see compound annual growth of 16.1% to 2018, with growth for consumables as high as 24.8%.

  • Singapore, the region’s medical and technological hub, has a thriving biomedical research and development industry, and a competitive advantage in advanced
    manufacturing. It is home to the manufacturing operations of more than 30 medical technology firms.

  • Thailand also has a relatively robust medical device market, worth approximately $1 billion and growing 15% annually, according to Ames Gross, President of Pacific Bridge Medical (Bethesda, MD).

On the regulatory front, ASEAN member countries have made significant strides toward developing a mature regulatory framework for medical devices, both individually and regionally.


ASEAN countries currently remain reliant on imports to satisfy demand for medical devices: for example, as much as 97% of devices consumed in Indonesia in 2013 were imported, mainly from the United States, Japan, and Europe. Nevertheless, momentum is building for local manufacturing to transition toward more advanced products, as foreign companies move into the region to take advantage of lower costs and rising demand.


South East Asian Pharma Industry


The South East Asian pharma industry has been growing at an average of 6-10 percent in the past 10 years. The governments across the ASEAN region are introducing universal healthcare programmes, with the consequential rising demand for all categories of medicines, especially generic drugs.


Comprising almost 40 per cent of the SEA economic output, Indonesia is now the largest pharma market in the Southeast Asia/Asia Pacific region (SEA/AP), experiencing an impressive 85 per cent growth in between 2007-2013. The country has the biggest and fastest growing economy in the SEA region and a pharma economy consisting of approximately 200 pharmaceutical companies.


There are already 25-30 generic domestic companies with access to the international market and equally, there are approximately 35 multinational companies, such as Sanofi, ACG and Novo Nordisk, established in the area. Most significantly however, are the remaining domestic manufacturers, who are increasingly targeting international sales in neighbouring countries.


Sept. 20 – 23, 2017

T-PLAS 2017 - A Global Platform with an ASEAN Perspective on the Buoyant Opportunities in the region.

Bringing together industry leaders from the best local and international brand names from the plastic and rubber sectors, T-PLAS 2017 to be held in Bangkok offers a full spectrum of specialised equipment, high-precision machinery, semifinished products, raw materials, applications and solutions serving the plastic and rubber value chain. Gain special insights on growing markets such as manufacturing of plastics for the medical, packaging, and automotive sectors.

A synergistic platform with Focused Medical & Healthcare Plastic Pavilion

- Global Innovations , Strategic Presence


A dedicated “Medical & Healthcare Plastic Pavilion” is conceptualized by “T-PLAS 2017 “ in association with “MEDICAL PLASTICS DATA SERVICE” which will be participated by Exporters and Manufacturers of Materials, Machinery and Products to the Medical Plastics, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals Industries.


The Pavilion will showcase latest developments by regional and international exporters And manufacturers Of Medical Plastics Processing Machinery, Pharmaceuticals / Medical Products Packaging Machinery, Medical Polymers, Components / Tubings /Adhessives, Packaging Films / Pouches etc.


Driven by the nation’s various burgeoning sectors such as Medical, Pharmaceuticals, Packaging as well as Lifestyle, Thailand is well positioned to become Southeast Asia’s very own hub for its plastics and rubber industries. These areas of interests have seen significant growth in recent years, and are projected to expand to be heights in years to come.

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