Malaysia’s medical device industry continues to grow despite emerging challenges

August 3, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The medical device industry in Malaysia continues to grow and evolve amidst the emerging challenges it faces, with the country’s medical device exports forecasted to hit RM17.7 billion by the end of this year.

Members of the Association of Malaysian Medical Industries (AMMI) were surveyed and more than 70% are expected to put in a total of RM1.4 billion in investments in 2017 for the country’s medical device industry, according to the AMMI Medical Device Outlook Report 2017 which was launched at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) headquarters today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As of December 2016, the members who were surveyed have invested a total of RM6.04 billion. The cumulative investment value showed a 17.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2012 and 2016.

The report also showed that AMMI recorded a value-added ratio of 57% in Malaysia’s medical device manufacturing sector, and locally sourced around RM2.84 billion or 63% worth of raw materials and services. These reflect the organization’s support for government initiatives that develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

YBhgDato’ Azman Mahmud, CEO of MIDA, said the presence of multinational companies (MNCs) in the country – such as B. Braun Medical Germany, Abbott (USA), Haemonetics (USA), Teleflex Medical (USA), CR Bard (USA), Johnson & Johnson (USA), CIBA Vivsion (Switzerland), Ambu (Denmark), ITL BioMedical (Australia), Medipro (Japan), and Toshiba Medical Systems (Japan) – contributed to the development of a comprehensive local supply chain benefiting many local players.

Local companies such as UWC, Sin Yong Guan Industries, Epsilon, Professional Tools & Dies, and Zeito Plastic Components that provide services to MNCs have acquired advanced technology and knowledge to meet international standards, Dato’ Azman added.

Malaysia’s medical device market, valued at US$1.4 billion, tops the other countries in the Southeast Asian region. Thailand comes in close at second with US$1.2 billion and Vietnam is at third with a medical device market value of US$781.8 million.

Malaysia’s total medical device exports in 2016 reached RM15.84 billion, with the collective exports of AMMI members showing a 17% growth and accounting for RM9.76 billion of the total exports, according to AMMI Chairman Hitendra Joshi.

Around 51.5% of the country’s medical devices are exported to China, Japan and other Asia-Pacific nations.

Although Malaysia’s medical industry faces emerging challenges such as consumer empowerment, digitalization, and new competitors, there is still a bright future ahead for the industry.

The pace of innovation in the medical device industry will also continue to accelerate thanks to the country’s movement toward Industry 4.0. Industry players must then be willing to shift their mindset, embrace technology, adopt research and development (R&D) methods and keep innovating to keep up with the growth, he said.

Malaysia is growing and changing to become a hub for medical device manufacturing, with over 200 medical device companies manufacturing world-class products that adhere to international standards and global regulatory compliance systems.

Category: Features, Top Story

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