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Brazil, with the eighth largest economy in the world, offers immense export opportunities. The "Real" Plan, the economic recovery plan implemented at the beginning of the Cardoso Administration on July 1, 1994 created growth opportunities by bringing inflation under control, encouraging GNP growth rates consistent with control of inflation and, finally, by reducing interest rates. As a result of the "Real" Plan, the buying power of the Brazilian population is also expected to increase to US$ 4,000.00 per capita by the year 2000.

The Brazilian market for medical equipment reached US$ 2.9 billion in 1996 and is expected to increase to US$ 3.3 billion in 1997. Imports will account for approximately one half of this total. The total medical equipment sector market is expected to expand by an average annual rate of 12% between 1997 and 2000. U.S. manufacturers hold the largest share of the imported medical equipment sector, although European and Japanese suppliers are also considered very reputable. Imports from the U.S. are expected to grow at an annual rate of 11% over the next three years. The growth in the medical equipment sector comes as a response to the country's decreasing import duties on medical equipment, a general easing of the import bureaucracy and the need to improve the quality and quantity of medical services available in Brazil.


Growing market sector that is experiencing rapid and uneven change, making this one of the most challenging markets in the world.

Considered the "largest developing country in the world," China with a population of more than 1.2 billion, continues to demand more and better health care. Depending on the statistics cited, China imported between $390 and $500 million in imported medical device products in 1996. Total market size continues to be above the $1 billion mark. Overall, market sector growth slowed slightly in 1996.

Estimated at approximately 15 per-cent in 1996, growth slowed from near 25 per-cent in 1995. According to the US Department of Commerce, US medical device manufacturers sold some $120 million worth of medical devices to China in 1996. This was up from $800,000 in 1995. Other than the United States, which is still the leader in foreign market share, Japan and Germany, and a handful of others, offer stiff competition.




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