ASEAN MEDICAL DEVICE MARKET
The region’s medical device
market is expected to grow strongly and access to the market will improve in the
coming years due to a number of factors :
1. Size of middle class in the
region is rapidly expanding. Asian Development Bank expects this group to grow
from 24% of the total population in 2010 to 65% by 2030.
Additionally, demographic trends
such as population aging and urbanisation, is expected to fuel demand for better
quality healthcare, and contribute to the expansion of Southeast Asia’s medical
2. Penetration of medical devices
into ASEAN is still relatively low, thus, there is much room for growth and
market expansion. The heterogeneity of the ASEAN market allows medical device
companies to adopt different market strategies and provides ample room for
3. Another important
consideration for medical device companies entering the ASEAN market is the lack
of domestic competition in the region. Overall, ASEAN is a net importer of
medical devices. Vietnam for example, currently imports 90% of all the medical
devices used in the country.
Well-positioned to ride medtech wave
Singapore has the most advanced economy in the
region and has an established public healthcare system. Along with its strong
intellectual property protection, existing research infrastructure and educated
workforce, Singapore makes a strong choice for foreign device companies looking
to establish a foothold in the region.
In attracting foreign medical device manufacturers,
the government has launched a series of incentive schemes, including tax-relief
and training grants. From 2000 to 2015, the value-add of Singapore's medtech
manufacturing grew from S$800 million, or 0.6 per cent of the country's gross
domestic product, to S$3.5 billion.
As part of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE)
2015 plan, the government established Sector Specific Accelerators (SSA) to
identify, invest and grow start-ups in strategic but nascent sectors, such as
medical and clean technology. A total of S$70 million has been committed under
the SSA Programme to encourage the formation and growth of start-ups in medical
A middle-income country with a per capita healthcare
spending of US$457. Its medical device market is valued at more than US$1.9
billion. Domestic healthcare spending has more than doubled in value since 2005.
Malaysia has a rapidly growing healthcare sector and
aims to move up the value chain in medical device manufacturing. The country is
also a major producer of rubber-based medical devices, and produces a
significant portion of the world’s surgical gloves, catheters, amongst others.
Medical device market continues to grow rapidly. The
country’s per capita healthcare spending is US$360, up from $113 in 2004. Growth
of the healthcare sector is forecasted to be 10%, as opposed to GDP growth of
less than 2%. The medical device sector is currently worth more than US$1.1
Thailand’s local medical device manufacturers are
focused on the production of low-tech basic devices like syringes, test kits and
surgical gloves. The Thai government has made some efforts to attract foreign
manufacturers by promising corporate tax exemptions for a number of years.
Health tourism is a major industry, with Bangkok serving about 30% of health
tourists coming to Asia.
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