The eighth HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical Devices and Supplies Fair has concluded its three-day run. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA), the fair welcomed more than 10,700 buyers from 62 countries and regions, up 7 per cent over the previous year.
"With the ageing population and advancement in medical technologies, there is immense growth potential in the medical supplies and products market," said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. "The Medical Fair showcased a wide selection of medical devices and supplies, attracting industry players from around the world.
This year, buyer attendance from mature markets such as Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the UK, together with emerging markets, including the Chinese mainland, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Russia, recorded satisfactory growth, indicating there is flourishing demand for medical products and services across many markets."
- Buyers interested in the latest medical equipment
With the rapid development of the Asian medical market, the Medical Fair attracted many Asian buyers, energising the sourcing atmosphere. OliveNetworks is among the largest health and lifestyle store chains in Korea with over 900 stores. Kim Min Chae, the company's Manager, visited the Medical Fair for the first time to enhance the company's product categories, and established initial contact with five to six potential suppliers from Hong Kong, the mainland and Malaysia. "The fair has a good mix of medical products on offer," said Mr Kim. "Our initial order for back braces is estimated at US$35,000. We are also negotiating with new suppliers for products such as kinesiology tapes."
Max Healthcare is one of the largest hospital groups in northern India, currently operating 14 hospitals with about 2,500 beds. Amid the hospital group's expansion plans, Manoj Ahlawat, General Manager, Supply Chain Management visited the Medical Fair for the first time to source new quality products and technology from Asia. "So far, I have found two potential suppliers for hospital beds that suit our needs. If negotiations work out successfully, the amount of orders will be around US$50,000 each with them."
Singaporean buyer Ziwell Medical(S) Pte Ltd distributes medical devices and health products in Singapore and Malaysia with hospitals, clinics and pharmacies as major customers. Yeo Siew Meng, the company's Director, returned to Hong Kong to find new products and suppliers. So far, he found three potential suppliers from Hong Kong and the mainland for different items such as a smart cart designed to aid patients' mobility, an AED device and an AED training set. "The amount of business for the smart carts is anticipated to be around US$200,000 while that for the AED devices and training sets can be up to US$600,000. The fair provided an ideal platform for us to look for quality business partners."
- New "World of Healthcare" helps explore new markets
This year, the Medical Fair attracted a total of 270 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions. Featuring more than 15 thematic zones, the fair presented a wide spectrum of medical and healthcare devices and services, providing an important business platform for the healthcare industry. Responding to growing awareness of the importance of personal health, the fair introduced the "World of Healthcare" to present healthcare products and services, including fitness products, health food and beverages, and nutritional supplements. The Australian exhibitor Benson Medical Services Pty Ltd, which sells products worldwide, promoted a product that helps relieve snoring and enables people to sleep better. Richard Benson, the company's Director, said that the fair helped the company explore new markets. "We have already received serious interest from potential buyers from the Chinese mainland, India and the Philippines. The feedback is absolutely fantastic."
The US exhibitor MivaTek is an IoT service provider, offering smart home-care solutions to enable independent living for the elderly, such as various sensors for multiple functions like activity tracking. Roger Huang, Senior Sales Director, said he was pleased with the results by showcasing their services in the new zone. "It creates a critical mass to draw buyers looking for healthcare items. We met a number of buyers from different markets, including Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and Germany. Some of them requested samples. We expect to take about three months to negotiate and conclude business cooperation. The responses have met our expectations."
- Start-ups expand their business networks
The medical industry is becoming a popular sector for entrepreneurs, with many start-ups developing new medical products and technologies in recent years. The "Startup" zone, introduced at the Medical Fair this year, allowed start-ups to exhibit at lower cost and meet buyers and potential business partners from around the world. The Hong Kong start-up Human Washer Ltd presented for the first time its automated full bathing system with temperature control, surrounding water jets and warm-air drying. Its Director Samuel Hui said that the Startup zone is an effective platform to present creative ideas to potential buyers from around the world. "The feedback has been terrific. We have got in touch with serious buyers from Singapore and Malaysia, who expressed interest in distributing our device." He added that they were in talks with many Hong Kong contacts including hospitals and elderly care centres that want to order their product.
- New group pavilions explore the Chinese mainland and Asian markets
This year, the Medical Fair welcomed new group pavilions from the US State of Illinois, the Czech Republic, India and Poland's Wielkopolska region to present the latest medical technology products. Milan Vagner, Consul (Trade & Economy), Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Hong Kong, said that they were pleased to have organised a pavilion with four Czech companies to promote nursing beds and orthopaedic shoes, in order to explore the Asian business network. "The ageing population presents a lot of opportunities for our medical businesses. Hong Kong is the hub for doing business in Asia and serves as a gateway to penetrate the Chinese mainland. This fair creates an excellent opportunity to grow our presence and keeps us up-to-date of the Asian market."
Kitty CW Leung, Managing Director - Far East Office, State of Illinois, and Terry LaRocca, Senior International Trade Specialist, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, said the seven companies in the US state's pavilion provided a variety of medical products and services such as obstetrics and gynecology products and esophageal cooling equipment. "The Medical Fair has a special niche to draw industry players and offers us a great chance to gain exposure and find partners. The pre-arranged business-matching service has also facilitated fruitful exchanges. This is a good place to generate interest and explore new business."
To help industry professionals monitor the pulse of the market and expand their business networks, a series of seminars was organised, covering such topics as the latest technology and market information of the medical and healthcare industries and worldwide medical device regulatory updates, as well as forums and workshops. Offering added synergy, the Hospital Authority Convention 2017 (16-17 May) also brought in more than 5,000 delegates, making it one of Asia-Pacific's largest events for medical professionals.