Saturday, October 19

Matrade pushes for medical devices association

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Ong (middle) accompanied by Sharimahton (third left), Leow (third right) and other officials during the launch of Perantim yesterday.

KUCHING: In an effort to champion medical devices industry (non-medical glove) agenda in international trade, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) has introduced the country’s first association for the industry’s manufacturers called Persatuan Perkilangan Peranti Perubatan (Perantim).

The association was launched by Dr Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry accompanied by Sharimahton Mat Salleh, Matrade’s deputy chief executive officer as well as NC Leow, chairman of Perantim.

Perantim was formed with the objective of providing a platform for locally-owned and operated medical devices manufacturers to gather and exchange insights on the industry.

The association also aims to be the entity for industry players to communicate issues and opportunities with relevant government ministries and agencies.

According to Sharimahton, the medical devices industry (for non-medical glove) is one of the rapidly growing industries in Malaysia.

“The number of players in the industry is still growing and the formation of this association will enable us to work closer with the relevant companies, especially those who have the competency to export to key markets such as the United States and Europe.

“This is important for us in curating targeted medical device-related promotion activities within the years to come. I am confident this effort will contribute towards strengthening the industry’s ecosystem and enhancing the local manufacturers’ competitiveness in the global market,” she said in a statement yesterday.

The launch of the association took place in conjunction with a seminar titled “Global Prospects and Regulatory Updates for Medical Devices Industry”, co-organised by Matrade and Perantim.

The seminar was conducted to provide insights into the performance of Malaysia’s medical device exports, which broke the RM 20 billion barrier for the first time in history to reach RM 22.97 billion in 2018.

“There is a rapid change in structure of exports. Within the past two decades, the majority of exports of medical devices came in the form of medical gloves.

“However, within the past five years, non-medical gloves – particularly growth of consumables and medical instruments began to rise significantly,” Sharimahton explained.

The growth of non-medical glove exports from 2013 to 2018 was recorded at 15.2 per cent as compared to medical-glove which was at 9.4 per cent. Among the Malaysian non-medical glove products being exported include medical instruments, medical apparatus, medical appliances, catheters, syringes, needles and sutures.

Matrade as Malaysia’s trade promotion agency has been promoting the industry globally through the development of the industry and participation in trade promotion events such as world-renowned trade fair like Arab Health in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and MEDICA in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Matrade also organises and facilitates business matching through its signature programme called International Sourcing Programme (INSP) for the industry players.

With the introduction of Perantim, Matrade will continue to work closely with the industry players in promoting Malaysian capabilities to the world.