MATRADE: Healthcare sector set to inject $4.19 billion into Malaysia’s economy

BANGKOK, July 11 — Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) chairman Datuk Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the impressive growth of Malaysia’s healthcare industry has cemented the country’s position as a major player in the global market.

He said Malaysia’s medical devices sector is expected to contribute US$4.19 billion (RM19.6 billion) to the economy this year, while the pharmaceutical sector has already contributed more than US$1.26 billion to the country’s gross domestic product.

“Last year, Malaysia’s total trade value in the healthcare industry was US$11.1 billion, with exports of healthcare products worth US$6.81 billion and imports worth US$4.29 billion.”

“This impressive achievement underlines Malaysia’s significant contribution to the global healthcare industry and highlights the strong growth and potential of our healthcare sector,” he said in his opening remarks at the Malaysia International Healthcare Forum during the International Healthcare Week (IHW 2024) here on Thursday.

Reezal Merican said Malaysia’s medical device industry employs more than 13,000 people, while the pharmaceutical industry provides jobs to about 30,000 people.

He said these job opportunities will boost economic growth and improve the quality of life for many people.

“Malaysia boasts advanced infrastructure, including first-class sterilization services, precision engineering capabilities and renowned research institutes, and is focused on positioning the medical device and pharmaceutical industry as a key pillar of the country’s manufacturing sector.”

“The government is actively promoting Malaysia as a regional manufacturing hub for medical devices, supported by a stable industry ecosystem, a strong talent pool, a resilient financial sector, a strong legal framework and a globally integrated logistics system, positioning the country as a centre of excellence,” he said.

Reezal Merican said Malaysia is the world’s leading producer of rubber-based medical consumables and is recognised as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to healthcare.

He said Malaysia holds the title of ASEAN’s largest medical device market and is actively participating in free trade agreements (FTAs) to strengthen its position in the healthcare industry.

“With our 16 FTAs, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), we will facilitate seamless trade and investment flows, integrate Malaysia more deeply into the global supply chain, and boost economic growth,” he said.

At IHW 2024 in Bangkok, 10 participating Malaysian companies will exhibit a wide range of products including cleanroom manufacturing, ventilation systems, smart sensors for data loggers, syringes, blood collection tubes, electrotherapy devices, collapsible tubes, disposable tourniquets and rapid test kits for in vitro diagnostics. — Bernama

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