Malaysia to showcase its healthcare expertise and surgical gloves market worth $4.16b at Arab Health 2021

Dubai - Malaysia supplies 60 percent of the world market for rubber gloves.


A Staff Reporter

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Omar Mohd Salleh, Malaysia’s Trade Commissioner to the Gulf region.
Omar Mohd Salleh, Malaysia’s Trade Commissioner to the Gulf region.

Published: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 1:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 1:17 PM

Malaysia will showcase its most successful surgical and examination gloves — that has saved hundreds of millions of lives during Covid-19 pandemic — at the forthcoming Arab Health exhibition that takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from June 21-24, 2021.

Malaysia’s exports of rubber gloves to the UAE have seen an increase of over 400 per cent to $35 million.
Malaysia’s exports of rubber gloves to the UAE have seen an increase of over 400 per cent to $35 million.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and the UAE grew 26.52 per cent to $1.97 billion (Dh7.25 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, compared to from $1.56 billion (Dh5.73 billion) in the corresponding period last year, reflecting the resilience in two-way trade.

Malaysia Trade Centre (Matrade) Dubai is once again set to organise the Malaysian pavilion at the region’s largest trade show for healthcare and medical devises, the Arab Health.

Malaysia’s export of surgical and examination gloves recorded a double-digit growth of 51.9 per cent last year, valued at $4.16 billion with major export destinations being the United States, Germany, Japan, China and Brazil. During the first four months of 2021, Malaysia’s exports of rubber gloves to the UAE has seen an increase of over 400 percent to US$35 million, according to Malaysia Trade Centre in Dubai.

Malaysia’s export of medical devices registered a double-digit growth of 24.9 per cent valued at $7.31 billion in 2020, driven by the increasing demand during the pandemic, according to Omar Mohd Salleh, Malaysia’s Trade Commissioner to the gulf region. According to him major exports were surgical and examination gloves, medical instruments, apparatus and appliances, catheters, syringes, needles and sutures, and electro medical equipment.

This year marks Matrade’s sixtieth consecutive participation in Arab Health show. Although this year we will have a smaller participation as compared to previous years due to ongoing travel restrictions, it is nevertheless a significant opportunity to feature Malaysian healthcare companies to this part of the world especially at a time when the world is trying to fight the pandemic together.

Malaysia has been, for many years, the preferred sourcing hub for medical devices, particularly for medical disposable products. Companies participating under the Malaysia pavilion are mainly manufacturers of diagnostic and test kits, rubber products, as well as medical components, among others.

The medical devices industry in Malaysia is dominated by companies engaged in the production of medical gloves and other medical disposable products. The feat of Malaysian glove players is well-known around the world - they supply 60 percent of the world market for rubber gloves. However, few are aware that Malaysia is also the world’s leading producer and exporter of catheters, supplying 80 percent of the global demand.

Currently, over 90 per cent of medical devices manufactured in Malaysia are exported. Besides that, more than 30 multinationals have made Malaysia their offshore manufacturing location. These would include names such as Abbott, Agilent, B. Braun, Ambu, Ciba Vision and many others.

Today in Malaysia, there are more than 200 medical devices manufacturers, mainly small and medium enterprises manufacturing medical gloves. However, the industry also includes higher value-added and technologically advanced products such as cardiac pacemakers, stents, orthopaedic implantable devices, and electromedical, therapeutic and monitoring devices.

“Quite understandably, Malaysia’s export of surgical masks in 2020 registered triple-digit growth of 407.5 per cent valued at $14.9 million compared to $2.93 million in 2019. Malaysia top export destinations for surgical masks were Hong Kong, China, Italy, Singapore and Germany. Government of Malaysia spearheaded by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is committed to build the global resilience of Malaysian exporters particularly in the Covid-19 recovery period,” said Omar Mohd Salleh, Malaysia’s Trade Commissioner to the Gulf region.

Salleh also added, besides the medical devices and the disposables which Malaysia is widely known for, Malaysia has also been a pioneer in the certified halal pharmaceutical industry for its global halal pharmaceutical standards.

“The Malaysian government has introduced a comprehensive set of guidelines called the Malaysian Standard of Halal Pharmaceuticals. Our new halal standard has expanded the scope for halal certifying bodies to address the demands in biologics and the search for halal vaccinations,” he added.

To further facilitate Malaysian companies to penetrate international markets amid the health crisis, Matrade provides updated market insights via MyExport portal and adopted the virtual format of business-to-business pre-arranged meetings via eBizMatch.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, Matrade had conducted regular virtual sessions attracting buyers from this region sourcing for medical products such as rubber gloves, personal protective equipment, face mask, syringes, catheters and sutures. Businessmen from this region are urged to get in touch with Matrade office in Dubai for any assistance regarding suppliers. The Trade Commissioner of Malaysia also urged importers to check the credibility of suppliers to avoid online scammers who takes advantage of rising demand for medical equipment during this pandemic period.


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