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

He said this year, Malaysia’s medical device sector is expected to contribute US$4.19 billion (RM19.6 billion) to the economy, while the pharmaceutical segment has already added over US$1.26 billion to the national gross domestic product.

“Last year, Malaysia’s total trade in the healthcare industry was valued at US$11.1 billion with exports of healthcare products amounting to US$6.81 billion, and total imports totalling US$4.29 billion.

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

Reezal Merican said Malaysia’s medical device industry employs over 13,000 individuals, and the pharmaceutical industry provides jobs for almost 30,000 people.

He said these employment opportunities drive economic growth and enhance the quality of life for many individuals.

“With Malaysia’s advanced infrastructure, which includes top-notch sterilisation services, precise engineering capabilities, and renowned research institutions, we are dedicated to positioning the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries as pivotal pillars of the nation’s manufacturing sector.

“The government actively promotes Malaysia as a regional manufacturing hub for medical devices, underpinned by a stable industry ecosystem, a robust talent pool, a resilient financial sector, a strong legal framework, and globally integrated logistics systems, positioning Malaysia as a centre of excellence,” he said.

Reezal Merican said Malaysia is a leading global producer of rubber-based medical consumables and is recognised as one of the best nations in the world for healthcare.

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

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

For IHW 2024 in Bangkok, the 10 participating Malaysian companies are exhibiting a wide range of products including clean room manufacturing, air ventilation systems, smart sensors for data loggers, syringes, blood collection tubes, electric potential therapy devices, collapsible tubes, disposable tourniquets, and in-vitro diagnostic rapid test kits. — Bernama