Special Correspondent

KOCHI: Malaysia is all set to exploit market potential for rubber medical devices in China. With a steady economic growth , China is increasingly becoming a target market for foreign exporters of medical devices, including those made of rubber.

China’s current medical devices market is estimated to be worth around $7 billion, with an annual growth of 15 per cent over the last few years. The growth can be attributed to China’s increasing expenditure on health care and utilisation of more quality and advanced medical devices in hospitals and clinics. China’s exports of rubber medical devices grew by 50 per cent from $320 million in 2004 to $481 million in 2006, while imports grew by 10 per cent from $176 million in 2004 to $194 million in 2006. In 2006, imports of needles, catheters and cannulae accounted for 86 per cent of China’s total imports of rubber medical devices, followed by sheath contraceptives (six per cent), surgical gloves (four per cent) and hygienic rubber articles (four per cent). China could become an important market for Malaysian-made rubber medical devices, said Dato’ Teo Suat Cheng, CEO, Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council.

She said that rubber manufacturers in her country had been asked to consider using Shanghai as the gateway for their products to enter the Chinese market.