The 10th HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA), finished its three-day run (14 to 16 May) today. The fair welcomed more than 12,000 buyers from 61 countries and regions, an increase of 8% compared with last year.
HKTDC helps industry open new markets
Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Although the latest round of United States tariff hike could have a negative effect on the Hong Kong economy, its impact on medical products is expected to be relatively small. The strong global demand for medical devices and supplies is presenting enormous prospects for the industry.” Mr Chau added that there was a satisfactory increase in buyer turnout at this year’s Medical Fair, “indicating that Hong Kong continues to be an important international exhibition and sourcing hub for global buyers”.
In the face of global economic uncertainty, the HKTDC is committed to help companies gain business opportunities by exploring new markets and organising buyer missions. For the Medical Fair, the number of buyers from developed markets, such as Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, showed a significant increase, while the attendance from emerging markets, including Mainland China and ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam also recorded satisfactory growth.
India’s Onlinesurgical.com, an e-tailer of surgical and medical devices, was one of the buyers attending the Medical Fair. Its Chief Executive Officer, Gopinath Goswami, said the fair provides an excellent platform for his company to source a wide variety of new products. He found three potential suppliers from Hong Kong and plans to place an order for electrocardiogram machines worth US$100,000 with one of the exhibitors.
Technologies from academic institutions enter Greater Bay Area market
Mainland China is Hong Kong’s largest export market for medical and healthcare equipment. With its advantages in research and development, design, marketing and quality control, Hong Kong’s medical and healthcare equipment companies are primed to drive the development of this industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The high quality of research conducted by Hong Kong’s higher education institutions, especially in the areas of biomedical technologies and artificial intelligence, demonstrate that Hong Kong can serve as the “research brain” for the Greater Bay Area.
At the Medical Fair, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University showcased its self-developed “mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton” that is designed to assist the multi-joint upper limb rehabilitation of stroke survivors. The invention won a Gold Medal at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva and is being tested in several local public hospitals. The team that developed the device is planning to enter the Greater Bay Area market by launching the product in the First Affiliated Hospital at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.
Start-ups, biomedical technologies take the spotlight
This year’s Medical Fair featured 285 exhibitors from eight countries and regions. HKMHDIA, the co-organiser of the fair, presented its largest pavilion to date with 55 companies. The Startup zone was also expanded to display the innovative technologies of 21 start-ups and to host the inaugural Korea startup pavilion, which featured six companies.
Biotechnology, one of the fastest developing technologies applied in the medical industry, was in focus at the fair. An exhibitor introduced Hong Kong’s first laboratory, which will be launched soon, to conduct comprehensive genomic profiling for cancer patients. A Korean exhibitor showcased its cutting-edge “bio printer”, which enables skin, soft-tissue and hard-tissue printing.
Another Korean company, 1 Drop Inc, which was established two years ago, brought its portable blood testing device that uses a smartphone and plasma separating biosensors to detect several diseases with only one drop of blood, revolutionising the way tests are conducted. Company CEO Joowon Rhee said they joined the fair for the first time and were satisfied with the result, having met more than 100 buyers from the mainland and Southeast Asia on the first day alone. The encouraging response aligns well with the company’s plan to expand into international markets later in 2019.
To facilitate sourcing, 14 thematic zones were set up at the Medical Fair to showcase products in a variety of categories. These included rehabilitation and elderly care products, household and personal healthcare products, health food and nutrition, fitness products and services, physiotherapy supplies and hospital equipment.
In addition, a series of seminars was organised during the fair to update participants on the latest market and industry developments, covering areas such as biomedical technologies, the use of sensor technologies for medical diagnosis in Australia, and the outlook for the medical and healthcare industry.
The Hospital Authority Convention 2019, another signature event of the Asia-Pacific medical industry, was held concurrently with the Medical Fair at the HKCEC on 14 and 15 May. More than 5,600 medical professionals attended the event.