50 European healthcare firms exploring opportunities in the Philippines
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Some 50 European firms engaged in healthcare and medical technologies are currently exploring opportunities to do business in the Philippines.

According to the Board of Investments (BOI), the firms from European Union (EU) member states are in the country for a business mission to explore opportunities to bring their innovative technologies.

Conducted under the EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia program, the business mission focuses on the following solutions: medical waste management, laboratory equipment, aesthetic or cosmetic equipment, dental products and supplies, pharmaceutical supplies and disposables, information technology solutions, telemedicine and remote health monitoring, assistive technologies, pain or rehabilitation equipment, imaging and non-imaging diagnostic and other technologies.

Through the business mission, EU companies will be able to understand the Philippine healthcare and medical technologies market and have a venue to establish partnerships with Filipino firms through coaching, business matching and business support services.

BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the business mission complements the effort of the local health services industry to develop and promote the country as a medical travel, wellness tourism and as a retirement destination in Asia.

“The government supports the manufacturing medical devices and supplies as the country presents great opportunities in the field with the presence of over 2,000 government and private hospitals and over 23,000 health units and stations all over the country,” he said.

The EU is one of the largest sources of medical device products in the world with 25,000 companies manufacturing and distributing medical devices for various uses, including in-vitro diagnostics, cardiology, orthopedics, diagnostic imaging, ophthalmics, surgery, endoscopy and wound management.

As the expected percentage of individuals aged 65 years and above is seen to grow to 4.9 percent by 2020 and 6.3 percent by 2030 in the Philippines based on estimates of trade association Med Tech Europe, the country is expected to benefit from the technologies and solutions.

EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the business mission is timely and would allow firms from both sides to discuss possibilities to work together.

“The Philippines’ healthcare sector is experiencing exciting developments. The government is focused on improving the delivery of public healthcare to its citizens, evident in the increase in the health budget, the remarkable membership coverage under the National Health Insurance Program (PhilHealth) and the progress in key legislations for social services including health. The EU remains committed in supporting the Philippines in its healthcare agenda through various programs, trade and investment,” he said.

Last year, trade in healthcare, medical technologies and other related goods reached more than €1.1 billion, benefitting both markets.

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