Australia has emerged as the promising market for Korean medical equipment manufacturers by increasing its healthcare budget this year, following China whose medical equipment market has been expanding every year, trade experts said.
The demands for expensive medical equipment are likely to surge in the two countries, which rely on import to meet most of the demands, they added.
According to Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency(KOTRA)대한무역투자진흥공사, China and Australia have high demands, especially for ultrasonic image diagnosis devices.
“The demand for medical equipment is expected to sharply increase in Australia. Korean companies have to participate in the market actively, based on their excellent product image,” said Kim Bo-hye, an official at KOTRA’s Sidney branch, in a report Tuesday.
The Australian government set its healthcare-related spending for 2017-18 at 68.1 trillion won ($61 billion), up 5.5 percent from last year.
The import market for expensive, high-tech medical equipment is likely to expand in Australia, which relies on import for most of its medical equipment demand.
Australia currently imports medical equipment mainly from the United States (34.9 percent), Germany (9.5 percent) and China (8.2 percent).
Korea’s export of ultrasonic image diagnosis device to Australia also increased, based on 2015 data.
“To help more Korean companies enter the Australian market, it is essential to make cooperation with local importers and distributors who have strong networks to provide products to public and private hospitals,” the report said. “Also, they have to develop agents to deal with after-sales service, and provide product-related education and other supports for this purpose.”
KOTRA also stressed the importance of the Chinese medical equipment market that has grown by more than 20 percent a year.
Local demand is very high for diagnostic equipment, including MRI in Shanxi Province, said Chang Jiang, a trade official at KOTRA’s Xian branch, in a separate report
"Local buyers think Korean medical equipment is 15-20 percentage points lower than advanced countries’ products in functions, durability, and AS but have price competitiveness of 10 percentage points higher as well as high quality compared to prices and ease of use,” the report said. If Korean businesses improve product functions and AS, local demand for Korean products will sharply expand.”
If the quality of Korean products is similar to those made by Chinese companies, however, their price competitiveness lags behind that of Chinese competitors, it added.
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