“KIMES 2017,” the 33rd Korea International Medical & Hospital Equipment Show, started its four-day exhibition at Coex, southern Seoul, on Thursday.
|The entrance of KIMES 2017 is crowded with visitors Thursday.|
A total of 1,292 companies from 41 countries are participating in the annual industrial fair, displaying about 30,000 medical equipment and hospital devices, said officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Korea E&X Inc.
Major medical device makers, such as Philips, Siemens, GE, Olympus, and Samsung, are exhibiting up-to-date appliances, including ultrasonic diagnostic equipment, digital X-rays, and rehabilitative robots, in the show, which organizers expect will draw more than 60,000 visitors until Sunday.
Participants from home and abroad will conduct business talks, and industry executives and other experts will hold various seminars to discuss ways to promote the nation’s medical equipment industry, the officials said
Ministry officials stated that they could confirm the results of various policy supports to the sector, including the mediation of investment in research and development and counseling services for clinical tests, during the exhibition. The ministry also plans to operate an industry-academy-research organ to set up a comprehensive, systematic plan to provide the right direction for the industry’s growth, the officials said.
“A new medical era has opened with the introduction of artificial intelligence, robots, and Internet of Things,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chung Chin-youb said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Korea should also prepare steadily to promote its medical equipment industry in keeping with the new trend.”
For foreign visitors, the show is operating four English-speaking booths in front of the entrance on the first floor, ready to provide with any information about the exhibition and an information desk where they provide an English catalog of all the booths run by medical equipment makers.
|A woman presenter showing how to use a piece of equipment./ An English catalog book available at the information desk.|
Foreign participants’ assessments of the convention as well as its services and facilities intended to increase convenience varied, however.
“My company sells medical equipment to hospitals and plastic surgery centers,” a businessman from Orlando, Florida, said. “It’s my third time visiting this convention, and I can see there’s a lot more foreigners than in the past but comparing to different international shows, there is a limitation here.”
A middle-aged couple from Lithuania said, “We came to see new trends and developments because Europe is more restricted. We have seen more foreigners this year after my third time coming back, but many faces here are locals.”
Others were more upbeat. “We are coming again next year. We have no problem having conversations in English which is exciting,” said a South African health science doctor, adding that she came to Korea to look for new opportunities for South Africa.
A CEO from Taiwan’s Formosa Cultural Corp. agreed. “Every year we came to Korea, and we saw more exhibitors and buyers,” he said. “This year we brought 40 exhibitors from Taiwan and China.”
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