MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012:Preview remarks on the regional medical and health care industry by Gernot Ri

The global medical industry is one of the world's fastest growing industries, absorbing over 10% of gross domestic product of most developed nations. In Asia, the statistics are equally impressive with the boom in Asia mainly attributed to the ever increasing awareness and benefits of quality healthcare, upward trend of medical tourism, rising ageing populations, higher life expectancies, and economic development. Asia’s share of those aged 65 and above in the world population exceeded 50% in 2000, and is projected to grow to 61% by 2050. Ageing in Asian markets will therefore drive increased demand for quality healthcare products and services. 
More significantly, changes in public policy, push for healthcare reform and the influx of government investment in healthcare infrastructure have been growing priorities among economies in Asia. Take for example countries like Malaysia and Vietnam which are working towards consolidation of services through the upgrading of facilities and equipment, and healthcare spending in Vietnam which is projected to rise to US$6 billion by 2014, with the government accounting for around 30% of total expenditure.
Eyes on Southeast Asia
The future for the medical industry in Asia looks positive with the stimuli for industry growth geared mainly towards greater investment in private sector delivery, public-private partnerships, and investments in the medical devices industry. According to consultancy Frost & Sullivan, by 2012, Asia Pacific is forecasted to be a US$62.3 billion market, a contribution of 25.8% of the global market, with trends in the medical device industry in Asia mainly centred on imaging, cardiovascular, and healthcare IT. A key driver for the Southeast Asian region is the impending liberalisation of the services sector by 2015 under the ASEAN agreement.
Rise in private healthcare spending
With a rapidly changing landscape of rising wealth and private sector innovation, private healthcare is increasingly within the reach of a greater number of people. 
A recent study produced by the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions indicates that Southeast Asia has the highest private health expenditure of any region in the world, at 63.1% of total health expenditures. This is largely due to the growing realisation that the private sector can yield greater efficiency, as evident by the increased frequency of public-private collaboration. Providers such as Parkway, Fortis and the Bangkok General Group for example have over the last few years built up considerable expertise in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The growing phenomenon of medical
The growing phenomenon of medical tourism particularly in Singapore and Thailand has also accelerated private health expenditure. With growing recognition by many governments and private healthcare providers that to address the needs of the population, as a government and to achieve sustained growth, as a business – well-structured healthcare public-private partnerships have a prominent role to play.
Set against this backdrop, Messe Düsseldorf Asia is proud to launch the timely debut trade exhibition in the region for the medical technology segment – MEDICAL MANUFACTURING ASIA (MMA) – in partnership with SPETA (Singapore Precision Engineering & Tooling Association) which will co-locate with MEDICAL FAIR ASIA from 12 to 14 September. The concurrently held exhibitions will provide synergistic offerings and a wide range of opportunities for specialists sourcing diversified solutions.
The 9th edition of Asia’s most significant medical and health exhibition, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA, returns even bigger and better to Suntec Singapore from 12 to 14 September 2012. With a show floor extended by some 50% to occupy all three halls on level six of the convention centre, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012 – the biggest edition yet since its debut in 1997 – will showcase an international line-up of leading medical and health care players from around the world.
Focused on equipment and supplies for the hospital, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, medical and rehabilitation sectors, all three halls will bring together new and innovative technologies, solutions, products and services from around the world, in line with current and future demographic trends, medical and health care challenges and the next wave of healthcare modernisation.
As part of the international series of medical trade shows presented by the Messe Düsseldorf Group, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA, organised by Messe Düsseldorf Asia, has established itself as the region’s most effective business forum for medical and health care manufacturers and suppliers to feature their products and services to procurers, healthcare givers, practitioners and professionals, and decision makers.
Leading forum for medical and health care sectors
With a history that spans more than a decade, the biennial exhibition has grown exponentially over the years. The last edition of MEDICAL FAIR ASIA held in 2010 set a new record in the number of attendees and exhibiting companies as it attracted more than 7,000 quality trade visitors, and 475 companies from 31 countries, of which 80% came from overseas. 
Next year, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA is expected to attract strong participation from some 500 exhibitors from 35 countries and an attendance of 10,000 trade visitors from across ASEAN and the Asia Pacific region. It is also anticipated to draw participation from various national groups such as Austria, China, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, further underpinning the global relevance of the exhibition.
tourism particularly in Singapore and Thailand has also accelerated private healthcare expenditure. 
For developing nations in the region – Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam for example, these are mostly characterised by limited primary care, outdated clinics and hospitals, low-tech medical equipment, a lack of doctors, nurses and hospital beds, and overall lack of universal health insurance. But at the other end of the spectrum, opportunities abound for the region to leverage on global healthcare partnerships to build world-class health care services and to cater to an increasingly wealthy populace with higher expectations of healthcare.  
Singapore plays a leading role in the region
According to Frost & Sullivan, Singapore will increase its healthcare spend by 6% annually to reach US$12.6 billion in 2015. The steady rise in healthcare expenditure is due to Singapore's ageing demographic as the country is expected to be the fourth 'oldest' country in the world by 2050, with the average age exceeding 60 years old. There will also be more hospital beds in Singapore, which will also serve to fuel healthcare demand with projections estimated to reach 12,868 hospital beds by 2015. Three-quarters of the beds, or 9,687, will come from the public sector and the rest from the private sector. 
Singapore's healthcare sector is also striving to achieve an entirely paperless system and will fully complete the transition to electronic medical records (EMR) by 2013, ahead of South Korea and Taiwan who embarked on the project earlier. Currently, Singapore has a fully-integrated EMR between hospitals and polyclinics, with the system soon to include general practitioners. In an article on Singapore’s healthcare spending published by The Business Times, it indicates that the way health care is provided in Singapore and the region will also begin to change. For starters, treatment and services will move from hospitals to homes to better serve the greying population in countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan. And as more patents for drugs that address chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension expire, healthcare retailers may also start to produce and sell generic versions. 
Eleven years into Singapore's biomedical sciences (BMS) push, the sector has also grown into a sizeable stable of almost 300 companies and businesses including over 30 global medical technology companies that have set-up commercial-scale manufacturing plants in Singapore. 
MEDICAL FAIR ASIA – connecting international and regional industry players to innovations across the globe
These positive market conditions and MEDICAL FAIR ASIA’s position as the region’s leading exhibition in medical and health care are reflected in the strong response and exhibitor registrations for the exhibition. 
With a show floor extended by 50% for this year’s edition to occupy all three halls on level six of Suntec Singapore, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012 is well-geared to meet the needs of Asia’s medical and health care sectors. It will bring together a multitude of new and innovative technologies, solutions, products and services – many of which will be launched in Asia for the first time – but will also align its theme with current and future demographic trends, challenges and policies, and notably – the next wave of healthcare modernization. It will 
Driven by the sector’s No. 1 global trade fair MEDICA, organized by Messe Düsseldorf in Germany, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012 will focus on equipment for accident and emergency, laboratory, rehabilitation, supplies for ophthalmic, pharmaceutical and orthopaedic use, medical consumables, communication and information technology among many others.
The 10,000-strong expected visitors can look forward to developing business partnerships, exchange expertise and share industry best practices with the strong line-up of 500 leading companies from over 35 countries at MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012. The exhibition is also anticipated to draw participation from various national pavilions and groups such as Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and USA, reinforcing the international appeal and industry recognition of the exhibition.  
Concurrent exhibitions
Together with the inaugural exhibition MEDICAL MANUFACTURING ASIA 2012, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA 2012 will present the entire process chain and the full range of medical products, technology, devices and instruments, adding value to exhibitors’ and visitors’ participation. 
Jointly organized by Messe Düsseldorf Asia and the Singapore Precision Engineering & Tooling Association (SPETA), MEDICAL MANUFACTURING ASIA 2012 comes at a time when the Asia Pacific medical device market is expected to account for 25% of global market share and reach US$62.3 billion in revenue by 2012.
Mirroring the booming regional medical technology industry, this debut edition is projected to attract participation from some 150 leading companies.
OS+H Asia 2012 ( 
Held alongside MEDICAL FAIR ASIA and MEDICAL MANUFACTURING ASIA is OS+H Asia 2012, Southeast Asia’s leading exhibition on workplace safety and care.  This exhibition will be held for the 8th time in Singapore and will showcase the latest OSH equipment, solutions and services from some 150 exhibiting companies from around the world.
About Messe Düsseldorf Asia
Messe Düsseldorf Asia is a subsidiary of Messe Düsseldorf in Germany, one of the world’s leading trade fair organizers, responsible for organizing more than 20 global No. 1 exhibitions in various industries including medical and health care – specifically MEDICA, COMPAMED, REHACARE INTERNATIONAL and A+A held in Düsseldorf, Germany. Messe Düsseldorf Asia has developed a portfolio of numerous trade fairs in Southeast Asia since 1995. Its trade fairs for the plastics and rubber sectors in Thailand (TIPREX), Vietnam (Plastics & Rubber Vietnam), Indonesia (INDOPLAS) and Malaysia (M-PLAS), the printing and packaging sector in Thailand (PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL) and Indonesia (INDOPRINT and INDOPRINT), the wire, cable, tube and pipe sectors in Thailand (wire Southeast Asia and Tube Southeast Asia), and the medical and health care industries in Thailand and Singapore (MEDICAL FAIR THAILAND, MEDICAL FAIR ASIA, and Occupational Safety and Health Asia) are successful events serving the regional markets of Southeast Asia and beyond. In 2013, Messe Düsseldorf Asia will strengthen its presence in Indonesia with the debut indometal, an international metal and steel trade fair for Southeast Asia.