PM Abe Pins Japan’s Economic Recovery on Medical Industry; MEDTEC Japan 2013 Validates Strategy

The timing could not have been better for MEDTEC Japan 2013.

Just one month before the show, which was held on 24 and 25 April 2013, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed that he would aggressively promote the medical device industry, which he characterised as one of the few sectors that can shore up the nation’s failing economy. The resounding success of MEDTEC Japan confirmed his analysis.

As part of his initiative, Abe announced that he intends to launch a Japanese version of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help create advanced medical devices and drugs. A growth strategy, which includes the NIH plan, may be announced as soon as June.

Growth was a theme at this year’s MEDTEC Japan, as well. Held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre, the event welcomed 383 exhibitors, of which 167 were newcomers. Exhibitor numbers were up 27% from 2012. More than 13,200 attendees, compared with 10,500 last year, clogged the aisles.

“I can feel that more and more people are interested in expanding their business in the medtech industry,” said Isao Shimosaki, president of Blast Inc., a maker of thermal glass and related products. “I met more potential customers than expected.”

Since its launch in 2009, MEDTEC Japan has shown consistent year-on-year growth, according to show organisers. Smart health, biomedical technology and medical packaging were among six new pavilions introduced this year, bringing a grand total of 10 specialised shows within a show.

Attendees also swarmed the conference sessions and technical forums that addressed such topics as international markets, advances in smart health and biomedical trends.

To accommodate surging exhibitor interest, MEDTEC Japan will extend the show to three days and offer more exhibition space next year. Scheduled for 9 to 11 April 2014 at the same venue, organisers project approximately 500 exhibitors and 16,000 visitors. MEDTEC Japan is produced by UBM Canon, which also maintains this blog.

Japan’s medical technology market, which is valued at approximately €21.5 billion, represents roughly 10% of the global market. It is the third largest medical device market in the world after the United States and the European Union. During the past 25 years, the size of Japan’s medtech market has doubled. While the market share of domestically made devices has been largely flat, imports have soared, creating a medical device trade deficit of €4.6 billion.

This article was originally published on our sister blog, medtechinsider.

Miki Anzai