Saudi Arabia is emerging as a prime market for medical equipment and healthcare companies around the world, with recent research suggesting that the Kingdom accounts for almost 60 percent of total sales in the Gulf region.
The Saudi market is becoming increasingly attractive because of its rapidly expanding population, which is growing 3% per annum according to official figures, and due to the government’s decision to introduce Medical insurance for the estimated six million expatriates in the Kingdom. Market analysts have predicted that this decision will help to grow the private healthcare market, and stimulate growth in spending across the Kingdom.
Executives at Arab Health, the Middle East’s leading healthcare and medical exhibition and conference, have noted a significant increase in companies applying to exhibit both from within the Kingdom, and from international companies looking for an introduction into the Saudi market.
“At the half-way point in the build-up to the 2005 exhibition, we’re seeing two trends converge that demonstrate the size and potential of the Saudi healthcare market,” said John Hassett, exhibitions director of organiser IIR’s healthcare division. “One is an increasing number of international organizations looking to meet Saudi companies; the second is a rising number of participants from Saudi Arabia.”
Arab Health 2004 featured 1,422 exhibitors from over 50 countries, including 25 national country pavilions; with 44% of exhibitors claiming that they were participating in the show establish a presence in a new market.
“Healthcare companies and hospital equipment designers are signing up to exhibit with specific objectives for reaching Saudi decision-makers in the medical sector. The Saudi government budgeted to spend $ 6.2 billion for health and social care in 2003, which represents a huge potential market,” added Hassett.
“We’re also seeing a growing community of Saudi hospitals and healthcare providers participate in the event, particularly in response to the need for continuous improvement in the healthcare sector. Arab Health 2005 will provide a vital access point to the Saudi healthcare sector,” concluded Hassett. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )