Malaysian companies drew a positive balance from their participation at MEDICA 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany, although the number of visitors slightly declined in comparison to last year.
Some 40 companies from Malaysia took part in the world’s biggest medical trade fair, which drew 130,000 visitors (last year: 132,000) within four days. However, although the number of visitors almost stayed the same compared to last year, in the perception of Mr. Leong Chew Mun, General Manager of TOP GLOVE from Selangor, “this year the halls were less crowded”.
TOP GLOVE is the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer and has been exhibiting at MEDICA since 1996. The company exports its products to more than 200 countries and uses their annual participation at MEDICA primarily as a platform for discussion with existing customers.
Mr. Leong’s observation that this year the fair saw less visitors is shared by RUBBEREX’ Senior Sales Manager Abu Othman. The company from Perak has been exhibiting at MEDICA since 2006 and this year showcased its new Nitrile Disposable Gloves. According to Mr. Abu the feedback of was quite satisfactory. “Most of our customers are from Europe with a share of about 35%, followed by the USA with 30%,” he explains, adding that their main platform is not MEDICA but the A+A fair for safety and security at work which is also being held annually in Düsseldorf.
One aspect which is congruent in official figures and individual perception among the Malaysian exhibitors is the high share of foreign visitors. According to Messe Düsseldorf, this year almost two thirds of the visitors came from abroad, from as many as 120 countries.
This is confirmed by Mr. Calvin Lee of LKL ADVANCE METALTECH, Malaysia’s leading medical furniture manufacturer. “Many prospects this year came from European countries but we also had enquiries from Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Trinidad and Surinam.”
LKL was one of 11 companies presented at the Malaysian Pavilion by Malaysia’s Government Agency for external trade development MATRADE. The agency regularly takes Malaysian companies to trade fairs around the world. “We carefully choose companies which provide products that can sustain international competition”, says Mr. Mohamad Adris who represented MATRADE during MEDICA in order to support the exhibitors. “We have special tailored programs for Malaysian companies that usually last three years – after that tey are going independent..”
Among the first-timers was the company A1 GLOVE which regarded their participation as a great success. “We made a right decision to follow MATRADE to MEDICA in Düsseldorf,” said General Manager Ms. Lim, “This fair is the best meeting point for us to get in touch with our worldwide clients.”
Nevertheless, most of this year’s Malaysian exhibitors have been at MEDICA before. Such as IDEALCARE from Kedah, a manufacturer of disposable and healthcare products. The company had taken part in MEDICA 2013. Since then their business grew “beyond expectation”, according to General Manager Mohd Heerman.
Among the returners were also three Penang based companies: UWC, which had launched prefilled humidifier last year; LEONIX, which offers orthopaedic medical technology; and MECHA-MEDIC SOLUTION which presented an innovative bowel aid . “The exposure we got at MEDICA 2014 was excellent”, said the companys’ General Manager Mr. Stanly Goh, “we have successfully secured new markets in Europe.”
One important factor for the exhibitors’ success at MEDICA was the visitors’ decision-making authority. According to statistics provided by the fair management over 70% of visitors have a say or are decisively involved in purchasing decisions; another 10% are involved in a consulting capacity.