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ARAB HEALTH 2008: A CHANCE FOR THE ITALIAN BIO-MEDICAL INDUSTRY
A rich market promising significant investments in the near future. A voracious domestic demand which does not use locally-made equipment but which is satisfied through imports: this is the promising scenario of the Italian health and medical sector in the Arab Emirates, set to host the next edition of Arab Health , the main trade fair for the sector in the Gulf area. The event, which offers companies from around the world the opportunity to make contact with this promising market, last year hosted 2,200 businesses from 64 countries, and attracted approximately 38 thousand visitors.
Italian sector companies will also attend Arab Health 2008 from 28 to 31 January through a delegation organised by the ICE (Italian Trade Commission), which is set to repeat last year‚Äôs initiative at one of the most interesting global trade fairs in the sector. The ICE‚Äôs objective is to strengthen Italy‚Äôs economic and commercial presence in the United Arab Emirates and encourage a deeper knowledge of our production capabilities in a strongly expanding market. Indeed the UAE‚Äôs economic plan foresees significant investments in the health sector: the most extraordinary example is the plan to build a ‚ÄúDubai Healthcare City, destined to become an international excellence centre by 2010.
Italian industries offering biomedical and electromedical solutions (from needles to pacemakers to CAT-scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging: overall, the production ranges from biomedics to prosthetics, from dental to pharmaceutical products, to biotechnologies and medical information technology) had a turnover of 6.5 billion euros in 2006. Assobiomedica is the federation which brings together Italian players in this sector.
One of the areas of Italy with the highest concentration of businesses is Emilia-Romagna, which boasts two important clusters in Bologna and Mirandola (Modena): only in the Italian North-East the healthcare sector is worth EUR2.6 billion and employees 22 thousand people. Mirandola in particular, hosts a thriving biomedical industry cluster, with a tradition going back to the Sixties. Local producers, initially specialised in plastic equipment for dialysis, plasmapheresis, transfusion and infusion therapies, have subsequently veered towards the design and production of the machinery used in this type of technologyThen the multinationals came (Sorin-Snia, Gambro, Mallinckrodt, Fresenius, Baxter and B.Braun), and set up shop within the cluster or bought out local businesses, thus helping to strengthen the sector‚Äôs development. The majority of local businesses are currently brought together by the consortium Consobiomed , which helps support the internationalisation of SME‚Äôs.