about_us.gif serv.gif

March/April 1999
Volume 1, Issue 1

Inside this Issue








Click to Download a printable (.pdf) file




Sellex International
65 East State Street 10th Columbus, Ohio 43215



Hot Markets

Medical equipment has been identified as, not only a rapidly growing U.S. industry sector, but also as a high growth market for U.S. exports. The largest total import market for medical equipment is in Japan. The total Japanese import market is nearly twice the size of the German market, which ranks second. In terms of medical equipment imports from the U.S., Japan and Germany are again the top importers. In 1997, Japanese medical equipment imports from the U.S. reached 4.1 billion dollars. This represents about 69% of all Japanese medical equipment imports. Germany is much less dependent on U.S. imports. They imported $980 million worth of medical equipment from the U.S., which constitutes about 26% of their total imports in this sector.

Medical equipment is one of the few industrial sectors in which the U.S. has a trade surplus with Japan. Several successful trade agreements have helped reduce barriers to market entry, which has spurred increased U.S. exporting to Japan. The import market for medical equipment in Japan is expected to grow by 3-5% annually over the next 5 years. The U.S. accounts for more than two-thirds of this Japanese import market. If the current market share is maintained, then the future looks very promising to U.S. medical equipment exporters.

Some of the newly industrialized countries (NIC's) also have promising import markets for medical equipment. A NIC is a country that has successfully embarked upon a course of economic development, although the journey is not yet complete. The development of an industrial infrastructure has moved these countries into a position somewhere between the underdeveloped third world and the more fully developed countries of the first world.


Brazil is an excellent example of a NIC and it has the third largest total market for medical equipment, behind Japan and Germany. Even though the total market is quite large, Brazil has the 8th largest overall import market for medical equipment and is the 6th largest recipient of U.S. imports.

Another NIC that will likely become a growing importer is India. The current Indian market for medical equipment is small, about $202 million total market size compared to $3.3 billion for Brazil. The economy of India is becoming increasingly market-oriented and many industrial sectors are exhibiting strong growth. India also has a very large population and a growing middle class, which has increased the public demands for an improved health care system. They are currently in the process of building numerous new hospitals, which is expected to accelerate the demands for all types of medical equipment. The total import market for this sector in India was $133 million in 1997. Of this total, $60 million, or 45%, was imported from the U.S. The U.S. already has a very strong foothold in the Indian market. Many physicians in India are trained in the West and are very knowledgeable about western medical technologies. Continued growth of the health care market in India will provide great exporting opportunities for U.S. suppliers and manufacturers.