Malaysia reported medical-related products exports of RM 1 billion (US$0.26 billion) in the first six months of 2002. Much of these exports include rubber surgical gloves, dental and surgical instruments, electro-medical and x-ray equipment, needles, catheters and syringes. The Malaysian government wishes to promote the production of more advanced medical equipment in the country. They are hoping to spur the production of more technologically advanced medical products such as hospital support systems, electro-physiology and patient monitoring equipment, as well as ultrasound imaging and rehabilitation products. Concrete initiatives regarding the promotion of such high tech products have yet to be announced by the Malaysian government. However, the government has allocated approximately RM 5.5 billion (US$1.45 billion) to be invested in the medical device sector as part of the government’s 8th 5-year Malaysia Plan. Foreign companies interested in developing their medical manufacturing facilities in Malaysia should contact the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA). For more information on MIDA visit their website at www.mida.gov.my.
Foreign investors make up approximately 51.9% of investments in medical device production in Malaysia. Investors come from countries such as Japan, Germany, the U.S., Australia, the U.K, and Italy. Currently, the government does not regulate medical devices manufactured in Malaysia; however, foreign manufacturers are self-regulating based on their own countries’ standards. The Malaysian government is gradually moving towards harmonizing their quality standards to those of developed countries around the world.