January 29th 2014
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China ranks as the largest economic power of the Asia Pacific region with a projected GDP of US$9.1tn in 2013. In terms of GDP per capita, it is considerably lower at US$6,676 in 2013, owing to its large population. Moreover, the country is divided into a relatively wealthy eastern coastal belt - consisting of Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces and much poorer, underdeveloped regions in the interior and the west. Although the government has undertaken massive development plans to address these imbalances, and new factories are gradually being built further inland, this will be a long drawn-out process in a country of China's size.
The Chinese government has launched a health reform programme that aims to create a solid platform for universal healthcare access for all by 2020. Phase 1 of the programme committed CNY850bn (US $124bn) to develop the country's healthcare system, whilst phase 2 proposes investment of CNY400bn (US$63.5bn) is to be invested in the healthcare system through to 2020.
The prospects for medical device spending is huge; the government has committed heavily to the construction of thousands of hospitals, healthcare centres, clinics and this will inevitably lead to spending on capital goods, most notably medical devices, equipment and furniture at an unprecedented rate in a relatively short space of time. In 2012, the central government alone invested CNY 24.3bn (US$3.9bn) to improve health service infrastructure.
The medical device market is estimated at just under US$17.1bn in 2013. This makes China the fourth largest market in the world and the second largest in Asia behind Japan. In per capita terms, however, the market is far from rich. Per capita spending in 2013 is estimated at US$12.6. For the 2013-18 period, Espicom estimates market growth will continue to average 20% per annum in local currency, equivalent to a US dollar CAGR of 18.7%, making China one of the fastest growing markets in the world. High rates of growth are not uncommon in the Asian region, but on the back of a huge market size, China's growth is particularly pronounced.
Imports have grown very strongly during recent years, rising by 20.7% in 2012 to reach US$10,329.0mn.
All product categories posted strong growth during the period led by orthopaedic & prosthetic products.
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