£810 / $1295 / €985
The Thai medical device market has been undergoing a period of strong growth, and if fundamentals remain the same, the market looks set to expand at an attractive 12.3% per annum in the medium term.
In 2012, the Thai market for medical equipment and supplies is estimated at US$1,071.3 million, equal to US$15.6 per capita. Overall market size is similar to Israel and Finland, while in per capita terms the market is more akin to Argentina and Colombia.
Market growth is tied to the strength of the United States economy and the performance of the local currency against the dollar. After a period of slow recovery, imports surpassed the pre-late 90s economic crash for the first time in 2004 and has grown strongly since then, all while the country has continued to maintain a steady positive balance of trade.
Recent events suggest that political turmoil could be reignited with growing tensions between the current government and anti-Thaksin groups seeking to topple the prime minister. In January 2013, Puea Thai Party leaders agreed to delay plans to amend the constitution, amid mounting concerns that attempts to do so could risk reigniting political protests. The decision came following discussions held by the party leaders, during which members debated on how to proceed with the charter amendment.
Based on the latest yearly data, imports for full year 2011 rose sharply by 23.0% to reach a new high of US$822.5 million. All categories posted double-digit growth rates except patient aids, which still posted a rise of 5.7% over the previous year. The largest category, diagnostic imaging, grew by 18.7% over the previous year to reach US$245.6 million. Latest collated monthly data show that annual imports grew by 19.9% to reach US$971.7 million in November 2012, compared to the previous corresponding period total of US$810.4 million in November 2011.
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