Medical Sector in Turkey: Significant Business Opportunities for Italian Companies

A scenario of the high-growth market presented in occasion of the B2B Medical Devices Workshop, organized by ICE in Bologna on November 27th.

The Turkish medical devices and supplies market is one of the most dynamic in the nation, valued at nearly 2.6 billion USD and having recorded an 18% growth rate in 2016.

MILAN, November 28, 2017—The Turkish medical sector is showing promising opportunities for Italian businesses, according to market data presented at the “B2B Medical Devices Workshop” held yesterday in Bologna. The initiative, organized by ICE in collaboration with DEIK (Turkish Business Council), Assobiomedica and Confindustria Emilia Area Centro, was hosted with the aim of favoring economic and commercial collaboration between Italian and Turkish businesses, in the form of development programs in the Turkish medical sector.

The Turkish Government aims to make Turkey one of the world’s top ten economies in health services by 2023 by increasing R&D expenditures to 3% of GDP and increasing exports to 500 billion USD. Turkey’s “Vision 2023” strategic plan has introduced substantial innovation in the medical field, accelerating the growth of foreign investment and the development of the local industry. Turkey’s pharmaceutical industry is forecasted to reach 23 billion USD by 2023.

“The Turkish medical sector is a highly-strategic field for our nation, which continues to offer a number of business opportunities, both locally and abroad,” said Murat Akyüz, Chairman of Chemical and Chemical Products Associations of TIM (Turkish Exporters Assembly). “As one of our key import partners in this sector, Italy’s quality offering of medical devices and supplies is capable of contributing significantly to the success of our local industry, allowing Turkey to solidify its stronghold in the global medical landscape. On top of all this Mr. Akyüz stressed that “the chemical industry, one of the sectors having a key importance in Turkish economy, boomed in the last decade with all of its sub-sectors from plastics to cosmetics, medicine and dye. When we look at figures of the exports that have been carried out in the medical sector since 2009, we see that our total export rose from 180 million dollars to around 500 million dollars,” he said. “While the sector’s export was 511 million 611 thousand dollars in 2016, the 10-month export of this year is 417 million 568 thousand dollars. The top countries to which we exported products in 2016 were Germany, China, Iraq, the Netherlands, France, Azerbaijan, Syria, Italy, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and the United States of America respectively. We witness that the export to China and the United States of America has been dramatically increased in proportion since 2009.”

Stating that they have been offering service to about 10 thousand members since 1991 in terms of export operations at İKMİB, Murat Akyüz said, “Medical sector has a very strategic and important position for Turkey. Turkish medical sector is our sector’s leading industry creating high added value with a market capacity reaching 2.6 billion dollars and the export potential it has. The fact that it is a sector that directly affects the health and the quality of life proves its strategic importance.”

“Turkey is tendering the construction and the management of a new group of hospitals, “ confirms Aniello Musella, Director of ICE Istanbul. “There will be 41 such developments. Contracts for 17 of these campuses have been tendered and given to various consortium. The Italian Astaldi and other Italian companies are already involved in some of these projects. These new healthcare campuses will be financed with Public-Private Partnership model. I believe that these projects represent a good opportunity for other Italian companies to be involved as sub-contractors also teaming with Turkish companies. This was one of the aims of the workshop in Bologna.”

“Another noteworthy aspect is Turkey’s position as a hub to the Middle East and Asia that make Turkey a very attractive country for Italian companies who would like to capitalize on its encouraging policies and advantageous market.”

“Turkey wants to offer high-quality services and compared with the OECD countries Turkey has still less medical device per person and Turkish companies are more focused on low value added products. This can open doors for Italian SMEs in the sectors of medication, medical equipment, biotechnology, e-health and prevention.“