At the end of January,Arab Health, the leading medical equipment exhibition in the Middle East, and a trade mission for the Latvian biomedical and healthcare industry took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Latvia was represented by 13 companies at the events, and the results were very good.
“In Dubai, we could see that the offer of Latvian biomedical companies is competitive on a global scale. Our companies have managed to establish a wide range of contacts and have also concluded several deals for the supply of goods or the implementation of technology solutions,” says Inga Ulmane, Director of the Latvian Pavilion at EXPO 2020, adding that on average each company participating in Arab Health established more than 30 contacts with potential buyers, but the record was set by the manufacturer of medical patches ‘NordePlast’ – the representatives of the company met with 120 potential buyers. The biomedical and healthcare seminar at the Latvian pavilion was attended by more than 50 guests from the UAE, Chile, Italy, Romania, Estonia, and other countries.
During the week dedicated to healthcare, our companies not only met with potential partners from all over the world, but also participated in several TV shows, introducing the UAE audience to Latvia's offer in such sectors as biomedicine, medical technology, and pharmaceuticals. “We were pleasantly surprised that in such a situation Latvian companies seemed to have forgotten that they are competitors and widely shared information about the overall offer of the sector, also promoting the companies that were not present,” says Ulmane.
Auseklis Sarkans, the founder of ‘DoctoWell’, a medical facility management systems company, emphasises that during the Arab Health fair he managed to establish valuable contacts with potential partners from Brazil, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries, but by participating in the trade mission he managed to expand the circle of contacts even further. “’DoctoWell’ also took part in a showcase event during the Health and Wellness week at EXPO 2020 and also appeared on a local TV show to present its medical technology solutions to the UAE and regional audiences. Participation in EXPO 2020 helped us significantly boost our export capacity in the Middle East region, which could be the basis for long-term cooperation,” said Sarkans.
The company ‘NordePlast’, based in Liepāja, whose main product is various types of medical plasters, also achieved tangible results after its participation in the fair. “The fair was well organised and a great success for the company. We made more than 120 new contacts. We have negotiated with several buyers for the supply of products and also concluded a deal with a company from Saudi Arabia, where we have already delivered the first shipment of kinesiological tapes,” says Romāns Gramiko, Member of the Board of ‘NordePlast’.
Emīls Sindjukovs, a representative of the medical technology company ‘Longenesis’, is also pleased with his participation in the fair: “Arab Health is the largest event of its kind in the region and was held alongside the EXPO 2020 Health Week, bringing together major regional and international players in the healthcare and biomedical fields. EXPO 2020 is a meeting point for people all around the world, providing ample opportunities for networking and cooperation. The biotech and healthcare sectors are highly valued in the Middle East region, so customers are very open to cooperation and willing to invest. Our company has been providing digital tools for clinical research and patient engagement to the UAE's largest biotech player for over two years, so this event was not only an opportunity for us to meet existing customers, but also to expand our network of partners in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”
Latvian pharmaceutical companies have been working in the UAE and other countries in the region for several years, and on this occasion, they were represented by ‘Pharmidea’. Ilze Prikule, Business Development and Sales Manager of the company, emphasised that they have already participated in the Arab Health fair several times and it is an excellent platform to meet both existing cooperation partners and potential clients. “This is our eighth year in the Middle East, and we have established trusted, professional partners in the region. It is also very important for customers to see the image of the country the manufacturers and suppliers come from, and make sure the technological developments are in line with European standards. That is why it is important for us to be represented at the Latvian national stand,” says Prikule.
15 companies from Latvia participated in the Health & Wellness Week at EXPO 2020 Dubai, which featured the Arab Health exhibition and trade mission: ‘PharmIdea’, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, ‘Medon’, ‘L.E.V.’ (Extract factory), ‘DoctoWell’, ‘Lauma Medical’, ‘10x Capital’ (‘UFOLife’), ‘Spodra’ (‘MidoPharm’), ‘Longenesis’, Adolescent and youth psychotherapy centre ‘Virtual Therapy Laboratory’, ‘Smart Clast’, Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence (Riga Technical University), and ‘NordePlast’.