While the official start of the ‘Expo 2020’ fair in Dubai is on October 1, its first activities have already begun. From June 21 to 24 six companies from the Latvian biomedicine industry will travel to Dubai to take part in the exhibition ‘Arab Health 2021’.
“We have the utmost respect for the UAE’s resourcefulness in organising an event of such scale during a pandemic and all the while meeting the highest standards of security. Over 70% of the country’s population is vaccinated which makes the UAE one of the most secure countries in the world to host international events. The exhibition ‘Arab Health’ is of particular importance for us since Latvia boasts over 60 years of experience in the field of biomedicine. We have advanced medical education and well-developed research and manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry. This sector also makes up a growing proportion of almost any country’s GDP and is one of the main industries of our future economies. We are glad that the pandemic did not halt the development of new products and our companies are ready to take part in exhibitions in person,” says Kaspars Rožkalns, Director General of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
Latvian biomedicine industry will be represented by companies ‘DoctoWell’, ‘Biosan’, ‘Longenesis’, ‘Ferterex’, ‘Nordeplast’ and ‘PharmIdea’, all of whom aim to turn the ample opportunities for networking to account and make themselves known in the Middle East market.
“Our company works for the global market, and we certainly have a high interest in the Middle East. One of the main contributors to product’s market competitiveness is the compatibility of product quality and the demands and regulations in the target market. Another one is, of course, the price. Taking part in ‘Arab Health’ will be an open chance to introduce future clients to our products and our country,” says Māra Skrastiņa, Manager of Sales and Marketing Department at Pharmidea.
‘Arab Health 2021’ will focus on all things related to modern healthcare: medical equipment, IT technology for hospitals, wellness products and areas that are already well-established in Latvia such as pharmacology, laboratory equipment and medical textiles. There will be over 3,500 companies participating and around 52,000 visitors from 159 countries, and the exhibition will be an opportunity to find partners both in the UAE and other markets in the Gulf region.
“While we do not have large corporations, Latvian companies can still be globally competitive if they develop an original product or if they are at the right place at the right time. Obviously, competing with giants is not always on the cards but one can seek to collaborate with them instead. Collaboration is a sound way to establish oneself on the market,” believes Māris Belte, owner of ‘FertereX’. The company specialises in treatment of male infertility with an innovative product that uses PBMT technologies to increase sperm quality and testosterone levels.
Currently there are around 1,000 companies in Latvia working in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with a total number of employees exceeding 13,000. As for academia, there are students from 61 countries studying medicine in Latvian universities, and our research institutes focus primarily on organic synthesis, molecular and clinical trials for cancer treatment, studies on the gut microbiome and biomaterial synthesis for bone tissue engineering, as well as virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines. In addition to this, Latvia also participates in large scale international projects including the ‘1+ Million Genomes’ initiative and BBMRI-ERIC, a European research infrastructure for biobanking, where Latvia is a fully-fledged member with a national biobank of over 37,000 units.
In the startup arena Latvia is home to 30 healthcare and MedTech startups that make up around 8% of all active startups in the country. The main areas of activity are DeepTech, AI, various services, gadgets, VR, software engineering, 3D, biotechnology, and smart materials.
Latvian exposition for the EXPO 2020 in Dubai is designed by team ‘SOIL’, a consortium of three companies. The exposition will be formed from peat installations in a fashion to represent the rooting and development of innovations and new technologies where nature interacts with human creations. Additionally, eight national stands will be organised in various themed exhibitions, along with 13 trade missions for entrepreneurs. On November 27, Latvia’s national day at the EXPO, a special business forum will take place with the participation of the country’s senior officials.