Arab Health 2022 takes place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 24 to 27 January, alongside a trade mission for the Latvian biomedical industry which will start on 24 January and run until 1 February. Fifteen companies from Latvia will go to Dubai; these companies operate in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical equipment, and IT products for the medical industry.
The Health & Wellness Week 2021, which will also feature a fair and a trade mission, is one of the ten thematic weeks of EXPO 2020, dedicated to healthcare and well-being. During this week, the participants will search for collaborative solutions to various challenges. 15 companies from Latvia will go to Dubai: ‘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’, ‘Purpose AM Systems’, ‘Carolpharma’, ‘Smart Clast’, Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence of Riga Technical University and ‘NordePlast’.
Biomedicine is one of the industries in Latvia with more than 60 years of experience. This industry shows an increasing share in gross domestic product in almost all countries of the world and is one of the most important sectors for the future, according to the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).
“Arab Health is the most important industry fair in the UAE and the Middle East, and biomedicine in general is one of the most interesting sectors in the region’s markets. This year, the fair takes place during the Health care week, so we expect that it will be visited by industry professionals. Of course, the UAE is not our usual market; many companies go there for the first time to get to know and understand the specifics and needs of the region. However, successful participation in previous exhibitions and trade missions in various industries has already paved the way - the name of Latvia has been prominently heard in EXPO, and our companies are treated with interest and respect. Meanwhile, for those companies that have already mastered this market both at previous Arab Health fairs and with individual work, this will be a great opportunity to strengthen the results and get new contracts. It will no longer be market research, but purposeful work to close deals. Latvia will be represented by both experienced companies and absolutely new brands. Latvian entrepreneurs offer various IT solutions, medical textiles, pharmaceutical products and research solutions, which will also be presented at a special seminar on 28 January,” says Jadviga Neimane, Senior Project Manager of the LIAA Export Promotion Division.
‘SPODRA’ SIA manufactures medical class disinfectants with the trademark ‘MidoPharm’, which are exhibited at EXPO 2020 and with which the company will also participate in Arab Health 2022. ‘MidoPharm’ has a wide range of products for medical and healthcare facilities, even including the usage of products in the operating rooms. Valentīns Mucenieks, Member of the Board of the company, says that if before the Covid-19 pandemic it was a relatively narrow niche with high added value, where a relatively small number of large Western companies worked, but in Latvia – only ‘SPODRA’ SIA, now competition is fierce worldwide, prices have fallen, and it is necessary to think a lot about the added value to your product. “As our experience in the UAE has shown, the fact that Arabs have a lot of money does not mean that they don’t care where or how to spend it. The Middle East market is currently highly interested in various aspects of healthcare and well-being, and the 'green' direction in which they are many steps ahead of the rest of the world; we certainly want to find our niche there. It should be taken into account that the situation is not simple: if before the pandemic medical class disinfectants were a high value-added product, the market is now saturated, with China and Saudi Arabia right next door – large economies with highly developed production, cheap resources and low labour costs; the regular assortment has everything you could want, so the price alone is not enough to compete. Our advantage is 20 years of experience, high quality and appropriate certification, which is very important for trade in this region,” emphasises Valentīns Mucenieks.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that at some point human resources alone may not be sufficient to ensure access to health care. Therefore, there is a wide work field in this industry for developers of digital solutions, various technologies and implementers of cross-industry projects. Normunds Daudišs, the founder of the ‘UPOLife’ brand, which represents innovative digital healthcare solutions, says: “Expo 2020 and Arab Health 2022 work as a regional platform that gives access to a much wider range of customers than just the UAE. Arab Health will be the largest event of its kind in the world recently, with delegations from 60 countries present on-site. This is an opportunity for Latvia to demonstrate the best innovations in biomedicine and digital health, combining our strong field of science and research with the capabilities of IT technology.”
The EXPO 2020 world fair takes place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Additional information about Latvia’s participation in EXPO 2020 is available here.