Turkey exports $ 5 billion in protective equipment and medical device in 2020



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Turkey’s medical equipment industry exported products such as protective gear and masks worth nearly $ 5 billion (TL 40 billion) in 2020 as overseas sales of the sector were boosted by the pandemic, according to a sector official.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected public health and many sectors around the world, has mobilized the medical equipment sector as demand for personal protection products like masks or gloves has skyrocketed, Metin Demir, president of the Turkish Health Industry Employers Association (SEIS), said Thursday. ,

Foreign sales of protective equipment alone generated some $ 4 billion in total exports, he added.

Demir said the industry has taken advantage of its advantageous position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of protective equipment.

The sector’s exports were worth $ 600 million in 2019 before reaching $ 5 billion in the pandemic year of 2020.

“We have made a breakthrough in exports compared to previous years,” he said, noting that Chinese producers were out of the game at the start of the pandemic which turned into an advantage for Turkey.

“Towards the end of 2020, China came back in the game,” Demir said, but Turkish producers are still competitively priced.

Demir said the sector is expected to reach $ 2 billion this year.

Commenting on the planned creation of the Presidency of Health Industries, Demir said that the establishment of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) had significantly mobilized Turkey’s defense sector and that they expected a similar development for the health sector as well.

The Presidency of Health Industries will be established by the end of this year.

“We want it to be a structure which makes regulations compatible with European Union legislation, and which simultaneously carries out projects with the sector and allows coordination,” he said.

Meanwhile, Demir added that the industry still has a problem with debts from universities and public hospitals which amount to around $ 3 billion to date.

“This issue only affected university hospitals between 2013-2018, however, from January 2018 to August 2020, public hospitals were also added. Large companies and internationals waived their claims, but SMEs could not waive in because of the limited opportunities, “he said.

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