Medical-device makers anticipate China boom

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 27, 2013 10:13 am ET
Updated: May 27, 2013 10:21 am ET

Image By: Plastics News photo by David M. Barron/oxygengroup Michael Corkran, founder and CEO of China Centric Associates, at the Plastics in Medical Devices conference

Related to this story

Topics Medical Reshoring China
Companies & Associations

WALTHAM, MASS. — China remains one of the hottest topics among medical-device manufacturers and their entire supply chain, both as a potential market and a possible competitor.

At the Plastics in Medical Devices conference, held May 13-15 in Waltham, outside Boston, Michael Corkran, founder and CEO of Beachwood, Ohio-based China Centric Associates, offered advice and perspective on doing business in the world's largest emerging market. China Centric is a consulting firm that helps companies develop and execute ventures in China.

China, which operates on predetermined five-year economic plans, has already made improving the quality of and access to health care one of the country's top two priorities in its 2011-15 plan. Corkran said he expects health care to be the top priority in the economic plan that begins in 2016, as development continues to move inland from China's coast. Private, for-profit hospitals are also a major growth market in China, Corkran said, with more than 2,000 opening in the last few years, mostly in large cities.

With China focused on developing a consumer, demand-based economy in an effort to be less dependent on imports, the door is open for U.S. and other companies to go east and jump into the local market, he said, but to do business there, foreigners must have a local presence and Chinese partners. "And culturally, building the relationship is very, very important there," he said.

Corkran advises medical-device makers to enter China with a combination of opportunistic selling — responding to customer demand and signing on with local distributors — and a strategic market development plan, but most importantly, an open mind.

"The single-biggest mistake I see is attempting to transfer Western business practices to China and expecting them to work," he said. "Only in last 15 years has China been engaged in Western business practices with any real traction."

While operating from a deficit compared with Western competitors, particularly in dealing with intellectual property concepts — China established its first patent office in 1980 — China is catching up quickly.

"Two-thirds of what U.S. businesses complain about as 'piracy,' isn't," Corkran said. "If you had a good idea and chose not to protect it, it's on you. But they are working very aggressively to introduce Westernlike IP laws in China. They want protection of their own intellectual property. … They know they're not where the West is. It takes a lot to overcome 2,000 years of IP inertia."


Comments

Medical-device makers anticipate China boom

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 27, 2013 10:13 am ET
Updated: May 27, 2013 10:21 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Getting a real feel for how 'vinyl saves lives'

March 27, 2015 6:00 am ET

While I'm certainly not shipping off to Africa anytime soon, I got a taste of what medical professionals go through in the fight against Ebola and...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Highlights from NPE 2015

March 25, 2015 6:35 pm ET

We wrap our week of coverage of NPE 2015 with a look at a plastic can looking to replace tin, robots and the Freeformer.    More

Image

Wal-Mart: We want to buy American

March 25, 2015 3:41 pm ET

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is looking to boost the number of domestic suppliers as part of its 10-year, $250 billion investment program, according to the...    More

Image

Plastics News Now at NPE: Highlights from Tuesday

March 24, 2015 8:59 pm ET

The second full day of NPE 2015 has come to a close, and we check out all the highlights including a new robot from Sepro.    More

Image

Dock strike forces Nissei to scramble

March 24, 2015 9:44 am ET

Japan's Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. wanted to think small for NPE, but something big got in the way — labor disputes at the U.S. West Coa...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events