Australian companies meet with Malaysia’s leading engineering firm & property developer MRCB
Australian capability in the healthcare sector was recently showcased in a trade mission to Malaysia and Indonesia. Twelve Australian companies met with local industry and government leaders to discuss their healthcare delivery model and present innovative solutions in architecture, town planning, urban design, hospital management and engineering services.
In July 2012, ICN Victoria collaborated with the Victorian Government to deliver a trade mission to South East Asia with the support of the Australian Government’s ASEAN Healthcare Alliance SAMP* program.
The mission focused on the delivery of hospital and aged care facilities, as well as its related urban infrastructure. Australian companies visited state-of-the-art hospital facilities in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and met with key representatives from the private and public sectors to learn more about their healthcare plans and upcoming infrastructure projects.
Opportunities for Australian businesses exist in the design, planning and operations management of new healthcare facilities. The region is increasingly adopting a ‘healthy community’ model where healthcare and aged care facilities will form part of planned communities, which provides additional opportunities in town planning, urban design and transport infrastructure solutions. Mission participants met with the Malaysian Ministry of Works, Malaysian Business Council, Indonesian Hospital Association PERSI, as well as local property developers.
For some participants this was a fact finding mission to identify potential export opportunities. “This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the scope of healthcare related projects in the region, and understand that town planning and city building is an integral component of it”, says David Klingberg, Director of town planning and urban design firm David Lock Associates.
Companies with a well-established presence in the region also took advantage of the high-level networking opportunities available during the mission. Planning and design firm Arup inaugurated their new Jakarta office shortly after the trade mission, further consolidating the company’s presence in the region. “The trade mission gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet key public and private healthcare providers and developers, as well as other organisations working in this sector and to discuss creating health facilities and healthy communities of the future”, notes Arup’s health leader Katie Wood, who manages the firm’s health projects throughout Australasia. Arup’s office locations in ASEAN include Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Singapore.
According to the United Nations Organisation the ASEAN population will increase from 606 million in 2010 to 643 million in 2015 and the International Monetary Fund estimates that over the same period GDP for the region will increase from USD1.8 trillion to USD 3.1 trillion. Healthcare has been identified as one of the key economic growth areas by the Government of Malaysia in their 2020 development plan. Over 30 privately and government funded facilities have been approved or are under the process for approval for construction in the country by 2015.
Indonesia’s current National Health Strategic Plan outlines the importance of increasing access to quality healthcare for middle and low‐income families, at an affordable price. It is notable that the National Health Strategic Plan states an open policy for foreign player participation and cooperation. Indonesia’s Federal Ministry of Health and the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) propose that seventeen hospitals of varying bed numbers and specialties are to be constructed by 2015.
These projects present significant opportunity to Australian industry to establish a long term presence in market providing total solutions to major health project proponents.
"South East Asia as a region is developing rapidly”, says Tim Dillon, Victorian Trade Commissioner to South East Asia based in Kuala Lumpur. “Not surprisingly, with this growth comes both an increased demand and desire for better health care and governments across the region are grappling with the issue and seeking solutions to develop sustainable health care. The Victorian Government Business Office - South East Asia is actively engaging with both the public and private sectors across the region involved with the planning and delivery of health care infrastructure and alongside ICN is well positioned to assist Victorian companies in this sector to engage with the region”, Mr Dillon adds.
There are well established, strong business links between Australia and South East Asia, with many industry leaders either having studied or having their children schooled in Australia. “Malaysians in particular understand Australia well and open to talking to Australian businesses”, says Candida Costa, ICN’s International Program Manager. “We regularly host international groups visiting Australia who want to engage our expertise to collaborate in projects in their home countries.”
Under the SAMP program, ICN continues to work with Australian companies following the trade mission and to assist in their return visits to the region. A new trade mission to ASEAN is planned for early 2013.
With more than 28 years experience and relationships with over 65,000 businesses, ICN’s mission is to introduce Australian and New Zealand companies to business opportunities around the world. ICN’s International Program specifically promotes Australian businesses into international markets. The majority of ICN’s services are free of charge to both Australian and international clients.
* To support ICN, the Australian Government provides funding through its Supplier Access to Major Projects (SAMP) program. SAMP seeks to increase opportunities for Australian industry, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in major projects and increase access to global supply markets for major projects. ICN administers SAMP on behalf of the Australian Government.