Health – Made in Germany export initiative holds annual meeting

Attendees of the annual meeting. First row, second from left, is Harald Kuhne, head of Directorate-General Z at the BMWi; third row, on the far right, is Claudia Englbrecht from BIO Deutschland). © Illing & Vossbeck Fotografie.

The Health – Made in Germany export initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) helps companies in the German healthcare industry to enter into new markets overseas. On 13 March, the initiative held its annual meeting at the BMWi in Berlin. This year’s gathering of stakeholders included more than 30 attendees, mostly representatives from relevant trade associations and from ministerial departments dealing with the international healthcare industry. The meeting focused on the export initiative’s activities, especially new formats and highlights of the previous year. This included the new online company directory and the initiative’s increased engagement and dialogue with policymakers in other countries such as Japan and Vietnam.

A representative of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) attended as a guest in order to give a presentation of the Federal Government’s Foreign Trade Fair Programme (AMP). The AMP, which was launched in 1949, had an initial budget of one million German marks and supported five trade fair participations. Today it has an annual budget of €44 million, which is supporting 273 trade fair participations abroad in 2019. Around 35 of the trade fairs have some connection to the healthcare industry. The programme is demand driven as a result of the close integration of 60 German trade associations, which have a right of nomination. The support aims to benefit primarily German small and medium-sized German enterprises, which are eligible for up to a 50 percent reduction in exhibition costs.

The presentation was supplemented by status reports from other stakeholders and by questions from the ministerial departments dealing with the international healthcare industry, such as the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Foreign Office (AA). A report was also given on the Foreign Market Entry Program for SMEs (MEP). The annual meeting shows that the export initiative is well positioned to act as the key interface for foreign trade measures aimed at promoting the German healthcare industry. BIO Deutschland is an active member of the export initiative’s Medical Biotechnology Working Group. Other working groups deal with pharmaceuticals, digital health and medical technology.

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