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The Financial Express

Medical products account for 5.0pc of global trade

FE Online Report | Published: April 05, 2020 19:30:07 | Updated: April 06, 2020 08:56:54


Medical products account for 5.0pc of global trade

World imports of medical products totalled U$1,011 billion in 2019, a 5.0 per cent increase from 2018.

Together with exports, Global trade of medical products is estimated at $2.0 trillion which is around 5.0 per cent of the total of merchandise trade in 2019.

World Trade Organization (WTO), in its special report titled ‘Trade in Medical Goods in the Context of Tackling COVID-19’, unveiled the figure. Prepared by the WTO secretariat, the report was released on Friday in Geneva.

It showed that world imports of medical products totalled $1.01 trillion in 2019, a 5.0 per cent increase from 2018.

The largest category of medical products, by value, was the ‘medicines’ representing 56.0 per cent of the total value of import, according to the report.

It was followed by ‘medical supplies’ with a share of 17.0 per cent.

‘Medical equipment’ and ‘personal protective equipment’ have the lowest share with 14.0 per cent and 13.0 per cent respectively.

The report also showed that during the last three years, the United States was the largest importer of medical products, accounting for 19.0 per cent of total world imports of these products in 2019.

The US was followed by Germany (9.0pc), China and Belgium (6.0 pc each). The other importers who make up the top 10 importers include the Netherlands, Japan, UK, France, Italy, and Switzerland, said the report.

WTO report also showed that global exports of medical products increased by 9.0 per cent in 2018 and 6.0 per cent in 2019, from $859 billion in 2017 to around $995.8 billion in 2019.

“Germany is the top exporter with a 14.0 per cent share,” it added. 

“The top 10 exporters account for almost three-quarters of world exports.”

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