Why MENA is One of The Fastest Growing Regions in the World for the Pharma and Medical Devices Industries

Why MENA is One of The Fastest Growing Regions in the World for the Pharma and Medical Devices Industries

by Chris Atkinson in career
Economies across the MENA continue to grow. For the last half-century, business in the MENA region has gone from strength to strength.  

The region is divided between public and private sectors, both of which have individual strengths which have contributed to the region’s success. The private sector, although smaller, is dominated by vibrant and dynamic organisations, the public sector is bolstered by high overseas investment. 

Both the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries have benefitted from strong socioeconomic growth in the area, as many companies choose the Middle East to open new businesses and expand their multinational corporations in this area.  

Working closely with pharmaceutical and medical devices organisations and talent, at Kinetic, we have seen a rapid expansion in the number of available opportunities for these companies. In this blog, I’m going to be looking at the development in these sectors, and we take a look at how global pharma and medical devices organisations can act now to benefit. 

MENA’s Global Position

The MENA has always been regarded as being in an excellent global position – both geographically and financially. 

Despite periods of instability in the region’s infrastructure, the area has always been resilient to challenges, highlighting how buoyant these markets are, aided by wealth from natural resources.  

There are numerous success stories of businesses taking advantage of the excellent trading conditions of the MENA; namely the low personal and business tax rates aimed at attracting new ventures. 

The MENA and specifically, the UAE has become renowned for the facilitation of business. The UAE was voted the best region in the area for ease of business by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report two years ago.  

With all types of businesses enjoying the MENAs fortuitous environment, how are pharmaceutical and medical devices organisations specifically benefitting? 

Medical Devices Opportunities   

The medical devices market in the MENA was recently valued at USD 19.6 billion, with growth occurring each year. 

There are a few contributing factors as to why we have seen such significant growth in this area. Three main factors include - 
  • Rapid and ongoing socioeconomic changes. 
  • An ageing population – the number of people aged over 60 in North Africa will jump to 20% within 40 years. 
  • A shift in lifestyles which is contributing to the early onset of new medical conditions 
A recent report by Export.gov found the following medical equipment items as the most in-demand – 
  • Diagnostic imaging equipment 
  • Oncology and radiology equipment 
  • Disposables 
  • Surgical and medical equipment 
  • ICU monitoring equipment  
  • Laboratory and scientific equipment  
  • Mobile clinics 

Medical devices organisations who specialise in these areas have an excellent opportunity to take advantage of growing needs in these areas. 

Additionally, COVID-19 has undoubtedly contributed to recent growth in the medical devices sector; never before have medical items been needed by so many countries, and the pandemic highlighted a shortage of vital equipment in times of crisis.  

Pharma Growth 

The pharmaceutical market in the region is on an upward trajectory, with the industry predicted to be worth USD 60 billion by 2025. The UAE is the epicentre for this growth, though Egypt and Algeria are also major players in the production and exporting of pharmaceuticals to the African and Asian markets.  

Promoting this growth in the pharma industry is the ‘Vision 2021’ plan, which aims to provide world-class healthcare in the Emirates by increasing preventative measures for healthcare. Chronic diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type-2 diabetes are an increasing issue in the MENA, (25% of Saudis have diabetes compared to 10% of Americans) with constant research and investment needed to drive advancements in treatments for these conditions.  
While many of the pharmaceutical products produced in the MENA stay in the region, vast amounts are exported. For example, in Saudi Arabia, 85% of pharmaceuticals are imported, but in Egypt, 90% is produced within the country. Depending on the business model, pharma organisations can benefit both, by creating pharma products to stay in the region or use the geographic location, with its range of airports and sea channels to export goods worldwide.  

95% of global pharma companies already have a base in the UAE – is it time your pharma company expanded into this region? 

Recruiting Talent For Your Pharma or Medical Devicess Company  

Despite the excellent conditions in the MENA for expansion and increasing revenue, companies often face the same challenge – recruiting talented individuals. 

In this Gulf News business overview, one business owner reports hunting for four months and considering over 30 candidates before eventually finding the right employee. This is typical of new businesses opening in the MENA region, the resources and opportunities are here, but businesses achieve much faster and improved results when working with local service providers. 

This idea is what Kinetic is built on – our extensive local knowledge of pharma and medical devices talent in the MENA allows us to quickly find the right candidates for critical roles in your organisation.  

Next Steps 

If you are looking for talent for your pharmaceutical or medical devices organisation for a new or existing venture in the MENA – we can help. 

We’re the experts at locating the very best talent from within the MENA region, and worldwide, to ensure you get the best person for your vacancy. Contact us today on +971(0)4 442 0921 or use our contact form here to have a conversation about your next vacancy.  

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