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Malaysia sustains high latex production

Source:Ringier     Date:2011-08-16
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Malaysia supplies 80% of the world market for catheters and 60% for rubber gloves 

Malaysia is projected to post a double-digit increase in its export of rubber products this year. Rubber products exports is expected to reach $4.89 billion in 2011, up 11% from the 2010 export value. The rubber industry, which comprises over 500 manufacturers, produces latex products; tyres and tyrerelated products; and industrial and general rubber products. Rubber products accounted for 2% of Malaysia's total exports.
 In 2010, the volume of natural rubber production rose to 939,241 tonnes, from 857,019 tonnes in 2009. Major sectors using natural rubber include: latex products (79.3%), tyres (9.8%), general rubber products (7.3%), and industrial rubber products (3.4%). The latex products sub-sector has seen rapid growth in the past few years that Malaysia is now the world's largest consumer of natural rubber latex.
 The latex products sub-sector is composed of around 120 manufacturers producing medical, household and industrial gloves, catheters, latex threads, balloons, finger stalls and foam products. According to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), this sub-sector accounted for 80% of the rubber total value of exports, largely contributed by gloves, catheters and latex threads. Malaysia continued to maintain its position as the world's leading producer and exporter of catheters, latex threads and natural rubber medical gloves.

 Medical devices production on the rise
 The rubber products industry is being encouraged to diversify further, with emphasis on high value-added and high technology rubber products. The Malaysian government continues to grant fiscal incentives for promoted products and activities, and included specific activities in the rubber industry in the areas where manufacturers are qualified for investment incentives.
 The medical devices industry in Malaysia is dominated by companies engaged in the production of medical gloves and other medical disposable products. The country has sustained its position as the world's leading producer and exporter of medical gloves and catheters, supplying 80% of the world market for catheters, and 60% for rubber gloves.
 Several of the world's largest rubber gloves makers based in Malaysia are SuperMax Glove Manufacturing Bhd., Top Glove Corp. Bhd., Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd. and Hartalega Holdings. Top Glove has undertaken a massive expansion of its capacity. Its manufacturing facilities which spread across Malaysia, Thailand and China grew from 5 in 2001 to 20 in 2010, and will soon be expanding to 22 by March 2012.
 Most medical products manufactured in Malaysia are self-regulated and conform to internationally recognised quality standards such as the Food and Drug Administration (United States), Department Of Health (United Kingdom) and Bundesgesundheitsamt (Germany).
 A regulatory system has been put in place by the the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. The Voluntary Registration of Medical Devices Establishments (MeDVER) was launched in 2006, whilst mandatory registration and full enforcement of the regulation is expected to be in effect this year.
 As a priority sector, medical devices production is supported by activities ranging from sterilisation services, sterile medical packaging, precision engineering and tool and die making to contract moulding and assembly and machinery fabrication in Malaysia. The availability of the supporting industries positions Malaysia as an ideal location for the manufacture of medical devices with the potential to be developed into a medical device hub in Asia.

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