The value of Finland’s exports of health technology products rose to €2.29 billion in 2018, an increase of 3.4% over the prior year. Imports of health technology products rose 6.0% to €1.24 billion. The trade balance in health technology continues to increase and exceeded €1 billion. Health technology represents the largest high-tech product export segment of Finnish industry.
The overall growth of 3.4% in the value of health technology exports was led by a 4.7% increase in exports of In Vitro Diagnostics segment, due entirely to strong growth in diagnostic equipment exports. Except for the Medical Furniture segment (2.3% of 2018 health technology exports), all other health technology segments also grew exports in 2018—although Medical Implants segment exports (1.1% of total health technology exports) grew only marginally.
Finland enjoys a large trade surplus in most health technology segments
The largest contributor to the net €1.1 billion trade surplus in health technology continued to be Finland’s traditionally strong Medical Equipment segment, which comprises imaging, equipment and other medical devices. This sector contributed 90% of the net surplus. The second biggest contributor was the In Vitro Diagnostics segment, comprising both diagnostic reagents and equipment. Finland enjoys a large trade surplus in all health technology product segments except medical implants. Combined, the Medical Equipment and In Vitro Diagnostics segments comprised 97% of Finland’s health technology product exports in 2018.
Finland’s long-term trade performance in the health technology sector
In health technology, Finland has achieved long-term export growth while generating significant, and
growing, trade surpluses. Over the last two decades, the value of exports has increased five-fold to €2.3 billion and the net trade surplus has increased ten-fold to €1.1 billion.
The compound annual growth in the value of health technology exports over the period 1996–2018 was 5.7%. For comparison, the global market for medical technology is forecast to grow in the range 4.0–5.6% (sources: EY, 2018 and EvaluateMedTech, 2018).
Effects of changes in exchange rates on health technology trade statistics
The exchange rates for the euro were volatile during 2018 for all major non-euro trading partners. Although the value of the euro vs the US dollar trended down throughout 2018, the euro was 4.5% stronger against the dollar during 2018 on average, compared to the corresponding exchange rate in 2017. Given that the USA is the largest destination for Finnish health technology exports, changes in the euro-dollar exchange rate strongly impacts the growth in export volume year-over-year. In 2018, Finland’s overall growth in health technology exports was 8.1% in US dollar terms, exceeding the average 5.2% dollar-based growth in health technology exports for the past decade.
From trade statistics, the health technology industry can be examined by the following segments and
• Medical Equipment: electromedical equipment (e.g. patient monitors), accessories and supplies; other medical equipment; devices; instruments and appliances; ventilation equipment; X-ray
(including dental) apparatus and other imaging equipment.
• In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD): instruments; reagents; supplies. Customers include the life sciences sector, as well as hospital laboratories and clinics.
• Medical Furniture: hospital operating tables and beds; dental chairs and furniture; sterilization equipment; rehabilitation equipment.
• Medical Implants: replaceable and permanently implanted devices; wearable devices.
For more information about Finland’s health technology export, click here.
This report is based on preliminary data from the Finnish Customs Board database, updated Feb. 28 2019, using HS/CN codes and was prepared for Healthtech Finland r.y. by Sean Donovan, March 2019.
Source: Healthtech Finland