FTI seeks state support for testing lab
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) plans to request the government support the establishment of national medical laboratory testing to serve the country's industrial development in medical services.
This sector is part of the government's 12 targeted industries under the S-curve policy, comprising cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical services; defence; and education development.
The development follows the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.
Winit Ritshima, chairman of the FTI's medical device and health manufacturers industry club, said the laboratory testing should be located in Chachoengsao, one of the three EEC provinces.
"Thailand has no laboratory testing that meets international standards, and local makers have to export their medical equipment to be tested in Germany, Japan, Singapore and India," Mr Winit said. "This is an unnecessary cost for manufacturers and customers. It increases the prices of medical supplies in the Thai market."
Mr Winit said laboratory testing for medical is becoming more important to mobilise in the country because it can improve the healthcare market and save operating costs for companies.
The club expects the new government to support the industry in producing new medical supplies in the future. Thai companies can produced saline tubes, injection needles, contact lenses and rubber gloves, with the ability to export worldwide.
Mr Winit said the FTI is in talks with companies in Japan, Taiwan and China to join forces with Thai producers in medical supplies and equipment to establish private laboratory testing.
"We have seen interest from China investors because they want to expand their business presence to Southeast Asia, including Thailand," he said.
Japan, China and the US are major exporters of medical supplies and equipment with a shipment value of 3.8 trillion baht annually.
Thailand exports 170-180 billion baht of these products annually, but the country imports 100 billion baht worth of medical supplies and equipment a year.