We already discussed the possibility of companies setting up manufacturing facilities in European countries that are struggling economically, such as Ireland. It looks like some Eastern European markets are gaining attention as well for example, Phillips-Medisize is moving some medical device assembly operations from Mexico to the Czech Republic. The Eastern European markets are being increasingly recognized as growth opportunities among medical device manufacturers, particularly as growth in the more mature markets, such as the US and large European countries, stagnates. Furthermore, the Eastern European markets might be more reachable for smaller companies without the resources to set up shop in emerging markets further abroad, such as China.
Another recently published article discussed potential opportunities for medtech in North African markets, such as Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria countries where health care infrastructure is continuing to improve. This article suggests that the best opportunities in medtech in these countries lie in areas such as infectious disease diagnostics, women's and neonatal health, surgical supplies, and wound care. The volatile political situations in the countries, however, make these countries a bit more of a gamble for medtech companies.
But as growth in the US and Europe slows and low-cost Chinese and Indian competitors continue to emerge in their local markets, these nearby markets might be the best bets for expansion, particularly for smaller European competitors.