Michigan showcases healthcare businesses at medical show in Middle East to increase trade between state and UAE

Friday, January 24, 2020

Five Michigan businesses to join MEDC at Arab Health in Dubai, Jan. 27-30, 2020 • Trip will increase companies’ export opportunities with important trade market • Show will boost visibility of Michigan’s healthcare industry

LANSING, Mich. – Business leaders from five Michigan companies will join the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at Arab Health, taking place January 27 through January 30 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The trade mission will connect small- and medium-sized Michigan healthcare companies to the increasing export opportunities in the region, ultimately growing their businesses and bringing more jobs for Michigan residents.

“Michigan companies are well-positioned to respond to the fast-growing demand for healthcare products and services in the Middle East, and this Arab Health show provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Michigan technologies and know-how,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “By partnering with these Michigan companies, we are able to create new opportunities for growth in the state by helping to facilitate increased exports to this market.”

Arab Health is the world’s second largest healthcare congress and exhibition, and the largest in the Middle East. The 2020 exhibition will showcase more than 4,250 companies exhibiting their latest innovations to more than 55,000 healthcare professionals attending from over 159 countries.

The participating Michigan companies will travel with MEDC to take part in pre-arranged business matchmaking meetings with prospective partners, distributors and buyers. Matchmaking meetings were arranged by the Michigan Arab Gulf Center located in Dubai. In addition, participants will experience an in-country briefing about doing business in the region and receive their own kiosk in the Michigan booth at the show. The participating companies are:

  • Altus Inc. (Walker) – Develops mobile sit-to-stand technology workstations that create customized workflow solutions for the healthcare industry.
  • Medicus Health (Kentwood) – Develops, provides and distributes high-quality medical supplies to hospitals, surgery centers, outpatient clinics, home health care providers and physicians.
  • The Kirlin Company (Detroit) – Designs and manufactures quality medical lighting systems for MRI, ICU, LDRP and ED.
  • Right Answer (Midland) – Develops and manages databases and software that are distributed as subscriptions.
  • SunMed, LLC (Grand Rapids) – Global supplier of airway management products.

“The Arab Health Conference presents a unique opportunity to meet with healthcare business leaders interested in promoting the advancement of healthcare in the region of the United Arab Emirates, Middle East and North Africa. These areas are keen to improve healthcare with technological advancements that will allow them to catch up with and ideally surpass the quality of healthcare available in other areas of the world,” said Glen Markham, executive vice president of corporate business development for RightAnswer.com, Inc. “In representing RightAnwer.com at Arab Health, I have been able to meet with senior-level people at Dubai Health Authority, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Dubai Healthcare City and executives at other prominent organizations. Without MEDC, this type of international export activity would not be practical for a small company and we sincerely appreciate their support.”

In addition to MEDC’s five co-exhibitors, Henry Ford Health System and College Park are also representing Michigan at Arab Health 2020. A strong Michigan presence at Arab Health is increasingly important as the United Arab Emirates quickly becomes a top trading partner to the state. Export sales to the United Arab Emirates that have been facilitated by services through MEDC’s International Trade Team have risen significantly since 2015. In 2015, the country was Michigan’s 23rd largest export market, representing just more than $2 million in sales. By 2019, the United Arab Emirates jumped to the state’s sixth largest export market with more than $18 million in facilitated export sales.

This is the eighth year MEDC has led a group of businesses to Arab Health. Companies that participated since 2013 report a total of more than $40 million in increased sales as a result of attending Arab Health. 

“Attending Arab Health 2019 and working with MEDC and the Channels Business Solutions team was a huge help. Last year, we found a distribution partner and will be working even more closely with them in 2020 to grow our market in the Gulf region. Working with MEDC and the Channels team has been like adding a few extra team members to the Altus family. We’ve had great support from said teams. They do an amazing job coordinating all the travel, learning opportunities and company match-making efforts. I’m excited to work the MEDC and the Channels team again in 2020,” said Sarah Leitz, director of product marketing for Altus Inc.

MEDC's International Trade Program is committed to increasing Michigan’s exporting opportunities by helping businesses identify and enter key emerging foreign markets. Export sales facilitated by the MEDC International Trade program totaled more than $682 million in fiscal year 2019, surpassing the goal of $580 million. This puts the International Trade program-to-date total facilitated export sales at $3.1 billion. Top reported countries for export sales include Mexico, Canada, China and the United Kingdom. To help offset costs, various companies have received STEP grants in the past. This year, Altus, Medicus Health and The Kirlin Company have applied for and were approved for STEP grants for the trade mission. The MI-STEP program is designed to spur job creation by empowering Michigan small businesses to export their products.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.