Medical engineering – a booming industry of the future

Nordbank study: Above-average growth in northern Germany

Hamburg/Kiel, July 8, 2008 - HSH Nordbank has teamed up with Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut (HWWI) to analyse the economic prospects of Germany’s medical engineering sector. Entitled “Zukunftsbranche Medizintechnik – auch im Norden ein Wachstumsmotor“, the new study shows that the medical engineering sector has grown significantly, driven by rising global demand for healthcare services and, hence, for medical engineering products. In particular, international trade in medical products has grown dynamically. Germany’s strong standing in this sector is primarily reflected in exports. The main markets for medical engineering products made in Germany are the USA and the EU. In recent years, the new EU countries and the expanding economies in Asia, especially China, have gained importance. “This trend has primarily benefited the northern German federal states. In Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, sales of medical engineering products have increased faster than the German average,” said Dirk Gojny, Head of Research at HSH Nordbank.

Medical engineering is a high-tech industry. It is very research-intensive and innovative. Investments in research and development (R&D) in Germany’s medical engineering sector represent approx. 8% of the sector’s revenues, which means they are twice as high as the manufacturing sector average. The high research and technology intensity is also reflected in the high percentage of skilled labour and R&D staff. “High spending on R&D can help to maintain Germany’s and northern Germany’s position as an attractive and competitive place for business,” said Dr. Eckhardt Wohlers, Research Fellow of the HWWI. Going forward, healthcare demand in the fast-growing and heavily populated developing and emerging countries will continue to rise sharply. Apart from population growth, income growth will play a particularly important role in this context. “This means that the growth prospects for the medical engineering sector are positive both on the demand side and on the supply side,” said Michael Bräuninger, Competence Centre Manager at the HWWI. Given that the export share of the northern German medical engineering sector is somewhat higher than the German average, growth in northern Germany will probably be even higher than in Germany as a whole. “By the year 2020, total revenues in the medical engineering sector are expected to grow by approx. 8 percent per year in Germany and by just under 9 percent per year in northern Germany,” said Dr. Eckhardt Wohlers.

HSH Nordbank AG is a strong commercial bank in Northern Europe with total assets of € 204 billion. Some 4,800 of the bank’s employees provide corporate and high net-worth clients around the globe with premium bank products and services. In its core region of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, it is the market leader in the corporate customer segment. HSH Nordbank is an acknowledged partner of the capital markets and international sector specialist. Its main focus is on transportation and real estate. In fact, HSH Nordbank is the world’s largest provider of ship finance and covers the entire value chain in the transportation segment. In the area of real estate, HSH Nordbank is one of the strongest banks in Germany, acting as a provider of services relating to all aspects of real estate.

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