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Exporting Medical Devices: A Growth Engine for Small Business
July 19, 2016 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business

Exporting Medical Devices: A $190 billion opportunity for small businesses in the U.S.

The United States is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, many of which help save lives every day. According to the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), medical advances over the last 30 years have helped to increase life expectancy by five years and reduce fatalities from heart attack, stroke and breast cancer by more than half. Additionally, AdvaMed reports that the $150 billion industry in the U.S. is fueled by small businesses and entrepreneurs, providing 1.9 million high quality U.S. jobs.

As impressive as that is, the U.S. market is less than half of the $340 billion global market and U.S. medical technologies are in high demand internationally. So if you are one of the 6,500 U.S.-based medical device manufacturers, exporting can be the key to driving business growth and improving healthcare worldwide. And the U.S. government has resources to help you.

With 1,400 trade professionals located throughout the United States and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in more than 70 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service (the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration) offers expertise and introductions to help you grow your business in markets overseas. Their 2016 Healthcare Technologies Resource Guide, A Reference for U.S. Exporters, outlines four ways the U.S. Commercial Service can help you get started:

Market Intelligence

  • Analyze market potential and foreign competitors
  • Obtain information on prospects, financing, laws and cultural issues
  • Conduct background checks on potential buyers and distributors

Trade Counseling

  • Develop effective market entry and sales strategies
  • Understand export documentation requirements and import regulations of foreign markets
  • Navigate U.S. government export controls, compliance and trade financing options

Business Matchmaking

  • Connect with pre-screened potential partners
  • Promote your product at trade events worldwide
  • Meet with international industry and government decision makers in your target markets

Commercial Diplomacy

  • Overcome trade obstacles to successfully enter new markets
  • Benefit from U.S. government engagement with foreign governments to protect U.S. business interests
  • Access U.S. government trade advocacy for foreign government procurement bids

In addition to these services, the U.S. Commercial Service is an excellent resource for information about top markets, import requirements, documentation and customs regulations, and they work closely with their sister agencies - the Small Business Administration and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank), These two federal government agencies provide solutions for working capital loan guarantees and protection against nonpayment of invoices by foreign buyers.

DemeTECH, a Florida manufacturer of surgical sutures and blades, expanded their business into more than 100 countries and grew revenue by over 400 percent. Today, 80 percent of their revenue comes from exports to international markets in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia. Working with EXIM Bank, DemeTECH was able to offer credit terms to foreign buyers, while at the same time protecting itself frombuyer nonpayment with an Export Credit Insurance policy. Listen to Luis Arguello Sr., DemeTECH Founder, Owner, President and CEO, explain how working with EXIM Bank opened up new international markets and fueled the growth of his company. Medical Device CEO Shares how Exporting Grew His Company by 400 Percent! 

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!