Australian suppliers finding good health in Asia

Australian capability in the healthcare sector was recently showcased in a trade mission to Malaysia and Indonesia. Twelve Australian companies met with local industry and government leaders to discuss their healthcare delivery model and present innovative solutions in architecture, town planning, urban design, hospital management and engineering services.
In July 2012, ICN in Victoria collaborated with the Victorian Government to deliver a trade mission to South East Asia with the support of the Australian Government’s ASEAN Healthcare Alliance SAMP program.
To support ICN, the Australian Government provides funding through its Supplier Access to Major Projects (SAMP) program. SAMP seeks to increase opportunities for Australian industry, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in major projects and increase access to global supply markets for major projects. ICN administers SAMP on behalf of the Australian Government.
The South East Asia mission focused on the delivery of hospital and aged care facilities, as well as its related urban infrastructure. Australian companies visited state-of-the-art hospital facilities in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and met with key representatives from the private and public sectors to learn more about their healthcare plans and upcoming infrastructure projects. 
Opportunities for Australian businesses exist in the design, planning and operations management of new healthcare facilities. The region is increasingly adopting a ‘healthy community’ model where healthcare and aged care facilities will form part of planned communities, which provides additional opportunities in town planning, urban design and transport infrastructure solutions. Mission participants met with the Malaysian Ministry of Works, Malaysian Business Council, Indonesian Hospital Association PERSI, as well as local property developers.
For some participants this was a fact finding mission to identify potential export opportunities. ‘This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the scope of healthcare related projects in the region, and understand that town planning and city building is an integral component of it’, says David Klingberg, Director of town planning and urban design firm, David Lock Associates.
Companies with a well-established presence in the region also took advantage of the high-level networking opportunities available during the mission. Planning and design firm Arup inaugurated their new Jakarta office shortly after the trade mission, further consolidating the company’s presence in the region. ‘The trade mission gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet key public and private healthcare providers and developers, as well as other organisations working in this sector and to discuss creating health facilities and healthy communities of the future’, notes Arup’s health leader Katie Wood, who manages the firm’s health projects throughout Australasia.
There are well established, strong business links between Australia and South East Asia, with many industry leaders either having studied or having their children schooled in Australia. ‘Malaysians in particular understand Australia well and are open to talking to Australian businesses’, says Candida Costa, ICN’s Victorian office, International Program Manager. ‘We regularly host international groups visiting Australia who want to engage our expertise to collaborate in projects in their home countries.’
Under the SAMP program, ICN continues to work with Australian companies following the trade mission and to assist in their return visits to the region. A new trade mission to ASEAN is planned for early 2013.
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