Activity Reports

BOI-AJC Healthcare Business Mission to Thailand

The ASEAN Japan Centre (AJC) in collaboration with the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) Tokyo Office, co-organised the Healthcare Business Mission to Thailand from 17th to 20th March 2024.

Enhancing the Business Outlook of Japan’s Healthcare Industry

The ASEAN-Japan Centre is committed to promoting investment opportunities between ASEAN and Japan including Thailand, by facilitating Japanese companies with in-depth insights into the latest trends in Thailand’s healthcare industries. The AJC co-organises the business mission in collaboration with the BOI Tokyo Office to explore new market opportunities for Japanese healthcare products and technologies in Thailand as well as share Japan’s innovative experiences as a leading healthcare provider.

The Current Landscape of the Healthcare Industry in Thailand

The current landscape of the healthcare industry in Thailand is experiencing significant changes due to the country’s aging population. As of now, individuals aged 60 and above make up of 18.3%, nearly one-fifth of the total population. This demographic shift signals Thailand’s transition towards becoming a super-aged society by 2030, with projections suggesting the elderly population will surpass 28%. In 2023, approximately 141,000 businesses specializing on elderly care accounted for 16.13% of all active businesses in Thailand.

Advancements in Long-term Care Facilities and Service Development in Thailand

At the same time, Thailand’s healthcare system echoes its growth on the horizon, with advancements in both long-term care facilities and service development. Thailand has the highest combined export and import value of medical products in ASEAN. The industry is expanding steadily at 6.5% per year due to the post-pandemic rebound. Presently, the country hosts 800 registered nursing homes, with expectations for growth to reach 1200 by 2026. Noteworthy is the fact that healthcare facilities are largely operated by private stakeholders, encompassing a staggering 95% of all providers. Whilst 31% of the service distribution primarily centers around major urban hubs such as Bangkok, Nontaburi, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, and Ratchaburi.

High Expectations of Japanese Healthcare Expertise in Rehabilitation and Nursing Homes

Thai healthcare industry holds high expectations for Japanese healthcare experience in areas related to rehabilitation and nursing homes. Japan stands out as a country that has been dealing with rapidly aging societies longer than any other Asian nation. Consequently, Thai medical companies and hospitals see a significant opportunity to learn from Japan’s expertise in elderly care services. Additionally, products and technologies developed by Japanese companies are better tailored to Asian body types and are lighter in weight compared to products from other countries, such as those from the EU and China. This makes them particularly appealing for integration into Thai healthcare practice.

Opportunities for Thailand and Japan Healthcare Innovative Collaboration

Several Thai facilities have expressed interest in Japanese light-weight wheelchair and robotic leg supports for stroke and Parkinson’s patients, as well as a willingness to visit rehabilitation centers in Japan for further collaboration and knowledge sharing. This demand underscores the recognition of Japan’s advanced expertise in rehabilitation innovation and a significant opportunity for Japanese companies to expand their presence in the assistive technology market. By leveraging these partnerships, both countries can benefit from advancements in healthcare innovation, ultimately leading to improved quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges.

Presentation at World Medical Hospital
Presentation at Siriraj Hospital

Way Forward

Thai healthcare sector holds significant potential for growth. Given the limited availability of well-established healthcare products and equipment in Thailand, this presents a promising opportunity for Japanese companies to take a step ahead by introducing their products to Thai nurses and caregivers. In addition, once users have become habitually familiarized to the products, there is a high possibility that they will continue the usage patterns and do not switch to alternative options due to end-user habits. To enhance Japan’s strategic foothold and the provision of advanced medical technology to Thailand, swift action is necessary before competitors from other countries seize this growing sector’s potential.

AJC will remain committed to addressing the needs of the Thai healthcare industry. We will continue to facilitate a seamless integration of innovative Japanese healthcare products, while simultaneously enhancing the collaborative partnership between Japan and Thailand in healthcare sector.

Presentation at Senizens Stroke Rehabilitation Center & Chersery Home
Group Photo at Thammasat Thammarak Hospice

About the Event

BOI-AJC Healthcare Business Mission to Thailand
Date: 17th – 20th of March 2024
Venue: Thailand
Organizers: ASEAN-Japan Centre, Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) Tokyo Office
Participated Companies: 7 companies
Visiting Facilities: Health at Home Care Center, Kluaynamthai 2 Hospital, Siriraj Hospital, Senizens Stroke Rehabilitation Center & Chersery Home, World Medical Hospital, Thammasat Thammarak Hospice

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