Interview with Gonul Akyildiz, CEO, TG Expo, Turkey

Arab Health has become the meeting point for the healthcare sector, not only regionally but also globally

The Turkish healthcare sector is renowned for its wide range of world-class quality products that are available at an affordable price. TG Expo will be bringing all these state-of-the-art solutions from various leading Turkish firms under one roof, at the Arab Health Exhibition’s Turkish pavilion this year. In an interview with Arab Health’s Leaders in the Spotlight, Gonul Akyildiz, CEO, TG Expo, shares that companies participating in the Turkish country pavilion continue to receive a great deal of interest from potential customers from new markets at the event year-on-year. Furthermore, she adds that thanks to a number of key factors, Turkey appears prominently in the import list of many purchasers, especially from a number of Middle Eastern countries. Excerpts from the interview:

As an organiser of country pavilions at trade shows, what do you think are the key benefits for people to attend exhibitions overall?

Exhibitions are commercial platforms that offer versatile functions for exhibitors. They are as follows: to meet the current and potential customers in the target markets, to conduct competitor analysis, to follow the latest developments in the sector, to establish new partnerships, to emphasise its position in the sector and to strengthen the brand image.

The search for new markets that will minimise commercial risks at the time of global economic contractions or fluctuations is also an important benefit. Since exhibitions bring synchronously thousands of professional buyers and sellers together, and enable both sides to reach their goals quickly, they offer a time and cost advantage that is incomparable to any other method.

An exhibition such as Arab Health has become the meeting point for the healthcare sector, not only regionally but also globally. Companies that take part in the Turkish country pavilion achieve both major potential customers from new markets and contribute significantly to their brand and promotion. During the concurrent conferences and sessions, the experts who are competent in their fields give information about the latest developments, services, and practices in the healthcare sector.

How is the Middle East market different to other markets that you exhibit in?

Due to historical background, cultural similarities, religious ties, and geographical proximity, Turkish exhibitors prefer the Middle Eastern markets. Visitors who exhibit in trade fairs prefer Turkish products and services due to similar reasons. Of course, the convenience in the quality/price index, the ease of procurement and costs brought by logistical proximity are also factors that facilitate trade. The fact that a significant portion of the countries in the region, especially for certain product groups, are not producers but importers can also be counted among the factors that make the region attractive. Of course, per capita income and the high purchasing power of some countries in the region keep the interest in exhibitions alive in this region.

What new companies or exciting new products will be present at Arab Health this year as part of your pavilion?

There are various new exhibitors with profiles mostly based on research and envelopment, which work on new innovative technologies for hygienic products, medical supply solutions, patient care, and IT system designs. Also, professionals who visit the Turkish National Pavilion can find many new products such as hospital equipment, orthopaedic devices, medical devices, and disposables.

The Turkish pavilion at Arab Health is one of the biggest with the largest number of exhibitors. Thanks to this, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Turkish health industry under a single roof. Since the Turkish healthcare sector has a wide range of products including medical devices, hospital furniture and equipment, orthopaedic devices, medical textile, surgical instruments, disposable medical products, OTC and pharmaceutical products, it is also the focus of attention for professional buyers who want to purchase world-class quality products at an affordable price.

Moreover, when we look at the figures, we see that the Turkish health sector has a trade volume of over five billion dollars worldwide. Furthermore, exports are expected to grow by more than five per cent by the end of 2020. In addition to the quality and price advantage of Turkish manufacturers, we observe that the speed of deliveries due to the geographical proximity to the region is also of importance. As a result of these obvious advantages, Turkey appears prominently in the import list of many purchasers, especially from a number of Middle Eastern countries.

In short, purchasers visiting the Turkish pavilion will witness a wide variety of products at reasonable prices, and with high quality. Our message to them is: "the Turkish Healthcare Industry Welcomes You".

As a company closely associated with Arab Health for the past several years, how would you evaluate the impact of the event for business in the MENA healthcare industry? 

The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress will offer important alternatives to meet the needs and demands of MENA countries in the health sector. At the same time, the conferences organised at the event also increase the knowledge of experts in the region and provide a platform for meeting the world's leading healthcare experts.

The exhibition has been increasing its success for many years, and due to this success, the number of exhibiting countries and companies has been rising every year.

Arab Health, which is one of the two most important health fairs in the world, has strengthened this success with regional trade fairs in various countries and has become an activity followed by the health sector in Africa, North Africa, and Saudi Arabia besides Dubai.

What, according to you, are the real benefits and opportunities available to healthcare and trade professionals who attend Arab Health?

Professionals who visit Arab Health will have the opportunity to meet producers from a large number of countries in four days, including over 150 Turkish firms, and have the opportunity to conduct prolific meetings in line with their budgets and needs.

Apart from this, they will have the opportunity to witness the latest technologies in the health sector first-hand. Plus, during the exhibition days, there will be opportunities to evaluate firms in terms of quality/price performance and make an informed choice.

27 - 30 January 2020