Shanghai FTZ eyes smart medical device manufacturing industry

An international smart manufacturing base for medical devices was unveiled in the bonded area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone during this year's International Biopharma Industry Week Shanghai, which opened on Nov 14.

A technician closely monitors an assembly line at the Flextronics (Shanghai) Metal Parts plant. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

An international smart manufacturing base for medical devices was unveiled in the bonded area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone during this year's International Biopharma Industry Week Shanghai, which opened on Nov 14.

The base is designed to be a prime destination for international intelligent medical device manufacturers and is expected to facilitate Pudong New Area's development of a world-class biomedical industry cluster.

The core area of the base, which is located in the Waigaoqiao Bio-medicine Industrial Park, consists of an international medical device exhibition and trade center, a U-lab bio-medicine sharing laboratory, a big health innovation center and a life science center, and the other sub-areas of the base are planned to be built in the Waigaoqiao Port Comprehensive Bonded Zone and the Pudong Airport Comprehensive Bonded Zone.

By 2030, the base is expected to bring in more than 100 leading companies in trade, research and development, production and technical services related to the smart medical device manufacturing industry.

Thanks to multiple institutional innovations, the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area has cultivated and gathered 838 enterprises specializing in biological medicines and medical devices, including nine of the world's top 10 medical device manufacturers. The combined operating income of the enterprises reached 248.4 billion yuan ($34.69 billion) in 2021.

About 27 percent of China's imported medical products and 38 percent of medical devices are handled at Waigaoqiao port.

By relying on the unique advantages of "free trade zone + bonded zone" and the innovative measures of investment and trade facilitation, more and more leading medical device enterprises chose the Shanghai FTZ bonded area for its localized and mass produced items, said Yu Yong, chairman of Waigaoqiao Group.

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