The Thai Industry Ministry is planning to turn Thailand into a hub of medical equipment and health products in the ASEAN region by 2020.

Minister Witoon Simachokedee said the nation will achieve the feat by emphasising innovative products and ensuring the production standard is at a global level.

Prices must also be reasonable and competitive, he said, adding that the kingdom will in time relinquish its dependency on the more expensive imported supplies while creating opportunities for local industries to establish production networks on an international scale.

The ministry has assigned the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) to initiate three special projects to engender a greater awareness of the nation’s medical equipment industry.

Witoon said these projects started two years ago, claiming there'd been good progress during that time. He added that additional promotion has been put in place this year, giving as example a project that encourages the use of local materials to produce medical equipment and a move to amend various policies that hinder production.-VNA