New possibilities for cooperation between Russian and Swiss companies in healthcare sector

Webinar • 29.03.2021
Event language: RU, EN

First of all, the Swiss Russian Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the attendees from Switzerland and Russia who showed interest in the webinar "New possibilities of cooperation between Russian and Swiss companies in in healthcare sector". This business mission organized by the Trade mission of Russia in Switzerland with the participation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and the Business Council for cooperation with Switzerland at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia, as well as jointly with the Swiss Russian Chamber of Commerce and the Joint Chamber of Commerce was held on March 29, 2021 with great success.

The moderator Dorit Sallis, Managing Director of the JCC (Joint Chamber of Commerce) and Head of Russian Trade Mission in SwitzerlandTatiana Volozhinskaya welcomed the attendees and stressed the importance of holding such events for development and strengthening trade relations between Russia and Switzerland. Tatyana Volozhinskaya noted that the trade relations between Russia and Switzerland have strengthened over the years and continued to develop, despite the pandemic. She mentioned the great contribution of the Russian health system in the fight against COVID-19.

Igor Finogenow, President of Board, Russian-Swiss Business Council under Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia pointed out the opportunities of E-commerce in Russia, which is developing very rapidly.

Dr. Patriсk Dümmler, Cluster manager, Health Tech Cluster Switzerland said that despite the existence of a strong medical technology cluster in Switzerland, there are problem areas such as data protection and digitalization in healthcare: Hospitals cannot always share information and the Swiss population is very skeptical about digital health data (electronic patient files). A foundation of trust needs to be established.

More than 20 entrepreneurs from Russia applied to present their products ready for export to the Swiss market. Only a few of them could present themselves. They are producers of innovative air disinfection equipment, masks and other protection items, which are currently in high demand on the Swiss market, as well as producers of testing systems, IT-technology developers in the field of healthcare and so on. Their products are already certified and some of them have already conquered international markets.

Anton Schuler, Head of Procurement & Logistics, from the hospital in Lachen gave practical recommendations to the Russian participants about products that are currently in demand specifically for use in hospitals. They are maxi type IIR, with and without filter, maxi type FFP2 and FFP3, disposable gowns, gloves and everything that belongs to the protection of the medical personnel and the injection material. On the other hand, the market is saturated with products, such as test systems and air purification systems, coming mainly from China.

Jacky Turin from the Procurement Service of the University Hospital of Geneva stressed that it is obligatory for Russian producers to have a representative on the territory of Switzerland who would be a link between the regulator, the seller and the buyer and who would be primarily responsible for all characteristics.

Gilles Aebischer, therapeutic product’s lawyer, Law firm Innolegal, highlighted the main aspects of the new legal regulation of medical devices market in Switzerland and its significance for Russia. The aim of the new regulation is to improve the quality and safety of medical devices and increase patient safety.

Martin Bangerter, Director general, Association of Swiss Self-Medication Industry pointed out that from May 26, 2021, new requirements will come into force that require one importer and one representative of a medical device on Swiss territory. This is the Swiss Medical Device Regulation (MEDDO), which generally refers to the EU Medical Device Regulation (EU-MDR). It is important to comply with labeling, packaging and instructions (in the three national languages of Switzerland).

During the preparation of the webinar the Swiss Russian Chamber of Commerce received numerous requests from both the Russian and the Swiss side to establish business contacts in the health sector. We believe that Russia, with its huge research potential, which it has demonstrated in practice by creating one of the first and one of the best vaccines against Coronavirus, as well as being a leader in digitalization, including medicine, has a high chance in the Swiss healthcare market. To be successful and to win new business partners in the Swiss market the following requirements should be met, noted the president of the Swiss Russian Chamber of Commerce Svetlana Chiriaeva in her presentation: to advertise the high level of Russian research and the quality of products in general - using recent success stories, such as Sputnik V, identify the competitive advantage of the product and its uniqueness, meet the criteria of the Swiss market, having its representative in Switzerland and its warehouse, present itself on B2B platforms. Russian importers have one major advantage - they have practically no competitors-compatriots in the Swiss market. The Swiss Russian Chamber of Commerce is ready to provide the necessary support in finding a business partner, having numerous contacts in the healthcare market.

At the end of the webinar speakers were given the opportunity to give the most important recommendations for Russian manufacturers. Iwan Strelitz, Product Manager & CEO, Exprompt International GmbH, advised to plan the adequate budget for investments and, most importantly, to conduct thorough researches concerning the demand for the product.

The results were summarized by Rene Jenny, Immediate past President of European Healthcare Distribution Association, who stressed that Swiss health care is the second most expensive in the world in this field and that it is necessary to achieve a better interaction between the health care systems of both countries.