Philips opens Saudi joint venture, signs UAE training deal

Philips Healthcare has beefed up its presence in Saudi Arabia with the launch of a 50/50 joint venture with a Saudi medical equipment distributor to sell the company's products in the country.

Philips has teamed with Al Faisaliah Medical Systems (FMS) to launch Philips Healthcare Saudi Arabia. The launch of the joint venture was announced in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Riyadh, and follows the signing of an agreement in September 2012 between Royal Philips CEO Frans van Houten and Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Khalid Al Abdullah Al Faisal, who is president and CEO of Al Faisaliah Group.

The joint venture combines Philips' product portfolio with Al Faisaliah's knowledge and experience of the Saudi market, which is the largest market in the Middle East as measured by gross domestic product. The Saudi Arabian healthcare market is estimated to grow by 8% annually between 2013 and 2017, driven by targeted government spending on health services and hospital infrastructure.

The joint-venture firm will also facilitate the development of the next generation of skilled Saudi healthcare professionals through dedicated education and training programs, according to Philips.

In other Philips news in the Middle East, the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) to conduct comprehensive medical education courses and continuous professional development programs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Philips Healthcare will work with DHCC to develop training offerings to strengthen the capabilities of local talent and cultivate a best-in-class medical workforce, which will help the UAE achieve its goal of providing world-class healthcare. Philips and DHCC will run accredited courses at the DHCC Training Center that address both clinical and technical subjects and will be conducted by experienced educators. The classes will be open to all medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, technologists, and technicians.

The UAE healthcare industry has exhibited rapid growth over the past few years and is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16% in the coming years.

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