How Malaysia got the upper hand

The success of Malaysia's rubber glove industry is no overnight phenomenon.

Not many industries can cite Barack Obama and swine flu as their biggest drivers of growth, but so it is with the makers of rubber gloves.

Despite fluctuating oil and latex prices, the industry is expected to grow between 8% and 13% during the next 10 years, thanks in no small part to President Obama's healthcare spending and a rising fear of pandemics prompted by the recent global outbreaks of swine flu, bird flu and Sars.

Such things are good news for latex glove makers. Last year, global demand for gloves grew by more than 16% and the outlook remains strong. The US and China have pledged $10 billion in healthcare reforms this year and...

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