With an eye to developing a potentially lucrative market in Asia-Pacific and worldwide, Royal Philips Electronics is repositioning to become a modern 'health-care electronics giant'. This goal was spelled out yesterday by Philips president and chief executive Gerard Kleisterlee - on a visit to Hong Kong - as he projected that the Dutch conglomerate's medical systems unit would grow into a US$10 billion business in the next few years. 'A good deal of that growth will have to come from Asia-Pacific, considering that Japan and China are now the second- and third-largest health-care markets in the world,' Mr Kleisterlee said during a speech before the American Chamber of Commerce. 'We are now among the top three in this high potential market and last year, medical systems became Philips' second-largest and most profitable business, with ?6 billion [$62.66 billion] in sales.' He said the mainland would be a significant driver of growth in the business, which includes medical imaging and monitoring products. Known for its lighting, household appliances and shavers, Philips plans to create a new market for its health-care products in Asia. 'Recently, consumer health has become a major focus area for Philips, one that is destined to become a huge new field of meaningful innovation,' Mr Kleisterlee said. China's health-care market is expected to be a big part of this expansion as the mainland market is forecast to overtake Japan in the next six to eight years. Between 1998 and 2002, Philips doubled the size of its medical business through acquisitions and alliances. Andreas Wente, Philips Electronics Asia-Pacific president and chief executive, said the company also was looking to release its HeartStart Home Defibrillators to communities, schools and businesses in the region. Defibrillators provide treatment for ventricular fibrillation, the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest, by delivering a controlled electrical shock to restore a normal heart beat.