HCMC – The healthcare sector is a potential area for trade and investment cooperation between India and Vietnam, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi, Consul General of India in HCMC.
Addressing a webinar on the “Business meet between India & Vietnam in medical devices” organized by the Consulate General of India in HCMC in collaboration with the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of HCMC (ITPC) on August 24, Dr. Sethi said that Vietnam’s medical device industry is one of the most promising sectors for foreign investment due to the country’s economic development and rising demand for adequate medical care and equipment.
“There is a lot of untapped potential in this area (medical devices sector). The current Covid-19 crisis in Vietnam has allowed both sides to join hands and set up alternative global supply chains in different areas and pharmaceutical products that have been disrupted by the pandemic,” said Dr. Sethi.
The Indian Consul General also noted that the Indian community in southern Vietnam donated an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine to the Tropical Diseases Hospital of HCMC last week to help increase the hospital’s capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.
According to Tran Phu Lu, deputy director of ITPC, in Vietnam, domestic medical equipment production only meets 1.5-2% of the demand and auxiliary technology is also limited, only meeting about 3% of the demand. Currently, most medical equipment is imported from developed countries.
He also noted that Vietnam has not opened its pharmaceutical market to foreign investors to distribute drugs to end-customers on a wholesale or retail basis as it is subject to stringent regulations, but can only import and export pharmaceutical products into Vietnam and sell their imported products to licensed local distributors.
This is also an opportunity to help foreign enterprises and manufacturers to research and promote M&A activities in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dinh Quang Long, director of APOLAT Legal, said that the life expectancy of Vietnam’s population is increasing (75.3 years) and the proportion of people aged 65 years and older accounted for 7.2% in 2018. The increasing demand for healthcare poses a financial and capacity challenge to Vietnam’s public sector-led healthcare system.
According to Gurvinder Singh, director of the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India, the Indian healthcare market is expected to reach US$372 billion by 2022.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about the indigenization of several critical care, low-cost ventilators, personal protective equipment kits and sanitization technologies, making India emerge as one of the largest producers of these devices.
India is the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia and among the top 20 markets for medical devices in the world.
The virtual India-Vietnam Business Meet was well attended by medical device manufacturers and suppliers from both sides.