FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN VIETNAM'S HEALTH SECTOR GROWS
By December 2005, Vietnam had granted 100 licenses to foreign enterprises investing in projects in medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, according to the country's Foreign Invested Enterprises Club. Over 21 countries proposed projects with a total capital investment of US$800mn.
South Korean firms led the way with 17 projects, China and Taiwan had 11 each, Japan 10, followed by the UK and France, both with six. The most recent scheme was a US$200mn hospital complex scheduled to open in 2007. The site will have 1,000 beds and will be able to receive up to 7,000 patients a day.
The Vietnamese government is supporting investment in the health sector and plans to spend US$1.8bn in the next five years, building 57 new hospitals. However, some US$1bn of this will be spent on medical equipment. Additionally, the government is planning to open a number of hi-tech centres in the country to help train medical personnel.
Meanwhile, Polish industry sources report drug exports worth US$3.8mn to Vietnam
in the first ten months of 2005, around 8% of the Poland's total exports to
the country. Imports accounts for the greater share of Vietnam's drug market.
Local companies tend to suffer from a lack of adequate facilities, modern management
and access to capital. As well as basic generic drugs, Poland has been exporting
more complex medicines such as insulin treatments, and this trend looks set
to continue, while Vietnamese drug production remains relatively low-tech.