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Healthcare seminar encourages EU investment

Released at: 10:35, 21/09/2016

Healthcare seminar encourages EU investment

Photo: EVBN

Attendees hear of state of Vietnam's healthcare sector and opportunities available.

by Ngoc Lan

A seminar was held by the EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) on September 20 at the Melia Hotel Hanoi entitled “Healthcare Trade Mission to Vietnam”.

Those in attendance included guest speakers and representatives from six companies I the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Ms. Miriam Garcia Ferrer, First Counselor of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and Head of Trade and Economic Affairs, told the gathering that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) presents opportunities for investors to invest in Vietnam’s healthcare market. “There are many benefits from the FTA, such as a transparent legal framework, but the challenges for EU business include enforcement, procedures and competitiveness.”

Mr. Le Thanh Cong, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Finance under the Ministry of Health, gave an overview of the country’s healthcare system and financing and identified key considerations in the expected financial strategy for the 2016-2020 period.

“The government needs to focus on financial sources, including an increase in investment from the State budget, to expand health insurance,” he said. “Investment infrastructure, encouraging investment and renovating payment methods are also important steps towards the effective and efficient use of resources and improvement to healthcare services.”

Mr. Harri Peiker, Chief Sales Office of Self Diagnostics, told VET that Vietnam is an interesting market with a lot of potential in healthcare. “Our products are medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, and while we have no specific plan as yet we will consider investing in the market,” he said.

The EVBN is an EU co-funded project started in December 2013. Its objective is to strengthen EU businesses in Vietnam, in particular by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the bloc when seeking opportunities in Vietnam. It also looks to improve the trade and investment environment and to foster exports, new market entrants, and investment from Europe to Vietnam and ASEAN.

According to the EVBN Healthcare report, government spending on healthcare was set at just 7 to 8 per cent of GDP in 2014. It is forecasted to grow to 2018 and 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3 per cent and 14.3 per cent, respectively.

The Philips Healthcare Corporation, a diversified technology company with healthcare making up 42 per cent of its global sales revenue, has recently announced a new business orientation in Vietnam, focusing on healthcare technology in the expectation of improving Vietnam’s healthcare sector. Tasco, meanwhile, one of the largest enterprises applying the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model in Vietnam, will boost its existing investment in the healthcare sector this year, investing in at least 200 beds per hospital. It has not disclosed the number of hospitals.

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