This is the English translation of the article “…” written by Ms. Ngọc Quỳnh and published on Báo Công Thương (Vietnam Economic News)
What is your opinion on the Vietnam pharmaceutical market in terms of potential and prospect of investment and business cooperation for investors and businesses from Italy?
Mr. Michele D’Ercole: According to surveys and forecasts from international organizations, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market possesses huge potential for development with very big market size. The growth speed of Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market is predicted to reach about 11% per year in 2021-2025 period and its value scale could hit $16 millions in 2025. If the figures are true, we could say that this pharmaceutical market of Vietnam would generate tremendous potential for foreign investors, including investors from Italy.
We believe the current demand for pharmaceutical products in Vietnam remains quite high, and yet about 70% (maybe higher) of this demand still relies on importation channel as domestic production only meet about 30%. Each year Vietnam imports pharmaceutical products with the total turnover of up to $3 billions. Market space for foreign investors, in general, and for Italian businesses in pharmaceutical sector in particular, is enormous.
Moreover, pharmaceutical demand in Vietnam will continue to increase due to the aging population and growing demographics, especially in the middle class with decent income, resulting in growing demand of high-quality pharmaceutical products for healthcare and health treatment. The market also witnesses the current transition trend of choosing European pharmaceutical products instead of low-quality products from China, India,… Italian enterprises, in fact, have already acknowledge and actively make use of this trend. They have been and continuing to promote commercial tie with Vietnamese partners in pharmaceutical sector. The best proof to demonstrate this is that in recent years, the export turnover of Italian pharmaceutical products and healthcare devices into Vietnam market has surpassed EUR40 million/year.
In your opinion, what role does the EVFTA have in promoting cooperation in pharmaceutical sector between Italy and Vietnam?
The implementation of EVFTA ensures certain quality standards for goods traded between EU member states, including Italy, and Vietnam. The EVFTA facilitates the exchange of goods by eliminating tariff barriers, including pharmaceutical products, most of which have been exempted from tax since the EVFTA took effect. Thanks to the EVFTA, EU can become a promising market for Vietnam in importing pharmaceutical products, the Vietnamese pharmaceutical market also opens up many prospects for investors and businesses from the EU, including Italian businesses.
How do you evaluate the pharmaceutical trade relationship between Italy and Vietnam, especially since the EVFTA took effect? What recommendations do you have to promote cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector between enterprises of the two countries?
Pharmaceutical trade cooperation between Italy – Vietnam in recent years has always maintained a rapid growth rate. Since 2017, the export value of Italy’s medical and pharmaceutical products to the Vietnamese market has reached over EUR 40 million per year. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic which negatively affects trade between the two countries, in the two years 2020-2021, importing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals from Italy into Vietnam will continue to show promising prospects. The Vietnamese pharmaceutical market has been considered a priority and interested destination by many partners from Italy. This is clearly shown not only through the aforementioned figures between the two countries, but also through Italy’s approval of the EVFTA agreement, and then the recent significant vaccine aid of Astra Zeneca from the Italian Government to Vietnam.
When approaching Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market, we advice Italian investors, aside from the incentives under EVFTA, to have a full grasp of the distribution channels of the Vietnamese pharmaceutical industry and understand the process, time as well as necessary documents and records to carry out product registration procedures. We are ready to accompany Italian and Vietnamese businesses in connecting, cooperating, doing business and investing in the pharmaceutical field in Vietnam, by providing necessary and effective consulting services, help them make investment decisions that bring success in investment and business cooperation. We recommend that Italian businesses, when choosing Vietnam to invest in the pharmaceutical sector, need to apply a medium and long-term business strategy to reap the best benefits.
Thank you very much!