Ministry calls for more FDI in drug production

January 31, 2009

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Health (MoH) is calling on foreign pharmaceutical firms to increase investments in drug manufacturing in Vietnam , especially for products made from local inputs.

By the end of last year, there were 37 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects given licences in the pharmaceutical sector with total registered capital of 282.6 million USD. However, only 25 projects worth 192.9 million USD were implemented, according to the ministry.


Last year, only one additional investment licence was granted for pharmaceutical production.


The pharmaceutical sector is, however, considered to have great potential as evidenced by the 1.4 billion USD worth of drug consumption last year, a 25 percent increase from 2007, said the director of drug administration for the MoH, Truong Quoc Cuong.


However, FDI the pharmaceutical sector currently accounts for a marginal part of the country’s total FDI; investment scale of these projects is small at about 2.4 million USD for each project.


Most foreign pharmaceutical producers want to seek local suppliers rather than build factories here themselves. This is even more so the case since Jan. 1, when foreign-invested businesses and foreign businesses started being allowed to import drugs into the country, said Cuong.


Deputy head of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Bui Quoc Trung said that the Government always gave preferential treatment to foreign-invested projects applying advanced technology to produce drugs which met international standards.


The MoH is working hard to realise guidelines of the Vietnamese Government to develop the pharmaceutical industry, especially in assisting and helping foreign businesses manufacture and sell pharmaceutical products in Vietnam , said deputy minister of MoH Cao Minh Quang.


The MoH and relevant ministries pledge to maintain an open and transparent regulatory environment, with equitable and competitive conditions for any businesses wanting to invest in Vietnam , he said.



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