With Opportunities in Vietnam Growing, Pharmaceuticals Companies Stake Claims

Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market is expected to surge from $4.7 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion in 2021—a highrate of growth that is beginning to lure investors.

This Spring Vingroup, Vietnam’s leading commercial real estate company, set its sights on the pharmaceutical sector, announcing plans to spend $986.5 million to construct a vast drug manufacturing research center in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

At the same time, foreign companies are signaling they are willing to jump through the hoops set up by the Vietnamese government in order to access the country’s growing pharmaceuticals market. Under Vietnamese law, foreign companies cannot directly enter the Vietnamese market. Instead, they are required to partner with a domestic company to distribute their products. Last year, Japan’s Taisho Corp. became a major shareholder in DHG Pharma, one of Vietnam’s leading pharmaceutical companies. That followed Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories’ 2016 move to acquire a majority stake in Domesco, another leading domestic player in the Vietnamese market.