Last update: 11:57 | 12/03/2018
A Singaporean healthcare giant is interested in acquiring Hanoi-American International Hospital.
Singaporean William Chu, a representative of the Singaporean firm, which requested to be unnamed, said that the investor plans to pour $200 million into Vietnam's lucrative healthcare industry, including idle-sitting Hanoi-American International Hospital in Hanoi.
"The investor is interested in partially investing in the project or forming a joint venture or buying 100 per cent of the project," he added.
Located in Cau Giay district, Hanoi-American International Hospital was licensed in 1997 with total investment capital of $50 million by US-based Keystone Global Group. The project was planned with have 300 international quality beds and a modern helicopter landing pad.
Due to site clearance difficulties, the project was only kicked off in 2006 and the raw building was completed in 2011, since when the project has been left desolate.
Amid rising local spending on healthcare, Vietnam has been on the radar of international groups.
Together with growing interest among European investors, more influential Japanese firms have expanded into the lucrative Vietnamese pharmaceutical market, anticipating its growth amidst rising spending power.
In March 2017, Toho Pharmaceutical, one of Japan's leading pharmaceutical wholesalers, signed a memorandum of understanding with Hanoi authorities to build a drug production factory, marking its entrance to Vietnam.
Nipro Pharma Corporation—Japan’s biggest prescription drug contract manufacturer—is also expanding its operations in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City.
Japanese pharma firms are also expanding via strategic partnerships with local drug firms. In 2016, Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings, one of the five biggest pharma firms in Japan, acquired a 24.5 per cent stake in Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG), Vietnam’s biggest publicly traded drug maker, to strengthen the market share of its products in the country.
In line with the Japanese moves, European pharma firms have also been expanding in Vietnam, to position themselves for the upcoming European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
According to EuroCham's Pharma Group, the successful conclusion of international trade agreements (FTA) (in particular the Vietnam-EU FTA) and Vietnam’s regional integration through the ASEAN Economic Community has put Vietnam in the spotlight.
Domestic developments, such as the approval of the Ministry of Health’s patient-focused Pharmaceutical Law by the National Assembly last year, sends positive signals to multinational corporations and helps pave the way for a new era for Vietnam’s healthcare landscape. This strategic opportunity is time sensitive with EU FTAs scheduled for the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia over the next two to three years.
Currently, about 800 foreign firms are allowed to provide, but not directly distribute, pharmaceuticals in Vietnam. The pharmaceutical market in Vietnam will expand in value from $3.5 billion in 2015 to an estimated $6.6 billion by 2020, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.