In the first five months of this year, Vietnam’s import spending on pharmaceuticals continued to increase. Especially, as expected, if the pharmaceuticals import duty is halved from 5 percent to only 2.5 percent, there will be 10-20 percent types of new foreign drugs to be registered in Vietnam, according to the general Department of Vietnam Customs.
The statistics from the agency also showed in Jan-May, 2011, the country’s imports of materials for pharmaceuticals as well as pharmaceuticals have increase.
Regarding the imports of materials for pharmaceuticals, in January, Vietnam’s import for materials was $15.3 million and it was $12.1 million in February, $19.9 million in March, $17.9 million in April and nearly $10 million in May.
As for pharmaceuticals, the country’s import was $116.6 million in January (up 30.2 percent year-on-year and equalling to 9 percent of the year’s plan), and the figure was $97.3 million in February (up 39.2 percent y-o-y and 16.4 percent of the year’s plan), $125.5 million in March, bringing the total figures in Jan-March to $338.1 million, up 26.8 percent y-o-y and equalling to 26 percent of the year’s target.
In April, Vietnam continued to import $105 million worth of pharmaceuticals, bringing the total import spending in Jan-April to $443.2 million, up 23.8 percent from the same period last year and 33.3 percent of the year’s plan.
By the middle of May, Vietnam’s import for pharmaceuticals was $57.3 million, bringing the total figures to $500.2 million for pharmaceutical import and $71 million for materials.
Also in Jan-May, India, France, Korea and China continued to be biggest suppliers of materials and pharmaceuticals for Vietnam.
In which, Vietnam’s import from India in the first four months of this year was $18.7 million (January), $16.8 million (February), $18.3 million (March) and $17.2 million (April), bringing the total figure in Jan-April to $71 million, accounting for 16 percent of the country’s total pharmaceuticals import value in Jan-April.
Along with India, France is also a big supplier of pharmaceuticals for Vietnam with an import value of $17.9 million in January, $16.4 million in February, $21 million in March and $17.3 million in April, bringing the total figure in Jan-April to $72.6 million, or 16.4 percent of the country’s total pharmaceuticals import value in Jan-April.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s pharmaceuticals import from China was $8.6 million in Jan, $1.4 million in Feb, $8.5 million in March and $8.2 million in April
Vietnam pharmaceutical market is considered to be a fertile ground for foreign companies in the coming years. Currently, for the business, imports and distribution of drugs, three foreign firms currently account for nearly 50 percent of the market share of drugs including Zuellig Pharma (Singapore), Diethelm (Switzerland), and mega Product (Thailand).
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), in the period 2011-2012, pharmaceutical import duty will halve from 5 percent to 2.5 percent. There will be 10-20 percent types of new foreign drugs to be registered in Vietnam. It means that the competition in the pharmaceutical market, especially in the production segment of common pharmaceutical products will become tenser.