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Mexican food is traditionally high in calories, often quite fatty and fried. A tradition is usually hard to change. So it is not surprising that the already high number of obese people in Mexico is steadily growing. Additionally, the main reason why obesity rates grow is due to the nice development of Mexico´s economy and the new trend of fast food.   Looking at the current health situation over the last couple of years in Mexico, no improvement can be announced. The developing country has one of the highest youth obesity rates worldwide. According to the experts of Global Health Action, more than 34% of children and adolescents between 5 and 19 years of age are either obese or overweight. Nowadays, Mexico has 128 million inhabitants and is the second-largest economy in Latin America. Due to statistical forecasts its population will grow up to 156 million by 2050. There will be 12 million incidence cases of diabetes and around 8 million cases of heart disease. It is also known that Mexico has one of the highest (child) obesity rates worldwide. Around 70% of the Mexican population, especially children, suffer from diabetes, which in many cases leads to the loss of limb, blindness and is often a cause of mortality. Where does obesity come from?

Pierra Wolfer –Pizza

  • Not being aware of a healthy life-style
  • Missing knowledge about organic food
  • Advertisement of fast food in the media
  • Not enough/ no regular exercise
How to reduce obesity? Obesity has always existed to a certain extend and will exist in the future without a doubt. However, for an effective long-term solution it is necessary to grab trouble at the root. The challenge here is to change the eating habits. This means that fast food should not replace proper meals and healthy food should be accessible to everyone. The industry and government, both, are willing to solve these issues by introducing a new extra tax on products containing high amounts of sugar, educating their citizens regarding nutrition and diet, starting with young people. The medical device industry is booming, due to an aging population and an increasing incidence of chronic diseases. By 2020, this segment is promising to be worth $5.4 billion. The stable economic and political environment, a growing middle class, as well as the aging population make the Mexican pharmacy market one of the most promising and lucrative markets in the world. Over the next couple of years, the OTC and Pharma market is projected to be even more competitive, so it is highly recommended to develop a good strategy and try to enter the market as soon as possible.

As one of the few winners against the pandemic with modest financial resources, is the Vietnamese pharma market ready for international investments and colaborations?

The Covid-19 outbreaks and Vietnam’s remarkable performance in containing its spread have proven that health is, and will absolutely continue to be, a priority for most Vietnamese and as well as for the government. 

The societal shift that is creating opportunities for Vietnam’s Pharma and OTC  industry

Like most countries identified as emerging markets, Vietnam is undergoing drastic changes in terms of demographic, social, and economic aspects. Most recently, there are some significant shifts that make Vietnam more and more competent in becoming a top-of-the-list for international companies that are looking to expand their business in emerging markets. 

 

The first and most important factor in this equation is the fast-growing middle class in the country. Vietnam currently has the fastest-growing middle-class population in South-East Asia. This has significantly boosted the demand for high-quality and specialized healthcare services.

 

Subsequently, due to higher demand and affordability, the health insurance and hospital systems are expanding. Vietnam has become a coverage ratio leader within Asia and it has set a goal of covering 95% of the population with Universal Health Service by 2025. The Hospital network is also fairly extensive and the government continues to finance the construction of new hospitals. At the same time, it is also increasingly looking at investment from the private sector and international firms. 

 

As a result, the country recently signed the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EUVFTA). The agreement will remove tariffs for pharmaceutical products from the EU and allow foreign companies to import and sell pharmaceuticals to Vietnamese distributors and wholesalers. 

 

Furthermore, there was an Amended Law on Enterprise and Law on Investment, effective January 2021, that incentivizes investment in five key sectors including healthcare. Projects in these sectors will benefit from preferred enterprise income tax, exemption or reduction of land lease fee, and credit support.

Finally, investors should also pay attention to the development of Digital Healthcare in Vietnam. Recently, the Ministry of Health approved a five-year project on remote medical examination and treatment. Apps and medical services will be developed to manage files and knowledge systems, as well as helping patients find medical information, make their appointments, and consult doctors. These measures will accelerate the digitalization across Vietnam’s hospital network. 

Overall, investors can be optimistic about the future of Vietnam’s Healthcare Industry. The societal changes, as well as the government’s regulatory activities in favor of the development of the sector, have made Vietnam one of the most attractive go-to emerging markets for companies and individual investors. 

Ho-Chi-Minh City