Vietnam’s medical industry is driven by the two primary economic centers of the country, Hanoi in the North, and Ho Chi Minh City in the South. Manufacturers will typically want to use one distributor for the south, where the majority of the industry is located, and a different partner in the north where the market is about 25% larger and has a high concentration of government agencies. In 2019, total healthcare expenditure was estimated to be US$16-17 billion by FitchSolutions and is expected to grow at about 10%, equivalent to about 5.5-6% of annual GDP, largely due to the rapidly growing private sector.
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Vietnam offers manufacturers an interesting growth opportunity as the nearly 100 million person country looks to upgrade their healthcare infrastructure in the coming decade. With many hospitals over capacity and using outdated equipment, the government has adopted new initiatives to encourage more private investments in the sector. Furthering this effort, many of the provincial and central level hospitals have been operating independently since 2018 and no longer require government subsidies. Since Vietnam still depends on imported medical devices, foreign manufacturers could see strong growth for years to come with the right sales channels. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Medical Equipment Association, investments in medical equipment in 2017 was US$1.1 billion, 90% of which came from foreign manufacturers, with the majority coming from the US, Germany, Singapore, China and Japan.