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Feb 28, 2020 / 09:12

EVFTA spices up German healthcare companies’ appetite for Vietnam

Despite huge interest, German healthcare companies face challenges to access the Vietnamese market.

A recent survey has revealed Vietnam is an attractive investment destination for German companies in the healthcare sector, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement comes into effect in July 2020.

 Illustrative photo. Source: Vinmec

German multinational companies and German SMEs confirmed their interests in doing business in Asia (86%) and 66% of them showed huge interest in the Vietnamese market and intended to set up their businesses in Vietnam, according to the survey conducted in January 2020 by GIC/AHK Vietnam in collaboration with German reputable professional associations in the healthcare sector.

The survey counted with the participation of 39 German companies from different branches: medical technology, pharma and biotechnology, in order to identify the interests and the needs of German firms, their intentions and their expectation as well while researching and approaching the healthcare market in Vietnam.  

One of the most effective strategies to approach the Vietnam’s markets are using branch establishment and cooperation with local partners in Vietnam. 54% of German firms found challenges in finding necessary market information, information on registration process, local regulations or import duties for their products.

In addition, linguistic and cultural differences could affect their investment intensions in Vietnam (43%). Meanwhile, 37% of the participants had difficulty in searching for appropriate local partners and workforce in Vietnam.

Germany is currently the most important trading partner country in the EU and the second largest exporter of medical equipment to Vietnam, with the total import value US$153 million in 2018, behind only the US.

From August 2019, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has officially appointed a contact person in GIC/AHK Vietnam to support and connect German small and medium-sized enterprises in the healthcare industry.