The drugs sector had been identified as a focus area to achieve the bilateral trade target of US$15 billion by 2020, the Indian ambassador to Viet Nam, P. Harish, said.
Trade reached US$12.83 billion in the April 2017-March 2018 financial year, up 27 per cent from a year earlier, he said at a meeting held on August 3 in HCM City.
India was uniquely placed to partner Viet Nam and meet its drug and medical equipment requirements with high quality products and competitive prices, contributing to affordable quality healthcare in the country, he said.
India remained committed to facilitating the local production requirements of Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health and encouraging investments, joint ventures and collaborations in Viet Nam, he added.
Ramesh Kini, executive director of the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India, said pharmaceuticals had been identified as a priority sector by the two countries.
He also urged Vietnamese and Indian firms to look for joint ventures and collaborations.
India had more than 3,000 drug companies with more than 10,000 manufacturing units producing drugs in all anatomical therapeutic categories, he said.
India also produced high-technology products like insulin, ARVs and anti-cancer drugs, he said.
India exports drugs to more than 180 countries and meets the vaccine requirements of more than 150 countries, including Viet Nam.
Its total, exports (active pharmaceutical ingredients, generics and alternative medicines) in the 2017-18 financial year were worth $17.27 billion, he said.
Truong Hung, deputy chairman of the HCM City Medical Equipment Association, said Viet Nam’s pharmaceuticals market, worth $3.5 billion, was a lucrative investment opportunity.
Last year, India was the second largest supplier of raw materials worth $70 million, and this was expected to rise to $80 million this year, he said.
The Vietnamese medical equipment market was growing by 15 percent annually, with 95 per cent being imported, he said.
Last year, imports were worth $816 million, more than double the figure in 2014, he said.
The Government had set a goal of expanding the production of common medical equipment to ensure supply meets 60 per cent of demand in the coming years, he said.
He called for investment in the sector since Vietnamese society is ageing, leading to an increase in healthcare requirements.
Around 100 Vietnamese and Indian companies participated at a B2B meeting at the 18th International Medical, Hospital & Pharmaceutical Exhibition held from August 2 to 4.