The idea of creating an integrated economic bloc amongst the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was first mooted in the early 2000s. Since then, the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC has become a reality, although at a slower pace than what its proponents had envisioned. Still, this is an important endeavour because its success, even partially, can help spur the region’s economic, social and political developments.
Healthcare is a priority sector that the various ASEAN governments have identified for region-wide integration. It is therefore an important part of the AEC. The AEC’s formation is expected to further accelerate the growth of the region’s healthcare industry. This will be driven by additional foreign direct investments, freer flow of trade, manpower and capital within ASEAN, as well as the growing affluence among ASEAN countries.
Within this context, I had the opportunity to approach individuals who are deeply involved in the healthcare business in Asia and ask them to share their thoughts. The formation of the AEC will no doubt impact the activities of their companies and organisations in different ways, and their views of this development could be of interests to others who are looking to the ASEAN’s healthcare markets.
This section opens with an article by Dr Derrick Tan, the director of AsiaPac Bio LLP, and who has been involved in the life sciences industry in Singapore and Asia since the late 1990s. Derrick provides an overview of ASEAN’s healthcare market potential and suggest how business can grow in the region through Singapore. The remaining articles cover related topics and will provide snapshots of the opportunities and challenges facing organisations in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare services sectors in this new environment. Hopefully, this will pique your interest sufficiently to find out more, leading to future endeavours in the ASEAN healthcare markets.
Principal Consultant, DN Venture Partners LLP
Marvin is principal consultant at DN Venture Partners LLP (www.dn-venture.com
), a Singapore-based business development consulting firm that helps private and public organisations in the life sciences industry expand their business activities into Asia and beyond. He is also the co-editor of the Singapore Biotech Guide and the Singapore Medtech Portal.