BiomedicalAsian economies are slowing down in tandem with the global recession. But Asia's biomedical and pharmaceutical sector is using this period to gear itself up in preparation for an eventual recovery. The global pharmaceutical sector is expected to see growth of between four and five per cent this year.

But pill processing and other pharmaceutical and biomedical activities are expected to see double-digit growth in Asia. Multi-million-dollar investments have been flowing into the region in recent weeks as big players such as Abbott and Zuellig Pharma expand and grow their operations. And this is expected to continue.

Pharmaceutical/healthcare leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Singapore, Abhijit Ghosh, said: "There will be more investments coming through and we must not forget that in Asia, we have almost two-thirds of the world’s population which need the drugs, the medicine, and the pharmaceutical companies’ support. So it is more likely that more and more big pharmaceutical companies will set up some operations in Asia, (especially) in Singapore because of its strong intellectual property protection and enforcement regime, and availability of good, skilled recourses.

“Most of the companies are moving away from the mass market production to the specialised market production, so they will look at Singapore also because of its efficient supply chain operations, logistic supports and infrastructure facilities. Singapore is very well poised and after the crisis, we may be coming out much stronger than before.”

Experts say Singapore's skilled workforce and regulations which ensure the protection of intellectual property make it a preferred destination for the sector.

Back in 2000, around 1,900 people were employed in Singapore's pharmaceutical sector. This grew to 4,200 in 2007. And after a numerous investments in various projects in the city state, the figure is expected to reach 6,000 in 2011.

Manufacturing output for the pharmaceutical sector in Singapore will likely increase to 25 per cent of the country's manufacturing output as a whole in 2011, as compared to the 22 per cent in 2007.

Pages: 1 2