Global Processing

Biomedical and pharmaceutical sector to grow in Asia despite downturn

March 18, 2009
Asian 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. Channel Asia News reports that the global pharmaceutical sector is expected to see growth of between four and five percent this year. But pill processing and other pharmaceutical and biomedical activities are expected to see double-digit growth in Asia. Multimillion-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. Asia has almost two-thirds of the world’s population and therefore will need the drugs, the medicines, and the pharmaceutical companies. 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. After numerous investments in various projects, the figure is expected to reach 6,000 in 2011. Manufacturing output for the pharmaceutical sector in Singapore, will likely increase to 25-percent of China’s manufacturing output as a whole in 2011, as compared to the 22-percent in 2007. Experts say that biomedical and pharmaceutical companies need to stay diversified. Those concentrating on a single segment of the industry will be worse hit compared to those offering a range of products in the current challenging environment.