Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/16/2012 -- BMI View: Kazakhstan continues to stand out among the pharmaceutical markets of Central Asia in terms of openness to foreign investment in the pharmaceutical industry. The country's expected accession to the World Trade Organisation could come as early as the end of 2012 and this will continue to drive improved market regulation and intellectual property protections. The acquisitions of leading local players Chimpharm and Global Pharm by foreign players represent a positive assessment of the marketplace. The government has recently reiterated its commitment to producing 50% of all medicines domestically by 2014, a goal that appears very difficult to reach unless significant new capacity comes on line within the next 18 months. In macro terms, Kazakhstan's primary weakness remains the apparent absence of a clear transition process for when President Nursultan Nazarbayev leaves office. Relatively small but significant bouts of social unrest and terrorism over the last 12-18 months hint at the potential for deeper problems in the future.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: KZT195.8bn (US$1.34bn) in 2011 to KZT220.8bn (US$1.49bn) in 2012; up 12.7% in local currency terms and 11.7% in US dollar terms. US dollar forecast downgraded due to updated exchange-rate forecasts.
- Healthcare: KZT1,043.5 (US$7.11bn) in 2011 to KZT1,182.2 in 2012; up 13.3% in local currency terms and 12.3% in US dollar terms. Forecast downgraded due to macroeconomic factors and lower exchange-rate projections.
- Medical devices:KZT86.51bn (US$590mn) in 2011 to KZT94.51bn (US$639mn) in 2012; up 9.3% in local currency terms and 8.3% in US dollar terms. Forecast downgraded due to macroeconomic factors and lower exchange-rate projections.
Risk Reward Rating: Kazakhstan ranks 16th this quarter in BMI's Risk Reward Ratings (RRR) for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Downsides for the market include its relatively small population and challenging geography, as well as political uncertainty and exposure to the commodity cycle. Corruption and, potentially, social tensions linked to inequality and uneven development remain major challenges. Upsides include the country's likely imminent WTO accession and major commitments to state spending on healthcare, as well as a clear commitment to long-term regulatory reform and harmonisation with key international standards and practices.
Key Trends And Developments
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