19 November 2015

China's healthcare sector opportunity for international investors


China, as everybody knows, has an enormous population now. But that population is also expected to grow at a remarkable rate over the next 30 years. The statistic tells us that by 2040 over 20% of the Chinese population will be over the age of 65. So there is the need to provide healthcare for the aging population.

I think that there are several opportunities. One is hospitals, both to build and then own the hospital. The second is hospital management. We (China) needs experienced hospital management because in the draft of the next Five-Year Plan we mentioned that we want more investors to invest in Chinese hospitals, and we also want to modernise the hospital management. That is a big opportunity for investors.

There are also some diseases around the urbanisation of the population, such as obesity, diabetes and of course Chinese is one of the countries where this are still high levels of smoking, and so all of those things will contribute to a need for healthcare in the future.

We (China) have the Foreign Investment Guidelines, which have been revised this year. There have been some changes, in particularly, reductions in the number of restricted foreign areas for investment from 79 down to 38 categories.

The recent changes that we have seen from the Chinese government to welcome foreign investment in the sector signals a recognition that they need help to provide the number of beds in aged care and the number of hospital beds that are going to be needed for a population of that size.

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