Emerging markets

Oil to fuel the Azerbaijani healthcare sector

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Together with Iran Azerbaijan represent today one of the fastest growing Eastern or Middle-Eastern countries in terms of pharmaceutical expenditure and investments, as recently shown by a Frost & Sullivan dedicated live webcast. And both markets display a great need for medical devices as well

Roberto Carminati

Despite a recent decline in production and sales the Azerbaijani economy is still largely fueled by the oil and gas and mining industries that in 2012 represented the 95% of its entire export. More than 50 million tons of oil were extracted and refined in 2010 and the energy sector guarantees the local government some 75-85% of its annual fiscal income. It is then possibly leveraging on its vast natural resources underground that Baku is boosting national investments on healthcare services, hospitals and medical devices. The strategy is also necessary to face demographic change and new emerging disease in the whole territory, where approximately 9 million citizens live in an 86,000 square kilometers area. As stated by the Californian research and analysis multinational firm Frost & Sullivan in a number of recent reports and events, only seven out of ten Azerbaijani will be more than 65 years old in 2020, but the percentage was significantly lower at the beginning of the century (5,2%) and only rose up slightly in 2010 (5,9). The overall economy in Azerbaijan is expected to grow by a 5% yearly base until 2018 but the budget that Baku is about to spend on healthcare services is already rocketing up. By the end of December Mountain View-based Frost & Sullivan’s researchers believe it could amount to 760 million US dollars with a +24% growth since 2010. The private sector dominates the healthcare scenario managing 71,3% of the total resources and structures. But Azerbaijan is now striving to strengthen its public offer too. The weight of the private initiative has been in fact declining since 2000, when its weight was nearly ten points more massive; and since 2010 when it used to display a 78% share. Between 2012 and 2013 the public sector has instead gained seven points of the global share and budgets shifting from 21,5 to 28,7% while at the very beginning of the third millennium it would not climb over the 8,6% threshold.

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