Growth and R&D Maturity Make ASEAN the New BRIC for Formulation and Delivery

Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have emerged as leading destinations for multinational companies eyeing newer markets amid the slowdown in China and India, says Lux Research

BOSTON--()--Move over, BRIC. Hello, ASEAN.

With emerging economies such as China and India slowing down, the Southeast Asian nations are emerging as key destinations for multinational companies, both as markets for their products as well as a source for new technologies, according to Lux Research.

The growing maturity of ASEAN’s higher education institutions, accompanied by higher R&D spending, make them attractive partners to drive indigenous innovation to serve local needs. Research originating from the region covers a wide range – from blue-sky to regionally focused clinical and product relevant solutions. The region also offers unique capabilities. For instance, the formulation and delivery research at the National University of Singapore is largely health-care-oriented, creating enhanced formulations to improve wellness or clinical outcomes.

“As a collective bloc, ASEAN’s allure is set to steadily increase and is poised to rival India and China in market potential due to its rapidly growing population and economy,” said Yan Xiang Yang, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Islands of Innovation in a Blooming ASEAN – A Formulation and Delivery Perspective.

Lux Research analysts analyzed primary publications from each country throughout the region to zero-in on the innovation hotspots in the ASEAN countries, with particular focus on formulation-and-delivery-related expertise. Among their findings:

  • Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are innovation hotspots. Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are the powerhouses of innovation, contributing more than 95% of the region’s total scientific publications and 98.5% of the region’s formulation and delivery work. Thailand shows surprising diversity in thought, while Singapore leads in rigor.
  • R&D focus grows. With growing prosperity, ASEAN nations are now spending larger percentages of their GDP on R&D, boosting productivity. Singapore leads the way with R&D spending of 2.14% of GDP. The rest of the countries still spend much less but both Thailand and Malaysia expect to soon cross the 1% threshold.
  • Growing consumer base. Since 1980, the combined population of ASEAN nations has nearly doubled to 341 million and is growing at an average annual rate of 1.41%, faster than the world rate of 1.1%. To tap the growing market, industries such as consumer packaged goods (CPG) and pharmaceuticals are focusing on the most populous nations of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, all of which can sustain a volume-driven growth strategy to counter depressed sales elsewhere.

The report, titled “Islands of Innovation in a Blooming ASEAN – A Formulation and Delivery Perspective,” is part of the Lux Research Formulation and Delivery Intelligence service.

About Lux Research

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Lux Research, Inc.
Carole Jacques, 617-502-5314

Release Summary

With emerging economies such as China and India slowing down, the ASEAN nations are emerging as key for multinational formulation and delivery companies, says Lux Research.


Lux Research, Inc.
Carole Jacques, 617-502-5314