UPDATE : Tuesday, February 18, 2020
‘Biomedicine is 1 of 6 areas Korea, US leaders should tackle’
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.08.07 17:08
  • Updated 2017.08.07 17:08
  • comments 0

Biomedicine has emerged as one of six fields that President Moon Jae-in has to focus on in the summit diplomacy with his U.S. counterpart, a state agency says.

Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency(KOTRA)대한무역투자진흥공사, in its report titled “Proposals for agenda based on major countries’ economic cooperation with the U.S., and their policy implications,” has analyzed areas where investments and markets are expected to expand, and proposed agenda items for Korea-U.S. economic cooperation by major areas.

The report cited six industrial and business areas as having the greatest potential for bilateral cooperation -- public infrastructure, cyber security, biomedicine, energy, joint research and development and investment in start-ups.

“The inauguration of the Moon administration requires a new paradigm of economic cooperation differentiating from the existing ones,” the KOTRA report said. “Top leaders in advanced countries have been conducting economic diplomacy taking into account their industrial growth strategies, pending issues with the U.S., and even national images. President Moon and his administration have to benchmark them.”

In the biomedicine field, the agency stressed the need to increase exports of biomedicine products to the U.S, by making the most of the partnerships with local drugmakers, outsourcing, technology transfer, joint-venture investment, mergers and acquisitions, and open cooperation models.

“The Trump administration has pushed for a policy to lower drug prices to complete medical reform. As part of the methods, it has proposed speeding up the approval process of bio medical products and expanding the imports of generic drugs,” it said. “As the patents of biomedicine products in the U.S. and Europe expired in 2015, the biosimilar market is forecast to grow by more than 170 percent a year in the next decade."

Korea’s exports of finished medical products have sharply increased since 2013, with vaccines, antibiotics and insulin products taking the lead in U.S.-found shipments, it noted.

The report emphasized that the domestic companies with little experiences in the U.S. market need to make partnerships with local counterparts, strengthen their marketing and distributing abilities through outsourcing these jobs to local businesses with expertise.

"Advanced countries are performing their economic summit diplomacy with the U.S. by comprehensively considering the U.S. economic and industrial policies,” it said. “Instead of consultations on trade and investment across the board, Seoul needs to pursue reciprocal events taking into account the specialty and symbolism of the bilateral economic and industrial cooperation.

Also, Cheong Wa Dae needs to develop strategic agenda items to be linked to diplomatic activities by carefully examining the U.S. policy and Washington’s plan to allocate budgets to each field, the report added.


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