By Joe Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. The opinions expressed are his own.
As the global economy begins to see signs of recovery, with momentum from emerging markets like China, Russia, India and Brazil driving recent economic gains, there is a lot of buzz about how companies can best capitalize on the new growth opportunities these markets can offer.
In fact, many of the sessions here at the World Economic Forum in Davos are focusing on ways to encourage innovation, enhance trade and drive growth in emerging markets. This year, it is extremely important that we discuss health care and economic imperatives at Davos.
Governments in emerging markets are increasing their commitment to expanding access to healthcare, but this is putting significant pressure on healthcare budgets. So we need to find ways to work together with government officials and key stakeholders in these markets to jointly address the evolving healthcare needs.
Novartis has already made several significant investments in countries such as China and Russia, and there are some important key learnings that have surfaced in our conversations with government officials, healthcare stakeholders and patients.
The first is the importance of investing for the long term. In China, for example, we are investing $1 billion over five years to build the largest pharmaceutical R&D institute in the country, focusing on areas of local health needs and employing about 1,000 R&D associates. We already have more than 20 ongoing collaborations with universities and hospitals in China alone.