As IVF markets mature in Western nations, private companies are scrambling to expand into a growing Asian market. Declining population growth has prompted governments from South Korea to Singapore to offer generous IVF subsidies. In January Singapore, which has a fertility rate of 1.29, increased subsidies for couples, covering up to 75% of the treatment costs for couples receiving IVF. South Korea, with a fertility rate of 1.15, invested over US$18 billion into its Infertile Couples Subsidy Project between 2006 and 2010.
A number of IVF companies from around the world are planning to expand into Asia. Australia's Virtus Health Ltd - which just last month became the world's first publicly listed fertility services company - recently appointed an international business development director in Singapore to look at opportunities in China and India.
One IVF market that has burgeoned in the past decade is Taiwan. The number of IVF babies born in Taiwan has almost doubled between 1998 and 2010, according to statistics released by the Department of Health earlier this month. The percentage of IVF babies to all births rose from 0.9 percent in 1998 to 2.5 percent in 2010.
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