Pharmaceutical Investment Zone to be set up in Hambantota | Sunday Observer

Pharmaceutical Investment Zone to be set up in Hambantota

13 September, 2020

The Government plans to produce 50% of the country’s needs of pharmaceuticals locally within the next three years.

The objective is to provide quality medicine to the public and the foreign market at affordable prices. All products will be made in accordance with the recommendations and standards of the World Health Organization.

Eighty-five percent of the country’s drug needs is met through imports at an annual cost of Rs.130 billion. Producing pharmaceuticals locally will pave the way to save Rs.60 billion annually, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said at a discussion on the future plans of the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation at the Presidential Secretariat last week.

Sri Lanka is the largest importer of drugs in the Asian region. It was time to turn tables and a large number of local businessmen are willing to make investments, he said.

An area of 400 acres will be set aside in the Hambantota Industrial Zone to manufacture medicines targeting the global market. The world’s top pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in investing. There are market opportunities for pharmaceuticals in the African and Southeast Asian region and an effort should be made to capture it.

The President made an open invitation to all pharmaceutical importers to invest in manufacturing medicine locally.

The program to produce a new medicine each month has commenced. The target is to increase this to one new medicine every fortnight.An investment zone for local investors will be set up on a 100-acre block of land at Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura. Twenty-five medium scale businessmen are prepared to invest USD 300 million in this endeavour.