(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Pharmaceutical industries in the GCC states and Yemen are emerging industries, global partnerships with local companies are absent despite the existence of such partnerships in other developing countries, said a Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting's (GOIC) senior official here yesterday.
Ahmed Hassan Dhaif (pictured), Assistant Secretary General for Industrial Information and Studies Sector said while presenting a GOIC's paper at the First Coordination Meeting for the Pharmaceutical Industry in the GCC and Yemen, that this situation is due to multiple factors, including the lack of qualified technical personnel.
The other factor is the inadequate financing system needed for the establishment of a successful pharmaceutical industries in the GCC and Yemen, because of high bank interest rates, which are based on commercial benefits, while emerging industries need low interest rates and long-term payment periods, he said.
The GOIC's paper entitled 'The current and future trends of the pharmaceutical industry in the GCC& Yemen' that Dhaif presented discussed the current situation in the health sector and the infrastructure available to create a significant opportunity to promote the pharmaceutical industries in the GCC&Yemen.
The paper explored the status of pharmaceutical industry in terms of investments, manpower, imports/exports; share of local pharmaceutical products, foreign tie ups and joint ventures in pharmaceutical industries.
Dhaif stressed the importance of the GCC and Yemen in entering into negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to obtain the necessary protection needed on these emerging industries to protect manufacturers and suggested encouraging global drug manufacturers into partnerships with the GCC and Yemen.
He also pointed to the need to develop investment law concerning pharmaceutical and medical industries.
The Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting has adopted the proposal of establishing the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Supplies Manufacturers Federation with the aim to develop the pharmaceutical industry in the region, he added.
The GOIC's paper shows that the total budget of the GCC and Yemen allocated to the health sector in the fiscal year 2009-2010 amounted to over 21.47bn, while in the fiscal year 2010-2011 it jumped to 25.55bn.
There were 46 industrial establishments operating in the pharmaceutical industries in the GCC and Yemen in 2010 with Saudi Arabia ranked first in terms of the number of pharmaceutical factories at 17, followed by Yemen with 15, the UAE with 8, Sultanate of Oman with 3, Kuwait with 2, Qatar with one and Bahrain there was none.
Besides, the total investments in pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical chemicals in 2010 in the GCC and Yemen reached 830m with Saudi Arabia's investments totalling 596.9m, followed by the UAE at 95.7m. Qatar invested 31.5m in the pharmaceutical industry last year.
Meanwhile the value of imports of medical supplies in the GCC countries increased during the period from 2005-2009, as imports rose from 95.3m in 2005 to 164.3m in 2009, showing a growth rate of 20.2 percent.
By Nasser Al Harthy