Sun Pharma inaugurates first Egypt production facility
Ranbaxy, a subsidiary of India’s Sun Pharma, has opened its first production facility in Egypt in a bid to further cement India/Middle East business relations for the holding company.
The decision represents an about-face for Sun Pharma, that had previously considered exiting the Egyptian market. The $12.5 million unit was inaugurated by Sun Pharma’s General Manager for Egypt and Rest of Middle East, Hany Mashaal and Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Ambassador of India to Egypt. Establishment of the facility began in 2012, while production began a month ago. The five-year process was subject to the standard investigations by the Ministry of Health and Population which gives permissions for any health-related industry action in the country.
“In the early 1990s we started our operation in Egypt and by mid of 2004 we wanted to establish the first factory in the Middle East and Egypt has been chosen to be the premises,” Mashaal stated. “The importance has been increased after the visit of President Sisi to India in September last year, which motivated us to enhance our investment.”
In January, the Egyptian Health Ministry increased the prices of 3,000 drugs by as much as 20%, making Egypt potentially more lucrative for a company such as Sun Pharma. Beginning with the initial manufacture of four kinds of medicines, the company projected that the new facility could be outputting up to 15 drug varieties within five years.
The Egyptian market climate has proved difficult for Sun Pharma to penetrate in the past; the country’s currency has been met with inflation and flotation, and 95% of pharmaceutical products in the region are imported. Mashaal made clear that these obstacles had not clouded the company’s resolve: “Despite several barriers and many of political and economic issues we decided to proceed with the investment due to our belief in the potential of the Egyptian market,” he explained.
Ambassador Bhattacharyya added: “This is a particularly proud moment for us to raise the flag of India next to the flag of Egypt and that of Sun Pharma. We have seen over the years that Indian investments had continued to come to Egypt because India believes in the long term prospects of Egypt.”
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