ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Opening Ceremony Attended by Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Senior Dignitaries From the UAE and Ethiopia
In recognition of the economic importance of Africa and the need for increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities across the continent, UAE-based Julphar, in conjunction with its local Ethiopian partner, Medtech, today officially inaugurated its first manufacturing facility in Africa in Addis Ababa.
The official opening ceremony was attended by a number of very high level dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HE Hailemariam Desalegn, Dr Yousif Eissa Hassan Alsabri, UAE Ambassador to the Federal Democratic of Ethiopia, HH Sheikh Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Julphar and HH Sheikh Saqr bin Humaid Al Qasimi. Other distinguished attendees included ambassadors from the region, UAE Government representatives including HH Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and the Ethiopian Minister of Health, HE Dr Kebede Worku.
The inauguration was preceded with a dinner hosted by the President of Ethiopia, HE Girma Wolde-Giorgis, at the National Palace. Discussions between the dignitaries and the President took place regarding direct foreign investment into Ethiopia.
HH Sheikha Lubna al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Trade said to the president: "We are very proud to have Julphar represent the UAE with its investment in this facility."
She encouraged other UAE businesses to take this step.
The Ethiopia Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom spoke about the facility plans: "Julphar is a real showcase for other companies looking to invest into Ethiopia. From the start, this project fascinated me. Expansion of the facility was factored into the plans from the beginning and for that we are grateful."
Dr Adhanom: "We also commend Julphar for bringing international standards to their facility. We hope this facility will strengthen the relationship between our countries even further and hope this will bring future investment from the UAE."
His Highness Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi also addressed the dignitaries: "We value this investment very highly and we look forward to the success of this facility. We hope it will encourage future investment for the UAE."
The Julphar Ethiopia manufacturing facility marks a significant milestone in Julphar's history and is a major part of its international expansion strategy that will see the company building a truly global footprint.
The pharmaceutical market in Africa is significant and growing, with recent estimates of the continent's market set at between $8 to $10 billion. In light of this opportunity, Julphar undertook substantial research when developing its Ethiopian facility. The company took great care to examine the therapeutic sectors in the country which are limited or inaccessible in order that the Julphar Ethiopia plant would produce relevant and much needed medicines during its production launch phases.
HE Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, made the following statement at the inauguration of the Julphar Ethiopia facility: "Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a growing population. It is important to have tremendous access to quality medicine. I would like to express my appreciation of this project and congratulate HH Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi for the completion of this project. You can count on government support. Our doors are always open."
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Dr Ayman Sahli, Julphar's CEO, said: "We are deeply honoured by the presence of Mr Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia. His attendance is a clear indication of the strong relationship that already stands between our two countries and we sincerely hope that this relationship continues to grow. I am also delighted to welcome HH Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr al Qasimi, Chairman of Julphar, as well as members from the Julphar Board of Directors. We are privileged to have such a distinguished audience with us at the launch of Julphar Ethiopia."
Sahli continued: "Julphar recognises that Ethiopia is an extremely interesting, dynamic and important market opportunity. As business and commerce across the continent continue to grow along with an increasing population, the demand for quality, affordable healthcare is greater than ever.
"Ethiopia's strategic position within Africa made it an obvious choice for Julphar when it was looking at opportunities to develop a real and tangible presence in this vast continent."
Sahli concluded: "We congratulate the Ethiopian Government for the Millenial Development Goals of Ethiopia, particularly in relation to combating disease. We hope to play a significant role in these goals and ultimately in the development of cutting-edge, 21st century healthcare in Ethiopia. The opening of this facility is a clear indication of our commitment to this country and the region."
Dr Mohamed Nuri, CEO of Medtech, commented: "Medtech is proud to play a crucial role in the provision of medicines throughout Africa. The opening of this facility will enable us not only to be a vital supplier to the local market but way beyond across the whole continent. We have worked in alignment with the Ethiopian government and other global health organizations in the planning of this facility and we are excited about the impact this will have on local healthcare."
Once fully operational the Julphar plant will produce per annum 25 million bottles of suspension and syrup, 500 million tablets and 200 million capsules. The new plant is equipped with state-of-the-art technology enabling production of Julphar products not only for the local market but also across the African continent. Julphar has invested 170 million birrs in the construction of the plant.
Recruitment of 50 local staff is currently underway across areas of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Production and Maintenance, Regulatory Affairs and various Administration roles. This will cover the initial stage. Further and ongoing recruitment will occur as the plant becomes fully operational.
The Julphar Ethiopia plant is located in the Gerji Jakros region of the Ethiopian capital. It is a 40,000 square feet facility designed and built by Julphar's engineering and construction division. The plant is cGMP compliant and is working towards international accreditation.
Notes to Editors:
Julphar is a public shareholding company based in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE). It was established in 1980 under the guidance of H H Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and is currently a leader in the production and distribution of pharmaceutical products in over 50 countries.
Since inception, Julphar remains committed to meeting the needs of an evolving society and playing an instrumental role in global healthcare development. Its approach to a fast paced market is to focus on strategic initiatives, quality product development and ensuring responsible practices.
Julphar's goal is to create innovative and high-quality products, whilst maintaining a competitive cost. This is achieved through an enhanced organizational structure consisting of ten world-class plants based in the UAE, and a reliable transportation network which covers five continents.
Julphar contains a diverse portfolio of products which targets a large range of major therapeutic segments, including cardiovascular, diabetes, gynecology and other consumer products.
Julphar is well positioned to meet tomorrow's healthcare challenges.