GSK, Saudi Arabia's Sagia sign manufacturing localisation MoU

Agreement to see British pharmaceutical giant Glaxosmithkline double its manufacturing capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2022

GSK is a British pharmaceutical heavyweight.
Arabian Business
GSK is a British pharmaceutical heavyweight.

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) has signed a manufacturing localisation agreement with British pharmaceutical giant Glaxosmithkline (GSK) that will see the latter double its manufacturing capacity by 2022, creating various national-oriented jobs in Saudi Arabia along the way. 

Eighty percent of GSK medicines supplied to Saudi patients are currently manufactured at its facility in Jeddah, and the localisation agreement will see GSK explore additional opportunities to expand its Saudi presence and hire more local talent in the kingdom.

The development marks an expansion of Saudi Arabia’s economic licencing activities, with the number of licences handed to business in Q1 2019 70% higher than corresponding figures for Q1 2018.

Twenty-four licences were awarded to UK firms in Q1 2019.

Commenting on the agreement, Sagia governor, HE Ibrahim Al Omar, said: “Saudi Arabia has the highest expenditure on healthcare in the Mena region and with the population expected to grow by more than a quarter by 2030, there is real opportunity for international investors in the sector.

“This agreement reflects not only the potential for healthcare investment, but also for greater localisation of healthcare manufacturing to meet that growing demand.”

GSK Saudi Arabia’s vice president and general manager, Luciano Andrade, said: “The [memorandum of understanding] we have signed today aims to expand our local manufacturing capacity in the areas of respiratory, antibiotics, HIV, and central nervous systems.

“[The MoU] reinforces our commitment to work with Saudi Government for a sustainable ecosystem that encourages innovation and investment in healthcare and Saudi talent development,” Andrade added, according to Saudi Arabia’s state news agency, SPA.

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