Saudi Minister reveals plans to localize pharma & vaccine sector

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Pharmaceutical Industry
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Mr. Bandar Alkhorayef has unveiled the ministry’s national plan to Saudize the key pharmaceutical and vaccine industry of the country.

The Ministry has embarked on the mission by partnering with many concerned agencies, including the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA). The minister made the remarks while addressing a symposium on “How far the Kingdom reached in developing industry”, which was organized by the Saudi Economic Association.

Mr. Alkhorayef stated that the ministry gives importance to the localization of the sector due to its key role in achieving the Kingdom’s pharmaceutical and health security.

The “Made in Saudi Arabia” program has a significant role in enhancing a sense of belongingness toward local products and building a positive mental image toward it. Around 1,300 companies come under the program, Mr. Alkhorayef stated. 

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s products reached the markets of 178 countries during the past year, the minister said while stressing that the non-oil exports have recorded the highest value in its history for the first half of 2021, with an estimated increase of 37 percent, achieving $33.4 billion in revenues.

The minister also underlined the importance of the industrial sector in diversifying sources of income. Mr. Alkhorayef explained that the ministry is working through the industrial strategy for the national industry to be globally competitive, by enabling local content and advantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

“The Kingdom will be an incubator for creativity and innovation, and the best example for activating this step is “Oxagon”, which is the world’s largest floating industrial complex and the world’s first fully-integrated port in the Red Sea,” the minister noted.

Mr. Alkhorayef also highlighted the ministry’s goal of promoting digital transformation through a plan to automate 4000 factories, relying on the Kingdom’s global excellence in technical infrastructure, and employing its technologies by taking advantage of the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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