|June 11,2018-- The Ethiopian government on Sunday commended Chinese engagement in Ethiopia's pharmaceutical sector as an important imputes towards import substitution.
The Ethiopian government, which has been expressing its concern over the minimal share of local medical drugs production for the East African country's domestic use, on Sunday commended a newly operational Chinese Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc. for saving large amount of hard currency through import substitution.
Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said during the plant's inauguration ceremony that despite the Ethiopian government's various measures to support the pharmaceutical sector, the "sector has not yet evolved into where we projected it to be - both in terms of its investment portfolio, production capacity, technology acquisition and the creation of employment opportunities."
Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc, which commenced its first phase of production on Sunday, has an annual production capacity of 5 billion solid preparations, 300 million ampoules and 10 million large volume parenterals.
Mekonnen also noted that the sector is still dominated by heavy importation of pharmaceutical products from abroad, which currently represents about 85 percent of the annual 500 million U.S. dollar local market.
"Your investment to Ethiopia could not have come at a more opportune moment," Mekonnen said.
Located inside the premises of the Eastern Industry Zone on the outskirt of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the pharmaceutical plant is an 85 million U.S. dollars investment, which was completed in less than two years.
Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc., based in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, also disclosed its ambitions to serve both local and international market.
Mindy Liu, company's international business manager, told Xinhua that the company will in the near future embark on exporting medical drugs to other African countries as well as to the rest of the world, eventually bringing the much needed hard currency to the East African country.
She further noted that by putting quality at its core business value, the company will provide its products with an affordable price rate that suits the local market.
Calling on additional Chinese companies to follow in the footsteps of Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc., Mekonnen said that the number of local companies directly involved in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in Ethiopia does not exceed ten.
The Ethiopian government recently revealed that it will commission the Chinese-built Kilinto industrial park (KIP) this month, which will host pharmaceutical companies.
Adenan Bere, Communications Director of the Ethiopia Industry Park Development Corporation, revealed recently that the KIP was built with a view to attract world-class pharmaceutical companies to the East African nation.
Tan Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, also said that Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc. could be seen as the latest gesture that depicts the comprehensive Ethiopia-China relations.
According to him, the company, which is environmentally-friendly with high-end technological equipment as well as a source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ethiopia, currently operates with over 90 percent of local employees.