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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar said Wednesday that Pakistan’s objective is to increase pharmaceutical exports to US$1 billion by 2025 and US$5 billion by 2030.

Speaking at the 6th Pakistan Pharma Summit and Pharma Export Summit and Awards (PESA) 2023, the minister outlined the government’s plans to significantly increase Pakistan’s pharmaceutical exports.

Realising the importance of the pharmaceutical industry’s export potential, Syed Naveed Qamar stressed the need for collective efforts from the government, pharma industry players, and regulatory bodies to enhance pharmaceutical exports to over $5 billion by 2030.

Govt agencies allowed to import pharma raw material

The event, organised by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), brought together industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders to discuss strategies for growth and innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.

In a key address at the opening ceremony of the 6th Pakistan Pharma Summit and Pharma Export Summit and Awards (PESA) 2023, Naveed Qamar presented an outline of the government’s initiatives to significantly increase Pakistan’s pharmaceutical exports.

He expressed gratitude to Chairman Syed Farooq Bukhari and Dr Sheikh Muhammad of the PPMA.

Highlighting the immense opportunities for growth in the global pharmaceutical market, valued at $1.4 trillion, Qamar emphasized the need for Pakistan to benefit from this occasion. He underscored the importance of focusing on key areas to enhance pharmaceutical exports.

He stressed the significance of local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to reduce dependence on imports. It is essential for the public to have access to medicines and affordable prices. We will listen to the issues of this industry and find solutions to them. Promoting self-reliance in this sector will not only aid the industry’s progress but also create opportunities for revenue-based growth.

The government is also actively working towards rationalisation and creating an enabling regulatory environment. The government shed light on its efforts to promote bilateral partnerships and facilitate revenue-based organisations.

Solid efforts from the government, industry players, and regulatory authorities are required, he maintained. By working together, Pakistan can position itself as a leading player in the global pharmaceutical market, he said.

Qamar encouraged all stakeholders to seek opportunities for growth, invest in research and development, and strive for excellence. He said by complying with global regulations and certifications, we could access more lucrative export markets, ensuring the quality and competitiveness of our pharmaceutical products.

The minister said the government was committed to provide support and incentives to facilitate the growth of the pharma industry, adding that duties on APIs have already been abolished besides allowing toll manufacturing and setting the pharma industry tariff under the commerce ministry.

He said the government was also working on rationalising tariffs and creating a conducive regulatory environment that fosters innovation and growth. He urged all stakeholders to explore opportunities for growth, invest in research and development, and strive for excellence in quality and standards.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman PPMA Syed Farooq Bukhari said the summit aimed at showcasing for export purposes and recognizing those companies which performed well in the pharma sector. It would also allow policymakers and other stakeholders to sit together for formulating cohesive policy for the pharma sector, he added. Expressing his gratitude to Syed Farooq Bukhari, chairman of PPMA, and Dr Kaiser Waheed, the chairman of the Organizing Committee, for their exceptional leadership in arranging the prestigious summit, the minister said the pharmaceutical market of Pakistan was growing very fast and together, we could make Pakistan a leading player in the global pharmaceutical market.

He said in order to enhance pharmaceutical exports we must prioritise local manufacturing of APIs to reduce our dependence on imports besides aligning with international standards. This would not only make us self-reliant but also create opportunities for export-oriented growth, he remarked.

Dr Kaiser Waheed said that this was the 6th event in the last 10 years which was organized to recognize the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry. The government of Pakistan was asking that exports should be our vision, he added.

Briefing the participants, CEO Martin Dow Javed Ghulam Muhammad said the purpose of the summit was to discuss the challenges and export potential of the pharmaceutical industry.

He said currently, the global pharma market export stood at $1.8 trillion with five per cent annual growth. North America was a major player in pharma export with 43 per cent while the rest of the world has 25 per cent.

Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, and India were also contributing to the global pharma market, he added.

He said Pakistan has currently 650 pharma companies and the prices of medicines were very lowest in the world. Unfortunately, Pakistan spent only 1.4 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was the lowest in the world, he added. Dr Emily Kaine also addressed the occasion and narrated the challenges faced by the pharma industry and suggested some solutions to address these issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tariq Qurashi Jul 13, 2023 11:10am
A long with IT, the local Pharmaceutical industry is pretty high-tech, and has enormous potential for export; especially to the developing world. This sector has huge potential which has so far largely been ignored. It is good to see that the government is now giving it priority.
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