Giant Indian pharmaceuticals manufacturer Aurobindo has become the latest global conglomerate to launch at King Abdullah Economic City’s Industrial Valley. The company’s investment arm has leased a site in Phase One of the Industrial Valley to build its first manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia, set to produce oral tablets and capsules. The deal is part of the joint effort by KAEC and the National Industrial Clusters Development Program, with pharmaceuticals being one of six major industries targeted by the drive. “This partnership is yet another indicator that KAEC is moving forward with its strategic goals and future vision,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of KAEC. “[KAEC]has been extremely successful in attracting the capital investment of local and international companies that know that KAEC is the ideal place to invest in across the region, thanks to a superior quality of life and world-class public services. Aurobindo has more than 20 manufacturing facilities with several partnerships in India, Europe, the United States, and Brazil. The company intends to invest in a phased plan, starting with the production of medicines to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. The facility is expected to generate more than 150 specialized jobs. “The decision to base our company’s regional operations in Saudi Arabia came in response to the rising demand for our products in the [Arabian] Gulf,” he said. “Marking our entry into the Saudi market, the new factory in the Industrial Valley will be a major turning point for our company,” said Mr. Madan Mohan Reddy, Director of Aurobindo Pharma.
Khalid Al Salem, President of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program, praised the joint efforts the two sides had made to make the deal happen. “The fact that we were able to attract this deal at this particular time, attests to the very strength of the Saudi economy,” said Al Salem. “Our national economy’s ability to attract even more global investors will facilitate the transfer of technology and get young Saudi men and women into high-quality, skilled jobs. I’m delighted on the professionalism dealing along the whole business conduct with the investors Nizar Hariri, the program’s Vice President for Pharma and Biotech Clusters, said that Aurobindo’s decision to enter the Saudi market was based on precise standards for the growth of high-quality drugs and competitively priced branded generics (Branded Generics). The company has more than 230 drugs certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with some $2 billion in overall sales in more than 150 markets worldwide. Rayan Qutub, CEO of the Industrial Valley, said, “Saudi Arabia’s drug industry is, by far, the largest in the region. The entry of a leading international company of Aurobindo Pharma’s caliber is yet another milestone in the Industrial Valley’s success in attracting world-renowned pharmaceutical manufacturers, all thanks to the unrivalled value it has to offer. This further bolsters the Industrial Valley’s status as the go-to destination in the Gulf for pharmaceutical investors.” “The Kingdom spent more than SAR28 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2014, and yet the national drug industry has barely cracked a 20 percent market share,” he continued. “This is why we have this sector among the six that the Industrial Valley has set its sights on. Localizing the drug and health care industries is a strategic priority to achieve health security for the Kingdom,” Qutub continued. The Industrial Valley currently hosts more than 100 companies, as an increasing number of global investors have come to see it as a prime location for investment. Given the unhindered access to King Abdullah Port, it is the key destination for inbound and outbound logistics and products in the region, with the capability to serve 250 million consumers in the Arab world and East Africa.