Jan 09, Colombo: The State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPMC) and Pharma Zone (Pvt) Ltd entered into an agreement on January 8, 2018, to build the first ever exclusive pharmaceutical manufacturing zone of Sri Lanka with an investment in excess of US $ 10 million.
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne along with other representatives participated in the agreement signing event on Monday.
The Pharma Zone at Welipenna in the Kalutara district will facilitate the local pharmaceutical manufacturers with sufficient land for manufacturing plants and basic infrastructure facilities for smooth operation of Pharma production facilities with a view to achieving the Government's target of localizing production of essential pharmaceutical items to a value of US$100 million, thus saving valuable foreign exchange.
Pharma Zone (Pvt) Ltd located on 50 acres is a BOI approved company whose principals are the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Sultan Iskandar and Patrick Lim Soo Kit, a leading Malaysian entrepreneur.
The Sultan's investment vehicle, Inti Kemuncak Sdn Bhd is a well-established property development company based in Malaysia focusing on large scale property development in the Asian region.
Inti Kemuncak is the innovative developer of major townships and urban regeneration projects including a coronation square, a US $ 1.2 billion international class urban mixed development located within the prestigious Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD) in Johor Bahru.
The Pharma Zone will facilitate the local pharmaceutical manufacturers with sufficient land for manufacturing plants and basic infrastructure facilities for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
Dr. Senaratne expressed his gratitude to the sultan and people of Johor, Malaysia for making Pharma Zone a reality. He said that the establishment of Pharma Zone by the sultan of Johor would hopefully give confidence and encourage other overseas investors to follow suit.
Chairman SPMC, Dr. Sayura Samarasundara said that with the completion of the Pharma Zone, envisaged to be in operation within one year, the country's dependency on imported drugs will soon become a thing of the past.
The zone will be run and administered by Pharma Zone, headed by Patrick Lim Soo Kit, while the SPMC along with the Ministry of Health will set the standards and monitor quality.
Electricity, water, road infrastructure, security, waste water management, etc will all be provided to the companies operating within the zone, and it is the intention of Pharma Zone to attract overseas investors to set up operations within the Zone as well. “We will be marketing Pharma Zone regionally,” said Lim.
With the establishment of Pharma Zone it is hoped that most of Sri Lanka's drug availability and cost issues will soon come to an end.