JAFZA must become pharma manufacturing hub says Sulayem
DP World is pushing for its Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) to become a manufacturing and research hub for the pharmaceutical industry, Sultan Bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World, said ahead of Arab Health 2018 Conference and Exhibition.
Jebel Ali Free Zone will be showcasing the growth opportunities it offers to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry at the event from 29 January to 1 February.
JAFZA is home to some of the world’s leading healthcare multinationals.
The volume of trade in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors at JAFZA was AED 14.2 billion ($3.86 billion) in 2016, accounting for nearly a quarter of the UAE’s health spend of AED 59 billion ($16.1 billion) in that year.
“The healthcare and pharmaceutical are key strategic targets in the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. As a trade and logistics hub, JAFZA fully supports this vision and we are determined to help it grow,” says Bin Sulayem.
“The freezone is already the regional headquarters for many international healthcare companies and as part of our efforts we are engaging with pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies to encourage them to transfer manufacturing facilities, knowledge and research centres to JAFZA and other DP World industrial park facilities, which offer world class services and support systems,” he added.
According to a recent BMI Research report, the UAE's pharmaceutical and healthcare markets are among the regional best performers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The report forecasts that in the UAE the sector will grow from US$16.96 billion in 2017 to US$17.88 billion this year, before hitting US$21.27 billion in 2021. For the MENA Region, it forecasts growth from $174.43 billion in 2017 to $182.43 billion in 2018 and $213.1 billion by 2021.
JAFZA is home to 306 healthcare and pharmaceutical companies from 54 countries, including Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo Smith & Kline (gsk), L'Oreal, Sanofi, Life Pharma and others. The sector provides employment to 3,600 people and has recorded robust growth consistently over the past decade.
Almost a third of these companies are from the Middle East, 23 percent are from Europe, and 22 percent are from Asia, while North American and African companies comprise 11 percent each.
Arab Health is the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region. The 2018 edition is expected to welcome more than 4,200 exhibiting companies from some 150 countries.