Govt plans to boost pharmaceutical exports to $500m

The federal government is making plans to increase exports of the pharmaceutical industry up to US$500 million per annum over the medium term, it is learnt.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Akram Sheikh chaired a meeting of the stakeholders concerned of the pharmaceutical industry a couple of days ago in order to fine-tune strategies for boosting exports of the sector in years to come.

According to sources, pharmaceutical exports stood at $50 million per annum, which could be jacked up to $500 million with concerted efforts. Official sources, who participated in the meeting, told The News that pharmaceutical manufacturers apprised the policy-makers of the lingering energy crisis which has badly affected the production and the export target of $1 billion could not be achieved by 2010.

The industry, the sources said, was facing difficulties in the production of life-saving medicines due to gas and electricity load-shedding. Highlighting future prospects of the industry, the sources said that pharmaceutical exports were increasing rapidly at the rate of 20 per cent annually and the industry was expected to attain 40 to 45 per cent growth in manufacturing and exports by 2010.

The Middle Eastern, ASEAN and North African countries were lucrative markets for Pakistan’s pharmaceuticals, since Pakistani medicines were recognised for their high quality.

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