Sri Lankan government approves setting up of third pharmaceutical zone in Horana
The government of Sri Lanka has reportedly granted approval to set up a second pharmaceutical production zone in Millewa, Horana, which is expected to attract Rs. 8 billion investments in its first phase.
Cabinet Co-Spokesperson, Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has told the media that the decision was made in line with the government’s policy of increasing local production of pharmaceuticals.
“Accordingly, the establishment of pharmaceutical zones in Arabokka in the Hambantota District and Oyamaduwa in the Anuradhapura District has commenced. In addition, another pharmaceutical zone will be established in Millewa, Horana,” Dr. Pathirana has been quoted as saying.
Orthopaedic and neurosurgical equipment, cancer drugs, surgical instruments, contact lenses, as well as a variety of drugs will be among the products manufactured at the Horana zone, local media reports stated.
The project will be implemented under two phases and the first is expected to kick off in March with an investment of Rs. 8 billion.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed between the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) and the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to allocate a 64 acre and 83.3 perch land belonging to the latter to establish the proposed drug zone.
The Cabinet of Ministers had last week approved a proposal jointly presented by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Housing and Urban Development Minister and the country’s Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. A steering committee chaired by the Treasury Secretary and comprised of line ministry secretaries will be appointed to expedite implementation.
Sri Lankan authorities have expressed explicit commitment to manufacture the country’s pharmaceuticals requirement locally and to also explore pharma exports. The government of Sri Lanka has also offered incentives including land to businesses/investors looking at setting up pharmaceuticals manufacturing plants in the country. This has presented many business/investment opportunities in the country’s health industry. Given Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country will also help in pharmaceutical exports sector.
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