King Abdullah Economic City has signed a land lease agreement with Pharmaline Saudi Arabia, a new joint venture between Al Rashed and the Malia Group. Pharmaline plans to build and operate its first Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical plant in KAEC’s Industrial Valley.
The facility will be built in Phase 1 of the Industrial Valley, on around 60,000 square metres of leased land. Completion of the plant is scheduled by the end of 2016. The new factory is part of Pharmaline’s regional expansion plans and represents the company’s first ever presence in the Saudi market. The facility will act as a hub from which to access both the Saudi and regional markets.
“King Abdullah Economic City is fast establishing itself as the strategic location of choice for pharmaceutical companies seeking to expand into Saudi Arabia and the wider region,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and Group CEO of KAEC. “This agreement, and the establishment of Pharmaline’s new manufacturing unit, demonstrate our ability to provide investors with unique business opportunities supported by world class infrastructure and excellent connectivity.”
Saudi Arabia is the largest pharmaceutical market in the Gulf region, accounting for 65 percent of total demand. Local production of pharmaceutical products, however, meets only 25 percent of local demand.
“KAEC is the obvious choice for Pharmaline. The government fully supports the pharmaceutical industry and technology. Our new project sits alongside giant corporations working within KAEC, in a high-level environment that meets all the needs of modern industry,” said Saad Bin AbdulRahman Al-Rashed, Chairman of Pharmaline Saudi Arabia. “This new project will strengthen our presence in the Saudi market, help meet growing demand in the healthcare sector in the Kingdom, and create job opportunities for young Saudis. Pharmaline is committed to our role in the development of the local community.”
The pharmaceutical industry has been identified as a strategic growth market in the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy. The pharmaceutical cluster at King Abdullah Economic City is one of the fastest growing in the region and has already attracted leading international companies including Pfizer and Sanofi.
“The Industrial Valley is playing a major role in expanding the pharmaceutical industry in Saudi Arabia, which is a key national priority for the Saudi government,” said Rayan Qutub, CEO of the Industrial Valley at KAEC. “KAEC’s geographic location gives it a strategic reach to 250 million consumers in the Arab world and East Africa alone, making the city the location of choice for foreign and domestic investment.”
More than 100 national and international companies are currently invested in the Industrial Valley across six industrial sectors. In addition to pharmaceuticals, the city is home to companies in the FMCG, logistics, plastics, building materials and automotive sectors. The development’s advanced infrastructure includes comprehensive water and power grids, sewage, telecommunications, storm runoff and road networks, including a complete range of facilities and housing solutions.
“KAEC has become a great enabler of socio-economic development in Saudi Arabia,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed. “The city is moving successfully towards its objectives and strategic plans, underlined by the growing level of local and international investment in KAEC and the creation of long term career opportunities for local talent in high value industries.”