Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapakse has directed the Board of Investment (BoI) to explore possible sites for the setting up of a pharmaceutical hub.
Rajapaksa directed the BoI officials to work with an Indian delegation from the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, to explore potential sites for the hub, including sites in Mawathagama and Biyagama Export Processing Zones.
The delegation met with Rajapaksa on Wednesday, for further negotiations on the proposal to start the preparatory work on a pharmaceutical hub in the country, facilitated by investment from the Indian pharmaceuticals industry.
Indian Ambassador Ashok Kantha, who was also present at the meeting, expressed support for the venture, stating that the Indian government would take the necessary steps to expedite the process of setting up a pharmaceutical hub in Sri Lanka and would also encourage Indian manufacturers to enter into joint ventures with Sri Lankan companies to that end.
Sri Lanka currently imports approximately 80% of its requirement of pharmaceuticals, with the balance requirement being catered by local manufacturing firms. However, through the establishment of a pharmaceuticals hub in the country, the government aims to provide products for the domestic and export markets.
India is currently a major player in the pharmaceuticals industry, producing approximately 50% of the global requirement and one of the biggest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals by volume.