Scramble for pharma projects

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    A Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical company from Saudi Arabia is eyeing a $30-million investment in the Philippines for basic medicines and maybe a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    This was revealed yesterday at the Senate hearing on the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry.

    Charito Plaza, director-general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, said in a text message Basha’er Addawa Trading Co. is now conducting due diligence on its plan to produce generic medicines, high-demand therapeutic drugs and other specific drugs for oncology, diabetes and hypertension for export to the Middle East.

    The project is one of the seven agreements signed by President Duterte during his visit to Saudi Arabia in April 2017.

    Basha’er Addawa is eyeing a one-hectare PEZA-registered ecozone.

    Once operational, the project will generate 1,500 jobs.

    In the same hearing, Sen. Francis Tolentino brought up the idea of maximizing the use of a pharmaceutical park in Malolos, Bulacan.

    According to PEZA, the 38-hectare (ha.) First Bulacan Industrial City, registered with the Board of Investments in 1991, is now eyeing expansion.

    PEZA said the proponent plans an additional 25 has. under the authority in support of the pharmaceutical industry.

    Dubbed as the Pharma City of the North, the park hosts a number of pharmaceutical multinational firms.