By Staff Writer
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Malanji has urged Hikma, a leading Jordanian London Stock Exchange listed pharmaceutical company, to invest in Zambia’s pharmaceutical industry.
Speaking during a meeting with Hikma Pharmaceuticals Vice Chairman, Mazan Darwazeh in the Jordanian capital, Amman yesterday, Mr Malanji said Zambia needs increased investment in the pharmaceutical industry because of the high demand for quality healthcare by citizens and a growing middle class able to pay for improved health services.
“The Government gives priority to the health sector with the goal to ensure equitable access to healthcare services for all Zambians through better availability of adequate infrastructure, medical equipment and essential drugs,” Mr Malanji said.
The Minister further explained that Zambia’s pharmaceutical industry had continued to register strong growth mainly due to the increase in population.
He added that Government had introduced the health insurance scheme aimed at finding a sustainable financing mechanism for the health sector and increased access to healthcare for citizens.
Mr Malanji urged Hikma Pharmaceuticals to undertake a business Mission to Zambia to explore possibilities of investing in Zambia.
The Minister also informed Mr Darwazeh that Zambia’s geographical position gives advantage to Hikma Pharmaceuticals to produce within Zambia and use trade agreements under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to export to member countries.
In response, Mr Darwazeh indicated that Hikma Pharmaceuticals will undertake a business Mission to Zambia and study the Zambian pharmaceutical market.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals produces a broad range of pharmaceutical products across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with manufacturing plants in 11 countries and a total revenue of $ 2 billion.
Mr Malanji is in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to attend the high-level Aqaba Process follow-up meeting on East Africa in the coastal city of Aqaba.
The Minister who is representing His Excellency, Mr Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, is among Heads of State and Government invited by His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein to attend the meeting scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Mr Malanji is accompanied by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary in-charge of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Chalwe Lombe.
This is according to a media release by First Secretary for Press at the Embassy in Turkey Jerry Munthali.
Zambian Embassy in Turkey which covers Jordan and Amman.