Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 November 2011





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Lanka moving ahead with first pharma zone

Sri Lanka has begun preliminary work on the country's first pharmaceutical manufacturing zone. Boosted by the government's buy back assurance on drugs made in the zone as well as the more than 10 percent rate of increase in the country's annual pharmaceutical expenditure, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce this week began mapping out the first steps in developing the 48 acre (19.4 Ha) land-plot slated for the project.

The Rathgalla GN Division close to Kurunegala city in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka
where the industrial estate for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Equipment is to be located

The dedicated zone which will initially cater to the domestic market, will not only make pharmaceutical products but will also be expanded to produce medical equipment.

On October 20, Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella recorded that Sri Lanka is planning an industrial park for pharmaceutical manufacturers in Kurunegala on a 48-acre block of land identified to promote the local pharmaceutical industry, on a proposal by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce. Minister Rambukwella added that over 10 reputed pharmaceutical manufacturers' have expressed their willingness to invest in this industry.

According to the Business Monitor International which analyses country risks across 175 countries, the projected expenditure for Lankan pharmaceuticals for 2011 is expected to increase by 15 percent (to US $444 Mn) in comparison to 2010.

Such a rate of increase in annual pharma expenditure expense lately has resulted in a highly competitive market, with more than 300 products coming from various foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers (in addition to domestic manufacturers') and competing for the Sri Lankan consumer.

The proposed zone, which is less than five Km from Kurunegala city, is to be located at a "Grama Niladhari Division" (an administrative unit) called 'Rathgalla' in the Kurunegala DS Division(an administrative unit), subject to the approval of the Chief Minister of the North Western Province.


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