A pair of memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth AED260 million ($70.8 million) between major pharmaceutical and medical devices companies in the UAE, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has said.
Under the partnerships, PureHealth, one of the largest healthcare providers in the UAE and a member of the ministry's National In country Value (ICV) Programme, will work with Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company (ADMD), which is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Industrial Projects, as well as Abu Dhabi Ports Group and Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) to establish a AED110 million medical supplies production line in Abu Dhabi, a WAM report said.
Under the MoU, Borouge will provide raw materials while Abu Dhabi Ports Group will provide industrial land in ICAD 1 for the production of medical syringes, administration devices, and blood collection tubes.
Under a separate MoU, PureHealth and Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries Company (Julphar) will establish the first factory in the Middle East to produce Glargine (the first long-acting biological alternative to insulin) for the treatment of diabetes. The AED150 million manufacturing facilities will be built in Ras Al Khaimah and will enable the UAE to obtain an insulin substitute at more competitive prices. It will also support exports to regional and global markets where there is an increasing demand for insulin substitutes.
Signed in the presence of Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, the partnerships are in line with the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology and the ICV Programme, which aim to attract investors and manufacturers to the UAE’s pharmaceutical and medical equipment sectors, among others.
The MoU between PureHealth and Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company was signed by: Farhan Malik, CEO of PureHealth Group; Mounir Haddad, CEO of Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company; Abdullah Humaid Al Hamelli, Head of Industrial Cities and Freezones, Abu Dhabi Ports, and Hazeem Sultan Al Suwaidi, CEO, Borouge.
The second MoU, between PureHealth and Julphar was attended by Sheikh Saqr bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Julphar. It was signed by Malik and Dr Essam Mohamed, CEO of Julphar.
Both signings were attended by Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Dr Amin Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Regulation Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention; Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director General - Economic Affairs at Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; Abdullah Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Industrial Development Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; and Omar Najm, Director of the Executive Affairs Office at the Department of Health.
Make it in the Emirates
The MoUs follow the Make in the Emirates Forum, which was hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in May. The forum highlighted industrial investment opportunities and identified products that can be manufactured locally, including in the pharmaceutical and medical supplies sector.
This kind of cooperation between major national companies is a draw for international investors and manufacturers working in priority sectors. The Make it in the Emirates campaign goes hand-in-hand with the National ICV Programme, in which national companies help to redirect government procurement spending into the local economy.
Empowering priority sectors
Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, commented: “These partnerships are in line with the directives of our leadership which aim to empower and stimulate sectors, enhance investment, and support the UAE’s position as a global industrial hub. The partnerships are in line with our strategic objectives and reflect the important role of the ministry's Make it in the Emirates Forum, which identified more than 300 products that can be produced locally in priority sectors such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment."
He said: “These partnerships will play a significant role in boosting economic development through the National ICV Programme. The ICV Programme is one of the ministry's Projects of the 50 supporting economic growth. It increases supply chain resilience and encourages companies to manufacture quality products in the UAE that can be exported globally.”
Dr Al Jaber called on investors and industrialists from around the world to seize the investment opportunities offered by the UAE’s industrial growth. He urged companies to take advantage of the Make it in the Emirates campaign and the UAE's industrial investment environment. This environment includes competitive financing opportunities, business incubators, feasibility studies, a strategic location, a world-class logistics infrastructure, the UAE’s global credibility, legislation that protects investor rights, and easy access to global markets.
For her part, Al Amiri said: “MoIAT is working under the directives of the UAE leadership to stimulate growth in priority sectors, such as medical technology and devices. The expansion of production capacity resulting from these partnerships contributes to achieving self-sufficiency and increasing global exports.”
She added: “These agreements will strengthen local supply chains and help enhance self-sufficiency in medicines and healthcare products. The memoranda of understanding also reflect efforts by major national companies and institutions to integrate and collaborate while enhancing opportunities for citizens to obtain quality jobs.”
Sheikh Saqr Bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the board of Directors of Julphar, said: “Julphar is focused on developing its capacity to provide high-quality healthcare solutions to the Middle East and Africa. Over more than four decades, we have established our name as an Emirati brand with a successful model for pioneering the manufacture of medicines. Julphar leverages the technical and scientific capabilities that position the UAE as a leader in the pharmaceutical sector. This new partnership contributes to increasing production capabilities and exports in line with our strategy to reach new markets while continuing to launch new products to compete in the global market.”
Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO, Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group, said: “AD Ports Group collaborates with leading UAE organisations from the public and private sectors to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, and position the UAE as an advanced hub for strategic industries.
“These important agreements are aligned with AD Ports Group’s commitment to drive economic diversification in line with the vision of our wise leadership. Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi - Kezad Group has a proven record of success in supporting the pharmaceutical industry through advanced infrastructure and services provided by its Life Sciences Hub. This enables us to sustain more growth, attract additional manufacturers and increase pharmaceutical investments regionally and globally.
“We are confident that this strategic cooperation between leading UAE organisations will play a key role in enhancing and supporting the pharmaceutical and medical supply chains. Kezad Group will continue to provide exceptional capabilities to ensure the success of this project and offer competitive advantages and facilities to its partners.”
Hazeem Sultan Al Suwaidi, CEO of Borouge, said: “We will provide partners with our locally made polyolefins that are tailored for the healthcare sector and to enhance people’s lives. This collaboration comes as part of Borouge’s ongoing efforts to support the Make it in the Emirates campaign, strengthening our position as a leading provider of high-quality polyolefin solutions in the region.”
Dr Mohamed said: “This MoU supports Julphar's production of Glargine and other medicines for the local and global market. As for covering the needs of the MENA region and other international countries, an agreement will be made at a later date. With 12 factories in Ras Al Khaimah, worth AED150 million, and an annual production capacity that meets the needs of the local and global market, Julphar will reinforce is position as a leading manufacturer of Glargine globally. This agreement represents a qualitative leap for the UAE, for Julphar, and for the pharmaceutical industry, in line with the Make It in the Emirates initiative.”
In his comments, Malik said: “The ‘Make it in the Emirates’ is a key initiative that brought different sectors, including healthcare entities, on a common platform. Today’s MoUs are actionable results from the follow-up to the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ Forum. At the Forum, we at PureHealth, along with all the industry colleagues, made a commitment to MOIAT to boost the In-Country Value. We are committed and are proud to be part of the ICV programme, which is an important long-term programme aimed at building a sustainable and prosperous future for UAE. We believe the ICV is not a nice-to-have but a must-have programme and we urge all entities – especially in the healthcare sector to adopt ICV programme.
Malik added: “ICV is critical in the healthcare sector because the sector needs to be resilient to be less dependent on external factors. We are already in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is a fusion of the biological, physical, and digital worlds. Medtech, biotech, and biopharma are at the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As we all focus on embracing Industry 4.0, supporting the local pharma, biotech and medtech sectors is key to maximising the benefits of this industrial revolution. With a commitment to the ICV programme, we look forward to celebrating many of these collaborations together with other entities to play our role in supporting the growth and prosperity of the UAE’s economy.”
Mounir Haddad , CEO of Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company (ADMD) said: “I would like to thank the Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology for this initiative to support the local manufacturing industry. This partnership with PureHealth, Abu Dhabi Ports, and (Borouge) will allow us to expand our manufacturing area, increase our manufacturing capacity, and add new products to our portfolio to supply the local health sector with high quality products.”
He added: “We are grateful to be based in Abu Dhabi where we have the full support from the government in addition to the importance of our geographical location that allows us to easily access global markets in terms of ease of shipments and high reputation of Emirati products.”
The industrial partnership between Pure Health, Julphar, Abu Dhabi Medical Devices and other government and private entities represents an exemplary model in industrial integration and cooperation. Through these kinds of partnerships, companies will be able to procure products locally, supporting supply chain localisation and local suppliers. The ministry hopes they will pave the way for similar partnerships across sectors.
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