5 July 2018

Tunisia: Pharmaceutical and Building Industries in DRC - Most Profitable Sectors for Tunisian Products

Tunis/Tunisia — Health sectors, notably pharmaceutical and building (building material and electrical components) are the most profitable sectors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the Tunisian products, according to a market study presented Thursday as part of the Road Show on business opportunities in the DRC.

The needs of the health field are huge due to the presence of a middle class with a purchasing power that helps it go farther than basic goods while the offer remains insufficient and does not meet the standards, authors of this study indicated. Tunisia thereupon enjoys from several competitive advantages, they added.

Presenting the example of the health evacuation services, the study further notes that the transfer of patients from the DRC to Tunisia is five times cheaper than to India or Europe (currently the main destinations) and three times cheaper than to South Africa.

Speaking about the state of the pharmaceutical industries sector, Head of the Congolese Drugs Supply Programme Biayi Frank recalled that the medicine needs are estimated at about $520 million each year, including $210 million of essential drugs (used to treat common diseases).

"The country's 20 drugs producers manufacture less than 10% of the needs and we must import the remaining 90% so as to meet the demands of the population that increases by 2.6% each year (80 million)," he noted. Tunisian pharmaceutical industry enjoys from several competitive advantages in terms of cost and quality of the product.

This Road Show is the third of its kind after those of Sfax (July 3) and Sousse (July 4) that are organised by the Think Africa platform, a structure that gathers 15 members including ministries, public assistance organisations, employer organisations, associations and regional trade chambers.

The aim of these events is to raise awareness among Tunisian exporters of business opportunities in DRC.

Two other Road Shows to focus on Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire will be organised by the Think Africa Platform.

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