Cairo, Egypt — Global medical consumables manufacturing giant, Intrapharma, plans to set up a drug manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe before year end.
The United Arab Emirates-based medical consumables manufacturer comes at a time when the Government is on a drive to lure investment and also trying to revamp the medical consumable industry.
Its interest in Zimbabwe is further confirmation that giant global investors are taking notice of Zimbabwe as a key investment destination. Intrapharma is one of the biggest consumable manufacturers in the world and has diverse ventures across the globe including in Egypt, where Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was attending the African Health Exhibition and Conference this week.
Intrapharma chairman, Dr Ibrahim Ramel, met VP Chiwenga on the side lines of the conference and discussed a number of issues including sealing a deal that will see the global giants coming into Zimbabwe.
With Government having designated Victoria Falls as a special economic zone, Intrapharma has indicated its willingness to set the plant in the resort city.
Dr Ramel said he has been impressed by Zimbabwe's highly competent human resources, itself a key anchor in any business.
Also impressing Intrapharma is Zimbabwe's strategic location to profit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
"Zimbabwe is an ideal place for running a business looking to develop and expand because of the high quality of the workforce, and because of the support of Government," he said.
"This is why we feel this strategic position is a win-win. We hope that you will see a product in the hand of Zimbabweans by end of this year or before.
"It has already started, it is serious and we are proud of this success."
Through its partnership with Zimbabwe, Intrapharma hopes to tap into supplying the African market provided for under the AfCTA, whose aim is to boost the continent's trade position in the world.
To this end, the investor sees Zimbabwe as being on the cusp of massive industrialisation and development, which could see the influx of international capital.
VP Chiwenga said modalities of the venture started last year but have moved fast to ensure the project kicks off.
"We are revamping the pharmaceutical industry which had gone down," said VP Chiwenga.
"Now we have revived over 15 of them and the team from Dubai and Egypt are now coming in with some of the technology we do not have and other materials we do not have in Zimbabwe.
"From these new technologies I am talking about, they will initially produce 90 different types of drugs."
Negotiations for the venture started a year ago and have now moved fast.
VP Chiwenga said a joint venture agreement will be signed between Pharco, Intrapharma and Zimbabwe, and the name of the agreed industry would be ZimPharma.
Intrapharma has diverse ventures across the globe.