The deputy minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe says the week-long investment mission to India that he concluded today was a success. The purpose of the mission, which was part of government’s investment attraction drive in the pharmaceutical sector, was to woo leading companies in the pharmaceutical sector in the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad to attract them to invest and expand their presence in South Africa.
‘We are pleased that the mission provided us with an opportunity to meet with chief executive officers (CEOs) of leading companies in India operating in various areas such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), pharmaceuticals generics, biologics, consumables and medical devices. The mood and sentiment of the CEOs were highly positive. They see South Africa as an attractive investment destination for a pharmaceutical hub for the African continent. The visit was a success in that the CEOs of these global pharmaceutical companies have expressed a keen interest to invest in South Africa as they recognise South Africa as an attractive destination for high quality pharmaceutical products. They have also expressed keen interest in working with government to invest in the country,’ says Magwanishe.
He adds that he was more encouraged by the fact that most of the CEOs that he met in the three cities do not only make regular visits to South Africa but have also expressed their intention to invest in the country within the next two years.
‘We also managed to exchange ideas with new potential investors as well as companies that already have a presence in South Africa. CEOs also warmed up to our requests for them to expand their investments in the country and the response we received was positive and encouraging,’ stresses Magwanishe who was accompanied by the SA high commissioner designate to India Dr Hlamalani Manzi throughout the mission.
Magwanishe encouraged investors to work through Invest South Africa, a division of the Department of Trade and Industry that will provide an intergovernmental facilitation in understanding the regulatory environment in South Africa.
He adds that the visit also afforded his delegation with an opportunity to exchange ideas for possible collaboration in regards to South Africa’s industrial policy of supporting knowledge and technology parks, start-ups, small and medium enterprises, women and youth.
‘The Indian companies also indicated that they are keen in opening up opportunities with the South African companies for technology transfer, joint ventures and partnerships. They are also prepared to support us in our Special Economic Zones and industrial parks. There are also opportunities for the two countries’ regulatory authorities to collaborate and share best practices. The mission will serve as an important platform in our quest to industrialise and build a pharmaceutical ecosystem and support localisation efforts,’ says Magwanishe.
Magwanishe also reckons India’s pharmaceutical is ranked third globally and the investment mission was strategic in terms of South Africa’s industrial policy objectives of building a manufacturing capability as a world-class hub for the African Continent.
Magwanishe reiterated that opportunities for investment and partnerships with leading companies based in India would allow the South African economy and its people to be in a position to have affordable and cost effective healthcare through the inward investment of some of the leading companies that may be pursuing Africa as the next frontier of growth.
India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally and enjoys an important position of the global pharmaceutical sector. The South African pharmaceutical industry is a priority sector as per the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).