The government plans to raise pharmaceutical exports to $5 billion in the next four years by introducing incentives.
Abdul Razak Dawood, the commerce and investment advisor, said that the government is focusing on increasing pharmaceutical exports through “tariff rationalisation, trade-related investment, institutional reforms, and easing of business regulations.”
He disclosed this while addressing the first Pharma Export Summit and Awards (PESA) event organized by Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA).
Dawood said that the government would introduce several tariff rationalization measures in the next annual budget, which would target both industrial and agricultural sectors.
He told attendees that Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet with PPMA leadership today and discuss additional measures to promote the pharmaceutical sector.
The Ministry of Commerce’s “Made-in-Pakistan” policy will also help promote local production and exports of pharmaceutical products in new international markets, Dawood added.
The commerce advisor also noted that the health ministry would no longer be allowed to fix prices of pharma products and that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would not set tariffs. Instead, the Commerce Ministry was now in charge of such regulation.
Khalid Mansoor, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), also attended the event and urged the pharmaceutical sector to take advantage of CPEC’s special economic zones.
Chairman PESA, Kaiser Waheed, said that Pakistan’s local pharmaceutical industry had grown rapidly over the past 20 years and now enjoyed a market share of 70 percent.
In 2000, the country exported just $9 million worth of pharmaceutical products, but now, exports have crossed the $250 million mark, Waheed added.
Chairman PPMA, Tauqeer-ul-Haq, said that the pharmaceutical industry in 2020 was valued at around $3.2 billion, up from $1.64 billion in 2011.
“The industry can expand to $5 billion within next few years.” Haq said. Adding that the industry had already logged a 24 percent growth rate in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, having exported products worth over $68 million.