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Chinese pharmaceutical giant starts production in Ethiopia

(EBC; June 10, 2018)- Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc, on Sunday inaugurated its production plant in Ethiopia amid the east African country's higher demand for import substitution in medicines.

The Ethiopian government, which has been expressing its concern over the minimal share of local medical drugs production for the country's domestic use, stressed the benefits of the Chinese pharmaceutical firm in saving large amount of hard currency through import substitution.

Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said during the plant's inauguration ceremony that despite the Ethiopian government's various measures to support the pharmaceutical sector, the "sector has not yet evolved into where we projected it to be -- both in terms of its investment portfolio, production capacity, technology acquisition and the creation of employment opportunities."

He also noted that the sector is still dominated by heavy importation of pharmaceutical products from abroad, which currently represents about 85 percent of the annual 500 million U.S. dollar local market.

"Your investment to Ethiopia could not have come at a more opportune moment," Demeke said.

Located inside the premises of the Eastern Industry Zone on the outskirt of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the pharmaceutical plant is a 85 million U.S. dollars investment, which was completed in less than two years.