- Cipla BIOTEC (0.10 MB)
The KwaZulu-Natal Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Cipla BIOTEC for the commercial terms of the R 1.3 billion investment of Cipla BIOTEC’s new biosimilars manufacturing facility. The agreement was concluded on the margins of the BRICS Summit taking place in GOA, India. The facility will be South Africa’s first biotech manufacturing facility for the production of biosimilars. The state of the art facility is set to produce a range of affordable treatments for cancer and other autoimmune diseases for the African and global market.
The Memorandum of Agreement was signed at a meeting held at Cipla’s offices in Goa, India attended by South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs for KwaZulu-Natal, Mr. Sihle Zikalala and Mr. Divian Govender, South African CEO and Global Chief Business Officer of Cipla BIOTEC.
Minister Davies on his recent trip to the USA met CIPLA, Director and Head of Bilogicals, Mr. Steve Lehrer to discuss the opportunity for a biologics cluster for South Africa and conducted a site visit at CIPLA’s plant in GOA, India before the signing. Minister Davies lauded the progress made and congratulated the parties for reaching such a milestone, following the recent signing of the initial MOU during the State Visit of Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi on the 8th July 2016 to South Africa.
“The CIPLA Biologic investment is a Top 10 priority project of the Inter-Ministerial
Committee (IMC) on Investment chaired by President Jacob Zuma and is strategic for a number of reasons. It resonates well with our industrial policy and puts South Africa at the cutting edge of innovation, moving up the value chain to advanced manufacturing and a knowledge - based economy. It has socio - economic benefits and strengthens our partnership with India and BRICS of developing countries providing affordable healthcare. CIPLA has a plant in GOA, India and South Africa will be the second location that will serve the African Continent and global markets,” said Minister Davies.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala welcomed the deal saying the project will finally make medication affordable.
“As the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, we welcome this investment with open arms, as the technological level of this investment has the potential to impact on a number of economic and social facets of our society, well beyond the sizable investment amount of R1.3 billion in the new manufacturing facility and the 180 permanent jobs that it will create. The investment represents the introduction of an entirely new technology into the South African economy, which will have a wide reaching impact especially the elevation of the research and development done in our tertiary education institutions,” highlighted Zikalala
Mr. Steve Lehrer, Director and Head Cipla BIOTEC, also said the project will indeed reduce the costs of medicine.
“We believe that a ground – breaking medicine is meaningless if barriers like cost and availability keep it from the patients who need it most. To be a truly world class treatment, it must be within reach of the whole world,” stated Lehrer.
Dube TradePort Corporation’s Chairperson, Dr Bridgette Gasa said that Cipla’s investment is further affirmation that they have created a world-class investment destination, which is conducive to doing business in South Africa.
“the dti, Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone (SEZ), together with the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, have provided reliable infrastructure, services and tax incentives to attract both Local and Foreign Direct Investments. This Cipla BIOTEC’s facility within Dube TradePort SEZ will allow us to fulfill both the local need and that within the rest of the African market. The unique position of the new facility will enable seamless pharmaceutical export through the adjacent Dube Cargo Terminal as well as the multitude of connecting flights throughout the continent,” said Gasa.
She added that Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone is firmly on its way towards establishing itself as a key strategic location for the production and distribution of medical and pharmaceuticals on the African continent.
Dube TradePort Corporation CEO, Mr. Hamish Erskine said “Our infrastructure and roll-out program, together with our integrated approach towards attracting and retaining our investments, continues to bear fruit as witnessed by the steady stream of investments secured over the last three years,”.
The construction of the new facility is scheduled to start early next year, with full operations expected to commence in the third quarter of 2018. The facility will create180 permanent jobs with most of them being in the engineering and biological science fields, while a further 120 indirect jobs will be created.