Tax incentives mulled for pharma investments

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AIA LS MAR2020 T2 693523036 SM TWT

Davison Kaiyo

HARARE – In order to attract investments into the pharmaceutical industry, a new strategy document is proposing tax incentives into the sector. 

According to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy in Zimbabwe: 2021-2025 which was approved in Cabinet yesterday, competitiveness of the local pharmaceutical industry will be achieved through such measures as the use of raw materials that are exempted from import duties as well as Value Added Tax deferment.

Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing that the sector is set for transformation following the approval of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy in Zimbabwe 2021-2025.

Transformation of the sector which has suffered years of low production as a result of use of obsolete and antiquated equipment, cumbersome registration procedures and limited innovation, will guarantee affordable medicines for the citizens.

“Implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy will not only resolve these bottlenecks but will also result in increased production of essential medicines for both domestic and export markets,” she said.

According to the strategy, government institutions and hospitals will be encouraged to procure pharmaceutical products from local manufacturers in line with the local content strategy and import substitution as well as facilitate increase in local production.

The strategy also aims to increase the market share of local pharmaceutical products from the current 12% to 35% by 2025; to increase local production of essential medicines from US$31.5 million to US$150 million by 2025; to increase local production of essential medicines from 30% to 60% by 2025; and to improve exports of pharmaceutical products from 10% to 25% by 2025.

Mutsvangwa said government will also capacitate the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to ensure faster registration of pharmaceutical products and to develop a programme on plant refurbishments, and upgrading and improvements in Quality Management Systems.

“This will ensure that the local manufacturers comply with international pharmaceutical manufacturing quality standards and enhance competitiveness locally and internationally,” she said.

According to the strategy, government, in collaboration with local industry, will also push for the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers to promote export development.

The strategy is expected to reduce the medicinal import bill.

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