Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/13/2014 -- There have been a number of positive developments in international cooperation for Uzbekistan's pharmaceutical sector in recent months. Having identified the pharmaceutical sector as a key area of economic growth, the Uzbek government has been encouraging domestic production of pharmaceuticals. We note that it has seen some success with this - with an increase of exports reported in 2013. However, we project that the pharmaceutical trade balance will remain in negative territory for the foreseeable future, with substantial improvements yet to be made to regulatory and manufacturing standards, potentially curtailing further growth.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: UZS933.7bn (US$504mn) in 2013 to UZS1,218.5bn (US$520mn) in 2014; 30.5% in local currency terms and 3.0% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: UZS7,013.8bn (US$3.35bn) in 2013 to UZS8,584.3bn (US$3.66bn) in 2014; 22.4% in local currency terms and 9.1% in US dollar terms.
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Risk/Reward Ratings: In our updated Q2 2014 proprietary rating tool Uzbekistan remains the least attractive market to investors in the region. Although we have revised Uzbekistan's overall score slightly upwards to 35.0, the country continues to score below the regional average for all indicators in our Risk/ Reward Rating (RRR) matrix, and is far below the regional average of 51.5. Over the long term we see some scope for this to improve, with the government having allocated funds to improve healthcare facilities and infrastructure. However, the situation remains unpromising for pharmaceutical players in the medium term, with considerable challenges to increasing local drug sales.
Key Trends And Developments
- In January 2014, Turkiston press reported that Uzbekistan registered an almost two-fold increase in exports of pharmaceutical products in 2013. Pharmaceutical companies in the country produced more than 1,320 types of medicines in 90 pharmacotherapeutic groups and 30 dosage forms. Uzbekistan's pharmaceutical companies attracted a total investment of US$300mn, of which US$100mn was foreign investment from the early 1990s. Pharmaceutical products manufactured in Uzbekistan are exported to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, India, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, China, and Russia, amongst others.
- In the same month the Uzbek government entered a joint venture (JV) with China's Kunming Pharmaceutical to build a pharmaceutical facility to produce drugs for the treatment of respiratory disease in the 'Angren' special industrial zone of the country's Tashkent region. The project will entail an investment of US$14mn, 50% of which will come from foreign investment. The plant will have the capacity to produce two million doses of drugs per year. 'Angren' was created on April 13 2012 in line with a presidential decree, and is scheduled to operate for 30 years.
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