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Samdrup Jongkhar to get a pharmaceutical plant by 2019

Azista Bhutan Healthcare Limited (ABHL) will be setting up a full-fledged pharmaceutical plant at Motanga Industrial Park, Samdrup Jongkhar to manufacture, package and distribute a wide range of prescription medicines under the brand Azista Bhutan.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the pharmaceutical plant at Motanga Industrial Park was held on Thursday and the facility would be the first of its kind in Bhutan. It would manufacture, package and distribute allopathic drugs.

The total cost of the project is Nu 200mn.

Given the rising demand for pharmaceutical products both in the local and international markets, and the fact that Bhutan has been importing all allopathic drugs from outside, Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) took the initiative not only to curb import but also to promote Brand Bhutan in a global market through export of locally manufactured, quality pharmaceutical products.

According to a press release issued by DHI, it has been exploring investments in various business sectors, which has immense contribution toward the socio-economic development of the country.

“One such initiative is Azista Bhutan Healthcare Limited (ABHL), a joint venture company of Azista Industries Pvt. Ltd., India and Druk Holding & Investments Ltd,” the press release states.

Once operational, the company would be manufacturing, packaging and distributing 99 types of products under 17 major therapies. Besides meeting domestic demand for pharmaceutical products, the plant will export to India and abroad.

The project is expected to bring in lot of benefits to the economy in terms of foreign currency earnings from export, import of know-how, and most importantly, providing employment opportunities.

The company is projected to employ 190 people in various occupational fields. In addition, local skill development for manufacturing pharmaceutical products would remain a top priority of this project.

ABHL will eventually set up its own Research and Development (R & D) unit to improve quality of products and introduce a new range of products in Bhutan and the overseas market.

This R&D initiative is expected to bring about much a much needed culture of innovation in Bhutan to meet social and commercial interest.

“Pharmaceutical as a clean industry is known for not generating any toxic and hazardous effluents. The state of the art technology that would be deployed for this project will ensure that the plant does not emit hazardous materials into the atmosphere,” the press release states.

ABHL is a project that is in compliance with the country’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

The construction of the plant will start once the monsoon season is over and is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2019.

Pema Seldon from Thimphu