Accra, July 13 - As Indian pharmaceutical companies prepare to increase the volume of their trade in Nigeria, it is becoming clear that they would have to compete companies from their closest neighbour, Pakistan, which have given the signal that they are keen to take a slice of Nigeria's growing market in the health sector as well as pharmaceutical products.
The Pakistani companies plan to achieve this by establishing hospitals and partnering with Nigerians to establish pharmaceutical companies, Pakistan's High Commissioner to Nigeria, Muhammed Saleem, has said.
We are also looking at having joint ventures in opening up hospitals. We are not looking at Nigeria as a market, we are looking at Nigeria as a partner and that is our intention in this part of the world, Saleem said.
As part of the move, the Nigeria-Pakistan Pharma Investment Forum (NIPIF 2014) was held in the Nigerian commercial capital, Lagos, last month.
About 50 investors from Pakistan attended the forum together with two each from Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ghana. This shows how serious Pakistani companies are in their bid to make an inroad into Nigeria.
Saleem said Pakistan, currently exporting $200 million of pharmaceutical products, was planning to increase that to $500 million. Out of the $200 million, trade with Nigeria accounts for only $7 million.
He said his country wanted to produce quality drugs and medicines in Nigeria which would be made available to hospitals locally.
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