Global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced that construction work is set to start on a new manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia.
The foundation stone has been laid at its new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
Incorporating medicine solid dose manufacturing, packaging, and warehousing facilities, the new plant will be operational in 2015, Pfizer said in a statement.
At a total production capacity of 18 million packs per year, the facility will produce a broad range of Pfizer's medicines currently supplied to Saudi Arabia.
The development will also facilitate the transfer of Pfizer's expertise to the local market in Saudi, ensuring production meets Pfizer's rigorous and globally recognised quality standards, the statement added.
Abdulatif Bin Ahmed Al Othman, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), said: "We are sending a very strong and positive message to the world - that Saudi Arabia is set to transform the economy and its infrastructure to host and support knowledge-based industry leaders and manufactures like Pfizer."
He added: "Pfizer's decision and commitment to set up its first ever manufacturing facility throughout the GCC on the land of Saudi Arabia is a clear signal that SAGIA's vision to make Saudi Arabia a major hub between East and West is attainable."
Pfizer's new manufacturing facility will be instrumental in providing Saudi patients with improved access to Pfizer broad portfolio of medicines. It will also create new employment opportunities.
Keith Dennie, vice president Operations, Pfizer, said: "We intend that the new facility will serve the growing needs of the kingdom now and in the future."
"With a growing population and high prevalence of endemic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Saudi Arabia healthcare need is on rise." added Hussein El Hakim, country manager, Pfizer Saudi Arabia.
"For us, investing in setting up a world-class manufacturing facility in Saudi is not only a rewarding business opportunity, but also a commitment to the health and wellbeing of the people of Saudi Arabia."
Pfizer Pharmaceutical manufacturing plant will be built at the Industrial Valley, King Abdullah Economic City, on the west coast of the Red Sea, north of Jeddah.