KUWAIT: In an event held virtually by the US-Kuwait Business Council, the multinational medical devices and health care company, Abbott Laboratories, signed a partnership agreement with Kuwait Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries (KSP), a subsidiary of Mezzan Holding, to manufacture 26 innovative products locally in Kuwait.

The partnership marks a milestone for Kuwait with an international pharmaceutical company investing in local manufacturing. The agreement was facilitated and supported by Kuwait Ministry of Health and the US Chamber. The manufacturing of these pharmaceutical products will be localized, giving Kuwait easier and faster access to these products, while also benefiting from transfer of technologies, employment opportunities and training programs to handle the most up-to-date equipment and tools.

The signing was concluded between Abbott’s Divisional Vice President for the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Pakistan, Asim Cifter and Chairman and Managing Director of KSP, Dr Rashed Khazal. The event was also attended by US Ambassador to Kuwait, Alina L Romanowski, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United States, Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary for Drug and Food Control, Ministry of Health, Dr Abdullah Al Bader, General Manager of the Public Authority for Industry, Abdulkareem Taqe and Mezzan Holding Vice Chairman, Mohammed Al-Wazzan.

Commenting on the new partnership, Dr Abdullah Al-Bader, Assistant Under Secretary for Drug and Food Control, Ministry of Health, said, “Kuwait’s Ministry of Health places great importance to the quality of medications and pharmaceutical products that it procures, and securing the needs of our country. The welfare of our nation is our priority. Today, Kuwait will proudly have direct access to innovative and quality products that cater to the local needs, while also benefiting from the knowledge it will be gaining.

Ultimately, investments from multinational companies such as Abbott not only contribute to the wellbeing of our local community but to the diversification and growth of Kuwait’s economy in line with its New Kuwait Vision 2035. I am proud to be witnessing a promising partnership between Abbott with KSP (subsidiary of Mezzan Holding KSCP), a leading Kuwaiti pharmaceutical firm.”

Both Alina L Romanowski, US Ambassador to Kuwait and Salem Al Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United States, spoke on the significance of this investment to the bilateral economic relationship between the two countries. The partnership between Abbott and KSP (a subsidiary of Mezzan Holding KSCP), is a precursor to attracting further foreign investments in various sector, and specifically the healthcare sector, as Kuwait continues to invest efforts in attracting foreign investment and promoting a business-friendly environment.

The 26 products owned by Abbott Laboratories will be manufactured by KSP, which holds a 15-year track record of successful manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products for local and regional customers. KSP has in recent years invested in its manufacturing lines, manufacturing buildings, acquisitions, and partnerships to develop the product and portfolio range. Today, the company manufactures over 120 products, making them available to the Kuwaiti market as well as the Middle East, and aim to continue expanding its portfolio with high-quality medicines.

Mohammed Al Wazzan, Vice Chairman of Mezzan Holding, said, “The partnership confirms that Mezzan Holding made the right investment when acquiring KSP and reaffirms the company’s strength in delivering world-class products, as well as the value added to Kuwait’s economy. Mezzan Holding has been a partner to leading international pharmaceutical companies in its 75-year history and continues to expand its portfolio through ground-breaking partnership such as this one. We are confident that the many benefits of this investment will be palpable in the soon future. We remain committed to supporting our country in delivering to the needs of its people through global partnerships.”

“We are immensely proud to be partnering with Abbott in this milestone agreement for our company and Kuwait. Abbott is a solid brand when it comes quality and innovation and we believe this is a start to a long-term partnership that will help us advance our manufacturing capabilities and the pharmaceutical sector in Kuwait,” added Dr Rashed Khazal, Chairman and Managing Director of KSP. The first release of the locally manufactured products is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

Also commenting on the partnership and the roles public institutions had in facilitating the partnership, Steve Lutes, Vice President Middle East at the US Chamber, asserted, “This is a big deal for both Kuwait and Abbott. This investment will help improve the healthcare ecosystem in Kuwait while also underscoring efforts being made to create a business-friendly atmosphere that attracts new investment.

It also demonstrates Abbott’s long-term commitment to Kuwait and the well-being of Kuwaiti citizens. We are also proud to announce that Abbott is taking on a leadership position as a Board member of the US-Kuwait Business Council, which further highlights their prioritization of this bilateral relationship.”

On another hand, General Manager of the Public Authority for Industry, Abdulkareem Taqe, stressed that the pharmaceutical industry is a national asset following a year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Compromises cannot be made when it comes to the health of people. The pandemic highlighted the significance of supporting the pharmaceutical industry in Kuwait as imports were restricted. We recognize the investment made by a company like Abbott in Kuwait and assure the team that we will be extended our full support to them as we aim to build a competitive industrial hub in the State of Kuwait.”