Ras Al Khaimah-based Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries has plans to establish a $49.5m insulin factory in Ethiopia through local subsidiary Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Industry.

“We are hoping that the land for construction will be handed over to us in the next two weeks,” said Mukemil Abdella, Julphar’s country director for Ethiopia, adding that the company intends to make Ethiopia the insulin hub of Africa.

Julphar first entered the Ethiopian market in February 2013, when it inaugurated its existing $9.6m factory under Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Industry — an Ethiopian arm that is 55% owned by Julphar and 45% owned by local firm Med-tech Ethiopia.

The existing Julphar Ethiopia factory has an annual production capacity for 25 million bottles of suspensions and syrups, 500 million tablets and 170 million capsules.

According to reports, the new insulin factory is going to be constructed on an 11,051m2 plot of land and is expected to begin production within two years.

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The deal comes at a time of a soaring trade between the Ethiopia and the UAE — growing from $123m in 2002 to $934.5m in 2011, while in Dubai alone, the emirate’s chamber of commerce has registering 318 Ethiopian companies.

The investment is in all types of project, but particularly in manufacturing (38%), real estate (27%) and agriculture (23%), with 12% split across fields such as education and construction.

In 2013, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) also signed a $10m loan for a road-building project in Ethiopia, where huge projects are also currently underway to expand the countries 70,000km road network, including 400km of road plans for the Benishangul region.

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