Roundup: Chinese pharmaceutical companies explore market in Africa, Middle East at Cairo expo

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A visitor talks with a Chinese exhibitor at the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

CAIRO, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — Dozens of Chinese pharmaceutical companies have participated in Pharmaconex 2023, an ongoing international pharma exhibition held in Egypt’s capital Cairo, in order to explore business opportunities in Egypt and the rest of Africa and the Middle East.

The three-day exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, has gathered pharmaceutical companies from countries including Egypt, China, India, the United States, Italy, France, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, according to the organizer of the event.

Jiang Min, a senior sales manager from Luohe Chief Pharmaceutical, a producer and seller of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) based in central China’s Henan province, said her company seeks to promote its products in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East region and hopes to build ties with Egyptian counterparts through the expo, which is sponsored by Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“The Egyptian market is new to us and this is the first time to take part in the Pharmaconex expo in Cairo, so we hope it will be a chance to meet prospective customers and partners,” said Jiang.

“We don’t just want to make business deals here, we also want to make good friends in the Egyptian market,” she added.

Fang Zhenrong, chairman of Chinese pharmaceutical company Coben Pharma, said it seeks expansion in the Egyptian market because of Egypt’s strategic location as a portal to Africa and the Middle East.

“The market is growing very fast in recent years, and I hope we will have a good future here,” he said, referring to the pharmaceutical market in Africa and the Middle East.

Fang expects increased business cooperation between Chinese and Egyptian firms as the two countries have been strengthening their ties under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Many visitors, including pharmacists and businessmen, frequented the booths of Chinese pharmaceutical companies during the exhibition.

At the booth of Zhejiang Guobang Pharmaceutical, Abdel-Hamid Aboul-Ela, CFO of Egyptian company Harvest Pharma, was having a conversation with a Chinese sales manager.

“We have a lot of businesses with Guobang Pharma, which is one of China’s largest API manufacturers. China is the largest partner of Egypt in the pharmaceutical industry, whether in terms of materials or machines,” said the Egyptian businessman.

Egyptian officials and businessmen also invited Chinese companies to invest in Egypt and set up partnerships with Egyptian counterparts.

Gamal El-Leithy, chairman of Egypt’s Industrial Chamber of Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, and Appliances, said the expo is important because it brings together leading pharmaceutical companies from different countries and facilitates their exchange of expertise.

“There’s close cooperation between Egypt and China in the pharmaceutical field. We import a lot of relevant supplies from China. Now we hope more Chinese firms will invest and build factories to manufacture pharmaceuticals in Egypt,” said El-Leithy.

People visit the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Visitors talk with Chinese exhibitors at the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Visitors talk with Chinese exhibitors at the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

A Chinese exhibitor works at a booth during the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

People visit a booth of a Chinese pharma at the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

People visit a booth of a Chinese pharma at the Pharmaconex 2023 in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)