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EghtesadOnline: Germany, the third largest pharmaceutical hub of the world, is sending representatives from its pharmaceutical industry to attend the upcoming IRANPHARMA EXPO 2016 (2nd International Exhibition on Pharmaceuticals and Related industries).

More than 14 major German pharmaceutical firms are expected to attend to probe the Iranian market, establish business ties with regional industries and showcase their latest achievements in pharmaceutical production and industrial machinery manufacture, according to the organizers.

Korsch, Bosch, Mediseal, GEA and ICP are among the biggest names to attend. Official representatives of these companies have announced their intention to establish pharmaceutical production lines, transfer technology and conduct Good Manufacturing Practice training courses.

The major companies, Merck and M+R Group, have already booked their stands and finalized their presence in the expo.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Food and Drug Magazine has approached the largest German trading association to learn more about developments in the German pharmaceutical market towards Iran.

The Bundesverband der Arzneimittel-Herstellere.V. (BAH), or the German Medicine Manufacturers Association, represents the interests of the pharmaceutical industry in Germany. It is comprised of international companies as well as local small and medium enterprises. BAH is the leading trade organization of the pharmaceutical industry in terms of company membership. The association covers the entire range of the industrial landscape from self-medication medicines (OTC) through to prescription drugs (Rx) and medical devices.

Dr. Martin Weiser, general director of BAH, believes that the Iranian market is highly interesting for German firms, both due to size and the high-quality herbal raw materials that can enhance German the pharmaceutical sector.

“The market share for herbal medicine has experienced a positive development in Germany in recent years. In 2015, the herbal medicine trade revenue was €1.59 million – a growth rate of 5.9%. It is very important for the German pharmaceutical industry to gain access to consistent supplies of high-quality raw materials in Iran in order to expand this sector,” said the German official.

Germany is the world’s third largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. According to the latest records, 78% of their share in the world’s pharmaceuticals is herbal medicine, or herb-based products, according to Financial Tribune.

According to Weiser, BAH is determined to reestablish business ties with Iranian companies following the removal of international economic sanctions. “As infrastructure and qualifications in Iran are developed, we would like to see stronger collaboration between German and Iranian companies,” he noted.

Iran’s pharmaceutical market is a large growing market and with the economic restrictions removed it promises new horizons with better profitability. According to statistics from the Syndicate of Iranian Pharmaceutical Industries, Iran’s medicine consumption per capita has soared from 186 units to 262 units during the past ten years.

Also, due to its unique and strategic geographical location, Iran can enable foreign companies enter markets in the region.

Weiser said the German pharmaceutical industry, being one of the main pillars of economic growth, is fully backed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs in its reentry and exports to Iran.

 Not Without Challenges

BAH recently hosted a conference in Germany on the potential and challenges of Iran’s pharmaceutical market.

The conference brought together market experts with business leaders and representatives, said Weiser, noting that it was widely agreed that the Iranian market features enormous business potential, “although business in some areas can remain a challenge.”

Expressing concern of BAH members, he said the Tehran government poses relatively difficult and complicated conditions for foreign parties interested in investing in Iranian industries.

“Discussions included whether or not the rules of local manufacturing are preventing mostly small and medium sized companies from investing in Iran.

We currently see that most German SMEs are reluctant to the Iranian government’s requirements of establishing local production lines instead of importing medicine,” he said.

The German official however expressed confidence that IRANPHARMA EXPO 2016 will help build relations between the two countries’ pharmaceutical industries and expand  business opportunities.

The 2nd International Exhibition on Pharmaceuticals and Related Industries will be held September 14-16 at Tehran’s Grand Mosalla.

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