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Swiss Ambassador visits Novartis and tours landmark production facility

Dominik Furgler, Swiss Ambassador to Egypt, aims to support Swiss investment in Egypt and stimulate growth.
Novartis | 17.07.2012

Novartis Pharma S.A.E. held a reception for HE the Swiss Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Dominik Furgler, accompanied with the Commercial Attaché of the Embassy and representatives of the Swiss Egyptian Business Association (SEBA).

Aiming to support Swiss investments and encourage growth, the visit included an overview of Egypt's pharmaceutical market and Novartis' milestones in the country.

"As a leading Swiss company, I am very proud of the success Novartis has achieved in Egypt and its contribution to the economy in terms of employment and development," said Ambassador Furgler. "The state of its premises and equipment, its process orientation, the high environmental and security standards as well as the constant training and development of the staff bear witness to the professionalism of the enterprise."

"We are delighted to welcome HE the Swiss Ambassador and showcase our success in Egypt," said Mr. George Zarkalis, Novartis Egypt Country Pharma Office Head and Country President. "This year marks Novartis' 50 -year anniversary in Egypt and we are determined to maintain strong ties with our society and support the prosperity of the healthcare industry. With a team of over 1,800 associates, our market share reached 8.7% and we will continue to advance our presence by focusing on unmet medical needs and customer insights to develop new products and drive industry standards."

Together with the Delegates, H.E. Ambassador Furgler also toured Novartis' landmark production facility in Al Amiria, a global production center manufacturing over 100 million packs and exporting to Latin America, Africa and Europe. "Covering an area of 80,000 square meters, our manufacturing facility is considered Egypt's Swiss pyramid," said Dr. Alaa Nashaat, Novartis Egypt Site Operation Head. "Established in 1962 and operating in line with the highest global quality standards, our facility manufactures 107 products covering 7% of the local pharma market needs."

Mr Zarkalis shared the company's positive outlook for Egypt's pharmaceutical industry. "The industry has achieved double-digit growth of 14% between 2008 and 2012. We expect further development driven by economic growth, increasing healthcare and drug expenditure per capita and government plans to develop universal healthcare coverage," said Mr Zarkalis.

Swiss National Bank statistics reveal that Swiss capital stock in Egypt by the end of 2010 was CHF1.52bn (i.e. around L.E.10bn), and Swiss companies employed around 26'500 people. "Investing in Egypt remains very interesting given the positive economic fundamentals. We now have a new Swiss-Egyptian bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement that has come into force in May 2012, and the Swiss government and embassy in Cairo exert constant effort to support private business in Egypt," said Mr Furgler.