Medical authorities in Tanzania have invited Indian pharmaceutical companies to set up industries in the east African nation to cut importation costs of medicines.

Laurean Bwanakunu, the Director General of state-owned Medical Stores Department (MSD), recently announced that the Tanzanian government was spending $300 million to import pharmaceutical products annually.

Bwanakunu invited the Indian pharmaceutical investors during a business meeting with a delegation of 30 pharmaceutical companies from India held in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

“We spend a huge chunk of money to import pharmaceutical products. It is high time the Indian investors came and invested here to reduce the costs”

“The Tanzanian government imports 80 percent of its pharmaceutical products, out of which about 60 percent is from India.” Said Mr Bwanakunu.

“It currently takes us up to six months after announcing tenders to receive the pharmaceutical products from abroad.” he added.

Ndibalema Mayanja, a senior official from the Tanzania Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), assured the Indian businessmen of a favourable investment atmosphere in Tanzania, the second largest economy in the east African region.

Mayanja claimed, “If the Indian manufactures come and inject their money into the sector, they would be able to sell their products to other East African countries.”

Sandeep Arya, the Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania, said prospects for the pharmaceutical sector in Tanzania remained bright with a sustained gross domestic product of 7% annually.