China-invested joint venture boosts Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical industry
Kelun-Kazpharm, located in outskirt of Almaty, Kazakhstan, is a Sino-Kazakh pharmaceutical joint venture controlled by a Chinese private company. Since put into operation in July 2014, the venture has not only boosted Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical industry, but also brought win-win prosperity to Central Asia at large.
As a production plant of Sichuan-based Kelun Pharmaceutical, it has grown into the largest drug producer in the country and Central Asia as a whole.
Over the past two-plus years, the factory has developed more than 20 kinds of pharmaceuticals and attained an annual output of 30 million bottles of drugs, selling its products to domestic market and exporting to other Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
A visit to the workshop gives a clear view of how the drugs were processed by a clean and automatic assembly line before they leave factory.
In the lab, technicians from both countries would exchange their ideas after inspecting the composition and quality of the products.
The factory strictly abides by the EU inspection standards and uses the world’s most advanced equipment and craft, according to Peng Bei, head of the equipment department. The company enjoys a good reputation in Kazakhstan, Peng added.
The factory has not only produced fine medicines for the locals, but also cultivated a large number of skilled talents that are expected to promote the country’s medicine industry. The factory now has over 200 staff, a lot of whom have become professionals in craft inspection.
The plant has become a designated company providing internship for graduates in Almaty’s medicine schools and tumor research institutes. Every year, the factory will hire many graduates and send the best performers to study in China, said Zhang Chengqian, general manager of the factory.
In 2014, the factory’s “Infusion Key Generic Technology Research and Industrialization Demonstration” project won support from China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
The pharmaceutical industry, a rising sector in Kazakhstan, gains a lot of support from local government, who gives equal treatment to products of the joint venture with its homemade pharmaceuticals.
Kelun, whose products are on the prior purchasing list of Kazakh government, has secured a long-term drug supply contract with the latter. It now makes up over 90 percent of local medical infusion market.
The development plan of the factory has been included in the “Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy”, a national develop strategy. The company has also been awarded many times by the Investment and Development Department of Kazakhstan.
Based on the achievements in sales and reputation, the company plans to double its production line and capacity in future, and extend its market to all members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to Zhang.
“The ‘Belt and Road’ initiative has opened more space for the development of private enterprises,” he said.