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Booming Irish pharmaceutical sector sets sights on China

By  Xiong Sihao (Xinhua)

09:11, May 27, 2013

DUBLIN, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Ireland in recent years has become a hub for the world's pharmaceutical industry. Now, looking to expand market in China, government officials and pharmaceutical firms are wooing China's counterparts for burgeoning deals and closer relations.

Ireland has become a popular location for pharmaceutical and bioprocessing plants. Ireland is now the eighth largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world. There's nine out of the top 10 pharma companies in the world are based in Ireland and nearly 50 percent of Irish exports are in the pharma and healthcare area.

Irish officials and researchers said that with such a large market, China will play an important role in the future development of pharmaceuticals, adding that increased interaction between Ireland and China could prove to be mutually beneficial in this field.

"We have a growing relationship with China I think it's something we want to really underpin for the future. Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has had traditionally a big focus on the U.S. and Europe as sources of foreign direct investment in the pharmaceutical space," said Barry Heavey, head of life sciences of IDA, which is responsible for attracting foreign direct investment in Ireland.

"A number of companies that are here in Ireland are sourcing some of their active ingredients from China and we would see increased relationships between China and Ireland being an important part of our future," Heavey said.

"I think we are certainly spending more time in the Chinese market and interacting with our colleagues in China and trying to identify opportunities for investment from China and Ireland's reputation in the development and manufacturing of these products is really second to none," he said.

Killian O'Driscoll, director of projects of Ireland's National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT), said China is obviously a very large market who is beginning to develop a strong capacity within bio-pharma manufacturing.

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