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BT: Working Visit by the Minister of Health

BRUNEI-MADE health products are expected to hit eight foreign markets soon, a Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) official said.

The official, who declined to be named, said Brunei’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing plant Simpor Pharma, has signed agreements with partners in other countries to market its halal-certified health products.

The countries include Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, the official said in an interview yesterday.

The $26 million joint venture company – which was formed in 2013 between Canadian firm Viva Pharmaceutical Inc, private equity fund Aureous (Brunei) Capital Sdn Bhd and a group of local investors -also has plans to export its products to the Middle East.

The BEDB official said the pharmaceutical firm acquired its halal certification from the Ministry of Religious Affairs on June 16, 2015.

The minister of health yesterday visited the firm to take a closer look at its production facilities.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday toured Simpor Pharma’s 100,000 sq ft centre comprising a production area, a laboratory and 18,000 sq ft warehouse.

During the visit, Managing Director of Simpor Pharma Edward Ko said there are currently 43 people employed at the plant, including 27 locals.

He said the company aims to provide Bruneians with a guaranteed source of halal pharmaceutical products and become a “training hub” for Bruneians in pharmaceutical and bio-technology.

Following a closed-door briefing led by Simpor Pharma Research and Development Specialist Aeriena Nur Afiqah Sahri, YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan toured the company’s production area where softgel capsules and its powder supplements are being produced.

The pharmaceutical company currently manufactures supplements, vitamin drinks and disinfectant products with the capacity to produce 40 million softgels a day, 50 million tablets per day and 7.2 million capsules in a day.

Research and testing activities are also being carried out at the plant. Its building is also equipped with a quality assurance and quality control centre to ensure products are created with the lowest number of defects, along with an allocated space where Simpor Pharma’s finished goods are produced and packaged.

Also present during the visit were Deputy Permanent Secretary (Investment) at Ministry of Finance Hj Abu Bakar Hj Ibrahim and Acting BEDB Chief Executive Officer Hjh Hasnah Ibrahim.

The Brunei Times

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