(Sultan Masoom, Director General of Investments, Saudi Arabian
Economic Cities Authority & Jason Huf - not an endorsement of JHI)
"Localize Your Business in the Middle East" (a theme very near and dear to my professional heart for years) was staged for the benefit of the Pharma and BioTech industries in New Brunswick, New Jersey on a very humid July 18. As a US-based attorney with an office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I was honored to be the only lawyer admitted to this rather exclusive gathering.
To summarize the discussion with the Saudi delegation and American industry leaders: by establishing research, development and manufacturing in the expansive facilties housed in KAEC's Industrial Valley district, Pharmaceutical and Bio Tech companies may significantly reduce costs. They would also be able to avail themselves of distribution via King Abdullah Port. Set to become the second-largest port in the world (as measured by container capacity), KAEC's King Abdullah Port is well-situated to distribute products to East Africa, India and South East Asia.
Consensus among the participants was that new drugs approved by the US FDA and/ or European authorities would be likely be approved by the regulatory authorities in the Kingdom for sale there (and, possibly, to the smaller Gulf states via the Gulf Cooperation Council regime), and that further research and development would be encouraged. And, Intellectual Property protections in Saudi Arabia have been strengthened in recent years.
On the subject of entity establishment, much can be done online, and a government office has been established to assist with bureacratic snags that may sometimes be encountered with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority during the licensing process (and other matters, such as obtaining the necessary permits and visas for resident laborers and business travellers).
And, of course, JHI stands ready to assist with entity establishment matters in the KSA as well.
The net effect of reduced costs and greater access to large markets with high demand, such as India, could be to bring down the price of cutting-edge, life-saving drugs (particularly those not always covered by insurance), making them more generally available (economically) right here in the United States.
There are days when I could not be more enthusiastic about what I do for a living. July 18, 2019 was one of them.
- Jason Huf
Saturday, November 2, 2019
New Jersey, USA