Novartis has selected Turkey as its headquarters for central Asia

The Swiss pharma company made the announcement during the course of meetings between a Swiss trade delegation and members of Turkey’s government, including Science, Industry and Technology minister Nihat Ergun.

Novartis board member Alexandre Jetzer-Chung said Turkey has emerged as a regional centre in recent years, while an earlier focus on Egypt has been compromised by recent political unrest in the country, according to an Anadolu Agency report.

As a whole, Turkey is showing healthy growth with figures released today indicated that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 8.5% last year to $10,444 per capita, in line with forecasts and making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world at the moment.

Turkey’s pharmaceutical market is tipped to grow in local currency terms from 17.44 billion lira ($) in 2011 to 18.31 billion lira in 2012, according to Business Monitor International (BMI), although in dollar terms the market will actually shrink a little because of the weakness of the lira and recent moves by the Turkish government to cut the prices of a raft of pharmaceutical products.

Those pricing reductions came with concessions to industry, however, including the removal of a mandated 7.5% discount on hundreds of drug products, a measure estimated to be worth around $66 million a year to drugmakers, notes BMI.

Turkey’s overall economy is expected to come under pressure in 2012 thanks to high levels of domestic inflation and a deteriorating global macroeconomic backdrop, it said.

  • Meantime, Turkey should make efforts to open up its domestic pharmaceutical market and reduce entry barriers for foreign companies, according to the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. The US should strengthen its trade ties with the country, not just in pharma but also other industrial sectors, concluded the panel.