ISRAELI DRUGS MARKET GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
Sales of chemicals and pharmaceuticals by Israeli companies grew by 10% in 2005, to reach US$14.2bn, according to Israel's Manufacturers Association Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Environment. Exports were worth US$7.6bn, an increase of 18%, year-on year, while local sales were US$6.6bn, growing at a slower rate of 2% on 2004.
Meanwhile, exports are expected to grow 15% in 2006, to US$8.7bn, with total sales standing at US$15.3bn, up 8%. However, these figures do not include Israeli companies that manufacture abroad.
The strong performance in 2005 has been driven in part by a spate of mergers and acquisitions, which saw Israeli drugs and chemicals firms acquire companies worth US$7.7bn during the year. However, industry observers have noted that future growth will depend on companies meeting strict environmental standards imposed by the government. This will require large investments in the upgrading of production facilities.