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The global biotechnology industry continues to grow rapidly, touching areas as varied as human health, agriculture, resource recovery, and recycling. As it shapes the next era of human development, biotechnology will drive substantial economic growth around the globe, especially in those countries with the talent, resources, and infrastructure to support it.
Saudi Arabia is well positioned to become a globally competitive biotechnology hub. Over the next decade, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become a leading biotechnology hub that will generate significant economic opportunity.
Solid investments and a streamlined regulatory framework have already laid the foundation; it is time to take targeted initiatives to support the next level of development. Saudi government ministries and private industry can now use four enablers to gain momentum and elevate Saudi Arabia on the global biotechnology stage. These are to:
Biotechnology has risen to the top of national agendas in the post-pandemic era. PwC forecasts that mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector alone could reach US$225 billion to US$275 billion in 2023.
Biotechnology harnesses cellular and biological processes to develop products and technologies used in our everyday lives. The sector has grown globally over the past couple of decades owing to its potential to transform human health and its wide applicability across sectors, including health, agriculture, and chemicals. The green agenda has also brought to the fore applications such as resource recovery, recycling, and hazardous waste disposal.
Although these efforts lay the foundation for a biotech hub, several enablers will lead Saudi Arabia to drive further momentum in its development. We detail four major enablers below.
With its myriad applications and potential to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems, biotech offers countries access to high-value innovations that will benefit society and propel economic growth.
A productive biotech ecosystem can contribute to significant economic diversification in Saudi Arabia and support the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030. It is also an essential missing piece in tackling Saudi Arabia’s issues in healthcare, food security, and other strategic interests. As a G20 economy, Saudi Arabia must undergo rapid biotech transformation in the coming years. These initiatives and enablers can help the country accelerate the pace of innovation and reap exponential benefits to solidify its status as a beacon for the region and the world.
Saudi biotech sector - Interview with Dr. Walid Tohme
Saudi Arabia has the potential to become a leading biotechnology hub that will generate significant economic opportunity over the next decade. Dr. Walid Tohme explains how in a recent interview with Al Arabiya.
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The global biotechnology industry is growing rapidly, and Saudi Arabia could develop a leading biotech cluster in the coming decade. While solid investments and a streamlined regulatory framework have laid the foundation for the industry, it is time to take targeted actions and support the next level of development.