Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced the launch of Lifera, an investment company within the biopharmaceutical sector. Lifera aims to produce life-saving drugs and forge partnerships with local and international companies to establish manufacturing facilities within the kingdom, thereby bolstering Saudi Arabia’s pharmaceutical industry.
PIF stated that Lifera, a specialised commercial contract development, and manufacturing enterprise, would play a crucial role in enhancing the nation’s resilience and facilitating its ambition to become a global hub for pharmaceutical production. Lifera’s primary objective is to manufacture essential pharmaceutical products vital for saving lives. This encompasses insulin, vaccines, plasma therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, cell and gene therapy, as well as innovative small molecules.
To expand the domestic manufacturing capacity, Lifera intends to collaborate with both local and international enterprises, thus attracting substantial investments into Saudi Arabia’s biopharmaceutical sector. PIF plans to make targeted investments that will fortify supply chains, expedite skill development, generate employment opportunities, and facilitate technology transfer from private sector partners on an international scale.
The PIF has been on a global investment spree
In a concerted effort to strengthen the supply chain for pharmaceutical products, the PIF has also made strategic investments in the National Unified Procurement Company. This company is a leading provider of comprehensive medical procurement, storage, and distribution services, catering to the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia. By investing in this crucial component of the pharmaceutical ecosystem, the PIF aims to improve the availability and efficient distribution of medicines, devices, and medical supplies across the nation.
Since 2017, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been on a trajectory of remarkable expansion, successfully establishing 79 companies across 13 strategic sectors. This achievement not only demonstrates the fund’s robust investment approach but also underscores its commitment to fostering economic growth and diversification in Saudi Arabia.
In line with its vision to empower the private sector and nurture national champions, PIF recently announced plans to acquire a 30% stake in Tamimi Markets Company, a prominent grocery chain with over 100 stores and five distribution centres. This strategic investment aligns with PIF’s overarching strategy, which seeks to enable private enterprises to thrive while simultaneously creating strong Saudi companies that can compete on a global scale.
In addition to these endeavours, PIF has made large investments in various other sectors, including technology companies like Uber Technologies, prominent soccer teams such as Newcastle United in the English Premier League, and electric car manufacturers like Lucid and Ceer. Furthermore, the fund is financing ambitious projects like the futuristic NEOM City and the Red Sea Development Company’s mega tourism project, both of which are set to transform the Saudi Red Sea coast and create new opportunities for economic growth and diversification.
PIF serves as the main engine for the Saudi Vision 2030
As among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the PIF plays a pivotal role in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative. Vision 2030 is an ambitious economic reform agenda designed to reduce the country’s dependence on oil revenues and diversify its economy. With more than 2 trillion riyals in assets under management, the PIF has set a target to double its assets by 2025, as stated by the fund’s governor last month. The fund has already played a substantial role in generating more than 500,000 direct and indirect job opportunities and aims to create an additional 1.8 million jobs by 2025.
Through its far-flung investments and initiatives, PIF has served as a dynamo driving Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and positioning the kingdom as a global hub for investment and development.