A global manufacturer of medicines and medical devices was keen to explore a number of frontier markets in the Middle East & Africa, starting with Syria. The first step was to compile a detailed and comprehensive risk assessment covering the full range of issues from setting up a legal entity in Syria and selecting a local partner, through to competitor analysis and the process of drug licencing. This project was particularly challenging bearing in mind that Syria was a conflict zone at the time and speaking to sources within the country was extremely difficult.
Diligencia completed an extensive analysis of the pharmaceutical sector in Syria, based partly on access to open sources and public record documentation, but chiefly relying on our source network in the country. Carried out over a period of more than six weeks, our interviewees ranged from officials within Syria’s General Foreign Trade Organisation (GFTO) through to local lawyers and senior managers of local pharmaceutical distributors. Our report included detailed profiles of the key players in the market, including their relationships with international pharma companies, as well as extensive commentary on the commercial relationships and political affiliations of each party. Of particular interest to the client was the contrast between Syria’s published regulations for foreign investors, and the realities of what international companies would actually need to do to be successful in the local market.
The findings and analysis produced by Diligencia were fed directly into the client’s market entry plans for Syria, and were presented to the client’s Board. We have since worked on a similar project for the same client in Sudan.