RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has signed agreements with top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer, to promote investment in its health sector.

The agreements were reached on the sidelines of the Riyadh Global Medical Biotechnology Summit 2021, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, the Saudi Ministry of Investment said in a statement.

The ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in order to explore opportunities to establish world-class clinical research centers in the kingdom, said the statement.

Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi minister of investment, said the MoU between Saudi Arabia and AstraZeneca will strengthen the strategic partnership between local and international companies.

Meanwhile, the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer also signed a MoU with the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center at the Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs and the Saudi Ministry of Industry.

The deal aims to establish a platform for research, development and innovation of vaccines to support national and regional public health needs.