Some Jordanian pharmaceutical companies fear that operations of the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. may affect them if it chooses to cooperate with a local company.
According to reports published in Jordan during the weekend, representatives of the Israeli pharmaceutical giant met with local companies in the framework of a Brazilian industrialists' delegation.
The meeting took place on Thursday in Amman under the auspices of the Amman Chambers of Commerce and Industry, provoking anger from bodies that object to normalization of relations with Israel.
Those opposing the meeting had learned of it only a short time before it took place, they said. They sent faxes and SMS messages to Jordanian companies to express their protest, but it seemed the messages were received too late.
Talal Elabu, spokesman for the Islamic faction in the Jordanian pharmacists' union, warned Jordanian companies Saturday not to give the Israeli firm a foot inside the Hashemite Kingdom.
In the clearly anti-Israel paper al-Sabeel, he was quoted as saying, "Teva is one of the biggest companies in the world operating in the field of generic drugs. Every step it takes into the Jordanian market will have a negative effect on our national industry. If it enters the market, we can see this as the end of part of our pharmaceutical industry."
Elabu hinted that in addition to the Amman Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Jordanian Ministry of Health was also involved in hosting the Israeli company, in contravention of the Pharmacists Union guidelines which forbid commerce with Israeli companies.
"We will respond harshly to any company that cooperates with Teva," he emphasized.
Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd .