Al-Jazirah Pharmaceutical Company, a joint Saudi/Jordanian project, announced today that it will start mass production of a variety of medicines by the end of this year. The new project will bring to three the number of pharmaceutical companies producing medicine locally, and decrease the Kingdom's reliance on imported medicines which currently stands at 90 percent of its requirements. The Saudi market for medicines is valued at SR 3 billion (U.S. $ 0.8 billion) annually. During the initial stage of production, the company will produce 112 tons of medicine, corresponding to four percent of the Kingdom's total consumption. These figures will rise in the second year of operation to 120 and six percent.