According to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, inward investment projects for the first quarter of 2009 doubled compared with figures from the first quarter of 2008.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has confirmed plans to open a vaccine manufacturing plant in Pernambuco in north-eastern Brazil, which will start operations by 2013. The company is expected to start recruiting executives and technology personnel this year and start construction in 2010.

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The announcement came as French pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis announced a $126.4m investment in a new plant in Mexico to develop influenza vaccines. Construction is scheduled to last about four years and will create an annual production capacity of up to 25 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine.