Indian pharmaceutical business is ready to strengthen the cooperation with its RA partners

06-11-2019 11:47:17   | Armenia  |  Interviews

The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (PHARMEXCIL) established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India, the Government of India and the Embassy of India in Armenia will hold next “India-Armenia Pharmaceutical Business Forum-Exhibition” in Yerevan from November 10-13. The press service of the Embassy discussed the prospects of development of relations between the two countries in the field of healthcare, and in particular in the field of pharmacy with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Armenia, K. D. Dewal. 
- Mr. Ambassador, how would you describe the level of relations between India and Armenia in the field of healthcare? 
- The field of healthcare is unique in the palette of relations between India and Armenia. Our two countries have gathered a rich experience of cooperation, the main component of which is the preparation of doctors for India at Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi (YSMU). Perhaps it is due to many cultural similarities of Indian and Armenian peoples that Indian students have been studying at YSMU since 1985 with great pleasure and diligence. More than 2.1 thousand Indian doctors, who received high quality education there, successfully work not only in India, but also in many countries around the world, and have become Armenia's unique ambassadors in their countries of activity. Currently there are over 600 Indian students studying at YSMU. 
All this, of course, has provided a solid basis for cooperation and exchange of experience between India and Armenia in various fields of healthcare. 
- What are the prospects of cooperation between India and Armenia in the field of pharmacy? 
- There are great opportunities for development of relations between our two countries in this field. The initiative here mainly belongs to the Indian side.  
To illustrate the possibilities of cooperation with the Indian Pharmaceutical Business, here are some indicators: India is the largest provider of generic drugs in the world accounting for 20 per cent
of global exports in terms of volume. The country has 3,000 pharmaceutical companies with a powerful network of over 10,5 thousand industrial facilities.  The value of production in India makes up almost one-third of the value of the United States and nearly half of that of Europe. India is the source of 60,000 generic brands across 60 therapeutic categories and manufactures more than 500 different Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Exports of pharmaceutical products in 2017-18 totaled $ 17.27 billion. The Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $ 55 billion by 2020. 
Naturally, the open pharmaceutical market of Armenia should be involved in using the achievements of Indian companies of the field. If in 2018 the volume of export of Indian origin goods to Armenia was $ 77 million 119,3 thousand (RA State Revenue Committee data) increasing by 53.9% compared to 2017, then the export volume of Indian origin pharmaceutical products in 2018 totaled $ 4.7 million increasing by 33.8%. In the first semesters of 2019 and 2018, the growth rates of these figures have accelerated, with pharmaceutical production growing to a greater extent. In the first semester of 2019 products exported from India to Armenia totaled $ 52.7 million (55.2% growth), of which $ 3.22 million was for pharmaceutical production (44.5% growth). As you can see, the proportion of pharmaceutical products in the total volume of export of goods from India to Armenia is quite large. 
I should also mention that the list of drugs exported from India to Armenia is constantly increasing; as of end of September of this year more than 150 of the 5,000 drugs registered in the RA state registry of drugs, are manufactured in India, among them drugs, manufactured by the largest international companies in our country.
I am sure that there are great prospects for utilizing the development potential of India-Armenia relations in the field of pharmacy, and the Indian pharmaceutical business is ready to strengthen the cooperation with Armenian partners which is evidenced by the next India-Armenia Pharmaceutical Business Forum-Exhibition to be held from November 10-13 in Yerevan by PHARMEXCIL, a body under the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Embassy of India in Armenia.  The event will feature the prospects for establishing business ties with India's pharmaceutical sector, industry achievements and legislative regulations in our country, meetings of B2B format will be held between 28 leading Indian companies of the field and Armenian companies. 
- Has the forum-exhibition held by PHARMEXCIL in Yerevan in 2011 contributed to the development of India-Armenia ties in the field of pharmacy? What further steps does the Government of India take to promote cooperation between Indian and Armenian companies of the field? 
- The last forum-exhibition held in Yerevan in March 2011 with participation of the representatives of 21 Indian prominent pharmaceutical companies and Armenian pharmaceutical, drug distributor and import companies had a great positive impact on the development of the relations of our two countries in the field of pharmacy. The above-mentioned figures would probably have been lower if the event had not been held, on the basis of the arrangements of which not only Indian high-quality drugs and pharmaceutical raw materials are imported to Armenia, but also modern "clean
rooms", production lines and equipment that comply with international standards. 
As for the steps taken by the Indian Government to foster cooperation between Indian and Armenian pharmaceutical companies, the most significant is perhaps the provision of the annual participation of 10-15 Armenian drug manufacturers in India's largest international pharmaceutical annual exhibition iPHEX (International Exhibition for Pharma and Healthcare). Since 2014, the Government of India has been covering the costs of their iPHEX visits, thereby greatly contributing to the fact that Armenian pharmaceutical companies can already get acquainted with the achievements and opportunities of the Indian drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical equipment manufacturers, with the legislative regulations of our country's pharmaceutical field, as well as they can present Armenia's achievements and opportunities of the field and the legislative framework either. 
PHARMEXCIL, the Ministry of Commerce of India and myself, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Armenia, will continue to support the development and strengthening of mutually beneficial ties between our country and Armenia in the field of pharmacy, which I am sure will contribute to the progress of the pharmaceutical companies of both countries and especially to providing the Armenian population with quality, affordable, effective and safe drugs.
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