India's top drug manufacturing association on Dec. 15 urged Chinese pharmaceutical companies to cooperate in a "win-win" partnership to supply global generic medicine needs. The call came as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao began a trip to India, accompanied by 400 Chinese business executives, aimed at fostering burgeoning trade and repairing ties dogged by persistent disputes over shared borders.
Daara Patel, secretary general of the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association, told his Chinese counterparts in New Delhi a "Chindia" partnership meant "together we could meet almost all global generic requirements."
In recent years, the two countries have become major suppliers of low-cost medicines and medicine ingredients to global markets and their products are widespread in the generic and over-the-counter sector. China now produces large volumes of pharmaceutical ingredients while India is strong in manufacturing finished drug products such as anti-depressants, antibiotics and heart medicines.
"A strategic partnership will cover the gaps in production for each other," Patel said.
Collaboration between India and China will give both nations a "strategic edge over the developed countries," said Patel.
Liu Zhanglin, vice president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products, welcomed the Indian group's call. "We agree we can work together to expand the global market and provide manufacturing tenders in partnership rather than competing," Liu said.
The Indian group also announced the two sides have drafted an accord to be signed next month under which they will give each other more information and guidance about import regulations and marketing in their respective companies.
The agreement comes as India seeks to promote its pharmaceutical and information technology exports to China. Bilateral trade stands at $60 billion, a 20-fold increase since 2000, but is massively in China's favor.
Bilateral trade in health care products totaled the $3.1 billion for the first 10 months of the year, the Chinese delegation said, without breaking down the figures, up from $2.8 billion for all of 2009.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010