'Chindia' could become global generic powerhouse

By Alexandria Pešić

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade

China’s PM Wen Jiabao has vowed to improve market access for Indian pharmaceutical companies to better supply global generic drug needs.

The pledge came on a visit to India, intended to foster mushrooming trade and improve the countries’ relationship. There has been long harboured mutual distrust over China’s affiliation with Pakistan, border disputes and accusations of spying.

Jiabao told business leaders at the India-China Business Cooperation Summit in New Delhi the countries are “partners for cooperation, not rivals in competition.​”

He went on to say “there is enough space in the world for the development of both China and India.”

The Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) appears to agree with Jiabao, having voiced its approval for Chinese pharma companies to engage in a “win-win” ​partnership for generic drug manufacturing.

At the Indian summit, Daara Patel, secretary general of IDMA, said a “Chindia” ​affiliation would ensure that “together we could meet almost all global generic requirements.”

In recent years both Asian giants have become major suppliers of low-cost drugs and drug ingredients to global markets, with products gaining a solid presence in the generic and over-the-counter sectors.

Strategic edge over developed nations

However, Patel argued that gaps in production are a major cause of concern for the countries despite China producing a high volume of pharmaceutical ingredients, and India’s strong hold in drug manufacturing for products such as anti-depressants, antibiotics and heart medicines.

Patel said, should India and China agree to collaborate, it will “cover the gaps in production” ​and give both nations a “strategic edge over the developed countries.”

While the Asian countries have grouped together to resist Western demands in world trade and climate change discussions, Jiabao announced that China will invest more in India. This is intended to allay the worries of Indian politicians who want India to benefit more from the relationship.

Delhi has demanded greater access to China’s pharmaceutical and IT market as it fights to level the Sino-Indian trade balance which stands at $39bn (€29.5bn) in China’s favour.

China takes seriously the imbalance in trade and is willing to take steps to promote IT and biotechnology exports from India​”, said Jiabao.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations, Globalization

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