Indian drug makers are scouting for opportunities in the Latin American (LatAm) market to boost their exports, especially in Peru, Colombia, Panama and Mexico. The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) is leading a delegation to these countries between August 21 and September 3 to explore export opportunities for Indian bulk drugs, formulations and herbals.
Peru has emerged as an attractive market for active pharmaceutical ingredients with medicinal properties. The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (PHARMEXCIL) has been making all efforts in Peru over the last few years to create opportunities for Indian companies. PHARMEXCIL, with the support of the embassy of India in Lima, Peru, and the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Peru (INCHAM), organised the fourth edition of the Buyer-Seller Meet (BSM)-cum Seminar IPHEX-LATAM 2016 during August 22-23, where Edgar Vasquez Vela, vice minister of foreign trade of Peru, spoke about the willingness of the current government of Peru to increase business ties with India, to benefit both the countries.
According to ambassador of India to Peru & Bolivia Sandeep Chakravorty, “India recognizes Peru’s potential to be the hub of the pharmaceuticals industry for Latin America. The market size of Peru’s pharmaceuticals industry is worth approximately $2 billion, which includes $840-900 million accounted for by imports. India’s share of the imports is around $40 million, which is around 5% of the total imports. The Peru-India relationship in the pharmaceuticals sector thus has huge potential and can really develop into a win-win proposition for both countries.”
As one of the aims of the new government of Peru is to provide universal medical heathcare to all Peruvians, the Indian pharmaceutical sector, which has emerged as the ‘Global Pharmacy’ of the world, can play a big role in the achievement of the goal due to its low cost and high standards. “Against this backdrop, India can be a natural partner of Peru in addressing the latter’s healthcare needs. Peru can take advantage of India’s R&D and technological advances by greater partnership between the pharmaceutical companies of the two countries,” the Indian envoy told FE.
India also sees Peru as a hub for its activities in Latin America for the sector, due to its market-friendly environment and availability of skilled manpower.
Colombia is one of the leading importers of Indian pharmaceuticals, while Argentina is second and Peru and Ecuador too are catching up in pharma imports from India. Senior officials at the embassy of India, Bogota, Colombia, told FE, “Indian pharma companies are visiting Colombia for exploring the market for bulk drugs and herbals.” Adding, “Indian pharma companies are now becoming aware that the Latin American countries are pioneers in opening these markets for further investment by Indian companies in other sectors.”
Besides regulatory hurdles, companies face challenges due to the geographical vastness of the region, and to fully understand the OTC market segment. Therefore, “the government has many initiatives under the ministry of commerce & industry for LatAm players, including the registration process and buyer-seller meets. This is a big focus priority area of the Indian government and industry associations like Pharmexcil”, a senior officials told FE.
The delegates from 18 companies, including companies including AXA Parenterals, Brilliant Bio Pharma, Celogen Pharma, Everest Organics, Fourrts India Laboratories, led by Abhay Sinha, regional director of Pharmexcil, are expected to tour all the four countries and to hold meetings with concerned registration authorities, health ministries and local traders.