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Recent trade agreements & other initiatives give wider market access for Indian pharma & medical devices

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The recent trade agreements signed by India along with various other initiatives taken by the Centre has given wider market access for Indian pharmaceutical products and medical devices, said Anupriya Patel, minister of state in the ministry of commerce and industry.

Some of the major initiatives taken by the government to utilise the potential market for export of drugs and medical devices include the financial assistance provided under the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme of Department of Commerce to develop new markets, to promote new products and new exporters as well as to consolidate the existing Indian exports markets.

The activities supported under the MAI scheme include organising/participating in fairs, exhibitions and buyer seller meets abroad and reimbursement of expenditure incurred by exporters on statutory compliances such as product registration charges, plant inspection charges etc.

“The recent trade agreements signed by India, namely, India-UAE Comprehensive Partnership Agreement and India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement have given wider market access for Indian pharmaceutical products and medical devices,” said the Minister in response to a question in Lok Sabha.

Pharmaceutical products and medical devices have been covered under RoDTEP Scheme (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products) with effect from December 15, 2022 under which the duties/taxes/levies paid by the exporters at the Central, state and local levels, that were not being rebated/refunded so far, will be refunded/rebated thus enhancing the export competitiveness of pharmaceutical industry.

The market access issues highlighted by Indian pharma exporters are regularly taken up with concerned trade partners through Indian Missions as well as through bilateral institutional mechanisms with these countries. In case of Russia, the meeting of India-Russia Sub-Group on elimination of barriers and restrictions in trade, economic and investment spheres was held on December 22, 2022 wherein trade issues of the pharmaceutical sector were raised, she added.

The Minister said that the total exports of pharmaceuticals has gone up to $24.59 billion in 2021-22, as compared to $24.44 billion in the year 2020-21. The exports of bulk drugs and drug intermediates has gone slightly up to $4.47 billion in 2021-22, as compared to $4.43 billion in the previous year, while the exports of drug formulations and biologicals saw a decline to $19 billion as compared to $19.04 billion during the comparable period. Exports of Ayush and herbal products grew to $612.13 million in 2021-22, compared to $539.88 million in the previous year and the exports of surgicals grew to $8.17 million as compared to $6.87 million in the previous year.

Exports of medical devices grew to $2.93 billion in 2021-22, as against $2.53 billion in 2020-21, according to the statistics from the Central government.


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