New Delhi, Oct 14: Triggered by the pharmaceutical sector, India-South Africa bilateral trade will reach 12 billion dollars by 2010.
''The current trade engagement between India and South Africa does not reflect the true potential. Besides, huge opportunities for promoting exports of Indian pharmaceutical products to South Africa, there is vast scope for collaboration and joint ventures and joint marketing across a range of drugs and pharma segments such as clinical trials and Contract Research in Manufacturing (CRAMS),'' FICCI President Habil Khorakiwala said in a statement.
A FICCI paper on the role of pharma sector in promoting India-South Africa bilateral trade said the two countries enjoy several complementarities. Both have diversified population, have abundant labour supply and mineral wealth.
While South Africa is the biggest producer of gold and platinum and also a leading producer of coal, India is a leading producer of iron ore, coal and several other minerals.
There are several major companies exporting generic pharmaceutical products to South Africa. Most of them have set up their offices in South Africa.
Many companies, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt, Cipla, DRL and many more, have entered into joint ventures with South African companies.
The South African pharmaceutical market holds promise, as it is the largest market in Africa, estimated at about two billion dollars.
The market in the country is the most regulated, established and stable and turnover to investments is quite high, FICCI said.
FICCI further said the Indian market offers several advantages for South African pharma companies like setting up plants in India is 40 per cent cheaper compared to the costs in the developed countries, cost of bulk drug production in India is 60-70 per cent less compared to western nations, regulations in India are also in alignment with global IPR regime.
Further, apart from offering world-class quality, Indian drug prices are among the lowest in the world - in some cases as low as 1/10th of international prices.
Besides, India has strong talent pool with respect to healthcare professionals. The talent pool equipped with strong chemistry skills, which are key strengths for the growth of pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry of any country.
Because of these advantages India is now increasingly becoming an integral part of the global value chain in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.
Not only have the Indian pharma companies performed exceptionally well in the Indian market, but they have also left a mark in the international market place as well, FICCI added.