India-East Africa Trade A Two-Way Street For Mutual Success

Ethiopia (HAN) April 10, 2014 – The Good News – India’s trade with Africa has grown from $1 billion in 2001 to $57 billion in 2012 and poised to cross $90 billion in 2015.This figure has been upgraded from $70 billion set in 2011.

The Challenge – China has now clearly surpassed the U.S.A. as Africa’s biggest trading partner. It has been able to get hold of Africa’s cheap resources and offer its expertise in building infrastructure and providing cheap products. Can India repeat the same?

There are huge challenges on either sides of Indian Ocean. Indian businesses have to more focus on their Africa strategy. An African foothold gives better margins, as domestic market offers wafer thin margins. Ask Sunil Mittal, he will agree.

With a view to address the woes of the Indian exporters to the African countries, the Gujarat government along with the state Food & Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) recently had a meeting with the Indian Ambassador to Panamma and North East Africa in Gujarat.  The meeting focused on addressing the trade barriers and the concerns faced by the Indian pharma exporters while doing business in the African continent.

The Gujarat FDCA which initiated this meet on the insistence of the industry, sensitised and raised the concerns of the Indian exporters to the Ambassador Yogendra Verma so as to ensure that he will be able to convince his counterparts in the African nations on the same. While doing so, the state drug regulatory agency also actively urged participation from the African countries to collaborate with India on key grounds that will help to develop strong understanding of the market requirements.

“As a drug regulator I strongly advocate that all the drugs that are exported from the state are of the highest quality which have passed all the rules and regulations as required under the law. Africa provides huge growth opportunity for the Indian manufacturers, especially small and medium scale manufacturers. So, identifying and addressing business related bottlenecks is very important for us. Strong collaborative measures between the two countries will go a long way for both, as Indian exporters will able to explore the market opportunities in the African countries while patients from African nations will be able to get easy access to high quality affordable drugs,” stressed Dr H G Koshia, commissioner of Gujarat FDCA.

He further insisted that initiatives should be taken to strengthen the ties between the two countries by facilitating exchange of information, technology transfers, expanding business alliances etc.

A large chunk from the total 28 per cent of overall exports from the state goes to African countries, which includes Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, Ethiopia  making it one of the key export destinations for the Indian manufacturers. However, industry claims that irrespective of the lucrative market opportunities there are lot of issues that are yet to be deliberated on to ensure hassle free business.

“To ensure that we do not loose our business edge in the African countries, due to issues like counterfeit drugs etc. there is an urgent need to identify and act upon the same before it starts affecting the sustenance of the industry. Moreover to tap the growing market opportunities, the government needs to be more pro-active to help the industry by exploring business alliances and collaborative efforts,” pointed out a reliable source from the industry.

 

source: slugpost, pharmabiz

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