China to re­duce tar­iffs on In­dian medicines

Chemical Industry Digest - - News & Views -

China

has said that it will re­duce tar­iffs and in­crease im­ports of In­dian medicines, a great news that could lead to the pos­si­ble open­ing up of the mas­sive Chi­nese mar­ket to cheaper generic medicines from In­dia.

The Chi­nese for­eign min­istry said In­dia and China had agreed on re­duc­ing du­ties on In­dian medicines, es­pe­cially can­cer drugs, which are in huge de­mand in China be­cause they are much cheaper than Western al­ter­na­tives. China will re­duce tar­iffs on 8,549 items, in­clud­ing chem­i­cal and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, while In­dia will do the same for 3,142 prod­ucts, re­ports Hin­dus­tan Times.

“We be­lieve ex­pan­sion of im­ports and slash­ing of tar­iffs on anti-can­cer medicines will also ush- er in great op­por­tu­ni­ties for In­dia and other coun­tries in the re­gion,” China’s for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­yin said.

Ac­cord­ing to In­dia’s Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (PHARMEXCIL), the coun­try’s ex­port of drugs, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and fine chem­i­cals to China in 2014-15 was worth $138 mil­lion. The de­ci­sion to cut tar­iffs on In­dian drugs comes at a time when the Chi­nese movie ‘Dy­ing To Sur­vive’, in­spired by the real life story of a can­cer-af­flicted man­who smug­gled In­dian drugs into China, is do­ing in­cred­i­ble busi­ness at box of­fice.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, spokesper­son Hua said that In­dia and China had also slashed im­port tar­iffs of a range of prod­ucts from July 1, fol­low­ing the fourth round of ne­go­ti­a­tions un­der the Asia Pa­cific Trade Agree­ment (APTA), which in­cludes Bangladesh, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka.

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