China to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines
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.