In its first-ever official level discussions with Sri Lanka on the proposed pharmaceutical manufacturing hub, which has now excited the Lankan private sector, India has given a strong, structured recommendation on the way forward for Sri Lanka’s dream: ‘Focus on the huge global market first’.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Jayarathna Herath (third from right) exchanges souvenirs yesterday with Dr. P.V. Appaji, the visiting Director General of Pharmexcil of India who is leading the Indian pharma delegation to Sri Lanka
“I don’t say that the local market of Sri Lanka is less important but to get Sri Lanka’s pharma hub moving, modelling on the Indian experience, I stress that it is better to focus on export oriented manufacturing aimed at the huge $956 billion global pharma market,” advised Dr. P.V. Appaji, Director General of Pharmexcil of India.
“Then, source international investments here such as JVs and thereafter, bring in the required critical technology for both bulk and formulation manufacturing,” he added.
Dr. Appaji is currently in Sri Lanka leading a high level Indian pharmaceutical delegation to the country.
The visiting Indian team is the largest of its kind to arrive in Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka’s trade history, and has arrived as a result of the directive of Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of Industry, Commerce and Textiles.
Dr. P.V. Appaji further revealed, “On a year-on-year basis, India’s pharma exports to Sri Lanka increased by 15.95% in 2011 to $126.9 million of which 93% were formulations followed by bulk (7%) and herbals (0.15%). The top three drugs sent to Sri Lanka from India are Amoxycilline (antibiotic), glucose liquid, and diloxanide furoate (for intestine/stomach issues). Our data shows that Singapore (30.3%), China (28.6%), India (24.8%), Germany (4.5%), and Netherlands (3.1%) to be the top five suppliers on Sri Lanka’s bulk drug (pharmaceutical ingredients/raw material used to produce tablets, pills, syrups etc.”
“I don’t say that the local market of Sri Lanka is less important but to get Sri Lanka’s pharma hub moving, modelling on the Indian experience, I stress that it is better to focus on export oriented manufacturing aimed at the huge $956 billion global pharma market which is growing by 5% annually and expected to be $ 1200 billion by 2016,” he said.
“In fact, we are talking of $ 1.1 trillion global generic drug opportunity here. Just like India, Sri Lanka can also aim at exporting into this growth opportunity. Thereafter, Sri Lanka needs to source international investments here in ways such as JVs and then, bring in the required critical technology for both bulk and formulation manufacturing.”
Explaining Sri Lankan pharmaceutical sector, Secretary Anura Siriwrdene said, “The size of the local (Sri Lankan) market is $ 190 million (Rs.25 billion) with local manufacturers’ contribution around $ 38 million (Rs.5 billion). Demand growth is estimated to be 10-15% from 2011 to 2015. The pharma foreign investors can also make use of the concessions from FTAs Sri Lanka has with India and Pakistan, BIMSTEC and the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement.”