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As per the foreign ministry, India and China had come to an agreement to cut down the levies on Indian medicines particularly for the cancer drugs. These drugs have a high demand and are cheaper than the western medicines.
On Monday, China told it will cut down the duty and increase the import of medicines from India. This move can lead to an opening for Indian generic medicines into the Chinese market where the demand is massive.
“We believe expansion of imports and slashing of tariffs on anti-cancer medicines will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region,” said Hua Chunyin, foreign ministry spokesperson.
She also said that “As far as I know, the pharmaceutical trade between China and India has shown a continuous growth trend. The two sides have conducted good communications on promoting Indian medicines to enter the Chinese market.”
She further added, “Relevant departments have formulated specific measures for bilateral pharmaceutical trade cooperation between China and India and to promote the expansion of Indian medicines into the Chinese market. It is believed the expansion and deepening of Sino-India pharmaceutical trade cooperation will further enhance the health and well-being of the two peoples.”
India’s pharma export (pharmaceuticals, drugs, fine chemicals) to China in 2014-15 was of value $138 million as per figure from India’s Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (PHARMEXCIL). Some Indian cancer drugs that are generic are of prices almost one-tenth of that of similar drugs coming to China from the west.
China has first removed the tariffs on 28 medicines in the month of April 2018. Luo Zhaohui, China’s ambassador to India had made a tweet saying, “China has exempted import tariffs (duties) for 28 drugs, including all cancer drugs, from May 1st. Good news for India’s pharmaceutical industry and medicine export to China. I believe this will help reduce trade imbalance between China and India in the future.”
The spokesperson Hua said India and China had cut down the import duty on many products from July 1 under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). China decided to cut duty on 8,549 items and India reduced levies on 3,142 products.
The spokesperson also told that “We will also impose a negotiated agreed tariff rate on relevant items in accordance with our regulations. We have decided to expand our imports as well as opening up. This is what China needs in order to uphold free trade and (work) against protectionism. This is also in keeping up with our own pace of development and opening up.”