India is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of generic medicines in the world

“Indian pharma sector can grow to $65 billion industry by 2024,” Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda said while addressing the virtual Latin America and Caribbean session on ‘Reimagining Distances’, during LEADS 2020, organised by FICCI late last evening

“We have recently launched schemes for development of seven mega parks—three bulk drug parks and four medical devices parks across the country. New manufacturers will be eligible for Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme under which they will be eligible for financial incentives on basis of their sales for first 5-6 years,” Gowda said.

Talking about India’s pro-business environment, he said this is a very- very good time to invest, and set up a manufacturing base in India in the pharma sector. “One can enter the Indian market through Joint Ventures also. The advantage is that you can get access to big markets like the domestic Indian market, US, Japan, EU and South East Asia through India as far as the pharma sector is concerned. Anybody can contact my office if they are interested in Indian pharma sector, we will provide all possible facilitation and hand holding,” he stressed.

He said India is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of generic medicines across the world. During the initial phase, he said, HCQ and Azithromycin were identified as one of medicines under treatment protocol for covid-19 in emergency cases. Referring to India supplying these medicines to more than 150 countries across the world; he underlined that India thereby earned the reputation of reliable supplier of medicines.

The Union Minister said India is the only country with the largest number of US-FDA compliant pharma plants (more than 262 including APIs) outside of the US with exports of $20 billion worth of pharma products to various countries including high standards complying with countries like the US and Europe.

Gowda also said that the market size of chemicals and petrochemicals sector in India is around 165 billion dollars. The size is expected to grow up to US$ 300 billion by 2025. This presents a huge opportunity in the chemical sector India. For example, to meet the growing demand India will need 5 crackers by 2025 and additional 14 by 2040.

These crackers alone will require cumulative investment of 65 billion dollar. To attract foreign participation, he said, the Indian government is revisiting policies for the chemical and petrochemical sector. “We are thinking to extend financial incentive based on sales similar to what is being extended in our pharmaceutical sector. We are also tweaking our policies to strengthen our chemical industrial cluster which we call as PCPIRs and plastic parks. Together, these supportive Government policies will offer one of the best environments to do business in India as far as the chemical and petrochemical sector is concerned,” the Union Minister said.

He added that the fertiliser sector is also an attractive sector in India. “There is huge demand for fertilisers by our farmers every year. However, domestic production itself is not enough to meet requirements of fertilisers. We are large importers of urea, & P & K fertilisers. For example, in 2018-19, India imported 7.5 million ton of urea, 6.6 million ton of DAP, 3 million ton of MOP and 0.5 million ton of NPK fertilizer.”

“I am told that Latin American and Caribbean countries are also net importers of chemical fertilisers. Instead of competing in market as buyers, we should be cooperating for making supply chains more efficient so that adequate quantity can be sourced at competitive prices." he added

Gowda stressed that there is a need for collaboration for development of alternative fertilisers for example nano fertilisers, which can reduce our requirement/ usage of fertilisers, and hence dependence on imports. I would welcome any feedback on my proposal for joint R & D collaboration for development of alternate fertilisers.

“We would welcome any proposal in these sectors and extend all possible handholding in India wherever it will be required, he assured,” he added.